Using CSV files for customer data may be an old school strategy, but many businesses still prefer the format. Before we get into how StarfishETL can help manage CSV file sharing, especially over the cloud, let’s take a moment to understand why businesses choose these types of files over another medium, and the challenges they must overcome to effectively put them to work.
Comma separated value (CSV) files aren’t a new phenomenon. CSV’s are basically the plain text version of traditional Excel spreadsheets. The purpose of a CSV file is to hold large quantities of data, separated by commas (wink, wink) in a series of lines and rows. The format reads so simply that nearly any database can export it accurately. Unlike an Excel spreadsheet, a CSV files are limited to simple character data. With such a simplistic and straightforward purpose, the CSV file has become a staple file format for many businesses.
CSV files are:
- Readable by any programming language, and therefore ideal for website development
- Easy to export into CSV from applications, databases or spreadsheets
- Able to house large quantities of data in an easily translatable way
- Compatible with nearly any pre-existing applications a company may have
- Able to use less memory than other file types
- Easy to generate and manually edit
So, what’s wrong with CSV Files?
There’s nothing really “wrong” with CSV files but using them as a primary data source isn’t always ideal for data security and longevity. Since they are so easy to generate and maintain manually, they are often maintained on a user’s desktop or laptop even though the file may contain data critical to the company’s success. Here’s a real-world example: A few years back, a company came to us in a complete frenzy. An employee had recently passed away, leaving all his customer information saved in a CSV file on his computer…which then crashed, and was dispersed into the digital universe, never to be found.
This panic prompted the company to adopt CRM, which is why they came to us for help. But unfortunately, there was nothing we could do about the lost CSV file. The company had to assign a team of people to make awkward phone calls to everyone who may have been the rep’s customer and attempt to piece together a picture of the data. Obviously, this was a nightmarish situation, and hopefully one that will never happen to you. But, it’s the perfect example of why backing up your CSV files in a secure Cloud storage space is essential. Backing up your CSVs offers many benefits, the most obvious (as you can see from this example) being data peace of mind. With your data tucked away securely in the Cloud, you can rest assured your critical information will always be available.
Other benefits of CSV File sharing in the Cloud are:
- Better collaboration – Shared CSV files are more accessible, so everyone (or the select people you choose) in your network can utilize them.
- Auto-synching files – Files can be automatically uploaded to the cloud from local systems.
- Lost file recovery – You’ll never have to worry about lost or incomplete files with Cloud storage.
- Reduced costs – Files are shared directly through the internet and the CSV’s are readable on nearly any program, so there’s no need for additional software.
- Easily accessible for data migrations or integrations – When it comes time to move data from a CSV to another platform (i.e. CRM, ERP, etc.) the Cloud-to-Cloud transfer will be a breeze.
CSV Cloud File Sharing with StarfishETL
Your data is way too valuable to risk moving without the right tool. Savvy businesses know they should look for a platform that offers deep security and can work with the cloud platform they prefer. This is where StarfishETL comes in. StarfishETL offers CSV connections to all the major cloud storage platforms, including:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
Multiple layers of encrypted security (balanced between AWS and our internal servers) ensure your CSV file sharing is locked down and safeguarded from malicious activity.
CSV files remain a strategy for many businesses to keep data readable and easily shared. However, without proper data management, a file mishap can turn into a disaster. Don’t trap your data on-premises where it can get lost or jumbled. Use cloud storage to keep data sharable, current, and secure. Contact Sales to learn more about managing your CSV file sharing and how StarfishETL can help.