Syncing People Data

Getting your people data loaded into Sift.

Written by Kiah Yancy
Updated over a week ago

One of the first and most crucial steps to getting onboarded to the Sift platform is adding your organization’s people data. Your data is what we use to create your Profiles and Org Chart.

Here at Sift, we aim to make syncing your people data as easy as possible. With our data sync wizard, we have made sure that your data import process is streamlined and efficient so you can start using Sift quickly.

What are the methods I can use to import my people data?

Sift supports a variety of data sources to accommodate the different needs of organizations that use our tool.

The source types Sift currently supports are:

*If you plan on using one of these methods, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager for assistance.

Can I bring data in from multiple sources?

Sift uses a flexible system that allows data to be easily imported from multiple different data sources. If you would like to import data from multiple places in your organization's ecoystem, there are a couple of important concepts to understand:


A Directory represents a population of people within your organization that can be sourced from a single integration. Within each Directory in Sift, you will hold a unique set of people data, that will create and populate Sift profiles.

If all of the people in your organization whom you want to be in Sift are represented in a single system, you will probably only ever need a single Directory in Sift. However, if some of your people live in one system, and some live in another, you may need to set up multiple directories.


Within each Directory, data is provided to Sift by one to many Source(s). Each Source represents an integration to one of the above source types, whether it be something like a simple CSV file, or a direct API integration.

The primary source within each directory is responsible for provisioning (creating and deleting) each profile in Sift. In primary sources, we require that you provide basic information on each user (first name, last name, and email address). When a new person is added in a primary source, a profile is created for them, and when a person is deleted from the primary source, a profile is deleted. Each Directory must have exactly one primary source, and it is created when the Directory is created.

A Directory can also optionally have any number of complimentary sources. With complimentary sources, you can append additional data to the profiles created by your primary source. We'll usually see this in cases where there's a piece of data that's not present in the primary source, but you'd still like to add it to profiles. This could be something like a CSV import from a skills tool, or a separate system containing employee birthdays.

How do I provide my organization’s data?

Uploading your people data with Sift is now easier than ever. The steps will differ slightly depending on which source type you are using. Please refer to the help article for the specific data sync method you are using for detailed instructions.

Create a Directory

  1. On the menu on the left side of your Admin Dashboard, click "People Data."

  2. If you've already created a Directory and would like to create another, click the "Create New" button on the top right. Otherwise, proceed to step 3.

  3. Select the source type that you want to use for your Primary Source and click "Next."

  4. Enter a name for the Directory and click "Next." This is only for your reference and should describe the set of people you’re importing. If you will only have one Directory, you could call this something like “All Employees.”

  5. Follow the wizard through the next steps, which will differ depending on your data source type. For CSV, you will upload an initial file to immediately import to Sift. For Azure AD or Google Workspace, you will authorize Sift to access their API on your behalf.

    You can read more about each sync method below:
    CSV (spreadsheet) or SFTP ← Quickest to set up
    Azure Active Directory
    Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite)

  6. Set up your mappings. Mappings tell Sift which properties from your data source should map over to which Attributes on your Sift profiles. It's also where you'll set up your Org Chart. For an extensive walkthrough of setting up mappings, check out the article below.

  7. Run your first data sync to create your Profiles and Org Chart in Sift! The sync should be completed within a few minutes, but can take a bit longer if you're importing a large number of employees.

    (Below example is for CSV)

  8. You will now be taken to your Source Dashboard where you can manage this integration going forward. You can update your mappings, run another sync, or configure additional settings. This page will also provide a status of your current and last data sync. If your sync was successful, you'll see a number of people imported under the "Profiles" section. If your sync was unsuccessful, you'll see an "Error" status under your last sync. To troubleshoot the issue, click the "View Error Report" button and we'll provide some troubleshooting steps.

    Success example:

    Error example:

  9. Once you get your sync successfully running, click on the "Return to Sift" button on the top-left of your screen to see your imported Profiles in Sift.

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