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Batch Upload | Tips and Troubleshooting
Batch Upload | Tips and Troubleshooting

#Enterprise Batch Upload, troubleshoot, best practice

Updated over a week ago

Having trouble with a Batch Upload? We have compiled a list of the most common issues our customers run into. If you are not sure why your upload is hitting an error, try our suggestions below. You might find a simple solution to a frustrating problem.

Note: Using a fresh Batch Upload template helps in resolving many issues.


Apostrophes cannot be uploaded via legacy Batch Uploads. If any apostrophes are contained in the file, use find/replace to substitute apostrophes with blank spaces. New Batch Upload types should not be affected by apostrophes, unless a specific field does not allow for them (ex: email address).

Characters in names

Characters (apostrophes, ampersands, etc.) used in names of Programs and Sites is not recommended. This is done to prevent characters that are considered "reserved" so they can render properly in a browser.

Line Breaks

Line breaks are not permitted inside the cells. If any of the data was typed by someone who used the Enter key to create a line break, the file will not be accepted and an error will generate: Error in Template, Upload right Template. This can be resolved by editing the file and removing the line break from the data.

Cells in the spreadsheet

We suggest you limit your files to approximately 7,000 cells of data per legacy upload. For example, a file may contain 35 columns (demographic elements, attributes, assessment elements, etc.) and 200 rows (Participants, Entities, etc.) or any combination that results in 7,000 or fewer cells.  If the upload is performed during off-peak hours (early in the morning or late in the evening), it is possible that this capacity can be doubled.  It is recommended that spreadsheets that contain more 7,000 cells be divided for performance.

File won't upload

If a file is not uploading, try copying just the cells with data in them and the column headers and pasting it into a brand new Excel file, saving, and trying to upload the new version of the file.

Social Security Numbers

If a file contains SSNs with leading zeros, add an apostrophe before the zero (example: '012345678).

Signature Elements

Signature Elements in Touchpoints cannot be batch uploaded.

Wait Time

To determine approximate wait time for uploaded records to be available in the software, make note of the number of files ahead of your file on the Batch Upload page. The more files ahead of yours, the longer the wait time. An email will generate after the upload has been completed with information about the success of the upload. For details, check back with the Batch Upload page after receiving the email.

File Name Requirements

Do not use periods or apostrophes in the name of your file for legacy Batch Uploads. For example: "Program.Upload.July.csv" will not work, spaces ( ) underscores (_) or dashes (-) are acceptable.

File names for legacy Batch Uploads must be 27 characters or less. This does not affect new Batch Uploads.

If uploading a .csv file the worksheet name in your Excel file must match the name of the file (legacy only).

Assessment Uploads Only

If you are uploading data into fields that are calculations, you have to make sure that you are not uploading data that will result in an invalid total for the calculation.

  • For example, dividing by zero or leaving one of the fields you are using to multiply or divide blank.

Cell Count

The cell count for legacy Batch Uploads should not exceed 7,000 cells. Batch uploads are processed through a queue system. Wait and load times are dependent on how may uploads are ahead of a file in the queue. We recommend cell limits to provide all of our customers with a better user experience. The larger the file, the longer it takes to process. This is why we suggest uploading larger files during off-peak hours. There is more time to process overnight.

  • Multiply the number of rows by the number of columns to find your cell count.

Check the File

Check the file to ensure that there is nothing that stands out in the file as incorrect. Some of the most commonly overlooked issues include:

  • Strange characters

  • Too many number in a zip code and/or phone number field

  • Spaces before any text, names, or column headers

  • Any empty columns


Compare the template or sample file (upload files) fields/columns to the field/columns in your upload file.

Date Fields

Make sure all date values are valid dates.

  • For example, dates like 19/3/1980 or 1/1/1696 would not be valid dates from the date picker in ETO even it they are technically valid dates.

Duplicate Check

Check that the duplicate check setting fields match what are in the file. It is preferred that the duplicate check settings be set to match on the first name, last name, and PSID or DOB for the purposes of the upload. It should be set to match all three.

File Name

There cannot be a period or a slash in the file name for legacy Batch Uploads. This does not affect new Batch Uploads.

Numeric Fields

There should be no text, spaces, or any other characters other than valid numbers in these fields.

  • For example, you should not input the dollar symbol ($) into a money field. In this case, change the format to "number" in excel to remove the $.

Open Tickets

Look at what the error says by clicking on the file name or reading the error on the upload log file's error/status. Check for any open tickets relating to the issue.

Phone Numbers

Make sure the phone numbers are valid.

  • For example, mistakes like 55-555-5555 (which is missing a digit) or (555)-555-5555 (which uses both a parenthesis and a dash after the first three digits).

Quotation Marks

Check for hidden quotation marks if the upload tells you to contact support after the Continue button is clicked. To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Open the file

  2. Hit Ctrl + F on your keyboard

  3. Type in a quotation mark (")

  4. Hit Find All

  5. Delete all instances of quotation marks

  6. Save the file

  7. Try uploading again

Required Fields

Check that the fields that are required (demographics, TouchPoints, etc.) are included in the upload file.

SSN (Social Security Number)

If zeros are the first digits in an SSN, you can format cells in Excel using "special" > "SSN". This way, the leading zeroes are uploaded into the SSN field.

  • For example, 002-123-4567

Test File

Sometimes there are things outside the cells you are using that throw off the upload (like it reads data in cells even if there isn't any). Try copying just the cells with data in them and the column headers (exclude the blank rows or columns below or to the right of the actual cells with data) and paste them into a new file. Attempt to upload this file.

If that doesn't work, try copying just the first two lines of the file (column heads and first row of data) into a new test file and upload that to see if it works. If it does work, this means that one of the subsequent rows has something wrong with the data. If the first row goes through, you can try uploading the next 10 or 20 rows and see if they go through. If those go through, increase to 50-100. Keep going until you hit a set that doesn't work. Then you can pare that set down to smaller chunks until you nail down which record is the problem.

Text Fields

There should be no line breaks. You should never use Enter/Return in these fields.

Still need some help?

If this guide didn't solve your problem and you still need some help, always feel free to contact Customer Support.

Be sure to include the following in any escalation message:

  1. Who Am I? Double click on the ETO Software logo and copy the information

  2. File Name – You can obtain this by going to Navigation Bar > "Site Administration" > "Batch Upload" > Copy the text in the file name column (this will not be available in the upload files feature)

  3. Attached File – Please save a copy of the file that you are having trouble with and attach it in the file attachment section of the case

  4. Steps to Replicate – Please include ALL steps to reproduce the error and/or result

  5. Specific Details – Provide any special details about the error and/or result

  6. Error – Please provide the exact error

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