A Data Template (also called a schema in Portal 2.0 or a sheet in the Platform SDK) is how you tell Flatfile how your processed data should look, so when data is uploaded Flatfile has something to check and validate the incoming data against.
Data Tempaltes are used to tell Flatfile the shape of your data: essentially, what types of data to expect in which columns and rows, and how that data is organized. A properly set up Data Template tells Flatfile how you expect incoming uploads to look and, when Flatfile finds something out of place, how to clean and sort out the mistakes.
In a way, Data Templates are the base that the rest of our features are built on. Data Hooks®, one of our most powerful tools, are connected to Data Templates. You set the expectations for your data with a Data Template, and use a Data Hook to validate and reformat what comes in until it fits the format you need.
But it’s not just Data Hooks. Templates are at the heart of the matching process, and our powerful matching algorithms can learn, based on your past choices during the matching step, and make recommendations based on your previous decisions. And it all starts with a Data Template.