Tests and remarks on CSV file import

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I activated to test the possibility of sending CSV files.It's terribly simple to set up and works perfectly with the first shots.

After a few tests with a user we quickly found to be at the limits of the module (probably because it is the first version).We carried out the tests from Excel files saved in CSV.

The structure of a CSV file is almost standardized and of course it is almost problematic.For import in Metabase the field separator must be the comma (,).When recording in CSV, Excel has a special behavior.If in one of the columns of the file the separator of decimal comma (,) was then used the field separator in the CSV will be the semicolon (;).This context arrives in France (and other countries too) because we use the comma (,) as a decimal separator.To get around this particularity there are two possibilities:

  • Save the file all the same and then with a text editor make a search/replace comma (,) in point (.) And semicolons (; ) in commas (,).With all the same the risk of replacing a column containing text for example;
  • Changing the decimal separator in Excel but that requires the user of manipulations and if files are also used outside metabase it may become difficult to us.

In evolution of the module is it planned to be able to specify the structure of the imported file as we could do with mysqlimport?

The other problem is the update of data.In our tests we added a first CSV file.This file contains a list of monthly turnover in the year 2021. Then the user told me "we have to add 2022 now".We generated the file containing only the year 2022, saved the file with the same name and we sent it to Metabase.A little disappointed we have found that the update of data is not possible since it has created a new model to us.

Is it planned to update data in an imported model?

Our objective of using the CSV file addition function is to make users comfortable with autonomous database concepts and no longer depend on the IT service to carry out data imports in tables.

Thank you all the same for this feature that I have often been asked.


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