Process Street's "Data Sets" Beta: New Automations on the Horizon!Jan 25, 2023
Process Street just kicked off 2023 with a bang!
One of our favorite workflow managers, Process Street, has launched the beta of its "Data Sets" feature. In what was previously an area that the application lacked, the new Data Sets feature will allow users to keep an in-house database of important client information, and infuse them into their workflows. In addition to creating a dynamic database, Process Street has also added Webhook, API, and Zapier integration support for the Data Sets feature, making their existing automation possibilities even more expansive!
*Just as a reminder, this is currently a "beta" feature, so it is still technically an unfinished product, but Process Street plans to learn from this beta and make various improvements before rolling out the official feature.
Let's dive into what's included in the Data Sets beta.
The Process Street Hierarchy
While this is an extremely small portion of the Data Sets feature, it is important to note - there are three levels of permissions when it comes to data sets:
- Admins - can see all data sets and saved views created by all members of your team
- Full Members - can only see data sets and saved views that they created
- Free Members - do not have access to the data sets tab
Creating Data Sets & Saved Views
Under the "reports" tab, you'll see a second sub-tab titled "Data Sets". Here you'll find the two main ways you can create a data set: either by building one from scratch, or by importing an existing CSV file.
To create a blank data set, click "+Data Set", then "Blank Data Set". Then, click the settings cog to edit your data set's name. From there, you'll have the option to add new fields (columns) by clicking the "..." above the the default field, and add new records (rows) by clicking the "..." to the left of the default field. You can also double click on each field to rename it.
To create a data set via a CSV file, you'll first need to make sure of three things:
- Your CSV has column headers
- Your CSV does not exceed 10,000 rows, 50 columns per row, and 5 KB per row
- You've deleted any empty rows before exporting your CSV, for the sake of additional space
After you've checked off those three boxes, you can click the "+Data Set" button again, but this time, click "Import Data Set" when it appears. Upon importing, you should see your CSV data populate into a text format.
Once your new data set is set up, you can use your tab/cursor keys to move throughout the table, as well as utilize the controls that appear when hovering over a given field, such as filtering or hiding fields. Data sets, similar to Google Sheets, save automatically when you make changes.
To create a saved view of this data set, simply click the "Create Saved View" button and give it a name. Upon creating a saved view, you will see it appear in your left-side menu.
Applying your Saved View to a Workflow & Using Data Sets as Variables
Note from Process Street: "While this feature is in Beta, we suggested you connect to a non-critical workflow or connect to a workflow in your private library."
To apply your saved view to a new workflow, the first thing you're going to want to do is to add a dropdown field from the form fields side menu. Then, click the "..." to bring up the dropdown's options and select "Connect Data Set". Following that, you'll be able to choose the data set you want to connect, as well as the column/field that you'd like to populate the dropdown. When you publish your workflow and run it, you'll now be able to select from the data set-populated options in your dropdown.
If you want to apply your saved view to an existing workflow, the process is the same, but there are a few things to note:
- Using an existing dropdown for your saved view will overwrite its pre-existing options and replace them with data from your saved view.
- If you publish your workflow and don't update active workflow runs, nothing will change in those runs. However, if you do update active workflow runs, previously-selected dropdown answers will remain, but if no selection was made, the newly-updated dropdown will replace it.
Once you've connected your saved view to a workflow, you can also use the fields within its data set as variables in that workflow. To do this, simply click on the magic wand on any applicable field to pick a variable from either global, your workflow, or your data set. Data set variables operate exactly the same as global and workflow variables, so it will be added as soon as you select it.
The Data Sets Beta & Automation
As previously mentioned, Process Street adding integration support for the Data Sets beta is a HUGE win for automation junkies like us. Previously, we've been able to create similar databases in applications such as Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, then use that database as a place to add/pull information from in Zapier automations. Now with a similar feature directly embedded within Process Street, it cuts out an additional application, and simultaneously adds the ability to connect it directly to your workflows.
Here are some of the additional capabilities Process Street has added to their Zapier integration since deploying their Data Sets beta:
- Trigger - Data set record created
- Trigger - Data set record deleted
- Trigger - Data set record updated
- Action - Create data set record
- Action - Delete data set record
- Action - Update data set record
- Action - Find data set record(s)
- Action - Create data set record if one doesn't already exist
While being able to automate based on the creation and deletion of data sets is good, the update features are what really push this integration over the top. This allows users to automatically have data updated in the background when new data is received, a feature that many other apps with Zapier integrations do not support yet, but save users a ton of time an energy. There's no such thing as eliminating too much manual data entry!
With Process Street effectively adding a basic-level CRM into the fold with the Data Sets beta, automating via the app is more enticing than ever before. You can take a permanent vacation from manual data entry and instead focus your time on higher priority items, such as meeting with clients, brainstorming future plans, or if you work more than you intend to, spending time with your loved ones! Be sure to check out Process Street's Data Sets article for a more in-depth view of what's included in the new beta.
And as always, if you need assistance building out any Process Street automations, schedule an intro call with us! We offer both coaching and done-for-you engagements to build out your systems and ensure they're running smoothly. We're happy to help!
Stay tuned for another edition of the Sphynx Automation blog series, headed your way in February!
This blog is written by the Sphynx Automation team to help DIYers use web-based apps.
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