Welcome to the WebLink Data Conversion Workbook Instruction Guide. This article will walk you through the process of completing the WebLink Data Conversion Workbook to ensure your data is formatted and imported into your WebLink Connect™ database with the highest quality of data integrity.
The WebLink Data Conversion Workbook Instruction Guide includes three areas of information that will help you understand the purpose, process and Best practices of using the Data Conversion Workbook as a means to fill your new WebLink Connect database with your valuable membership information:
- Data Modeling Map - a guide to archiving the names of fields in your original membership database and where they will be copied to in WebLink Connect
- Frequently Asked Questions - a complete list of common concerns and questions most associations go through when deciding what data to take with them
- Sheet by Sheet instructions - the Workbook is divided in to 15 sheets of information that you can choose to import
Data Modeling Map
The Modeling Map tab in the WebLink Data Conversion Workbook outlines every field that can be entered into WebLink Connect, as well as specifically indicates which fields are required to be entered in order to properly convert your data.
Please refer back to the Modeling Map tab for assistance with fields as you enter data into the remaining tabs. If you are unsure what a specific field is requesting, please contact your Onboarding Specialist for assistance.
Completing the Modeling Map is a valuable step in the conversion process as it:
- Allows you to consider what data from your current system is essential to your operations
- Provides an orientation to the WebLink Connect database and field names
- Serves as a reference document for quality assurance purposes and/or an archive of how the data was mapped from your current system to WebLink Connect
The steps to complete the Modeling Map tab are:
- For each field listed on the Modeling Map tab, enter the name of the corresponding field in your current database into column E.
- If your data contains multiple files/sheets, enter the source file name into column F.
- Column G can be used for additional comments that may be helpful when converting the information.
- This Modeling Map is organized by Information Type, as seen in column A. You should provide a field name in column E for each field noted as “Required” in column D. Please refer back to this Modeling Map tab for assistance with fields as you enter data into the remaining tabs. If unsure what a specific field is, please contact your Onboarding Specialist for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions received from clients during their implementation. If you have a question that is not answered here, please make sure you ask your Onboarding Specialist before completing the Workbook. It can save you a lot of time.
- How much data should I try to bring over?
Choosing how much data you want to bring over to launch your new database always depends on its accuracy and importance. If it’s important but not accurate, you probably don’t want to bring it over as it may cause more problems than it solves. If it’s accurate and not important, make sure to question whether or not you are benefitting by having it in your database in first place? Typically, things like dropped members are what people worry about the most. In our opinion, if the data is accurate and would serve value at a later date, it’s worth bringing over.
- Should I bring over non-members?
Yes, if you feel your list of non-members is accurate (see FAQ 1 above). However, if the list is not accurate, don’t bring them over - you’ll regret it later. You can always create new records for them when they rejoin.
- How many times can I do this import?
When we run this import, all of the existing data in your WebLink Connect database will be deleted. If you’ve chosen the Standard Package, we’ll run your data import one time. If you’ve chosen the Advanced Package, we will run your data import up to two times, but each import has to be looked at as an initial starting point rather than an addition to already imported data.
- What happens if I make a mistake?
That depends on the mistake. Every bit of information that you import through this Workbook will be editable manually in your WebLink Connect system once the conversion is complete. But, if you make a substantial mistake that renders the entire data conversion to be unreliable and/or inaccurate, you should notify your Onboarding Specialist and have us re-do the data import. Be aware, once you start entering data in to WebLink directly, any additional imports from this Workbook will delete that new data.
- What if I don’t have a unique Profile ID in my original database?
Profile IDs are the unique attributes that tie all your different sheets in the Workbook together. Without Profile IDs, we have no way of knowing that the Richard Smith on the Individuals sheet is the same “Richard Smith” on the Committee sheet. If your original system does not contain Profile IDs for every individual and organization, you’ll want to make them as part of this exercise. Otherwise, you can really only complete the Association, Users, Organizations and Individuals Sheet of the Workbook.
- Should I expect duplicates?
