Data Glossary
We know that talking about data could be confusing. Here is a list of terms for you to get up to speed.
CSV import
Bringing data into a software or tool, from a CSV. Your data will be taken from spreadsheet form and uploaded and added into your database.
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CSV export
Taking data out of a software or tool, and saving it to a CSV file. Your data remains intact in your software, but now you have a copy formatted as a spreadsheet that you can work with in Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets and more.
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A CSV (or comma separated values) file is simply a spreadsheet of data. It is the most universally accepted format, and the one most often used for exports and imports from various software.
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Data Migration
The act of moving data from one system to another. Whether it be CRM, helpdesk, marketing tools or other software - a data migration will copy data from one place and move it into another.
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Mapping is used to translate data from one place to another. You can map objects, data fields and data field values. For example, when importing data from a CSV, you can map a column from the spreadsheet to an actual data field in your database.
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Data field
A property on a record. These properties, or data fields, store the values on the records in your database. For example, a data field can store the value of a company's "Name". Data fields can appear in various types, including text, picklists, checkboxes, numberic fields and more.
Data Object
A record type - such as company, contact, opportunity, task, note, ticket, etc. These types (or, objects) are what your database uses to group and structure data, so that you can use them to capture specific information. Data objects are typically structured in a hierarchy, and are linked together like a ladder. For example, you may have an account with contacts, those contacts may have opportunities, and those opportunities may have tasks, notes and attachments linked to them.
The act of excluding data from a transfer, whether that be exporting to CSV or migrating to another database. A filter is based on criteria you select, and determines which records are included or excluded from the final result.
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Match field
The data field that is used to determine whether a record exists in your database, or not, when performing an import. When you select a match field, this field will be scanned on every record in the database you are importing to, looking for an exact match. If one is found, it is determined to be a match and the import will not create a duplicate record. If there is no match, then the imported data will be treated as new.
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Lookup field
A data field used to link to another data object in your database. This may be a link to the same data object you are importing, such as in the case of parent-child company records. It may be to a different data object, such as contact-opportunity relationships. Or, it can be to a user object, in the case of assigning an owner to your record.
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Software as a Service (SaaS)
A web-based tool or app that is used to perform a service for your business, typically paid for by subscription. Common examples can include CRM, helpdesk or chat software, marketing automation tools, task management apps, and more.
scheduled export
An export that is automated to run at a specific time. The export is setup one-time, to include the records and fields that you wish to download. Then a frequency is selected (i.e. weekly, monthly, etc.) so that you receive the export results at the desired time. Each export is then delivered on the schedule, with up to date results that meet your original setup criteria.
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A value is the information stored in a data field on a record. For example, if you have a field "Name", the value stored there would be the actual name, i.e. "John Smith". Values may be text, numbers, dates, picklists, etc.
The method of collecting data for the purpose of presenting or analyzing. This can be from a single source of data, or from multiple. Reporting may be done inside a SaaS tool or in a spreadsheet, and can pull data from a single source, or from multiple.
A single item in your database, or row in a CSV file. The single record is composed of various data fields and their values.
Legacy system
A database software or tool that was used in the past, but is now obsolete or has been deactivated for the purpose of switching to a new system.
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file format
This refers to the structure used to store data in a file. Common examples are CSV, JPEG, XML, PDF.
Extract, transform and load (ETL)
A combination of processes that moves data out of one system and into another.
The act of "filling in the blanks" in a database to make your data more valuable to your business. Typically this is done by pulling in useful information from another source into your database, in order to augment your existing data.
Data Visualization
A visual representation of data for the purpose of gaining insights. It can be in the form of graphs, charts, maps and so on.
Data Type
The classification of a data field, for the purpose of defining the conditions how it can be used, as well as its limitations. For example, a field with a picklist data type has a pre-set list of values that can be selected.
Data Science
The study of data for the purpose of gaining insights. This can involve programming, mathematics, statistics and other methods to handle and assess data and provide an analysis.
Data quality
The state or condition of your dataset. This can mean how clean, complete and useful it is. To have good data quality means that you have a database that works as you intend and expect it to.
Data mining
This is the act of digging into a dataset in order to gain insight or extract data for a specific purpose.
Data integration
This is an ongoing movement or transfer of data from one system to another.
Data management
The act of administering a database or set of data. Data is a resource that is stored, processed and created - and data management is the oversight of these processes.
The process of identifying and removing or merging duplicate records in a database.
A stored "warehouse" of data that is structured for a user to access and utilize it.
Data Preparation
The act of arranging data for a specific purpose, such as reporting or analysis.
Individual pieces of information that are stored and formatted in a computer or database.
Cloud integration
How data is moved and stored in the cloud, a web-based database or hosting system.
This is the act of taking data from multiple sources and moving it into a single system, typically for the purpose of a single point of access and source of truth.
Business Intelligence
This is the combination of several data services and processes to achieve a data-centered approach to your business. This can include data visualization, data mining, data integration and various data tools - all used with the purpose of gaining insight and driving business decisions.
Bulk Data Transfer
An expedited way of moving data, which cuts down on wait times, especially for large files or large sets of data.
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Big data
A field that is considered to be dealing with datasets that are too large or complex to be handled by traditional data processing systems.
An import that is setup to run automatically, and is typically triggered by a schedule or a specific action. The import is setup once, with the mappings and other criteria set. Then you define a trigger, such as sending an import file to a specific email address. When the trigger occurs, it kicks off the import.
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App To App Import
An import that is setup to run without the use of CSV files, and instead runs directly between two SaaS tools.
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The generation of suggestion of field mappings for an import, rather than manually mapping fields from scratch. A tool uses the information collected from user history and/or from artificial intelligence to suggest mappings that make sense for the import the user has setup.
This can be both the act or result of reviewing and interpreting sets of data, typically for the purpose of gaining insight.
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