Zapier is a website that allows you to choose from over 5,000 data sources, and then push your data to Spider Impact. It’s a paid service that allows technical people to import data from other websites without coding.
Zapier only works with cloud software that has chosen to share their data with Zapier. Each company creates and maintains their own Zapier integration, and Zapier acts as a traffic cop, pulling data from one piece of software and pushing it into another.
Finally, it’s important to note that not every Zapier data source is a great fit for Spider Impact. That’s because the types of data that you can get depends on what the owners of that data source have chosen to share with Zapier. For example, some data sources expose their full historical data, while others only send information about events as they happen.
Setting up the connection between Zapier and Spider Impact
The first step is to set up a Zapier import connection inside of Spider Impact. Here we’re clicking “Add Connection” on the Administration > Import Connections page.
This opens the “Add Zapier Connection” dialog. When Zapier pushes data to Impact, Impact needs to know where that data should go. That’s what the API Key here is for. It’s created by Spider Impact to identify the import connection you’re creating right now.
Zapier is going to need this API Key, so click the “Copy” button to copy it.
Before continuing to the next step in Spider Impact, you’ll need to set up a connection to Impact in Zapier. Open the My Apps page in Zapier in a new browser tab and log in. Then click the “Add connection” button.
Search for Spider Impact and click on it.
A new window will open. Paste the API Key that you copied from Spider Impact, and click “Yes, Continue”.
Zapier will show a “New connection added” success message, but unfortunately it’s on the top of a “404: Page Not Found” message. Don’t worry, everything is working correctly. We hope Zapier fixes this bug soon.
You’ve just created the Zapier half of the connection. Now it’s time to go back to Impact and finish the other half. Click the “I’ve Completed the Instructions Above” button.
Finally, give your Zapier connection a name, assign it owners if you want, and click Done.
Your new Zapier connection is now shown on the Import Connections screen.
Creating a Zap
Now that both ends of the data connection have been set up, Spider Impact will start catching any data that Zapier sends it. It’s not a problem that Impact doesn’t know what to do with the data yet. It’s just going to happily collect data from Zapier until you create an import to use it.
So, the next step is to create a Zap in Zapier that sends data to Impact. To do this we’ll open the Zaps page in Zapier and click the “Create Zap” button.
The first part of setting up a new Zap is choosing its trigger. This is the event that is going to start the process of sending data to Spider Impact. It could be when something happens in an app, like a new issue being created in a support ticket system. Or it could be a built-in tool like when a webhook fires. In this example we’re going to choose for the trigger to happen on a schedule.
We’ll choose to run our Zap every week…
… on Sunday at midnight.
We’ll now test the trigger…
… and it works.
When we click Continue, we move on to the next step in the Zap setup process, choosing the Action. There are literally thousands of things you can do for an action, but you’ll often want to choose to get data from an app. In this example we’ll choose Salesforce.
There is a list of Events that Salesforce allows us to choose from, and these options are different for every app. We’ll choose “Find Record(s)” because we want to get records out of Salesforce.
Next, we need to authenticate with Salesforce. We’ll choose “Connect a new account”.
This opens a new window to connect to Salesforce. We’ll choose our “production” Salesforce environment, and click “Yes, Continue”.
We’ll log in with our Salesforce credentials…
… and we’ll give Zapier permission to access our data.
The Salesforce connection window closes, and we’ll click Continue.
Now we need to set up the Find Record(s) action. Again, this step will be different for every app. We’ll need to choose which kind of Salesforce objects that we’re looking for. We’ll choose to get “Account” objects, which are like customer records in Salesforce.
For reference, this is what our list of accounts looks like in Salesforce. This is just an example database, so there are only 15 accounts.
Back in Zapier we’ll continue setting up the action. For the search, we’ll get all accounts where “Deleted” is false, meaning all active accounts.
We’ll click “Test & continue”. We don’t want to skip the test because then we’d have to wait until the Zap fires naturally on Sunday night to pull the data into Spider Impact.
In the records panel we can see 15 results, which matches the number of accounts we have in our test Salesforce database. Now we need somewhere to send this data, so we’ll click the “+” button to add a second action in our Zap’s chain. This isn’t super intuitive, and we hope Zapier improves this process.
This time we’ll choose Spider Impact under App event. You may need to search for it.
We’ll choose “Push Data for Import” for the event, and we’ll click Continue.
Then we’ll choose the connection we set up earlier and click Continue.
Now we need to choose a unique Nickname for this Zap that we’re creating. Later, when we’re creating a Zapier data import in Spider Impact, we’ll need to choose which Zap we want to get data from. This Nickname is how we’ll identify our Zap.
The next step is choosing which columns we want from Salesforce. These are the fields that are going to be made available to Spider Impact. We have two options at first, data from our schedule (like the date the import runs), or data from Salesforce. We’ll choose Salesforce.
Zapier suggests some data we may want, but we’ll click “Show all options”.
This lists all the columns available to us. First, we’ll choose the account’s name.
And on the left we’ll type “Account Name” to identify the column for Spider Impact.
We’ll do the same thing for the “Annual Revenue” and “Country” columns from Salesforce. We’ll also add an “Import Date” column from the schedule. Then we’ll click Continue.
Zapier shows us a preview of the data, and we’ll click “Test & continue”.
The results say that our import worked, so we’ll click Publish Zap.
One more confirmation and we’re good to go.
Finally our Zap is published. We can see a summary of our Zap, and in the upper right corner we can see that it’s turned on.
Importing data in Impact
To import Zapier data in Spider Impact, start a data import like you would with any other data source. In this example we’re creating a new dataset.
Choose the Zapier import connection that we set up earlier, and then choose one of its Zaps. If you don’t see the nickname of a Zap that you’ve set up in Zapier, it’s most likely because that Zap hasn’t been triggered yet.
Next is the optional data transformation step.
And finally is the step where you choose which fields you want to create in the dataset. As you can see, these are the fields we set up earlier in our Salesforce Zap.
When we click Create we now have a dataset with our 15 Salesforce account records.
Now that our dataset is built, there’s one more thing to do. Right now, Zapier is sending data to the Spider Strategies Zapier server on a regular basis, but Spider Impact isn’t regularly reaching out to the Spider Strategies Zapier server to get it. So, we’ll go to the Datasets Edit tab and click the “Edit” button for the import schedule.
We’ll turn on “Schedule Import” and have it run 15 minutes after Zapier sends the data every Sunday night.
Zapier import size limit
Every time a Zapier import runs, it is currently limited to 6 megabytes of transferred data. That’s over 50,000 typical records, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll hit this limit when importing KPI or initiative values, or when adding records to a dataset. It is possible that you’ll hit this limit when replacing all records for a large dataset, so Zapier may not be a good fit for those situations.