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Can you transfer ownership of accounts and related objects using DatsLoader?

We need to make complex account ownership changes on thousands of accounts where simple geography like zip or state won't apply.

Is it possible to make these changes using the Data Loader?

You can change the owners with the data loader, but unless you have tens of thousands of accounts, you'll probably want to do it through a combination of the data loader and the UI.

The reason is that ownership changes made via the API (and thus through the data loader) do not cascade to related records.  Thus, using the API to re-assign accounts will not also re-assign open tasks, contacts, opportunities, etc.

The approach I've used (with the Excel Connector ... but analogous for the data loader) is to:
    >  Add a temporary custom field to hold an abbreviation of the new owner
    >  Extract the information into an Excel sheet
    >  Calculate the new owners there
    >  Update the temporary field with the new owners
    >  Use the mass transfer facility within the UI to move accounts using the temporary field

The mass transfer only allows you to transfer a limited number at a time (I believe 200), but after doing 200, it automatically cycles to the next 200 ...

Note that there will be a new territory management facility in the Winter release. You might check with your CSM for a description and, if appropriate, make a case to get early access to that release...