At 1771 Co in Minneapolis, we’re partial to a Salesforce dataloader known as dataloader.io. Although they have an Enterprise version for a monthly fee, you can get the bulk of their functionality for free – and it beats the normal dataloader in most scenarios.
The feature I love the most is being able to look up records by a unique identifier other than the Salesforce ID. For example, if I have a long list of Contacts to update, I can tell dataloader.io to use the email field to look up and update the contact. No need to run a Salesforce report and perform a VLOOKUP to match Contact emails and IDs. This is a huge time saver when updating thousands of records that contain unique identifiers other than their Salesforce ID.
Additionally, dataloader.io saves all your past loads (for 30 days with the free version) so that you can rerun scheduled loads or check to see what data was updated with what file. As long as you run the jobs monthly, you’ll be able to keep the same mappings and simply upload a new .csv and click run. Smooth as butter. This also prevents any miscommunication if you have multiple users mass updating and creating records in your system, as they can all see the same account information as far as what was uploaded and when. Another great feature that makes this tool invaluable!
Finally, dataloader.io’s mapping capabilities are very user friendly. This doesn’t seem like it should take a whole paragraph, but I think it warrants the praise. Usually data manipulation tools are sluggish and unattractive – they get the job done but not in the most sleek way. With dataloader.io rather, you can sort by the fields you haven’t mapped to, fields that are required for the object you’re on, and only the ID fields. It’s a feature that sometimes slips through the cracks but becomes essential when you want to move quickly through a mass upload.