The Flatly Blog

Universal JSON URL Data Source now in Alpha
July 20, 2017

Our most exciting news ever. Flatly has launched an alpha version of a universal JSON URL ingest data source. This means any JSON URL can be flattened automatically, on a recurring basis, to one's favorite cloud drive. Our favorite use case for this new feature is one that lets us at Flatly "eat our own dogfood": ** Firebase to Flatly to Google Drive to Slemma. ** We'll be announcing more details on our Firebase JSON compatibility in the coming months.

If this seems like an indicator of what's to come, it definitely is. Flatly is aiming for limitless, comprehensive connectivity. Stay tuned for more updates on this topic as Flatly evolves from a modest business utility, to a full blown data transformation as a service platform.

Auto-export Stripe, Square, BigCommerce and Shopify data to Cloud Drives
July 15, 2017

Flatly is steamrolling ahead with new sources! Flatly users can now automatically flatten Orders, Payments, Customers, Products and other data from top Ecommerce and Payments solutions. The best part? Flattened commerce data can be easily merged (Vlookup) with CRM data or Helpdesk data (Freshdesk is now in beta at Flatly) using matching email addresses or other common fields. This enables breathtakingly powerful use cases:

A management team can evaluate profitability metrics per-customer and see how many sales engagements were necessary to achieve X payments or sales over time.

Product-level insights can be generated to help decision makers understand which products are converting to sales and which products are eating up many sales cycles.

Uber-amazing use case: Using Flatly's "Keep Existing File" historical snapshot feature, Flatly users can create parallel monthly data combos showing how CRM, Commerce and Helpdesk data appeared for any given month in the past.

We'll be working to integrate Flatly into the app stores at Stripe, BigCommerce, Shopify and Square. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates as Flatly adds even more useful features.

Export Google Calendar and Calendar to Cloud Drives
June 20, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Flatly now supports the flattening of Events and Calendar data from Microsoft Calendar and Google Calendar. Users can now see individual Events in table form, be it in Google Sheets (Google Drive) or Excel Online. This is a great, easy-to-implement solution for backup (Dropbox, Azure, Box, etc.), collaboration and custom analytics. Since Calendar data changes frequently, like when future meetings are rescheduled and new participants are added, Flatly is the ideal tool for this data export workflow, always ensuring flat files are current and accurate. In the future we'll be announcing flattening capabilities for Gmail email and email as well, so stay tuned!

Export Pipeliner CRM to Google Drive + Google Sheets or Microsoft OneDrive + Excel Online
April 29, 2017

Here are two quick tutorials showing how Pipeliner CRM users can easily setup automatic exports to Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. Today the following data objects are supported in the export operation:

Accounts, Contacts, Campaigns, Leads, Opportunities, Tasks.

We'll be adding support for ALL data objects in the future, so stay tuned. Hop into the driver's seat of your steamroller at Flatly.IO to sign up for a free trial and try out this awesome Pipeliner integration.

Easily Flatten Data from 6 CRMs to 6 Cloud Storages
February 12, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Flatly now supports a total of 36 schedulable data flattening workflows. Check out our list below.

Base CRM to Amazon AWS S3
Base CRM to Box
Base CRM to Dropbox
Base CRM to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Base CRM to Microsoft Azure
Base CRM to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Insightly CRM to Amazon AWS S3
Insightly CRM to Box
Insightly CRM to Dropbox
Insightly CRM to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Insightly CRM to Microsoft Azure
Insightly CRM to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Amazon AWS S3
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Box
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Dropbox
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Pipedrive CRM to Amazon AWS S3
Pipedrive CRM to Box
Pipedrive CRM to Dropbox
Pipedrive CRM to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Pipedrive CRM to Microsoft Azure
Pipedrive CRM to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Pipeliner CRM to Amazon AWS S3
Pipeliner CRM to Box
Pipeliner CRM to Dropbox
Pipeliner CRM to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Pipeliner CRM to Microsoft Azure
Pipeliner CRM to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Salesforce CRM to Amazon AWS S3
Salesforce CRM to Box
Salesforce CRM to Dropbox
Salesforce CRM to Google Drive +Google Sheets
Salesforce CRM to Microsoft Azure
Salesforce CRM to Microsoft OneDrive +Excel Online

