Preparing your source data for the Smokeball Data Import tool

Bill_Boost

Learn how to organise data exported from your other software to maximize its compatibility with the Smokeball Data Import tool

Best practice for preparing all data

To ensure your data upload runs as smoothly as possible, follow these recommendations before uploading your files to the data import tool.

  • Remove all duplicates in your source file. The Data Import tool DOES NOT identify duplicate entries.
  • Check the data in the source file has been entered correctly. If your data was wrongly entered in the previous legal software, it will appear in Smokeball in that format.
  • Some columns are required when mapping during the file upload process. You can view these columns by selecting Upload and checking the left-hand panel for required columns. Ensure your input file includes columns that can be mapped to these required items. Input column names do not need to match those listed in the left-hand panel.

    If your source file does not contain a column that can be mapped to a "Required" Smokeball column, open your source data file (in Excel or similar) and add a column that can be used to map to the "Required" Smokeball column (the column name does not need to match the Smokeball column name). 
    Alternatively, you can download a sample Excel template on the bottom-left corner of the Upload window and copy/paste your source data into the relevant headings in that template.
  • Only one source file can be uploaded per data type - e.g. if you have two source files for contacts, you must merge them into one file before uploading.
  • Columns are mapped on a one-to-one basis - e.g. if you have two columns for Matter ID in your source file, you can only map one of them to Smokeball's Matter ID destination column.
  • Note: The order of columns and name of column headers in the source file does not affect the import.

Preparing Staff data

This is relevant if you wish to add new or additional staff members that do not already exist in Smokeball.

Staff - Available mappings
Column Name Required/Optional? Notes
Staff ID 
Required This is a unique identifier used for a Staff Member. This ID will not be visible in Smokeball and is an internal identifier only.
Title 
Optional 
 
First Name 
Required 
 
Surname 
Required 
 
Initials 
Optional 
 
Email Address 
Required 
Must be unique 
Current Staff
Required 
Is the staff member current/active (yes/no)

Preparing Contact data

Ensure you have checked the following in your source data file before uploading it to the data import tool:

  • As columns are mapped on a one-to-one basis, if your source data contains multiple columns for the same data, for example, a person address, phone number or email, and also company address, phone number or email, merge them into one column/set of columns. There is only one set of Smokeball destination mapping columns for each, regardless of whether the record is a person or company contact. See the following sections for more information on formatting person vs. company (Firm/Business/Organization) contacts.
    • E.g. Merge the data from "Home Address Country" and "Business Address Country" into a single column "Country" or merge data from the "Personal Email" and "Business Email" into a single column "Email".
  • You can have multiple email addresses per contact. However, you must keep them in the same cell and separate them by a semicolon ( ; ).
  • If your source system supports exporting person contact names as separate components (e.g. First Name, Middle Name, Last Name), please opt for this option. If your source data only has a single field (e.g. "Full Name"), you will need to split these out into individual columns before uploading your source file or split them out during the "Edit & Review" stage of the file upload process.
  • To allow for accurate mapping of address information, separate the addresses into different columns for each of the below:

    • Address Line 1
    • Address Line 2
    • City
    • State
    • Zip Code
    • Country
    • You will have the opportunity to review and correct any issues during the final stage of the upload process.
    • Additional mapping fields are also available for Mailing address.
Contacts - Available mappings
Column Name

Required/Optional?

Notes

Contact ID

Required

A unique identifier used for a Contact. This ID will not be visible in Smokeball and is an internal identifier only.
Type Required 

Must be a "Person" or "Company" (Firm/Business/Organization).

Title Optional  
First Name Required if Type is "Person"

Less than 200 characters

Middle Name Optional Less than 200 characters
Last Name Optional Less than 200 characters
Suffix Optional  
Company Name Required if Type is "Company"

For company/organization contact records, the name of the contact goes here.

