Importing Data:
                Salesforce provides wizards to import data for accounts and contacts, leads, solutions and custom objects.
·         Import Wizards are online
·         Administrator can import data for the entire organization.
·         Users with “Import Personal Contacts” permission can import their own accounts and contacts from Your Name | My Settings | Import | Import My Accounts & Contacts
·         Users with “Import Leads” or “Import Solutions” permissions can access respective wizards from Setup | Data Management | Import <Object Name>
·         With Import Wizard max 50,000 data can be imported.
·         Data format should be CSV.
·         With Import Wizard, user can choose whether to add new records/update existing records/Add new and Update existing records.
·         Unified interface of Import Wizard (Data Import Wizard) can be accessed from Your Name | My Settings | Import | Data Import Wizard.
·         With Data Import Wizard, user is having the option to enable/disable workflow.
Consideration before preparing the Import File:
                As an administrator, you need to ensure the data is clean by –
·         Checking data meet system and custom validation requirements. (Note: If a particular record fails data validation rule, import will fail for that particular record. Rest of the records will be imported).
·         Universally required fields should be there in the CSV file for the new records. Otherwise import will fail for that particular record. Rest of the records will be imported. Owner field should be there in the CSV file for the new records. Otherwise the user who is doing the import will become the owner of the newly created record in Salesforce.
·         Currency field should be there in the CSV file for the new records. Otherwise error will be generated and further import will not work
·         Picklist values – All values in any picklist field should also exist in Salesforce. If not, the new value will be added only for that particular record, but will not be available for other records.
·         Resolving any duplicate records.
·         Removing blank and empty spaces.
·         Running spell check.
·         Renaming column headers to match the field names in Salesforce.
·         Applying consistent standards for data formats.
Matching Fields and Duplicates:
                Matching field will help to identify the duplicate records in Salesforce. Below are the matching field for different objects 
·         Contact                                Salesforce ID, Name, Email
·         Account                               Salesforce ID, Name and Site
·         Leads                                    Salesforce ID, Name
·         Solutions                             Salesforce ID, External ID, Salesforce Title
·         Custom Objects                Salesforce ID, Record Name, External ID
Data Loader:
                The Data Loader –
·         Uses an API that defines the rules for accessing Salesforce from external Applications.
·         Is it client application, so Salesforce Credentials and Security Token is required to use it.
Compare Data Loader with Import Wizard:
·         With Import Wizard, you can import maximum of 50,000 records, where with Data Loader you can import 5 million records.
·         Import Wizard de-duplicates data before loading, whereas Data loader doesn’t do that.
·         With Import Wizard, user is having the option to disable/enable workflow trigger. The same is not possible with Data loader.
·         With Import Wizard, only accounts and contacts, leads, solutions and custom objects can be uploaded, whereas with Data Loader, all objects can be uploaded.
·         Schedule import is possible with Data Loader. With Import Wizard, the same is not possible.
·         Data Loader is having the option to save field mappings for later use.
·         Data Loader can be used to export or delete data. Import Wizard allows import/update only.
Best Practices for Data Loader:
·         All picklist values should be there in Salesforce already.
·         Remove or de-duplicate the records before importing through Data Loader.
·         Export only necessary Records ID fields.
·         Prepare and Upload a test batch.
·         Perform all the update on existing records either during weekend or outside business hour.
·         Turn off all Workflow rules before running any Import, Update, or Upsert to make sure they don’t create any unnecessary problems.
Automated Backing up Data in Salesforce:
                Below are the backup options available:
·         Reports – Export specific data to Excel / Schedule a report for future execution.
·         Data Loader – Export data through Data Loader. This process is a manual process.
·         Weekly Data Export Service – Obtain a complete set of Salesforce data for archiving. This is an automated process. Extracted data will be in Zip format. User will be notified as soon as extract is done and Zip file is ready. After 48 hours, exported files will be deleted from Salesforce server automatically.