Should Users Import Data?

One common request (or problem) a Salesforce admin faces is whether or not to allow users to import data. Your answer will depend on your own level of risk-tolerance or anxiety.

There are plenty of reasons to allow someone else to load data into your org.

  • Less work for the admin! who doesn’t want less work…
  • Users should know their data better
  • They can fill missing attributes or cleanse data on the fly

But what are some of the concerns with users loading data?

  • Users don’t know how to or will need training to use Data Import Wizard
  • They will screw up the data!
  • Users don’t know the data dependencies
  • Increased user permissions for data management and system access

No matter how you look at it you can probably find a good reason to justify your decision.

Striking a Balance

If you do decide to allow users to load data, you won’t want to give users the keys to the castle and provide access to modify all data. What are your options?

  • Data Loader – this might be the first option that comes to mind, but you have to have a decent technical understanding of Salesforce to properly load data. And let’s face it, even those of us that have a technical understanding occasionally want to pull our hair out when using data loader…
  • Data Import Wizard – DIW is a more user-friendly tool for importing data into your org. The magic of the tool is that it guides you through the import process much like Gandalf guides the Fellowship through the Mines of Moria.
Even Gandalf knows you need to cleanse data before loading.

Data Import Wizard Considerations

Sounds like Data Import Wizard is the better option of the two. Being the caution admin that you are, you don’t want to just give users access to the tool. They’d need access to the Setup menu so they can actually find the tool. That sentence alone sends a slight shiver down my spine. Personally, I really try to avoid giving anyone access to the Setup menu at all costs – even if I can limit what they can do.

Now the question is “How do I give users access to Data Import Wizard without giving them access to the Setup menu?”

I stumbled across this nugget when faced with the same problem for my users, which was my inspiration for writing this article. You are able link directly to DIW without giving access to the Setup menu! The best part is you can make this available for any instance within your org (prod or sandboxes) with a slight customization of the URL.

Now that you know how to technically share the link the question becomes “what is the best way to share the link?” My preference is a simple App Page with either one or multiple Rich Text Components. By using a Lightning Page and Lightning Components, you can creatively share access a variety of ways. I’m always a fan of combining a Custom Permission and Conditional Visibility on a component.

Ultimately, you should create the page level access that best fits your needs and your level of comfort.


One reason I started blogging was to increase available content and knowledge for the Salesforce community, even if it was just to reshare content from someone else. This is a prime example of that because I found the answer buried in a Trailblazer community Q&A page. This is a great resource that admins should have in their back pocket so I wanted to write this article and hopefully make it more widely available.