For person/individual contact records who are associated with a company/organization, enter the associated company name here, as well as populate the person name (first/middle/last name).

Less than 200 characters.

Job Title Optional  
Phone Optional  
Cell Phone Optional  
Business Fax Optional  
Birthday Optional MM/DD/YYYY
Gender Optional  
E-mail Address Optional

Can take multiple (; separated).

Less than 255 characters.

Street Address Line 1 Optional  
Street Address Line 2 Optional  
City Optional  
State Optional  
Zip Optional  
Country Optional  
Mailing Address Line 1 Optional  
Mailing Address Line 2 Optional  
Mailing City Optional  
Mailing State Optional  
Mailing Zip Optional  
Mailing Country Optional  
Notes Optional  
Webpage Optional  

Associating Person and Company contacts

There are two types of contacts you can import to Smokeball - "Person" and "Company".

During the source file upload process, you are required to populate the Type column for each contact to specify if they are a Person or Company.

You can also link a Person contact to a Company contact (e.g. they are a representative of that Company):

  1. For the Person contact:
    • In the Type column, enter "Person".
    • Any other person-related details such as Title, First/Middle/Last Name (or full name), DOB, Gender, and Job Title should be entered on this Person contact record.
    • In the Company Name column on this Person contact record, enter the company's name (they are a representative of that Company).
  2. For the Company contact:
    • In the Type column, enter "Company".
    • Any other Company-related details such as phone number, address, email etc should be entered on this Company contact record.

The above actions can be performed in the source data file before uploading, or directly in the import tool during the file upload process.

Associating Person and Company contacts - Example

In the above example:

  • Bill Smith
    • Bill represents/works for Carbolic Legal; therefore, "Carbolic Legal" is entered into "Company Name" on Bill's record.
    • All personal details entered on Bill's record (phone number, email, address etc), relate to Bill himself.
  • Carbolic Legal
    • As there are also company-related details that need to be captured for Carbolic Legal, a "Company" record exists for Carbolic Legal, with all company-related details (phone number, email, address, etc) entered on this record. 
  • Jen Moore
    • Jen represents/works for H&R Block, therefore "H&R Block" is entered into "Company Name" on Jen's record.
    • All personal details entered on Jen's record (phone number, email, address etc), relate to Jen.
    • As there are no company-related details that need to be captured for H&R Block, a "Company" record does not need to be added (however, it is also ok if there is).
    • The import tool will automatically create a company contact "H&R Block" in Smokeball (associated with Jen) when the import is submitted.
  • Adam Jenkins
    • Is not associated with a Company.
  • ProLegal
    • Is a company contact and has no associated representatives (people).

'Person details not valid' error message

When uploading your data to the Data Import tool, if it detects person-related details on a Company contact, it will generate an error: "Person details not valid".

See the below example where there is an error message appearing for Company-type contacts as they contain Gender information, which is only meant for Person-type contacts.

image031.png

Preparing Matter data

You don't need to upload a separate source file for your Matter Types. Matter type information should be included in the Matters source file, and you will have the opportunity to map them to Smokeball Matter Types after uploading your Matters.

Matters - Available mappings
Column Name

Required/Optional?

Notes

Matter ID

Required

Unique identifier used for Matter. This ID will not be visible in Smokeball and is an internal identifier only.

Matter Number / Reference Required  
Matter Description Required  
Matter Status Required  
Date Opened  Required MM/DD/YYYY
Date Closed Required if matter status = "Closed" MM/DD/YYYY
Matter Type Required Matter Type as listed in your previous legal software.
Billing Type Optional  Picklist of supported Smokeball Billing Types.
Attorney Responsible Email Optional  Email address of the staff member. This staff member must exist in Smokeball, or the staff import file for the current import.
Person Assisting Email Optional Email address of the staff member. This staff member must exist in Smokeball, or the staff import file for the current import.
Originating Attorney Email Optional Email address of the staff member. This staff member must exist in Smokeball, or the staff import file for the current import.
Client ID

Required

Can take multiple (separate entries with "&")

Contact ID of the Client for the Matter.  This ID must exist in the contact import file for the current import.