It’s very possible, yes. Any time you import data from a spreadsheet as opposed to a Relational Database, you run the risk of duplicates. Having a good set of Profile IDs will help eliminate this risk. Consider using Excel’s Remove Duplicates feature to help clean up the Workbook before submitting it to us. Also, if you do end up with duplicates, fear not! WebLink Connect has a nice Merge Profile feature that will help you clean them up after you go live.
- What happens after we do this import?
Once we run this import, you now have a working WebLink Connect database and can immediately begin to use it in order to manage your association.
Once you are comfortable with the data that has been imported, it’s time to start personalizing WebLink Connect through the various Administrative Codes and Preferences you have the ability to set. Keep in mind that just because this is all the data you initially brought over to your new WebLink Connect system, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t other valuable data you will want to add to these profiles. Using tools like the Online Profile Update Form can help you gather that information faster by allowing your members to go online and enter/update the information themselves.
Tables in a database are like files in a file cabinet - the more organized your files are, and the more information you have in each file, the more valuable your file cabinet is. Each sheet in this Workbook represents a Table of data that you will be populating.
The following section describes the Tables of data that your organization is allowed to transfer to WebLink Connect, and includes instructions on filling out each sheet completely and correctly. If you do not have some of this information to fill in, that’s ok. We’ll import all of the data that you do have. Remember, you’ll always be able to add information manually once you are live on your WebLink Connect database.
As you go through and complete each sheet of the Workbook, please remember a few key items:
- The Profile ID column on each sheet is critical to tying information across multiple sheets to one, specific profile. This column MUST be completed on each sheet that you place data on. Without this column being filled in, WebLink has no way to link information on multiple sheets to one profile. It will be your responsibility to manually correct this data inside WebLink Connect once you go live. Sheets without this column filled in will be ignored, as it would create corrupt data that you would have a very difficult time correcting.
- Not all columns on a sheet - or fields within a column - must be completed. Any column or field you leave blank will be blank on the resulting record in WebLink Connect.
- Spelling or punctuation mistakes made in the Workbook will be the same mistakes that appear in your WebLink Connect database. Make sure you do a spell check or a final review to help eliminate these items.
- Duplicates in the Workbook will result in duplicates in WebLink Connect. Consider using Excel’s “Remove Duplicates” feature to help you eliminate these issues.
There are a total of fifteen Tables of data for you to complete. Each of these tables has its own tab within the WebLink Data Conversion Workbook for you to fill in with the appropriate information from your current database. An explanation and instructions for completing each sheet is below.
Information entered into this section relates to your own Association. The Association name and contact information entered here will appear within WebLink Connect under the Admin > Association Info area. It will be used as default contact information in places such as your invoice templates and on the footer of certain web pages.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter the information for your Association into row 2, for all columns A through L.
Users are your employees and/or the people who will be accessing your WebLink Connect database. This information will be entered into WebLink Connect within the Admin > Manage Users section. The username and password information can be updated at any point in the future, and is what your team will use to log into WebLink Connect from any approved interface (Desktop Application, Browser, iPad App).
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter the information for columns A through E, as listed, using one row for each employee/user within your organization. Make sure you provide each individual with a unique username and password.
This information relates to the organization profiles you track in your database. If your membership is organization-based, meaning that your Members are companies, then the organization profiles entered here would include your Members, Prospective Members, any past Members you want to track, etc. In WebLink, organizations can be flagged as a current Member, current Prospect, or neither.
If a profile isn’t checked as a Member or Prospect, typically they would be a past Member, vendor, or other organization that you want to keep in your database for contact purposes.
If your membership is individual-based, meaning that your Members are individual people, then the organization profiles entered here may include organizations for which your Members and Prospective Members work. You can also include any other organizations that are helpful to have on file for contact purposes.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter information for columns A through AK, as listed, as it relates to your organization Profiles. Each row of data will create a separate, unique profile. Note that column A, Profile ID, is critical as it will tie to all other tabs within the Workbook.
