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Interview: Farm Credit Illinois transition to new software seamlessly with SimpleImport

“SimpleImport is used by our whole credit underwriting team multiple times a day.”

Jon Cook, Vice President – Credit Services Division at Farm Credit Illinois

Farm Credit Illinois is a farmer owned and directed agricultural lending cooperative serving 10,000 farm families, agribusinesses, and rural landowners in the southern 60 counties of Illinois with competitive and flexible financing and crop insurance expertise. Their deep understanding of agriculture enables them to provide knowledgeable and effective service. 

An interview with Jon Cook, Vice President – Credit Services Division at Farm Credit Illinois

Jon Cook shares the challenges that Farm Credit Illinois faced when they moved to new loan origination software and how SimpleImport was able to give them the seamless process they were looking for.

What specific challenges were you trying to solve that made you look for a solution?

Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) recently implemented the nCino suite for our loan origination platform. During our design and discovery phase, we realized we were going to have a gap in our credit underwriting process because our previous configuration for uploading financial data sets was not going to be compatible with nCino.

We needed to upload data sets from Excel to the loan origination system for risk rating and other company objectives. Along with our technology provider, Farm Credit Financial Partners, Inc. (FPI), we began the search to find a solution to fit our needs.

What were you (or weren’t you!) looking for in a solution?

  • A cost effective, secure, and efficient tool to import data from Excel into our nCino platform.
  • A solution that could be easily used by our Credit Department and fit seamlessly within the process without adding additional navigation or clicks.
  • We could not afford to sacrifice our member experience by negatively impacting turnaround time in our loan decisions or employee engagement with a complex or cumbersome solution.
  • We did not want a complex solution that would require more regular monitoring or resource demand for support, or leave us vulnerable to data errors in transition.

After a process of vetting different solutions, from internally built custom code to outside solutions, we found ProvenWorks. The tool SimpleImport fit our need to efficiently and effectively upload data from Excel to nCino.

How easy is it to use SimpleImport?

Very easy! Once we created and saved the import mapping, the end user experience was seamless! We have one saved mapping that is used by many users multiple times a day. It’s a key cog within our underwriting process of uploading data.

How long did it take to train your users?

We were able to coincide the implementation of SimpleImport with the go-live of our nCino platform. As a result, we incorporated the training for SimpleImport in our new guides which made for a seamless transition to SimpleImport. This tool was labelled a “win” in multiple training locations during training courses.

How does SimpleImport solve the challenges you had with your process?

At the drag and drop of an Excel file, we’re able to import data from our Excel model into the nCino loan product package in a seamless transition.

The efficiency gained from SimpleImport saves end users from manually entering these data points from point A to point B, reduces data integrity concerns at an effective cost and demands minimal resources to implement and maintain.

How has SimpleImport helped your business and customers?

The saved data mapping is used by our whole credit underwriting team multiple times a day. At FCI, we view SimpleImport as our end solution and feel it best fits into the process as we underwrite credit today. The results through two months are very valuable, as this tool in part helped our credit department underwrite a large Q4 loan demand. Without SimpleImport, this would have negatively impacted loan decision turnaround time with our members and our employee engagement.

Why SimpleImport?

We’ve had no reason to contact Support thus far – which is a good sign as we haven’t had any issues! I’ve started mentioning ProvenWorks and specifically the SimpleImport tool as a solution for anyone who needs to transfer data from Excel to nCino.

We thought our previous system coding in our previous loan origination system was efficient, but the SimpleImport tool was just as efficient if not better as now we can also drag and drop files.

In short, it’s an efficient, cost effective tool that requires marginal training demand and can be used by an individual or a team of users on a frequent or infrequent basis.


SimpleImport

Importing files is so vital for so many organizations. It’s good news that Simplelmport makes this job as effortless as possible. Learn more and book a demo.

Got questions? Chat to us!

