Data exchange

Improving the customer journey using Flatfile's data importer

Close your eyes and imagine what it is like to import data into your application. Now open them.

Does it look like this?

CSV import errors

Import errors upon import errors.

When creating a new or improving an existing product, building useful features is, of course, priority number one. What many forget, though, is that innovation is wasted when the product experience is not intuitive. When crafting the customer journey, a product manager must pay particular attention to the customer’s first steps.

In many products, the data importing process is one of those early steps. Unfortunately, it is often a major pain point for the customer. This isn’t all the PM’s fault; we’ve come to expect data import to be a lousy software experience. So we keep sending customers to complex templates, long support articles, and cryptic error screens, often within the first few minutes of their journey.

Not anymore, though. Flatfile offers a simple solution: an intuitive, plug-and-play data importer. We call it, Flatfile’s data onboarding platform.

Portal uses a machine-learning column-matching system to automatically map users’ imported data. (Source: ClickUp)

Streamlined. Clear. Simple. The Flatfile importer experience:

In this post, we uncover:

  1. What is Flatfile?

  2. How does Flatfile work?

  3. Why should you choose Flatfile’s data onboarding platform?

What is Flatfile?

Flatfile offers software companies an alternative to building their own data importers.

For users, that means no more jumping through hoops to upload their data. Now, they can use Flatfile’s platform instead of a seamless, smooth, and supportive data importing experience. Flatfile is designed to support users of any technical skill level: firefighters, real estate agents, and data analysts all leverage the Flatfile Importer.

For PMs, that means no more worrying about handling the UX and engineering complexities of data import. Instead of planning a whole sprint - if not several - on building a custom solution, PMs can hand their engineering team Flatfile’s documentation and get an elegant, crafted experience in a day. Put simply, Flatlife takes the pain out of the building and maintaining a data importer, and lets product teams focus on innovative, differentiating features.

How does Flatfile work?

Flatfile lets users upload their spreadsheets with just a few clicks. They can also manually enter their data.

Once the data has been uploaded, Flatfile asks the user a few simple questions about how their spreadsheet matches your product, ensuring that the data is aligned with the correct field (e.g. first name, last name, email address, etc.).

The final step is data repair, where the user can review and update their import to correct any data errors. These errors appear based on validations you can pre-define, ensuring the tidiness of data before it ever hits your product database.

Once these steps are complete, the user is back in your application, and you have a clean, structured set of JSON data that’s easy to pull into any database.

When we were looking for solutions, we knew we could either build it ourselves or try to find something. Our product lead at the time heard of Flatfile. He presented it to the team, and ultimately we decided to implement Flatfile. We didn’t see anything else on the market.” – Meghann, Product Lead at

Why should you choose Flatfile’s data onboarding platform?

When a user is importing data to your product, they want to use it and they want to see its value. Don’t let them get hung up on spreadsheet templates and intimidating documentation. Flatfile takes most organizations less than a week to implement, and it gives users a simple, smooth, and delightful data exchange experience.

Want to learn more about the Flatfile Data Exchange Platform?

See how it works