Bringing Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Pipeliner CRM to Flatly
February 9, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Flatly now supports data flattening workflows for users of Salesforce, Microsft Dynamics and Pipeliner CRM. Using a simple click-to-authorize feature in Flatly, Salesforce users can auto export Tasks, Opportunities, Leads, Contacts and Accounts from their Orgs to Google Drive, as flat files, and to Google Sheets as spreadsheets. Flatly enables Salesforce clients to easily copy their important sales data to cloud drives for sharing, data backup and analytical purposes. This is an exciting milestone for Flatly.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 means intelligent business applications across CRM *and* ERP and that means a lot of critical business data that is ripe for flattening to cloud storage. Flatly enables Dynamics customers to automatically export multiple data objects to Google Drive and, soon, other cloud drives, on an on-going scheduled basis.

Pipeliner CRM is growing at a tremendous rate and has already captured a sizable share of the CRM market. Flatly now offers Pipeliner clients the ability to copy important CRM data directly to the cloud. What is very exciting is that 10+ advanced business intelligence apps, including Slemma and Zoho Reports, can now visualize Pipeliner CRM data on an on-going, real-time basis using Flatly as a bridge. This is a huge step forward for the entire CRM and BI community, and Flatly is thrilled to be a part of it. Sign up for a free trial today and tell us what you think.

Connecting Insightly CRM to Google Drive and Zoho Reports using Flatly
August 9, 2016

Combining Accounting Data with CRM Data into one dashboard provides powerful Business Intelligence. Visibility into existing operations and financials can be mapped to data gathered on customer prospects and newly converted customers -showing business analysts how well a company is acquiring and monetizing a market. Thanks to Zoho Reports, QuickBooks Online Data can be easily analyzed in combination with data from other sources, including CRM. Flatly auto-copies Insightly CRM data to Google Drive -a cloud drive tha Zoho is optimized to draw from on an hourly or daily basis. The result is that Insightly users can now develop advanced analytics inside Zoho Reports and visualize both their Insightly data and QuickBooks Online data together. The icing on the cake is Zoho's incredible set of sharing capabilities -easy ways to publish Insightly and QuickBooks Online data to both wide and specific audiences.

Now an outstanding CRM works in harmony with a stellar reporting app.

Business intelligence dashboards are good for your businesses
June 29, 2016

Flatly's fundamental mission is to connect more business data with more business intelligence and dashboard applications. We thought we would underscore how important that connection is by quoting some experts from around the web. Here are some of our favorites.

Customizable - Dashboards can be customized in terms of users and expectations. Each decision level dashboard can be customized to present the most valuable and useful set of information. This allows each person to see the level of detail that they need in order to get their job done and meet their goals.

All-in-one - In the past, users would spend large amounts of time reviewing and analyzing different reports to end in a final conclusion. This tool allows to see, at a glance, an overall situation report of the desired information.

Drill into detail - But, having all-in-one does not means the absence of details. Dashboards are developed with the ability to get as deeper in information as required by simply selecting the desired variable or object.

Intuitive data presentation - There is no need for complicated and exhaustive training. Dashboards are designed to be intuitive to any user. The graphic design allows an easy and smooth navigation throughout the information.

Mobile device accessible - Most dashboard software apps are programmed to suit any mobile device. The idea is to reach anywhere, to everyone, in a timely manner with the most accurate information.

- Ontime BI

1. Total Visibility into Your Business - With your dashboard, you will know exactly what’s going on in your business at all times. You know what’s working and what’s not working. For instance, your dashboard could show you exactly how your last email blast to your customers went. How many people opened the email? How much sales did it bring in? Such answers should automatically appear on your dashboard. Compare this to most business owners who have to login to their email system, or ask someone else to do it.

2. Big Time Savings - How much time do you or your staff spend creating reports in Excel or other spreadsheet programs? Any report that you create more than once should go in your dashboard. And once in your dashboard, the report can be programmed to update every hour.

3. Improved Results - The fact is that when you see your key metrics in your dashboard, you intuitively start improving your results. To this end, the best dashboards automatically show success indicators, such as a green arrow facing up when you’re doing well and a red arrow facing down when you’re not. When you see the red arrows, you naturally want to fix those areas so they become green. And you do, and sales and profits soar as a result.

