Bulk Append and Subtract Values in Multi-Select Fields

multi-select picklist

How to Add or Remove Values in Multi-Select Fields and Preserve Other Values

Multi-select fields and picklists are great for data that requires consistent values such as product interest, events attended, and countries or regions. Making bulk updates to these values can be tricky, but is critical for maintaining order in your CRM. 

With Insycle, you can append or subtract multi-select field data in bulk or when importing a CSV. When appending, Insycle will add your new data to the end of your existing data.

To add or remove values in multi-select fields on records already in your CRM, you can use the Bulk Operations module to surface records and easily bulk append or subtract values in just a few clicks.

The Magical Import module can help you add multi-select field values from a CSV file. Unlike in most CRMs, when appending new data to existing multi-select fields using Insycle, you don't need to include historical data in the CSV file.

Append or Subtract Multi-Select Picklists Values in the Bulk Operations Module

The Bulk Operations module makes it simple to surface records that require the same change and select the values to bulk add or remove in the multi-select field.

Process Summary

  1. Filter records down to those you want to update.
  2. Set rules for bulk appending or subtracting data in multi-select fields.
  3. Preview and then apply the changes to the CRM.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Surface Records to Update

Navigate to Data Management > Bulk Operations.

Select the database and record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

When you're looking to clean up specific values, the filter narrows the records down to the appropriate subset of your data.

In Step 1, under the Filter tab, select the Field to work with. Use the Condition to set the rule that the data in the selected field must meet. With this filter, you're telling Insycle what records you would like to update.

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Add each field you want to look at to determine whether to include or exclude a record from this task. You can filter your data using any field in your database.

When you click Search, Insycle will list matching records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page. You can add columns to the view from the Layout tab under Step 1.

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If you make changes to the filter, click the Search button again to refresh the results in the Record Viewer.

Step 2: Configure Rules to Add or Remove Multi-Select Values

Now, you can modify the picklist field by either adding multi-select picklist values to the records or removing existing values. 

In Step 2, under the Update tab, select your multi-select field and the Add or Remove action. In the Value field, select all of the values you want to add to the record segment. 

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Step 3: Preview and Apply Changes in Your CRM

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

Now with the filters and update action in place, you can preview the changes. It's important to verify that your fields are being updated as expected before those changes are pushed to your live database.

Under Step 3, click the Review button, then in the Bulk Update popup, select Preview and click Next.

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On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

On the When tab, click Run Now, select which records to apply the change to (in most cases, this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. For each multi-select field you’ve set up to change, a column will appear for both (Before) and (After). This will let you know what you started with and what change will be made to your CRM. 

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Apply Changes to Your CRM

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to the live CRM data.

Under Step 3, click the Review button. This time select Update mode.

On the When tab, click Run Now, select which records to apply the change to (in most cases, this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

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Save Templates and Setup Automation to Maintain Formatting

In some situations, it may be prudent to ensure your multi-select fields are updated on a regular basis, in which case automation may be the right choice. In others, a one-time update may make more sense.

After you've seen the results in the CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save your configuration as a template and set up automation so this formatting operation runs on a set schedule. 

By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your fields are consistently updated on an ongoing basis.

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Append Values to Multi-Select Fields on Import with the Magical Import Module

Typically, you can't append CSV data to existing multi-select picklist fields on import without including the historical data in your CSV. If you don't, the previous selections may be overwritten.

The Magical Import module allows you to append new data to multi-select picklists without having to include historical data in the import. 

Process Summary

  1. Select the CSV file.
  2. Map the CSV columns to the CRM fields.
  3. Select the Append import mode.
  4. Select the unique identifier field.
  5. Optionally, specify how to prepare and format your data before importing.
  6. Select records and import your data. 

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Select the File, Map Columns, and Set Append Mode

Select the CSV File for Import

Navigate to Data Management > Magical Import.

Select the database and the record type in the top menu. 

Choose the CSV file you would like to import. Uploading a file into Insycle does not import it to the CRM right away. Instead, you can prepare the data in various ways before actually importing it to the CRM.

Explore the templates to see if there's already a template for your particular import task.

Map CSV Columns to CRM Fields

After uploading your CSV data, Insycle analyzes the file and compares the columns to fields in your CRM database.

A column is included for each field in the CSV, with the CSV column header appearing as the top row. Insycle automatically detects the matching CRM fields and maps them for you. The second row shows the mapped CRM field names.

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If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red error notification icon will show at the top of the column. These unmapped fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the picklist and finding the appropriate CRM field. If they remain unmapped, they will not be imported.

To remove fields from the import, hover over the column name and click the “X.”

If there are issues with some row data, a red warning icon will appear on the left side of the row. When you hover over the icon, an explanation of the error will be displayed. Records that have errors will not be imported. 

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If the selections included in your CSV do not match existing picklist values in your CRM, an error will be produced with the "Invalid picklist value" notification. You can edit the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.

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Set the Import Mode to Append for the Multi-Select Field

To add these additional values to the existing data in your database, select the Append Import Mode. With Append, you do not have to include the historical selections in the CSV, and the import won't overwrite the existing data in the database. 

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Step 2: Select Identity Field and Records Mode

Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. When selecting your Identity Field, make sure it is truly a "unique identifier." These are data points that would only belong to a single record—such as email address, phone number, street address, or ID number. For companies, it could also be company name, or company domain.