Do you want to learn more about how SimpleImport could be a great addition to your Salesforce org? We’d love to chat! Use the scheduler to book a free call with our team and start your journey to faster, simpler imports

Can’t find a time that works for you or would rather email first? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Speed up your importing with SimpleImport Spring ’22 (20220118)

We know that when it comes to tasks like importing, every second counts.

That’s why we’ve released a service update for SimpleImport (20220118). Based on our customers’ usage, we found that loading speeds during the import workflow could be improved, so we’ve improved them.

Small changes influenced by your real-world usage mean big improvements. So let’s take a look at what’s changed.

A faster SimpleImport

What have we updated and what does this mean?

Scenario 1:

  • Loading object metadata can be costly. We may only be talking seconds, but seconds add up. That’s why we only want to load the object metadata you want to work with when it’s needed.

The solution:

  • SimpleImport usage revealed that users rarely wanted to import to the first object in the picklist.
  • As a result we removed the auto-selection of the first object displayed during object selection.

The result:

  • Users no longer have to wait for the first object’s metadata to load before selecting the object they actually want to import into!
  • Just have one object available? Don’t worry, we’ll auto-select this one for you – it’s the only option after all!

Scenario 2:

  • Auto-mapping fields took too long. Having to wait for this process to finish before being able to interact was just inconvenient. We strive to remove as much waiting time as possible because that’s just not productive.

The solution:

  • We’ve significantly optimized the auto-field mapping process to minimise the loading time on the mapping page.

The result:

  • The waiting time scales depending on how many fields are in the file.
  • We know this waiting is as a result of SimpleImport offering a helping hand, but now the hand is much, much faster!

How do I access SimpleImport Spring ’22?

Great question! This is a service update so you will automatically have access to the new workflow if you are already using SimpleImport.

If you get stuck or have any questions, feel free to contact our Support team who are more than happy to help you: support@provenworks.com.

SimpleImport

Importing files is so vital for so many organizations. It’s good news that Simplelmport makes this job as effortless as possible. Learn more and book a demo.

Field naming convention for Salesforce and database tables

Joel Mansford is the Founder and Managing Director of ProvenWorks. With many years experience working within Sales & Marketing building databases, reports and customising CRM systems, he considers himself a techie at heart.

In this blog I’ll take you through a variation of a field naming convention for Salesforce that we use at ProvenWorks and recommend for use within Salesforce systems. To be clear we’re talking about the API name (or underlying table names) and not the labels that are exposed to users.

I want to stress that the most important thing is to have a field naming convention; what that convention actually is is of secondary importance. You will know that you have a good convention when you get the field/API name correct >90% of the time without actually knowing the table well simply because you know how it would have been named by its purpose.

Name your fields

If you’re reading this then you’ve probably already determined that you need to think about the naming convention of your fields. On a new field creation, Salesforce first asks for the label. It then creates an API name based on this label. This means you can get:

Label=”Last 2 letters of Mother’s maiden Name”,

API name = “Last_2_Letters_of_Mother_s_maiden_Name__c”

Note that the spaces and apostrophe all become underscores, making the ‘s’ stand on its own and the API name overly long (those underscores aren’t helping us at all). Also if the label changes (e.g. “2”->”two”) then confusion ensues because developers using this ‘convention’ will always assume that the API name matches the label.

Naming conventions

Field names should use Upper Camel Case or Pascal casing. Here’s an excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CamelCase:

“CamelCase (also spelled “camel case” and sometimes known as medial capitals[1]) is the practice of writing compound words or phrases in which the words are joined without spaces and are capitalized within the compound — as in LaBelle, BackColor , or iMac. The name comes from the uppercase “bumps” in the middle of the compound word, suggestive of the humps.”

Try to avoid using abbreviations unless they are very widely used i.e. Id is fine instead of Identifier, Pro_Serve is not a good abbreviation of Professional Services as it is not consistent in its number of characters for each word and “Serve” is not a known abbreviation of “Services”. We’ll get onto verbosity in naming later.

