Subscribe to this blog for BBCRM and BBIS tips and tricks.

Bulk Import - Streamline Processes!

Have you ever spent hours and become frustrated trying to import data from a third party into Blackbaud CRM?  Ever had to break an import file into multiple files to import into multiple Batch formats, and then waded through multiple exceptions and errors?  If you've been following the Blackbaud CRM Product Roadmap or are a faithful follower of this Community page, you've already been hearing about Bulk Import, a capability powered by Blackbaud SKY, which was released last summer to a segment of our North American Blackbaud CRM hosted customers.  Ellyn LaVecchia first posted about Bulk Import in June, announcing its availability and linking to the How-to and Technical documentation, while Pat Conley posted about exciting enhancements to the Bulk Import Service in December.  In case you missed it, there was also a Spotlight session on Bulk Import last August that is still available to watch on-demand. 
Put simply, the Bulk Import service could be saving your organization valuable time and money.  Using Bulk Import, you can import a file, even high-volume files, as-is without breaking into multiple files or formats.  This can significantly reduce, and sometimes even eliminate, pre-processing work prior to importing.  The service also supports custom fields and default settings - a common barrier when trying to map fields in a Batch.   And, since the service is delivered as a microservice by Blackbaud SKY, you only have to deploy it one time and you'll receive enhancements as they become available automatically - without having to install any Service Packs or Patches!
Heifer International, an early adopter of the Bulk Import service, reported that it took 2 minutes and 39 seconds to import a file of 1,686,429 constituent attributes - a fraction of the time it would have taken to load through Batch.  Ted Bowsman, Director of Resource Development Reporting & Systems at Heifer International said "Blackbaud's SKY Service, Bulk Import, is a huge time saver for us.  It has reduced the time it takes to import large files of constituent attributes from hours to minutes, while eliminating manual steps along the way."
In order to begin using the Bulk Import service, your organization's instance of Blackbaud CRM must meet the following criteria:
  • Version 4.0, Service Pack 14 or higher
  • Hosted out of Blackbaud's Boston Data Center or Azure instance
If you are not sure whether you meet this requirement, please feel free to email me directly.  If you meet these requirements but have not yet deployed Bulk Import, please contact Ellyn LaVecchia to request the service be deployed. 
Has your organization tried out the Bulk Import service?  We want to hear about it!  
Comment below, or feel free to email me directly with your feedback!
Your feedback will help us continue to enhance and refine the service, and to provide further use cases for its functionality. 
If you haven't given it a try, we'd like to hear about that too - are there barriers keeping you from testing it out?
Posted by Mary Grace Davis on Jan 31, 2019 1:09 PM America/New_York

Leave a Comment

Log in to post a comment.

Is there a timeline for when the Bulk Import service will be available for self hosted organizations?
  • Posted Fri 01 Feb 2019 10:03 AM EST
Hi Missy Egelhoff‍ , at this time there are not plans to support Bulk Import for self-hosted organizations.  
  • Posted Mon 04 Feb 2019 04:35 PM EST
Is this for constituents only, or for batches as well?
  • Posted Wed 06 Feb 2019 10:32 AM EST
Hi Amanda Witzig‍ , The bulk import functionality allows you to import large amounts of data, including data of different types, in the same file. For example, you can import personal and revenue information in a single file. To create an import, you first create an import process that serves as a template for imports of a certain type. You can then run imports based on that template as often as needed.  You can find more details about how to do this in the how-to documentation:
  • Posted Wed 06 Feb 2019 11:12 AM EST
We have been waiting for a few years now to have this pushed out to those that are not hosted by Blackbaud.  When is this going to be pushed out?  Hope its not another 4 years.  The initial announce of this feature was that it was going to used as testing for hosted sites and the released to non-hosted sites.
  • Posted Mon 24 Jun 2019 01:58 PM EDT