For example, no other contact in the database would have Maria Hernandez's email address, phone number, or ID number listed on their contact record.

Under Step 2 on the Import tab, select an Identity Field from the dropdown.

Note that when using an email field, Insycle will automatically cross-reference any additional email fields in the records for a match. If using a domain field, Insycle will check additional domain fields. 

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Select the Records Mode to tell Insycle how the imported data should be handled during the import process. 

  • Update existing and create net new – If Insycle is unable to find a corresponding record, a new record will be created in your CRM.
  • Only update existing – If a corresponding record is found, it will be updated with the data from your CSV import. Records that are not matched with an existing CRM record will not be imported.
  • Only create net new – Only records that cannot be matched with an existing record in your database will be imported. Records that already exist in your CRM will not be updated.
Step 3: Format and Standardize Data Before Importing (Optional)

You can make bulk changes to the CSV data before it is uploaded to your CRM. You could clean up, format, add or remove text, copy values to other fields, or make other updates.

On the Functions tab of Step 3, select fields and functions to apply to the field data.

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In the above example, the First Name, Last Name, and Company will be capitalized, and the State field will be formatted to standardized abbreviations.

Click the Apply button to update your CSV data. You must apply these updates before importing your data. You can see the changes to the data under Step 1.

Step 4: Set Up Bulk Updates or Associations (Optional)

Under Step 4, several options give you additional control over the data you import:

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  1. List – Add your imported data to an existing list. Only available for HubSpot Contact records.
  2. Bulk Update – Update a specific field on import. For example, we could update all imported records to have the Job Title of “Founder,” regardless of the data contained within the CSV file.
  3. Associate/Link – Create relationships between contacts, companies, deals, or other custom objects. (The name of this tab can vary depending on what creating relationships is called in your CRM.)
  4. Date Format – Format dates contained within your CSV file to your preferred standard.
Step 5: Select Records and Import the Data to Your CRM

By default, Insycle will attempt to import all of your formatted CSV data into your database.

Test Import

Best practice is to select a few records to test things out before importing the entire CSV. Return to the table under Step 1 and check the boxes beside the select records. 

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When ready, under Step 5, click the IMPORT button and confirm the import.

Note: After confirming, changes are applied to your CRM immediately; there is no preview step.

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After the import runs, the Import Result breaks down the import details—how many records you tried to import and how many succeeded, failed, were updated, deleted, or unmodified. Click the Run ID to download a CSV report or open it from your email.

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In the CSV report, you can see your multi-select field values from (Before) the change and (After Append).

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Import All Records

Once you've seen the results in your CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can return to Step 1 and clear all of the checkboxes to import all of the records.

You can save all of the configurations as a template to repeat the same import operation in the future.

Pro Tip: Selecting a Unique Identifier

Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. When selecting your Identity Field, make sure it is truly a "unique identifier." These are data points that would only belong to a single entity—such as email address, phone number, street address, or an ID number. For companies, it could also be company name, or company domain.

For example, no other contact in the database would have Maria Hernandez's email address, phone number, or ID number listed on their contact record. If a contact record contains a match for Maria Hernandez's data in one of those fields, you know that is the contact record for Maria Hernandez.

Using a field that is not uniquely identifying could result in the wrong record in your CRM being deleted. You want to make sure that you are matching data for the correct record.

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Pro Tip: Using Multiple Identity Fields

You can select more than one identity field, however, Insycle will check all of the fields to match. If one single field does not match, the CRM record will not be identified and will not be deleted. If you include six identity fields and five of them match but one does not, Insycle will not identify the record as a match.

Generally, it is best to stick with a single identity field.

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Troubleshooting: CSV records aren't being matched to CRM records

If a record in your CSV is not being matched to a CRM record and you know that it should be, there are a couple of potential causes:

  • The value of the Identity Field you chose does not match between the CSV and the CRM.
  • You are using too many identity fields.

You can select more than one identity field. However, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, the corresponding CRM record will not be identified and will not be imported.

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Troubleshooting: Wrong CRM records being matched to CSV data

If you're using a field that is not uniquely identifying, Insycle is likely to identify the wrong record in your CRM as a match and will not be able to identify a record to compare data from. For instance, there are probably many people with the first name "John" in your CRM, but you want to make sure that you are comparing data from the correct record for John. This is why it is important to use uniquely identifying fields.

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Append Values to Multi-Select Fields While Deduplicating

When deduplicating in Insycle's Merge Duplicates module, the field-by-field master selection feature allows you to append values in multi-select fields. The options let you keep all the content for multi-select fields from all of the records in a duplicate group. 

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To learn more, see Bulk Merge Duplicate People, Companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I append data to picklists while deduplicating?

Yes. Insycle's field-by-field master selection feature allows you to append multi-select picklist data into master selection fields as well. That way, when you merge records, you can keep all available context for "Notes" and similar fields.

To learn more, see Bulk Merge Duplicate People, Companies.

Using Insycle, do I have to include historical picklist values in my CSV?

No, Insycle enables you to append fresh data to your existing values without including the historical data in your CSV.

To learn more, see the Append Values to Multi-Select Fields on Import with the Magical Import Module section above.

Can I append picklist data in bulk without using a CSV?

Yes, you can append data to existing picklist fields in bulk without using a CSV. See the Append or Subtract Multi-Select Picklists Values in the Bulk Operations Module section above.

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