Acronyms are treated as if they were words, so SFDC Account Id would become SfdcAccountId – whilst this one isn’t intuitive it is necessary to properly separate the words out correctly. If SFDC were treated as all capitals, many tools would (like SSRS) convert it to “S F D C Account Id” which is ‘more’ wrong. In this example, “SalesforceAccountId” would be best.

Grouping

The underscore (_) character can be used after a field prefix to logically group fields together, for example:

  • Software_Amount becomes Amount_Software
  • Maintenance_Amount becomes Amount_Maintenance
  • Training_Amount becomes Amount_Training

This grouping means that when fields are sorted alphabetically, logically-related fields appear together – very useful in implementations with >150 fields! Grouping is easily achieved by slight word re-arrangement. For example, although we would usually verbally say “Date Created” here we name the field CreatedDate.

Grouping (underscore) isn’t absolutely necessary for field ‘pairs’ for example CreatedBy and CreatedDate or Contact.AccountId and Contact.AccountType (as the two fields will always be populated together). However, if you anticipate other fields being added to this theme then grouping can be beneficial and makes reviewing the column/field list much easier.

Choice of words & verbosity

This blog only outlines the conventions for naming. The actual choice of words is a task best proposed by one individual and then reviewed by others to ensure that the words are a good reflection of the purpose of the field without extra clarification. It is very rare that an individual gets the field naming right alone. Bounce the ideas and then finally make sure the actual text is reviewed for typos(!).

However great the temptation to “quickly create a field”, you should always resist. Spending literally a few minutes carefully considering the naming will at a minimum save you time later and more importantly prevent a field being misinterpreted and thus wrong business decisions being made.

Remember it is better to be unambiguous and have a long field name than a short field name that is open to interpretation. If a developer complains that it takes too long for them to type a long field name then I’d suggest they’re in the wrong profession if they struggle typing a dozen extra characters.

About ProvenWorks

We mean it when we say we’re Salesforce experts. We work exclusively in the Salesforce ecosystem and our products are built 100% for Salesforce.

Team highlights of the year

2021 has been a busy and hectic year for all of us here at ProvenWorks, so we wanted all the team to spend a moment to reflect on their achievement and memorable highlights of the year.

Without further ado here are our highlights of the year. 

Beth Clements, our Operations Director

“Working closely with 23 inspiring non-profits, helping them to be data heroes and meeting a bunch of awesome people along the way!”

Ruth Cawdron, our Marketing Director

  • “ProvenWorks winning the 2021 Salesforce Partner Innovation Award for our work with Malala Fund! Read the article here.
  • Becoming a Ranger after starting Salesforce Trailhead in March!
  • Winning the Salesforce Partner Innovation Award for your work with the Malala Fund.”

Chris Sweet, our Customer Success Executive

“Working with and supporting 94 customers to ensure they keep getting the absolute best and most out of our products!”

Joel Mansford, our Managing Director

“My highlight of the year has been increasing our ProvenWorks team by more than 50% in the past year, gaining superbly talented people. They’re all AMAZING!”

Adel Nazirov, our Senior Developer

“As a Senior Developer, it was a great feeling introducing best practice protocols across the ProvenWorks development team this year.”

Callum Hurry, our Director of Product Engineering

  • “Working with Cloud for Good and seeing the University of Alabama Birmingham use AddressTools in their demo at the Salesforce Higher Education Summit! See the shoutout: https://youtu.be/wWG0K4-SgLY?t=563 
  • Reading the amazing and inspirational customer stories, and learning how ProvenWorks products have improved data quality issues at so many organisations.”

Laura Truman, our Marketing Assistant

  • “Leading the ProvenWorks data cleansing campaign to share my knowledge of how to maintain good data in Salesforce. Discover it all here.
  • Getting hands on with leads in Salesforce and putting my Trailhead knowledge into practice!”

Denis Gurbuz, our Sales Executive

“My highlight has been becoming part of the team and enhancing the ProvenWorks’ Discovery Demo content.”