4. Reduced Stress - Every day I receive an email from my small business dashboard. The email includes a one-page summary of my business. It starts with my Profits, then shows my sales, then email results, advertising results, customer service results, etc. For each of these key metrics I see my results month-to-date and how it compares to the previous month and previous year (color coded with green arrows facing up when I’m doing better than the last periods and red arrows facing down when I’m not). I can thus quickly scan every aspect of my business to see how I’m doing. And if there’s a problem (e.g., revenue from email marketing is down), I know precisely who in my company to contact to fix the problem. So even if I’m not in the office, I can rest easy, since I know exactly how my business is performing, and exactly which areas need improvement.

5. Increased Productivity - Dashboards allow you to measure performance numerically. For instance, your customer service manager could see metrics such as the return rate, the average speed of answering phone calls, etc. Importantly, when they see their performance numerically, particularly if you use the green and red arrows mentioned above, they’ll naturally work harder to improve their performance and results.

6. Increased Profits - As discussed, your dashboard shows you exactly which areas of your business are performing poorly. When you know this, you know exactly where to focus your time to increase results. Conversely, your competitors probably don’t know this, and thus spend their time in the wrong areas. By knowing precisely what’s working in your business and what’s not, it’s simple to increase both sales and profits.

- Guiding Metrics

Modern dashboards allow their end-users to:

Identify negative trends. Efficient management must consist of twofold aspects – activating and stimulating positive trends, and reducing an influence of negative ones. What's more, the second part seems even more important, if not just crucial. Nevertheless, before thinking about positives, managers should eliminate negative trends. And that's what dashboards are perfect for.

Correct negative trends. Once the negative trends are recognized, localized, and analyzed, comes the time for correcting them. Thank to modern dashboards, eliminating negative trends is facilitated due to improved abilities for modifying concrete factors on trend's route.

Improve the efficiency of newly-made decisions. Even though improving the efficiency of deciding is the common goal for all business intelligence solutions, every tool treat the question in a different way. Dashboards, for instance, support decision making with better information, whilst “better” means more timely and more accurate. As a result, “better-informed” decisions are being made what influences on company's performance, obviously.

Measure company's parameters. It never is easy to measure company's real performance or efficiency. Even if something looks good from the outside, in point of fact it might be many times worse, but the external symptoms still aren't visible. Deep analysis let managers react on company's inefficiencies before it's too late to change anything significantly. It's indispensable for minimizing presumptive losses and multiply demanded incomes.

Improve performed analysis thank to visualization abilities. Pure data often is not enough to identify and trace all the irregularities. What is not visible in spreadsheets of values, might come out thank to graphic visualization of analysis. Even though it may seem a bit strange or unprofessional, it truly works, what managers bear out commonly. Modern dashboards support therefore visual presenting of analysis concerning company's performance indicators.

Determine the goals and strategy as a whole. In today's management, there's no place left for accidents or luck. Everything has to be perfect and – especially – perfectly thought-out. Thereupon, most attention managers pay to general strategy of the company, which is what all further decisions will be based on. Modern dashboards – being somehow the first link between manager and company data – have to facilitate not only inventing a new strategy, but also controlling and improving the current one, with a possibility for tracing the company's condition.


Connecting Insightly CRM to Google Drive and ClicData using Flatly
June 21, 2016

Insightly is one of the most connectivity-rich CRMs in the market today. Insightly recently partnered with Microsoft to integrate Insightly directly with PowerBI. GrowBI also integrated with Insightly using Insightly's well designed REST API. For Insightly users who want to regularly work with their Insightly data in Google Sheets *and in parallel* integrate Insightly with any of the other 20+ analytics/dashboard/business intelligence SaaS apps available, Flatly provides an easy to setup, near-realtime data bridge. A leader in this BI pack is ClicData, a superbly architected app with one of the richest set of visualizations ever developed. ClicData has outstanding data merge capabilities as well as advanced dashboard publishing, sharing and commenting features.

When you combine the power of Insightly (efficiency-driving activity reporting, social crm, project management, and more) with the versatility of ClicData (communicativeness, easy data manipulation, crystal clear visuals) the result is a humming, agile business with good visibility into its operations. And that leads to better profitability, happier employees and more satisfied clients. Check out our tutorial on how to Connect Insightly with ClicData and take your CRM analytics to the next level.

