I have a data report that I'm trying to automate. It looks like I can get a nightly email of the data, is there some way to have the server import that data automatically every night? Do I need an in-between step where I save the file somewhere first?
Yes, check the IMAP Email.fmp12 file included with MBS Plugin.
Then setup an IMAP postbox for this and have an automated script look for new emails every hour to catch it.
You need to get the data onto the server. Shell scripts are really good at doing that sort of thing. Using the shell, push the data into Documents or Temp on the server so that FMS scripts can see them. Alternatively, use Insert from URL to grab the email and parse the data. Finally, as @MonkeybreadSoftware suggests, a good plugin can do the trick.