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Importing Data in Cost (General Overview)

Download CSV files using downloadable templates.

Data can be imported into Cost using CSV files, instead of manually typing all the information. Each import has a specific template, which is available in the module.

You can import data through a CSV file upload. This provides an option to populate a project more quickly when there is a large amount of project data.

If the data you would like to import is only a few lines long, we suggest you manually enter data as this will often be quicker than importing.

General Process Overview

Each screen in Cost has an import function using the button shown. The button to the right of import lets you export data from Cost into a CSV file.

The Cost import button.

Running the import process

  1. Click the Import button to open a menu showing you all the import options available for the current screen.

Note: Importing data can be a multi-step process. The items in the drop down menu are always in shown in the order the import files are required.

The Import options list.
  1. Select the required import option from the menu to open the Import window. Note that you can:
  • use the Download Template button to get a CSV template with the columns required, or;
  • you could export data using the Export button, and use that as a pre-populated template.
The import window.
  1. Populate the import template file with the data you want to upload. 
    Note: Please see minimum data requirements table at the bottom of this page.
  2. Once you have prepared the import file, click Browse to select the CSV import file you have just prepared.
  3. Some imports allow you to remove all existing data from the current grid by selecting Delete all existing records and replace. Only use this if you want to replace all the existing data.
  4. Click Import.
  5. The file is then uploaded and added to the queue. Most imports take a few seconds, but could take longer depending on how much data you are importing. The status of the import is displayed in the right corner of the screen.
The import status information.

Troubleshooting failed import files

If there is an issue with import file you will see an error message in the top right hand corner of Cost. 

  1. Click the Data error drop down menu in the top right corner, and then the magnifying glass icon next to the failed import message.
The error message and data download failure screen.
  1. The Import Error window shows why the import failed for each row of the file that had errors.
  • Row No – refers to the row in the CSV import file.
  • Column – refers to the column title, this reference is to the second row on Import template.
  • Reason – tells you what is wrong with the referenced row/ column.

In the example below, the import file failed because the contract we were trying to populate has an Approved status. To fix this, the contract needs to be changed to Preliminary for the import to be successful.

The import erros window.
  1. Open the CSV import file and find the cell containing the problem using the row and column references in the Import Errors window.
  2. Correct the data based on the reason described.
  3. Save and retry the import file. Note: You do not have to close the file while you perform the import.
  4. If you receive a generic error that the file could not be imported, there may be a problem with the structure of the file. In this case you should review it manually. See Using the Correct File Formats for Importing Cost Data for more information

Tips and tricks for a successful import

  • If the data you would like to import is only a few lines long we suggest you manually enter data as it may be quicker than importing.
  • Required columns must be populated with no blank cells, as shown in the downloadable Importing Data - Minimum Requirements Table PDF below.
  • The import process relies on exact matches of data to form the link between the CSV file and Cost.
    • For example:If you were importing control elements into control accounts in the Cost Worksheet.
  • All dates must use the format: YYYY-MM-DD.
  • If you close and reopen the CSV import file in Excel, the format will revert to regular date format and will need to be changed back to YYYY-MM-DD.  This can be done by:
    • highlighting the date column
    • right clicking on the highlighted area
    • selecting the category Custom
    • entering in YYYY-MM-DD and clicking OK.
  • When making any changes to an import file you must save the document before reattempting the import process otherwise the changes will not take effect.
  • It can be useful to manually enter the first line of data into Cost to then take an export and replicate the formatting in the CSV import file you are building.

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