Auto-Exporting Base CRM to Google Drive and connecting to Slemma
June 15, 2016

Base CRM and Slemma are a match made in heaven. Base CRM is best in class at what it does, optimizing sales processes. Slemma provides a dashboard and analytics solution that is unmatched in intuitiveness and insight generation.

Since both apps are focused on their respective specialized capabilities, the job of connecting the two apps is perfect for Flatly. In under 10 minutes Base users can create a near-real-time data bridge between Base and Slemma, using Flatly and Google Drive. After this connection is setup, Base users can rest assured knowing their Base data is always up to date and visualized in Slemma. And the best part: Slemma provides an advanced set of collaboration and sharing features that make sharing Base CRM reports, in combination with reports from other business apps like Hubspot and Mailchip, easier than ever.


Automatically export full datasets from Pipedrive, Insightly or Base CRM to Google Drive or Google Sheets
June 14, 2016

Business Intelligence apps focus on, not surprisingly, what they do best: Business Intelligence.

Connectivity to business applications is a key component of BI apps, but the laws of software and time dictate that every dollar spent on Connectors is one less dollar spent on Intelligence features. So, many BI apps logically address connectivity in one of three ways: (1) offering direct REST API ingests -which are often far too complicated for non-technical business users to figure out, (2) allowing CSV or Excel file upload -which works fine, but requires wasteful manual work every day or week to refresh the data, (3) delegating to the ecosystem of partners and services like Zapier, or Cloudpipes, or AutomateIO, or, for complete datasets, Flatly. Flatly uses free customer-controlled public cloud drives to bridge/connect/integrate CRM apps with Business Intelligence and Dashboard apps that already integrate with those public cloud drives (virtually all of them do).

Flatly lets business users save time by bringing an end to the repetitive and inefficient cycle of manually exporting CSV files to a desktop or cloud -and in some cases then manually importing those CSV files to a BI app.

Flatly lets business users keep data fresh and connected, in the cloud. Here are some examples of the workflows that Flatly automates:

· Automatically export full Pipedrive Contacts to Google Sheets or Google Drive

· Automatically export full Insightly Opportunities to CSV format in Google Drive

· Automatically export full Base CRM Deals to Google Sheets or Google Drive

Note: Copy to / Export to / Integrate with / Connect with all mean the same thing in the context of Flatly, sending data from one cloud to another.

Connecting Insightly to Google Sheets to Analyze Data Snapshots with Merged Data
June 13, 2016

Insightly is the #1 CRM for small and growing businesses. Recently, Insightly launched Advanced Reporting and became integrated with both Power BI and Grow BI -two outstanding BI applications. For users who want to use other BI apps in conjunction with Insightly, Flatly provides a near-real-time data bridge.

In addition, often, Insightly users want to mix proprietary siloed data in with their Insightly data for custom analysis that is not natively possible inside Insightly. Using Flatly, Insightly users can automatically generate data exports, or snapshots, and store them in Google Drive in Google Sheets or CSV format. These snapshots give users the ability to go back in time and view their Insightly data, such as Opportunities, at a particular point. After setting up a simple funnel analysis across 7 different snapshots over a 7 week period, users can then merge in custom data from other spreadsheets or data sources. Finally, analyzing this merged data can give users new insights on their sales and business operations -including a calculation of Customer Acqusition Costs (CAC) based expenditures required to impact Opportunity states.

Connecting Pipedrive to Google Sheets for Custom Analytics
June 8, 2016

Pipedrive provides some of the best reporting and analytics options in the CRM space, but at the end of the day Pipedrive is a CRM app, and Business Intelligence is not its primary forte. Flatly lets Pipedrive users automatically copy Pipedrive data to Google Sheets on a recurring, scheduled basis. Once Pipedrive data is in Google Sheets, users can: 1-mix in data from other sheets and data sources, 2: setup business-grade business intelligence apps (example: ClicData) to draw from these sheets, or 3: build custom reports, charts and analysis right inside Google Sheets.

The possibilities for custom reporting using Pipedrive data are endless -especially when additional data sets are mixed in. Thanks to Pipedrive's API and Flatly, Pipedrive customers can free their data to run analysis beyond that which is possible natively in Pipedrive. In this example we look at hypothetical qualitative customer profile analysis and forecasted manufacturing and inventory requirements, based on constantly-refreshed Pipedrive data.

