All Collections
Admin Dashboard
Data Sync
Data Sync Error Troubleshooting
Data Sync Error Troubleshooting
Ryan Bickham avatar
Written by Ryan Bickham
Updated over a week ago

If your data sync has encountered a fatal error, you will see something like the below on your Source Dashboard.

If you click the "View Error Report" button, you will be provided with an error message. Additional information and troubleshooting steps for each message can be found in the error message reference below.

A few important notes on sync errors or issues:

  • If the sync errors (as in, you see the status above), no data in Sift will have been updated during the errored sync. If Sift runs into a sync error that causes the entire process to fail, Sift will not import partial data.

  • There are some cases where the sync does not officially "error," but rather will complete with only partial data being imported. In those cases, the issue is almost always that some people are not meeting the following constraints, according to your mappings.

    • Each person must have a unique email address and a unique value. If there are any records that contain duplicate or empty values, they will not be imported.

    • For Primary Sources: Each person must have a value for first name and last name. These do not need to be unique. If there are any records that contain empty values, they will not be imported.

    • For Org Chart hierarchy: If there are any circular reporting structures, they will be ignored, and the entire reporting chain below will also be ignored. For example, if you have a CEO who reports to a President, with that President also reporting to the CEO, they and all reports underneath them will not be correctly assigned a manager. Sift builds its Org Chart by looking for root nodes (people with no manager), and building downwards. In the above scenario, you need to ensure that one of these two people has no manager assigned.

Error Message Reference

Source Type


Long Description

Troubleshooting Steps


The CSV file did not contain a column header which matched the primary mapping.

The provided CSV file did not include a column that matched your Unique Identifier mapping.
This would happen, for example, if after setting up your initial mappings, your CSV headers changed, and you did not update the mappings accordingly.

Ensure that the CSV file you're providing contains this column.


An error occurred reading the CSV file.

The provided CSV file was not in a valid format. It was either not a valid CSV file, or it did not contain a valid header row.

Ensure that your CSV file is formatted correctly.


An error occurred while retrieving data from the API integration.

Make sure that the credentials provided to Sift to connect to the API (Azure AD, Google, UKG, Okta, etc.) are still valid and still have the correct permissions.

Make sure that the API is not experiencing any sort of outage or system issue.


The number of imported records exceeds the limit. For valid cases, contact us to remove this limit.

To prevent system abuse, we impose a limit of 10,000 records per source by default. If you're trying to import more records than this for a valid use case, contact us.

To get this limit raised, contact us.

To get the sync to run immediately, import fewer records from your data source.


An internal server error occurred.

An unexpected system error occurred.

Try your sync again. If it's consistently failing with this message, contact us.

Did this answer your question?