Getting your customer's data on the platform quickly and effectively is crucial for any business. How well you onboard new data will affect your success and your customer's experience. Effective onboarding affects so many aspects of a company's success that it's necessary to take a detailed look into all aspects of the process. The following is everything you need to know about data onboarding.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Data Onboarding?
  2. What are the Elements of an Effective Onboarding Strategy?
  3. What Resources and Tools are Used for Data Onboarding?
  4. Who Completes Data Onboarding?
  5. Why is the Onboarding Process Important?

1. What is Data Onboarding?

Data onboarding is collecting, matching, validating, and then uploading customer data into new software or another platform. It's necessary to bring a customer's data online before the customer is officially onboard. The most basic data usually includes a customer's name, email address, and phone number. Sometimes more extensive data is part of the collection process. Whether it's using healthcare services, an e-commerce platform, or any other type of software, there are normally three general ways to bring data onboard.

  • From Offline to Online - You may bring a customer onboard whose data is completely offline. This is often the most time-consuming to collect.
  • From Files and Spreadsheets - A data importer can bring on information that was previously on spreadsheets or other types of files.
  • From Other Software - Transferring data from one CRM to another is a relatively easy process. Uploading from other software usually doesn't take much time.

2. What are the Elements of an Effective Onboarding Strategy?

Automated onboarding is normally the most efficient. You may, if possible, want to include personal touches such as an email or even a phone call so the customer sees the value in continuing. The following are the basic elements of an effective onboarding strategy:

  • Gathering Data - It's important to gather all essential data together before the onboarding process starts. The individuals or teams in charge of handling the data should know what to collect.
  • Organizing Data - Consolidating and formatting files of data is the next step. Online White Papers states that after data is clean, it's necessary to combine the data is an organized manner.
  • Uploading Data - When it's time to upload data, make sure the process is as easy for customers as possible. Don't require customers to read and understand extensive guides.
  • Validating Data - The final step is making sure data matches each correct format. For example, if a specific template doesn't allow special characters, then the customer must clearly know not to add them.

3. What Resources and Tools are Used for Data Onboarding?

There are different resources and tools available for use in the onboarding process. There are also different methods for uploading data. Importing data onto CSV templates is the standard method for adding new data. A CSV file is a text file that includes a special format for saving data. A CSV importer will need features such as data mapping, parsing, structuring, validation, and transformation.

It's important that a collaborative workspace for customer success management (CSM) teams is available when the onboarding process takes place. Features for a collaborative workspace would likely include the following:

  • Start by assigning data collection tasks to the correct contacts.
  • Make sure there are deadlines for each data collection task.
  • Reduce or eliminate coding from the CS team.
  • Make sure data is HIPAA, GDPR, and SOC 2 compliant.
  • Include user verification with 2FA.
  • Import the data directly from all collaborative workspaces into your product.
  • Transform XLS, CSV, TSV, etc., into a validated output.

4. Who Completes Data Onboarding?

The team responsible for the onboarding process might include anyone from customer service representatives to your engineering team. Often the customer is responsible for at least part of the process. Usually, there is a combination of departments and individuals completing the job. Each area of a company will have its own particular responsibilities when making sure data onboarding is successful.

  • Engineering Departments - Developer engineers are often responsible for building a data importer that assists customers when onboarding their personal data.
  • Product Management - A product manager often stands between where the customer experience currently exists and where the customer wants to go. Managers can then assist other teams with solutions.
  • Customer Success Teams - A business may create a customer success team to onboard customers that are part of enterprise plans or high-tier product plans.
  • Customers - Customers are often responsible, at least in part, for uploading their own data. In these cases, a company will want to provide tutorials and guides to help make the process as seamless as possible.

Whoever onboards data will need to answer several important questions. How much time are employees spending onboarding a data file? What percentage of data records can match to one or more devices? Are the onboarding process and the results complying with privacy regulations and codes? Are the customers receiving any necessary notifications? The answers to these questions will determine how well those responsible for the onboarding process are completing the task. The following explains a few of these questions in more detail.

Match Rates - A customer might look up a product on the phone, seek social media reviews on a laptop, and then later buy the product on another device entirely. If you're not continuously capturing and organizing customer data, you're losing a lot of critical information.

Speed - Not only is initial onboarding speed important, but a quick ongoing process is crucial for long-term success. After a customer purchases a product the last thing they want is an ad for that particular product following them online all day. This is just one negative result of a slow onboarding process.

5. Why is the Onboarding Process Important?

Marketing is increasingly identity-driven. Your business isn't just about conversions, but about maintaining relationships. Data is crucial when creating a successful targeted marketing campaign or just relating to and keeping customers happy. Getting data onboard is one thing; organizing the data in a way that's easy to understand and is useable for future success is quite another. There are several specific ways effective onboarding can help your business and your brand.

  • Improve insights into cross-channeling marketing.
  • Expand the size of your target audience.
  • Improve marketing campaign performance.
  • Remove existing customers from new customer campaigns.
  • Personalize ads and campaigns across various channels.

Who Choose for Your Onboarding Needs?

You need to choose a company that not only can provide you with the tools for a successful onboarding process but that can unleash the full potential of your data. provides a variety of powerful transformation tools to help you use your data as effectively as possible. Contact for a 14-day demo.