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Extracting product names, SKUs, descriptions from a list of items

It can be frustrating to repeat yourself, whether you're repeating words or keystrokes in Excel. At Parabola we think the maxim should be more like: measure once, cut as often as you like. Assuming you do have some data that comes, oddly formatted, into your inbox, Dropbox, Box, cereal box, Google Drive, or gets Airdropped onto your desk(top) each week, Parabola is the tool for you.

Our drag and drop workspace makes it easy to set up the transforms you need to make on your data. Merging, splitting, renaming, reordering and filtering columns? Check. Round numbers, convert to lower/upper case? Check. Dedupe, sort, filter, and group? Check again.

In this example we'll take a look at how you can use Parabola to unpack a messy file where product names, SKUs and descriptions have all got jumbled together, but remember that the superpower here is that you can adapt this example to do practically anything you can imagine.

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1
Get your data into Parabola

If your data is on a computer somewhere, you can probably get it into Parabola. We directly integrate with twenty commonly-used services and we also support CSV/Excel file uploads. Parabola's true power rests in its generic API Import step, though: this step lets you connect to just about any web service with a standard REST API. We're pretty confident you'll be able to plop your data into Parabola, but if you have any questions please get in touch on our site!

2
Extract the parts you care about

In our example here we've got a bunch of listing ids and product names, but they've been unfortunately merged together: 249568403/elegant-vintage-golden-locket-round. We can break them apart using Parabola's text extract step. The configuration for that is shown on the right, but in English: we want to grab all text before the first '/' symbol.

Parabola will pull out the listing id 249568403 into its own column called 'Listing ID.' Cool, huh?

Text Extract Step
3
Get your data where it needs to go

Now you're probably going to want to send your data somewhere else, right? We knew it.

We made it as easy to get data out of Parabola as it is to get data in. We're directly connected to fifteen external services (and also have a basic CSV export), but again the power lies in our generic API Export. We made a list of all the services that definitely play nice with our API Export, and have little snippets you can copy to get started.

Good luck building your first flow! If you have questions, find us on Intercom (the chat thing on our site).

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