Import/Over-write with a Blank value

It has come to our attention that if there is a value in a field (title for example) and you import a constituent update batch with a BLANK value in order to "over-write" an incorrect value, that you can NOT do this. the value will not be saved. This is limiting our ability to conduct data hygiene activities. Here is the explanation from Support: Currently, we do not have an option to import blank values and have them overwrite existing values. The import options allow us to determine how to handle blank values in the import file (add a default value in batch / or leave the batch field blank). However, when the batch is committed blank batch fields will not overwrite existing values on the constituent’s record. This prevents us from inadvertently overwriting fields that may be included in the batch template but are not populated or marked required (i.e. First Name). I am aware that other Blackbaud Products, such as The Raiser’s Edge, allows users to import a carrot key (^) to overwrite existing values. However, with other products the import process directly updates constituent records. CRM has an extra safeguard where information is imported into batch, and users are able to review the information before committing the batch to update records. Suggestion: #1 - Allow users to over-write values via import #2 - If the product will not allow users to over-write values via import, we suggest using a specific character in the field to denote a field should be blank.
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  • Jun 29 2015
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  • Clare Allen commented
    4 May, 2017 03:13am

    Would it be possible to add this feature as an option on import as we currently use the constituent update to only update fields that have changed from our feeder system?  We require the non populated fields to remain as they are in CRM and not be updated to a blank or null value.  Thanks.

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