An input specification file is an optional, but useful, mechanism for creating contact lists from existing customer data, whether it's fixed-length data, comma-separated data, or tab-delimited data.
The input specification file is set up to identify the location of the fields in your data that are needed to populate your contact list. For example, if the First Name field starts at the seventh position in your data format, that information is included in the input specification file. Using the specification file, you can selectively extract some of the fields from your data while ignoring the ones not needed for the contact list.
When you import your contact data into the contact list, you can select the input specification file that maps your data into the appropriate contact list fields.
Once defined, import the input specification into your account, either by itself or at the same time the contact data is imported. Once the file exists in your account it is available for use when importing additional contact data.
The character set to be used during import and export of data (such as in lists and reports) is defined per account or enterprise and defaults to ISO 8859-1 (ISO Latin 1). The system supports the default, ISO 8859-1, as well as UTF-8 and Windows-1252. To use a character set other than the default, your system administrator must request the change. If made at the Enterprise level, all newly created accounts within the enterprise will inherit the updated character set.
When uploading data, it is important to use the correct character set, especially if your data contains non-ASCII characters. Using an incorrect character set may cause some characters, such as accented characters, to appear as other characters.
Types of Specification Files
There are two types of specification files:
- Input specification files—Use input specification files to tell the system how your contact list data is structured. For example, if you export contact data from an existing database to a comma-, tab-, or pipe-delimited file, you can use an input specification file to tell the system which fields to extract from the data, and where those fields are located in each line of data.
- Output specification files—Use output specification files to tell the system how to custom-format data in various reports that are generated from individual accounts. You can use different output specification files for different reports, including:
- Contact Center Detail reports
- Dialer Detail reports
- Campaign Detail reports
- Account Contact Center Detail reports
Importing Specification Files
Once you have the files you need, use the following steps to import them into the enterprise account:
On the Lists or Reports tabbed page, select Specification Files. The specification files list appears. Initially, this list is empty. After importing the files, they appear on the Specification File list.
To import a new specification file:
- Click New. The Add File page appears.
- Select the type of file you are importing. For input specification files, always select Input. The other file types are all output specification file types for various reports and include the following:
- AccountCallCenterDetail: - For custom formatting of Account Contact Center Detail reports.
- CallCenter: - For custom formatting of campaign or sub-campaign Contact Center Detail reports.
- CampaignReport: - For custom formatting of campaign or sub-campaign All Attempts, All Contacts, or Best Contact Detail reports.
- DialerReport: - For custom formatting of campaign or sub-campaign Dialer Detail reports.
- Input: - For extracting data from your contact information. You use these files when importing new contact lists.
- Click Browse to locate the file on your PC or network.
- Select the appropriate file. Input specification files must be text files with an SPC extension. Output specification files must be Excel files with an XLS extension.
- For the specification file to be available to all accounts in the enterprise, select Public Template. If you select this option, the file is not shown on the specification file list of individual accounts, but it is selectable from the Specification File drop-down list of the report window when an account user is generating a new report. If you don't select this option, the file is available only to the enterprise account.
- Click Import Specification.