This information relates to the individual people you track in your database. If your membership is organization-based, meaning that your Members are companies, then the individual profile information entered here would include the employees of Members, Prospective Members, and Non-Members that you wish to track. Each organization can have one Main Contact person, and as many additional employee related profile contacts as you’d like. You can also track other individual profiles that are not attached to an organization profile. These other individuals may include public officials, lifetime honorary members, or any other individuals that you’d like to keep on file for communication purposes. Fields such as Join Date, Drop Date, Drop Reason, and Profile Status on this sheet will typically not apply if your membership is organization-based.
If your membership is individual-based, meaning that your Members are individual people, then the Individual profile information entered here would include your Members, Prospective Members and past Members you wish to keep record of, as well as any other individuals helpful to keep on file for communication purposes.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter information for columns A through AI as it relates to your individual profiles. Each row of data will pertain to a separate, unique profile. Note that column A, Profile ID, is critical as it will tie to all other tabs within the Workbook.
Information here relates to invoices that are created on a recurring basis. Typically, each Member would be invoiced for Membership Dues at least once per year. This is an example of a recurring billing invoice. Other examples may include advertising, sponsorship, or committee fees that you invoice on a regular, recurring basis. You will find this information on the Billing tab of a profile within WebLink Connect.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter information for columns A through I, as listed, as it relates to recurring invoice billing for your profiles.
Custom Field information relates to information outside of the standard fields available that you can enter within the Organization and Individual sections of the Workbook. Custom Fields are best used to track information that could have unique values or an indefinite number of values per profile. For example, a license number would be a good custom field as each profile has a unique number. Tracking the university attended for individual members would also be a good use of a custom field as the number of options available are infinite. This information will show on the Custom Info tab within each profile. Custom Fields are easily editable in the future through the Admin section of WebLink Connect.
Instructions for this Sheet: Begin by changing the unique column headers to be the specific Custom Field names you want to see in your database. For example, change cell B2 to be “License Number”, if you wish for that column to contain the License Numbers for your profiles. There is no limit to the number of Custom Fields added to this tab, just make sure that each custom field has its own column header.
Once the column headers are updated, you must then specify the type of data to be tracked in that Custom Field. Your choices are either Date, Number, or Text. The values entered for each profile’s Custom Fields must match this data type. Using License Number as our Custom Field example, the Data Type would be “Number”.
After you assign the type of data for each Custom Field, enter the Profile ID for the profile into column A, individually navigate to each Custom Field column, and enter the desired Custom Field values for that profile. If the profile does not have recorded values for all Custom Fields, simply leave the appropriate fields blank.
Information entered here will be used to create Committees within WebLink Connect located in the Committees > Select Committees section. A committee within WebLink is a traditional committee made up of profiles, typically individual participants, who attend regular meetings where minutes and agendas are tracked, and attendance is recorded. If you have a group of profiles that you need to track, but they do not follow typical committee meeting participation, please review section nine, below, for information about Affiliations and decide which method is best to track this group.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter the values for columns A through O, as listed, for each committee. Each row will reflect a unique committee.
This information contains the committee member participation, including who participates on each committee, their committee title, start and inactive dates for each committee member’s participation,
etc. If you haven’t tracked this information previously, you can easily start once you are live with your WebLink Connect database. You will see this information both from within the Committees module, as well as on the Committees tab of each participating profile.
Instructions for this Sheet: Enter the values for columns A through N, as listed, as they apply to your committee Members.
Affiliations within WebLink Connect give you the ability to group profiles together. Similar to Custom Fields, outlined in section six above, Affiliations are a great way to track information outside of the standard fields available within the Organization and Individual sections of the Workbook. Uses for Affiliations include tracking mailing list participation, interest groups, demographics, geographic regions, and any other reason you can think to group profiles together. The main difference between an Affiliation and a Custom Field is that the Custom Fields are better served when the data being tracked is unique to each profile (remember License Number as an example), whereas Affiliations are either “yes/no” options. Either a profile has an affiliation code, or they don’t.
Affiliation Types give you the ability to organize your Affiliation Codes. For example, an Affiliation Type may be “Mailing Lists”, and the Affiliation Codes within that Type could be “Small Business Newsletter,” “Government Affairs Newsletter,” and “Networking News.”
