Data Onboarding

Flatfile Unveils State of Data Onboarding Report

Sheila Lahar

Posted 12/3/2020

Remember life pre-Uber? Hailing a cab was unpredictable and unreliable. 

Or what about pre-Amazon? If you needed something shipped last minute, you were out of luck. 

Could you live life without a predictable ride to the airport? Sure. Could you wait an extra couple of weeks to have something delivered? Of course. But you don’t, because there’s a better way. Now, think about the ways in which you import customer data? Is it quick? Error-free? If not, keep reading. 

Data onboarding is the act of moving data into a software tool. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. The process to do this today is time-consuming, tedious, and generally not very innovative. This is the current reality despite the fact that companies with data (so, everyone) need to onboard data. 

In an effort to dive deeper and learn more about how companies today are addressing data onboarding, Flatfile launched the first ever data onboarding survey and subsequent report “The State of Data Onboarding” which you can read here. We surveyed more than 100 companies and gathered additional data from more than 5,000 respondents via Twitter. Our goal was simply to learn more about data onboarding. For example:  

  • How often do companies onboard customer data? 

  • What kinds of data do companies onboard? 

  • What specific challenges do companies face during the onboarding process?

Below are a few key highlights from the report: 

54% of respondents are importing data daily

Regardless of the type of data, importing data into software tools is something that happens often for businesses of all shapes and sizes and across various industries. More than half of the survey respondents are importing data every single day and 22% reported they are importing data multiple times a day.  

23% of respondents reported that it takes weeks or months to import customer data

For nearly a quarter of the respondents surveyed, importing data isn’t exactly a speedy process. It currently takes companies a long time to onboard data, despite the fact that  many of these companies most likely need to import data frequently. Going back to that Amazon example above - a few years ago we were accustomed to waiting quite awhile for our packages to arrive. We’ve solved that pain point. Why is it taking companies months to onboard data?

96% of survey respondents estimate they've run into problems importing data

Onboarding customer data is a huge challenge for companies and the process is plagued with errors - especially when companies rely on customers to onboard their own data. Turns out, there’s a lot that can go wrong when importing data into applications. Most companies try to ease the data onboarding process by providing users with FAQ documentation and tutorials on how best to use their custom built data importers. Another popular method is to provide customers with templates to attempt to help them upload their data. 

Despite video tutorials and various step by step instructions, data onboarding leads to a lot of customer frustration. In our study, we asked companies to share the most common data issues they experience when it comes to data onboarding. Data formatting, data validation, and column matching were the most common data issues cited. 

In an effort to better understand what companies expect from the data onboarding process, we asked survey participants to tell us in their own words what the ideal customer onboarding experience is…...Want to see what they said? Interested in learning more? Download the first ever State of Data Onboarding report.

Flatfile's State of Data Onboarding Report

Learn how companies are tackling the data import challenge
Download now