Excel and CSV files

You can upload data from MS Excel and CSV files to flex.bi and then create reports, charts and dashboards from these data.

At first, please, read about flex.bi cubes, dimensions and measures - you will need to understand multi-dimensional data model to be able to map source file columns to cube dimensions and measures.

Upload files

Go to Source Data tab, Source File section and select source file for upload.

If you upload CSV files then use either comma (,) or semicolon (;) field separatorsDecimal values should always use periods (.) as decimal separators. Commas (,) in integer and decimal values will be ignored (e.g. if they are used as thousands separators).

If you upload MS Excel files then integer, decimal and date fields will be detected based on MS Excel cell formatting.

If source CSV file contains non-English characters then CSV file should be in UTF-8 encoding, as otherwise you might receive error messages when previewing uploaded file.

If your original non-English data are in MS Excel then upload these MS Excel files, as MS Excel export to CSV does not support UTF-8 encoding.

After CSV file is uploaded you can click Preview button to specify source file columns mapping.

Source file preview

To conduct the Source column mapping please visit Data mapping.

Column mapping and import errors

If there are no columns mapping errors then source file import will be started in background and you will see file import status (and how many rows are imported) which will automatically refresh.

If all source file rows will be imported successfully then source file status at the end will change to Imported.

If there will be any errors during source file import, it will stop on first error with Error status. You can click on Error link to see detailed error message. Detailed error message will show line number together with line content and information about the error. Most frequent error is invalid quotes inside quoted string (in CSV files you should double quotes inside quoted string) or non-English character encoding (not in UTF-8 encoding).

Replace or delete source files

If you have error in source file then you can fix it and upload file again with the same file name - you will need to confirm that you really want to replace uploaded file. When you will import replaced file then at first all previously imported rows from previous file will be deleted and after that rows from new file will be imported.

You can replace also successfully imported source files. E.g. if you regularly perform full export of your data from some source system then you can always use the same source file name and replace previous version with new one and replace all imported data with new.

You can also delete either successfully imported files or files in error status. When deleting source file you need to specify if you want to delete just source file or to delete also from data cube all imported data from this source file.

Import additional source files

If you import additional data with the same source file structure (e.g. if each day, week or month you import new data for this time period) then use unique file name for each time period.

If new source file has the same structure (same column names and data types) as existing imported file then columns mapping will be copied from already imported file. After clicking on Preview button you will be able to import it by clicking Start import button.

Note that all data cubes in one flex.bi account share the same dimensions. If you want to use the same dimension in different data cubes then use the same dimension name. If they are different dimensions then use different dimension names (even when you use different data cubes).

Import additional measures in source application cubes

If you are using flex.bi standard integration with other source applications (e.g. HansaWorld, Basecamp, Highrise, Jira, Zendesk or Harvest) but you would like to add additional measures to your source application data cubes then it is possible to import additional measures from CSV files in existing source application data cubes.

But there is also risk that you will not prepare correctly additional data in CSV files which may result in damaged existing source application data. If necessary contact flex.bi support and describe your need and we will help you prepare correctly CSV files with additional data.