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A through C, as listed, enter the Affiliation Code information you would like to track, as well as the IDs of the profiles belonging to each of those groups. You may list a Profile ID as many times as necessary in order to include all Affiliations to which they belong. Example data is listed on this sheet to get you started. This data should be deleted before entering your own data.
Information entered into this section will be used to create category listings within a printed and/or online directory. This information can be tied to either organization profiles, individual profiles, or both, depending on which profiles you publish in your directory.
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A through J, as listed, enter the information as it pertains to directory category listings for your profiles. Each row pertains to a separate profile. By default, the sheet allows for up to three categories per profile. Should you need more than three, you can add additional columns, replicating the exact naming of existing columns. For example, you can add another column labeled “Additional Listing Category” into column L if needed.
This section will be used to create individual events within your WebLink Connect database. Each event – whether a class, annual event, webinar, multi-day conference, etc. – will need to have at least a name and date (you will have the ability to add as much information later as you’d like). The event information entered here will be used to populate your online events calendar, although any event can be easily excluded from showing online. You will find these events within WebLink Connect™ by going to Events > Select Events.
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A through S, as listed, enter the information as it pertains to events you wish to have created within your WebLink Connect database. Each row pertains to a separate event.
Connecting to the events entered in section eleven above, this information will be related to all attendees of the aforementioned events. Information entered here will be used to create attendee records for profiles in your database, or guests of profiles in your database. You will find this information within WebLink Connect by going to Events > Select Events, opening a specific event, and navigating to the Registration Management screen. You will also see this attendance information by viewing the Events tab of any attendee profile.
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A through L, enter data as it pertains to the attendees of each event listed on the Events tab of this workbook. The Event ID will indicate which event each attendee is registered for.
Information entered here will be used to create invoice transaction records within your WebLink Connect database. Each invoice must tie to one profile – whether individual or organization - where you would expect to see that financial history. This information will display per profile by looking at the Transactions tab of the profile tied to an invoice. If a payment amount is entered with the invoice information, you will also find a payment record for that invoice. If no payment amount is entered, the invoice will show as outstanding within the profile in WebLink Connect.
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A through Q, as listed, enter data as it pertains to invoice line item transactions you wish to bring into your WebLink Connect database.
Information entered here will be used to populate the list of Revenue Items within your WebLink Connect database. A Revenue Item is something for which you collect money, and will tie directly to your chart of accounts within your accounting system. Revenue Items will need to be set up for all Dues and Non Dues revenue that you generate. Examples may be Membership Dues, Advertising, Golf, Networking Events, and Admin Fees. This list is easily editable within WebLink Connect by going to Admin > Manage Codes > Revenue Codes > Revenue Items. The items entered here will include at a minimum, the Revenue Items that correspond to the invoices entered in the Invoices tab of the Workbook.
Instructions for this Sheet: For each column A and B, as listed, enter the Revenue Item ID Number and Revenue Item Name for all Revenue Items you wish to have created for use in WebLink Connect. Remember, at the very least, you must list each Revenue Item referenced by an Invoice listed within the Invoices tab of the Workbook.
Information entered here will be used to create contact records for profiles within your WebLink Connect database. A contact record is simply a record of a communication that has taken place. These communications could have been made in any way - by phone, email, fax, mail, or an in person meeting, and are recorded because they are a valuable piece of historical information for that profile. Examples of types of contacts you may choose to record could be sales discussions, membership retention touches, sponsorship proposals, surveys, and collection calls. You will see the contact records by viewing the Contacts tab of any profile within WebLink Connect.
Instructions for this Sheet: For column A through G, as listed, enter the data as it pertains to the contact/communication records you wish to bring into your WebLink Connect database.
Congratulations! Your Workbook is now complete.
Now that you have successfully entered all of your data into the WebLink Data Conversion Workbook, be sure to save the file and email it to your Onboarding Specialist. Upon receipt, your Onboarding Specialist will review the document to ensure there are no outstanding questions before submitting it to our team of Data Specialists to import. All of your efforts and hard work will be rewarded with a clean, reliable WebLink Connect database ready for you to use after the data import has been completed.