Damian Tomczik, our Sales Director 

“Connecting with everyone in the office again and meeting the new ProvenWorks team members – in person!”

Andrey Vyshlov, our Chief of Staff 

“Getting to know the ProvenWorks team and having an opportunity to bring a growth mindset into the picture! 

Here’s to a super successful 2022 filled with awards, record sales, and investments.” 🥂

Apache Log4j2 vulnerability: ProvenWorks solutions unaffected

ProvenWorks update relating to the identified Apache Log4j vulnerability.

Resources:

US CISA Log4j Guidance Page

UK NCSC Log4j Guidance Page

Salesforce Log4j Information Page

status.salesforce.com


We are writing to confirm that no ProvenWorks solutions are affected by the Apache Log4j2 vulnerability. We do not utilize the impacted libraries for any of our packages.

To confirm, Apache Log4j does not impact any ProvenWorks solutions.

As part of our security processes and systems, we are monitoring the ongoing situation and evaluating any potential risk.

We will keep you updated with any additional information that we deem relevant to report upon in relation to ProvenWorks solutions, as it becomes available. If you have any additional questions you can reach out to us at info@provenworks.com.

Discover the best strategies for verifying addresses in Salesforce: free webinar

Learn the best way to verify addresses in your Salesforce org in this free 30 minute webinar.

Learn the best way to verify addresses in your Salesforce org in this free 30 minute webinar. Speaker: Callum Hurry, Director of Product Engineering at ProvenWorks.

Can you automate it?

Should you let your users get involved?

Should you do it in batches?

There’s more to verifying addresses in Salesforce than you think!

That’s why we’re sharing our expertise for the Salesforce ecosystem in this free webinar on Thursday 9th December at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET.

What will I learn?

In 30 minutes you’ll learn:

  • why verifying addresses is important
  • pros and cons of different types of verification
  • our top recommendations from years of experience

Plus there’ll be a live Q&A for a chance to ask your questions – think of it like free Professional Services!

Who’s doing the talking?

Callum Hurry, Director of Product Engineering at ProvenWorks, has over 7 years experience of working with addresses in Salesforce. He’s seen every kind of org (no really!) and he’s sharing the insights he’s learned along the way.

How do I sign up?

Save your seat using our registration link below and start your journey to verified addresses in Salesforce.

Thursday 9th December
9 am PT / 12 pm ET

About ProvenWorks

We know all about how to verify addresses in Salesforce and we mean it when we say we’re Salesforce experts. We work exclusively in the Salesforce ecosystem and our products are built 100% for Salesforce.

Everything you need to know about the SimpleImport Winter ‘22 Release

The time has arrived! We’re so excited to share with you the SimpleImport Winter ‘22 (20211129) Release!

With an optimized workflow, updated error messages, a nifty feature addition and a new summary page, there’s plenty to cover so let’s get started.

1. Define your Import Type

Firstly… ambiguous toggles are gone from the mapping page! SimpleImport now has a dedicated page for defining your Import Type; choose between an Insert, Update or Upsert. A new quick-to-adopt Matching Conditions query builder finds existing records when you are configuring an Update or Upsert job.

2. A mapping page, just for mapping fields!

Thanks to the dedicated Import Type page we’ve just seen, the mapping page now focuses on its key objective – mapping fields! It’s simpler than ever to map your spreadsheet columns to Salesforce fields, and the field finder has been revamped to be faster and more accurate than before.

3. Harness the power of Constant values

Are you importing products and want them all to be active? Or inserting new US accounts? Introducing Constant values. Don’t waste time duplicating data in your spreadsheet; tackle it directly on the mapping page. Hit Add Constant, map the value, and away you go!

4. Clearer error messages

Sometimes errors happen and we’ve been working hard to make our messaging as clear as possible so that you can identify the issues and work on solving them. Perhaps something is misconfigured, or required fields are missing? SimpleImport will let you know!

