Using Import CSV to upload data is a great way to add form records in bulk using spreadsheet software. Keep in mind you can only import data into blank forms (i.e. forms without submissions). The safest way to do this is working from a CSV file downloaded from Ona.
Import CSV function is highly experimental, a CSV file exported directly from Ona cannot be uploaded back. The data export needs to be edited or cleaned manually once exported.
XLSForm field names should match CSV column headers
Check that the field names in the XLSForm match the column headers in the CSV word by word.
DONT split select multiple choice answers into separate columns
Use advanced data exports so that select multiple answers are in one cell and separated by a space.
Here’s a step by step process:
Upload your form and send a sample form submission so you can download a data file. Make sure every question has an answer so you have an idea of what new data should look like.
When you are done with edits, save the file as a UTF-8 encoded CSV. Microsoft Excel does not currently support this. However, there is a manual workaround. To download a UTF-8 encoded CSV from Google Sheets, go to File-> Download as->Comma-separated values:
Before uploading, delete the sample submission on the Ona website because Import CSV only works with empty forms. Go to the form’s Table view, double-click the row to open the single submission view, and click Delete. After deleting the submission, upload the file to the Importing CSVs tab of the Submit data section your form’s Overview page.
After uploading, your data will update. You may need to reload the page to see changes to the data.
A few rules about how importing data currently works:
(&), greater-than character;
("), and single-quote;