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I want to inform someone that we cannot provide them with the data she requested right away since we still have not received it from a third-party. However, we are expecting it in the near future.

My first attempt was:

Once we receive and process this data, we will proceed to notify you

(My previous sentence already explained what "this data" is referring to)

But, is that the correct structure and wording? What about:

Once we have received and processed this data, we will proceed to notify you

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    I would literally go with the wording from your first paragraph: "We cannot provide [you] with the data she requested right away since we still have not received it from a third-party. However, we are expecting it in the near future [and will let you know when we receive it].".
    – Dan Bron
    Jan 28, 2016 at 21:23
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    You certainly don't want "to proceed to notify you" because that implies notification is a lengthy and tortuous procedure. "We will notify you" shows the notification is more-or-less instantaneous, certainly within a day or so. Unless notification is a tortuous process -- but surely it isn't. Jan 28, 2016 at 22:02

3 Answers 3

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If the first part of your sentence were just "Once we receive the data", The present simple would be the best choice. Receiving is effectively instantaneous. One moment you didn't have it, the next moment you have it: There is no no need to suggest that we are waiting for something to finish.

This NGram backs up my assertion: note that I have replaced "once" by "as soon as" because "Once we have received" gets lots of biblical hits that are not similar usages. You may want to use "as soon as" in your sentence as well, to assure the client that you will treat the matter with a sense of urgency.

What complicates matters is the addition of "and processed". I presume that we cannot regard this as instantaneous, so we have to wait until it's finished before notifying the client. As a result, the usage of the Present Perfect looks a lot better option.

As soon as we have received and processed this data, we will notify you.

or

We will notify you as soon as we have received and processed this data.

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Your second sentence sounds better to me as a native English speaker. However, it sounds perhaps a little stiff. This is okay if you mean to be very formal. I would suggest this if not:

Once we've received the data and processed it, we'll proceed to notify you.

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    I think you are close. I think it would be even better without proceed. May 31, 2016 at 2:57
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There is nothing incorrect about either wording, but the “perfect” version is rather wordy.

Plus:

  • “proceed” is bureaucratese here.
  • “once” suggests a certain amount of impatience

The best way to write it is:

When we have received and processed this data, we will notify you.

(I also don’t like the vague word “data” — something more specific would be better if it’s handy.)

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