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Using Actions Tasks to Build ETL Workflows

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About Using Actions Tasks to Build ETL Workflows

The Qualtrics Actions platform contains a series of tasks to assist in importing data from third-party destinations into Qualtrics or exporting data from Qualtrics to third-party destinations. These tasks follow the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) framework. Using ETL tasks, you can create automated and scheduled workflows to bring data from third-party sources into Qualtrics as well as export data from Qualtrics to third-party destinations.

To create an ETL Workflow, you must create one or more extractor tasks and exactly one loader task. If you are looking to load data into multiple destinations, you should create separate workflows for each destination.

General Setup for Extractor and Loader Tasks

Qtip: For a general guide on using actions, see Actions basic overview.
  1. From the Actions page, create a new scheduled or event-based action. This action will trigger based on the criteria you set.
  2. The first task of your action should be your data extractor task. These tasks import data from an external source to Qualtrics. See available extractor tasks for more information about each available task
  3. The second task of your action should be your data loader task. These tasks tell Qualtrics where to save your imported data. See available loader tasks for more information.
  4. This step is optional, but useful for alerting you if something goes wrong. Use action notifications to get notified if the workflow ever fails.
Qtip: After setting up your workflow, click Run Immediately to to test your ETL workflow and ensure its working.
running an action immediately to test it
Qtip: You can add additional tasks to your ETL workflows. For example, add a web service task to post to a webhook.

Available Extractor Tasks

At this time, the following tasks are available for importing data into Qualtrics:

Available Loader Tasks

At this time, the following tasks are available for loading data into Qualtrics:

Troubleshooting Data Extracting and Loading Tasks

Incomplete Actions

Data extractor and loader tasks must be used together. If you are missing a piece of their setup, the actions editor will alert you.

Example: In this example, we are missing our data loader task. The actions editor alerts us that our “import task is currently missing a destination.”
an extractor task is set up. there is an error in the actions window alerting you to add a loader task
Example: In this example, we are missing our data extractor task. The task editor alerts us that “you need to add at least one data source task.”
creating a loader task without an extractor. the task alerts you to set up an extractor first

Actions Failing

If your tasks are failing or not firing properly, the first place you should look is Actions reporting & history. This will contain information about every time your action fired and the results of that action.

In reporting & history, each piece of your action will have its own entry, making it easy to pinpoint where things went wrong.

Example: In the below example, we are using an extract data from SFTP files task and a load data into XM Directory task. We can see that the extractor task failed but the loader task succeeded. This means our extractor task is misconfigured, but our loader task is OK.
reviewing an ETL workflow in reporting. the extractor task failed while the loader was successful

After identifying the problem, you can click View under Details to see more information to help you diagnose how to fix the problem. This will pull up the JSON payload for the task. Scroll down to the Task Output section to find any errors.

Example: In this example, we see that the task failed because the connection had invalid parameters for an extract data from SFTP files task.
the task output section of a failed action giving the error why it failed

After editing your action and fixing the problem, you can return to reporting & history and click Retry to rerun the action.
the retry and view buttons in the actions reporting section

Specific Use Cases

Check out the following pages for specific use cases and action setups.

  • B2B Command Center (CX): Import B2B data from Salesforce and save that data in your XM Directory to help understand your customer relationships.