5. Review your import settings

Importing can be stressful so we’ve introduced a new summary page to provide an overview of the import job you’re about to submit. See your object selections, matching conditions, mapped fields and review the job estimation all in one place. Sound good? Well you can save the mapping here for future use!

6. Load and save mappings where it matters

Load mappings at the beginning of your journey, and save new ones at the end. With the import process now spread out over a couple of steps, loading a mapping at the earliest point allows you to blitz through your import task. Save a new mapping at the end of the process ensures you’ve followed all the required steps to set up your mapping how you need it.


How do I access SimpleImport Winter ’22?

Great question! This is a service update so you will automatically have access to the new workflow if you are already using SimpleImport Premium.

Anything else?

There are some additional tweaks and changes including removing the requirement to create a custom setting when configuring the ManagedImport Lightning Component. All old mappings will still work as expected. To accompany these changes, we’ve overhauled our documentation to make the transition and future adoption of the solution better than ever.

New documentation: SimpleImport User Guide

If you get stuck or have any questions, feel free to contact our Support team who are more than happy to help you: support@provenworks.com.

SimpleImport

Importing files is so vital for so many organizations. It’s good news that Simplelmport makes this job as effortless as possible. Learn more and book a demo.

Mental Health UK masters Recurring Donations with SimpleImport

SimpleImport frees up time to concentrate on the actual work that we do.

Sharm Das, Database Manager at Mental Health UK

Bringing together the heritage and experience of four charities across the country who’ve been supporting people with their mental health for nearly 50 years, Mental Health UK provide support and services for the biggest societal challenges posing a threat to our mental health – and they won’t stop until everyone has the tools they need to live their best possible life.

The challenge: importing master-detail records into Salesforce

Mental Health UK receives donations from various online platforms including Facebook, Virgin Money and Paypal donations. Centralising this data – contacts, donations and soft credit – in their Salesforce org is crucial to cultivate a single source of truth about their donors and communicate using the most up-to-date information.

They needed a solution to make importing Recurring Donations into Salesforce as straightforward as possible.

  • Mental Health UK needed to import records with Master-Detail relationships into Salesforce, especially Recurring Donations
  • They required a process that was straightforward for their small team
  • Other solutions they investigated required lots of manual effort which was inevitably time consuming

The solution: empowering busy Salesforce users to import Recurring Donations easily

“I normally find importing such a laborious process, but now it is quick and easy!”

Jemima Woolgar, Senior Community & Events Fundraising Manager

With SimpleImport, Mental Health UK’s importing process is straightforward, even for multi-sheet files and master-detail records. Thanks to easy matching of Excel columns to Salesforce object fields, importing has never been so simple!

SimpleImport presents success and error files for each import, and the Mental Health UK team can use the handy Salesforce Records IDs on the import success files for further manipulations. Even better, the team can save import mappings for further use, saving time and effort on recurring jobs.

The result: importing made simple

“SimpleImport has saved us so much time. So streamlined and easy to use!”

Johnston Connelly, Events Fundraising and Engagement Officer

With SimpleImport installed, the Mental Health UK team can handle their Recurring Donations imports with ease. Crucially, this frees up their time to focus on what matters most: their mission.

An improved user experience

  • The Mental Health UK team can import recurring donations and handle soft credit quickly
  • No more anxiety around import jobs thanks to a clean user interface and undo button
  • Straightforward workflow with no need to export to CSV or run multiple import jobs for child records

Bigger picture

  • Mental Health UK can better track their donors and donations
  • Scalability as the team looks to use SimpleImport for other import jobs!
  • SimpleImport frees up time to concentrate on their mission

Why SimpleImport?

We asked Sharm Das, Database Manager at Mental Health UK why she would recommend SimpleImport:

“The most cost-efficient solution I have come across.”

We are privileged to support nonprofit organizations, such as Mental Health UK, with flexible discounts. And regarding support:

“The Support team has been amazing – very helpful and quick to respond.”

Help Mental Health UK provide everyone with the tools they need to live their best possible life

Find out more about Mental Health UK and support their vital work across the UK.


