ImportOmatic FAQ: Dictionaries

Jun 4, 2019

Ever wonder what an ImportOmatic group training session is like? During these interactive trainings, attendees ask a variety of questions. Below are a few of the more popular inquiries from recent ImportOmatic Refresher Trainings & ImportOmatic Basics Series Trainings.

Questions Around Dictionaries

Just like when Excel strips off our leading zeros from our zip codes, we lose our constituency numbers leading zeros. How can we add them back? What if our constituent numbers have more than 1 leading zero?

Often, we use CSV/Excel to save our import file. Unfortunately, this format strips off leading zeros from items like Zips codes, or Constituent numbers.

Therefore, create the following dictionary to replace those missing leading zeros.

The example below is for a Constituent number with 8 total characters.
The first line for the dictionary will add 1 zero to the ‘Value to match on’ number that is importing in with only 7 characters.
The next line adds 2 zeros to a ‘Value to match on’ with only 6 characters, and so on.

Replacement Value Value to match on REGEX?
0$& ^d{7}$ TRUE
00$& ^d{6}$ TRUE
000$& ^d{5}$ TRUE
0000$& ^d{4}$ TRUE
00000$& ^d{3}$ TRUE
000000$& ^d{2}$ TRUE
0000000$& ^d{1}$ TRUE

We receive files that spell out street names, but often need to import files where this information is abbreviated. Is there a way to translate values for addresses, like Street to St?

This question is often received so organizations can use standard USPS address formatting. There is a dictionary that houses this information and is available on our Forums page. If you have not yet visited our Forums, I would encourage you to review and search for other topics as well. The article on the dictionary can be found here.

Is it possible to delete values in the ‘Value to Match on’ column?

This question can also be phrased as “How do I edit or remove Dictionary entries”?

To edit Dictionary values on either the ‘Replacement Values’ side or on the ‘Values to match on’ side, double-click on the entry. This will create the Editing box for that entry.

To delete Dictionary values, highlight the entry, and then use the Delete key on the keyboard. You will be presented with a prompt asking you “Are you sure you would like to delete this entry?” Click OK.

Will the dictionary read different cases on incoming, or does it need to be an exact match?

The Dictionary ‘Values to match on’ need to be an exact match to the value on the import file. This includes casing and punctuation.

Can you have more than one dictionary on a column?

No, the Dictionary functions are limited to one dictionary per column (or row when inside the import profile).

Can you show how you paste in values from a spreadsheet?

To begin, create three columns in Excel. In the first column list the desired values for Raiser’s Edge and in the second, list the values to match. A third column is added with the value of either TRUE or FALSE for whether the Replacement Value uses Regular Expressions. After you have set up your spreadsheet, highlight just the data from the columns and copy them to the clipboard (Ctrl-C).

On the dictionary screen, right-click inside either the Replacement values or Values to match on list box and select “Paste values from Excel (Replacement,Value).”

Values will not be duplicated when pasting from Excel. For example, if the dictionary already has entries for “Sgt” it will not be pasted in but any values not already in the dictionary will be.

Stay tuned for the next blog post in the ImportOmatic FAQ series about the Advanced Editing of Import Profiles!

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Omatic Software
Omatic Software is dedicated to integrating disparate systems and democratizing data access for today’s nonprofits. Founded in 2002, Omatic has worked with thousands of nonprofits globally to remove their data barriers by integrating systems and enabling nonprofit teams to leverage their donor data rather than be burdened by it. The Omatic team has one goal – unleashing the power of data to show a complete view of your donor, enabling data-driven decision making and opportunity creation for your organization.