Flatly does what Zapier does not do -copy Historical or Existing Data
June 5, 2016

Zapier is the leading web-automation solution for businesses that want to connect SaaS applications and data based on events. Zapier is great for alerts, notifications and appending only newly-created single rows of data to data destinations, wherever they may be.

What Zapier does NOT do is copy full existing datasets, as complete payloads, from one data source to a data destination. Zapier outlines this limitation in its Help and Support Docs here:

Auto-Exporting Pipedrive to Google Drive and connecting to DataHero
June 4, 2016

Pipedrive is a great CRM Software as a Service. It is one of the most advanced CRM apps for managing a sales pipeline against a schedule, program or set of complex operations. But, it provides a relatively limited set of reporting and analytical tools natively. What if you want to use Pipedrive CRM with a BI application like DataHero? With Flatly, you can. Simply setup a Flatly job to copy-and-export your Pipedrive data to a file in Google Drive or Google Sheets, then configure DataHero to pull from that file. Flatly will ensure that this file will always be refreshed, automatically. As an added benefit, you can always login to Google Drive and introspect the data or apply advanced formulas to analyze it in combination with other data you may have gathered.

Best of Breed Business Intelligence Apps are pre-Connected to Google Drive
June 2, 2016

Business Intelligence apps do best what is at their core: data presentation. For BI apps, connectivity to third party business apps is important, but connectivity is ALWAYS second priority relative to data presentation. Most BI apps provide a limited set of out-of-the-box Connectors, including some to select CRM apps, that make it easy for their customers to get up and running with data analysis and reporting. Unfortunately, for data owners who use business apps that are not included in those limited sets of Connectors, the manual data-connection and import options have been cumbersome or complex, if not altogether impossible.

Now, Flatly has solved this connectivity challenge. Flatly provides a simple way to integrate specialized, best-of-breed CRM applications with BI apps, using popular, often-free, Cloud Drives as data bridges. Flatly keeps CRM data fresh, in-the-cloud, and visible to data owners. Check out the list of BI apps that draw from Google Drive. Flatly now connects these BI apps with Base, Pipedrive and Insightly. As an added bonus, Flatly users can introspect their data, at any time, inside Google Drive.

Auto-Exporting Base CRM to Google Drive and connecting to DataHero
May 30, 2016

Base CRM is a very powerful CRM application. It even includes sophisticated reporting. But, as a Base CRM user, what if you want *even more* reporting options? What if you want to use Base CRM with a BI application like DataHero, or Klipfolio? With Flatly, you can. Simply setup a Flatly job to copy-and-export your Base CRM data to a file in Google Drive or Google Sheets, then configure DataHero or Klipfolio to pull from that file. Flatly will ensure that this file will always be refreshed, automatically. As an added benefit, you can always login to Google Drive and introspect the file or apply advanced formulas to analyze it.

Flatly Frees your Data
May 1, 2016

You use CRM to power your sales operations.  You manage account development, customer contacts and sales rep assignments in CRM and it works great right?  Right.

But at the end of each reporting period, be it a day, week or month, you find yourself wanting to see your CRM data filtered, sorted, tabulated and presented in a very specific report format, which Google Sheets can provide.  You want to compare bits of your CRM  data in your own particular way and Pivot it into tables charts.  

Today, virtually every CRM lets you manually export your CRM data into Excel or CSV format, but then you’re stuck with a static and offline file which you then have to manually upload to Google Drive, convert it, reformat and re-chart it, EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Flatly automates this CRM data export process so that you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Save time - several hours a month, per user, that was normally wasted on data export.

  • Stay current - Know that your CRM data in Google Sheets is always up to date.

  • Ensure accuracy - Avoid human-errors  commonly made during manual export.

The best part:  Integrate with Business Intelligence!

Most Business Intelligence apps connect with Google Drive or other cloud drives by default, pulling data from drives to present in their rich dashboards.  But most BI apps do NOT directly integrate with most CRMs.  Flatly to the rescue!  Simply setup Flatly to automatically export your CRM data to Google Drive every day and then setup your BI app to pull from Google Drive.  You’ll now have best-of-breed dashboard capabilities integrated with your CRM.  Creating stunning reports and data visualizations is now automated.