Manually importing data inside Spiff with our Data Import tool


The Data Import tool allows companies to manually import commission data from a spreadsheet (.xlsx) into Spiff. In this article, we will go over the different steps required to manually import data inside Spiff.

If you are more of a visual person, here is an explainer video. 

Also, if you are trying to import Users, Quotas or Currencies, make sure to read these articles as these objects require a special treatment and specific columns.

Step 1: prepare your data

During this first step, you should ask yourself about what you are trying to import. If you are trying to import different types of objects (for example an object named Deals and another object named Invoices), we recommend you separate the data into separate tabs as it will make it easier to reference that data separately inside your commission rules. Also, if the objects you are trying to import are related to each other (for example, Deals are related to Invoice because a commission on a deal is earned only if the invoice related to that deal gets paid), we recommend that each object you import has a unique identifier you may reference on the other object's tab. For more details on how to prepare your data/spreadsheet for upload, here is an example / Template.

In this template, you will see how tabs are referencing each other through unique IDs. For example, the deals tab has a column named account_id which references an account associated with that deal.

Step 2: Upload your .xlsx file

Click on the "Data Sources" menu item and then "Data Imports". Then click on the "Upload" button. Spiff Data Import supports .xlsx files.

Step 3: Select the tabs you want to import

Once your file was successfully uploaded, you will see the list of all the tabs included in your file. You may import all the tabs, or only a few tabs. If you only need to update data from one tab, we recommend you to select just that tab as it will make the upload go faster. 

What are label in Spiff?

During step 3, each tab gets assigned a name derived from your tab name. This name will be the name you will use inside Spiff formulas to reference the data from that tab. As objects cannot have names with spaces, each tab with a space in their names will be assigned the same name but with "_" symbols replacing spaces. Also, Spiff will remember all the tab names you have imported previously so you need to make sure you keep your file consistent across uploads. For example, if your deal data was uploaded from a tab named "Deals", you change the name of that tab to "Deal" and upload the file again, Spiff will consider the "Deal" tab to be different from the "Deals" tab you uploaded previously. As a result, if your commission formulas reference the word "Deals", no data will get pulled from the "Deal" tab. In general, we recommend you keep your data clean and remain consistent with your names to avoid any issue.

Step 4: Identify a unique ID

To avoid any confusion in your data, we ask you to indicate a unique identifier (named Primary Key) for each of the tabs you have imported. This unique identifier helps Spiff determine whether to add new records or update existing records on new imports. Identifiers should be different across tabs. If you have to create them, we recommend using the first letter of the object you are trying to upload and a number. For example for deals, the format could be D000001, D000002, etc. and for Invoices it could be I000001, I000002, etc.

The column you pick as unique identifier will persist across uploads. Once set, you may change it between uploads but doing so might affect your commission logic.

Step 5: Set a Data Type

By default, Spiff treats all imported data as a string. We recommend you to set the type of your data to avoid any confusion in the system as some formulas might not work because the data type is not valid. Click here for more details on the different data types supported inside Spiff.

Step 6: Duplicate Handling

Here, we let you decide what should happen if you ever upload a duplicate record. For example, let's assume you upload a tab named "Deals" with 2 records (rows) with the same unique identifier (for example D000001), Spiff will then know how to handle this case and upload your data accordingly. By default, Spiff skips duplicate but you may also decide to override existing fields or update missing fields.

FINALLY, click on the "Finish" button and you are done! Congrats, you just manually imported data into Spiff. To visualize your data, just go back to the Data Imports menu under the Data Sources.


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