Prepare Excel Data for Import

Because Excel lets you enter anything in any cell, there are as many spreadsheet formats as there are spreadsheet creators. While your spreadsheet may make sense to you, a standard database program might have more trouble understanding your intentions. If your spreadsheet is arranged in a way that doesn't fit the model of a traditional database table (which you'll be able to identify in a minute), you need to tweak the format of your Excel data before you import it into Quick Base.

Quick Base needs your spreadsheet to be organized in consistent rows and columns.  Use the following guidelines to organize your spreadsheet before importing it into Quick Base:

Quick Base imports only the first worksheet in an Excel file.  If you need to import an additional worksheet from an Excel file, move that worksheet so that it is the first sheet in the workbook, save your changes, and then import the .xlsx file.

Example: Cleaning up your Excel spreadsheet

Before you begin cleaning up your Excel spreadsheet for import, it might look something like the one in below. This is a list of equipment sales. Most rows in this spreadsheet represent sales.

The Format Problems

This spreadsheet is a good start, but it's not ready for import into Quick Base. The data is not consistent. For example, the title in row 1 is not a record of a sale and does not contain data in each of the columns that you want to import, so delete it. Also, Quick Base won't know  who sold the color printer in row 5. Quick Base reads each row as an individual record and can't infer values based on indentation. If you import that line as is, the sale won't be connected with a rep.

What you need to do

Since you only want to import sales records, delete the title in row one. Then connect each sale with a sales rep by filling in the blank cells, highlighted in yellow. Leave the row of column headings. Quick Base will use it to name your columns. Don't worry about entire rows that are blank. Quick Base ignores them.

Note: If your spreadsheet contains a column or row that totals, delete it. Quick Base will total for you automatically. Excel formulas don't carry over into Quick Base. The import will think your Totals column is another column of data you entered manually, which may confuse you later when it does not update automatically.

The final result

Following the changes, this spreadsheet now flows seamlessly into Quick Base. Each sale is connected with a Sales Rep and there's no extraneous non-sale related data.

Other format issues

Text Notes

Does one cell in your spreadsheet contain a list of items? For example, do you list several contacts belonging to one company in a single cell? Or do you type keep a "notes" type column to remind you of upcoming dates?

It’s easy to import this data into Quick Base, using Multi-select Text and Text - Multi-line fields. If a field in your spreadsheet contains:


If your spreadsheet contains US currency (dollars), Quick Base correctly sets the field type to Numeric - Currency.  However, if your spreadsheet contains non-US currency, Quick Base sets the field type to Text. You can change the field type to Numeric - Currency when previewing the import. Choose the appropriate currency symbol and its placement on the field properties page for that field after the import. Alternatively, define the fields in the table prior to importing, and set the currency symbol and its placement for each Numeric-Currency field. Then when you import, the data from the import file is correctly formatted.

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