Other Side ID

Optional

Can take multiple (separate entries with "&")

Contact ID of the Other Side for the Matter. This ID must exist in the contact import file for the current import.
Other Sides Attorney ID Optional Contact ID of the Other Sides Attorney for the Matter. This ID must exist in the contact import file for the current import.
Deleted? Optional Defaults to "No" unless supplied otherwise.

Matter Types

You don't need to upload a separate source file for your Matter Types. Matter type information should be included in the Matters source file, and you will have the opportunity to map them to Smokeball Matter Types after uploading your Matters.

Matter Types - Available mappings
Column Name

Required/Optional?

Notes

Input Matter Type Required (will be pre-populated) This column will be auto-populated with matter types from the uploaded Matters file.
Smokeball Matter Type Required

A relevant Smokeball Matter Type will need to be selected for each input Matter Type.

Some Smokeball Matter Types have multiple "acting for" options, for example, Insurance Coverage - Insured and Insurance Coverage - Insurer. Where this is the case, you will see various options available for selection in the Smokeball Matter Type dropdowns and can select the most suitable choice.

Preparing Opening Balance data

Import opening Operating, Credit, and Trust account balances for Matters.

Opening Balances - Available mappings
Column Name

Required/Optional?

Notes

Matter ID Required The ID of the Matter associated to the Opening balances. A Matter with this ID must exist in the Matter import file for the current import.
Opening Operating Balance ($) Optional The Opening Operating Balance of the Matter ($) - e.g. "1500.50" or "800.00" or "0.00" or "123.00"
Opening Operating Balance Date Required if balance is above zero The date used for the Matter opening Operating balance (MM/DD/YYYY).
Opening Credit Balance ($) Optional The Opening Credit Balance of the Matter ($) - e.g. "1500.50" or "800.00" or "0.00" or "123.00"
Opening Credit Balance Date Required if balance is above zero The date used for the Matter opening Credit balance (MM/DD/YYYY).
Opening Trust Balance ($) Optional The Opening Trust Balance of the Matter ($) - e.g. "1500.50" or "800.00" or "0.00" or "123.00"
Opening Trust Balance Date Required if balance is above zero The date used for the Matter opening Trust balance (MM/DD/YYYY).

Preparing Task data

Tasks - Available mappings
Column Name

Required/Optional?

Notes

Task ID Required Unique identifier for the Task. This ID will not be visible in Smokeball and is an internal identifier only.
Matter ID Optional The Matter ID of the associated Matter (optional). If supplied, a Matter with this ID must exist in the Matters import file for the current import.
Name Required Name of the Task
Description Optional Task description (max 8,000 characters)
Status Required Task Status (Complete or Incomplete)
Created Date Required Date the Task was created (MM/DD/YYYY)
Created By Staff Email Required Email address of the staff member who created the Task. A staff member with this email address must exist in Smokeball, or the Staff import file for the current import.
Assignee Staff Email Optional Email address of the Task assignee (accepts multiple, & separated). If supplied, a staff member with this email address must exist in Smokeball, or the Staff import file for the current import.
Due Date Optional Due date of the Task (MM/DD/YYYY)
Completed Date Required if status is "Complete" The completion date of the Task. Required if Status = Complete (MM/DD/YYYY)
Completed By Staff Email Required if status is "Complete" Email address of the Staff who completed the Task. Required if Status = Complete. If supplied, a staff member with this email address must exist in Smokeball, or the Staff import file for the current import.
Duration Optional Duration of the Task (MM or HH:MM) - e.g. "01" or "15" or "1:30" or "01:06".

Handy Tip: Download the Excel template at the bottom of the upload screen. It has pre-filled headers that will reduce column mapping later. 

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