Updating Data Overview| Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- Why updating your data is so critical
- The various ways you can update your data in the Yext Knowledge Graph
Why is it Important to Update your Data?
Missing or inaccurate data is a bad experience for your customers.
Imagine these scenarios:
- “Where is the closest urgent care?” → You have bad addresses or missing locations
- “Is the restaurant open now?” → Your hours are missing or inaccurate
- “Closest office supplies store” → Your category is wrong
- “Jobs in marketing in San Francisco” → Your job reqs are missing or outdated
Updating Your Data
Keeping your data fresh and clean is critical for your brand’s success. You have a few different options for getting data into the system that are outlined below. Keep in mind that some of these methods are optimized for different kinds of users. You can learn more about Users in the Users module.
Manually in the Platform
- Add the data manually in Entity Edit using single or bulk edit: This is best for one-off changes that apply to one or many entities that you can easily filter to using advanced filters. You can also provide distributed logins to users with access to specific entities or folders to make these changes if they’re closer to the data.
Via Data Connectors
Upload your data using the Entity Upload: This tool allows you to upload your data in bulk using standard spreadsheets. We recommend using this to start getting data into your system and for any entity types where you can easily generate a file with the latest information, but you don’t have an API integration in place (or at least not yet).
Update data via App Directory: The App Directory contains many pre-built integrations for you to hook into for other vendors or data providers you might be working with. You can review all apps by navigating to Apps > Directory using the navigation bar in the platform or visiting the Yext App Directory page on our website. You can learn more about the App Directory here.
Upload data via the Crawler: The Crawler allows you to scrape web pages for their HTML content. Once your crawler successfully completes a crawl, the Add Data flow helps you convert that raw HTML content into entities in the Knowledge Graph. You can learn more about the Crawler in the Yext Site Crawler & Crawler Connector module.
Additional Advanced Feature Options
Add the data via Template: As you’ll learn in the Template Module, Templates are a powerful way to add static content to entities. Common use cases include when new entities are added, seasonal changes, or when an entity changes state (e.g., a store is closing so you want to apply standard messaging). Make sure you complete this module to learn best practices of when and how to use templates. Templates can be applied when an entity is added for upload, API, or single add or after an entity is added.
Add data via Knowledge Assistant: Knowledge Assistant is a conversational interface built on top of popular apps like SMS or Facebook Messenger. This is particularly effective with distributed users who have most knowledge about an entity, like a Store Manager, Event Planner, or Franchisee. You can text in updates to most fields or nudge users to update information. Learn more about this in the Knowledge Assistant Module.
Update the data via the API: We strongly encourage brands to set up real-time or batch API integrations to update data to avoid any manual work for you or another team. This is especially critical for entity types where there are updates or adds/removes with frequency, like jobs, events or locations. You can build an integration against Yext’s APIs by referencing our API Documentation, you can learn more about our Developer Console here and you can learn more about APIs in general here. Yext’s Professional Services team can also build an API integration on your behalf via an “ETL” (Extract-Transform-Load). Talk to your Success Manager to discuss whether purchasing a Yext-built ETL is the right choice for you.
Update data via Optimization Tasks: Optimization tasks are available for Small Business customers or for Enterprise customers who are using our Custom Built Home Screens. These tasks are designed to make content capture easy for single entities. These are sometimes accessible in the platform but can also be sent to users outside of the platform. Contact Yext support or ask your Success Manager for more information.
When you think about updating your data, it’s important to understand how Unique Identifiers work. In the Knowledge Graph, every entity has a customer-provided unique identifier that can be updated in the platform, called Entity ID. Every entity also has a unique identifier that is unique globally across all of Yext’s customers, called Yext ID. You cannot update the Yext ID at any time.
An Entity ID is required in order to add or update data via Entity Upload or the API. We need to know your unique identifier so we know for sure which entities you’re trying to update. When you’re adding entities in the UI, we will auto-create an Entity ID on your behalf unless you provide one, but we encourage you to provide your own if possible so that the entity record can easily relate back to your internal systems.
If you don’t have an ID system for a type, we recommend doing a scheme like “type-#” so “faq-1”, “faq-2”. Just remember not to use spaces or other invalid characters.
We strongly recommend that you maintain your own set of unique identifiers for your entities to make it as easy as possible to add data to Yext.