SimpleImport

Importing files is vital for so many organizations. It’s good news that Simplelmport makes this job as effortless as possible. Learn more and book a demo.

Got questions? Chat to us!

Do you want to learn more about how SimpleImport could be a great addition to your Salesforce org? We’d love to chat! Use the scheduler to book a free call with our team and start your journey to faster, simpler imports.


Can’t find a time that works for you or would rather email first? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

AddressTools: feature release for PowerSearch

Our team has been working on some really exciting feature releases for AddressTools that will make your PowerSearch experience even better!

What do I need to know?

We’ve added two extra features to PowerSearch’s settings to help specify and focus your searches, and optimize your address data entry.

Why should I be excited?

Select a priority country so that search results from the selected country will be shown first. Here’s an example of USA set as the priority country.

And/or, choose allowed countries, so that search results are limited to only the countries you select.

How do I access these new features?

Simply update your AddressTools Premium package to use these new features. You will need to use version 7.94 of AddressTools which you can find via the AppExchange.

Need an extra hand? Check out our 4-step guide on how to upgrade an AppExchange app.

If you have any further questions, please contact us!


AddressTools

Interested in learning more? Check out our award-winning package for Salesforce. Harness the power of address standardization, validation and verification in your org.

Oxfam GB makes everyone a data champion with AddressTools

Thanks to AddressTools, we have supporter data that is accurate which results in a better supporter experience and a user base that is empowered to take ownership of data quality.

Philip Blaney, Solution Architect at Oxfam GB

Verifying and connecting with a clean supporter base means that Oxfam can focus on tackling poverty

Oxfam is a global nonprofit group of millions of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. In just 15 years, extreme poverty has been halved. In 15 more years they believe they can end it for good.

The challenge: quality address data to match a quality CRM

Oxfam GB needed to ensure that the address data held in Salesforce for their supporters was accurate and consistent so that they could focus on communicating with their supporters, rather than worrying about whether it would reach them.

Oxfam GB were confident about the accuracy of the data they migrated into Salesforce from their old CRM platform. They needed to ensure that new supporter data entered was of the same standard. This meant storing consistent address data that was verified against the Postcode Address File provided by the Royal Mail.

The solution: empowering users to verify address data

With AddressTools, Oxfam GB has a solution that runs within Salesforce, integrating into each supporter’s record with a neat widget, showing at a glance if the address has been verified or not.

After an easy installation and setup, Oxfam GB has the flexibility to finetune their settings, making it as easy as possible for their end users to enter address data that is checked and verified.

The result: confidently communicating with supporters

Users across Salesforce can verify address data

“We have been able to empower our users across Salesforce to verify address data rather than it being tied to someone with elevated privileges or working in a particular team.”

Philip Blaney, Solution Architect

Reduced costs

Validating and formatting their address data means that Oxfam GB reduces overhead costs from undeliverable mail.

Trust in their CRM

Just as important, Oxfam GB has a supporter database they can trust. They can be confident that they connect with their supporters, knowing that their constituents will have a consistent experience.

A gift for Gift Aid

The Gift Aid process is a multi-million pound process for Oxfam and is underpinned by data quality, specifically postcode accuracy for UK addresses. AddressTools helps Oxfam keep any manual updates within this process to an absolute minimum (<0.05%*) enabling efficient and timely processing of Gift Aid claims.

(*0.05% based on 25 corrections per 50K records)

Why AddressTools?

“We have been really impressed with the team at ProvenWorks, they have been on hand to help out whenever we have needed them and the response is always swift, professional and friendly.”

Philip Blaney, Solution Architect


AddressTools for Nonprofits

Whether it’s connecting with a clean donor database, managing fundraising platform integrations or sorting out existing bad addresses, we’re here to help.

Got questions? Chat to us!

Do you want to learn more about how AddressTools could be a great addition to your Salesforce org? We’d love to chat! Use the scheduler to book a free call with our team and start your journey to better address data.