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Convert a spreadsheet of data to notes

1 minute read
Last updated May 03, 2018

When creating notes from a spreadsheet, it’s important to understand the difference between structured data and unstructured data.

Structured and unstructured data

Spreadsheets consist of rows and columns with each cell containing a single entry. The first row is a header row which describes the column. Because each entry is in a separate cell in a unique column, this is structured data.

Dovetail is designed to work with unstructured data, so Dovetail notes are more like a Word document. Notes consist of a title, followed by a single, continuous block of rich text called the ‘Content’. This is unstructured data.

Converting structured data

When you import a spreadsheet into Dovetail, you’re converting structured data in the spreadsheet to unstructured data in notes, tags, or insights.

Imagine you have a spreadsheet of responses to survey questions. Each question is a separate column, and the answers are cells in each column:


Name Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Jane Answer to Question 1 Answer to Question 2 Answer to Question 3
Mary Answer to Question 1 Answer to Question 2 Answer to Question 3
Zach Answer to Question 1 Answer to Question 2 Answer to Question 3

When you import this spreadsheet into Dovetail, choose the Name column as the Title of the note, and map each question column as Taggable content.

Dovetail will append each ‘taggable content’ column to the note, from left-to-right, as it appeared in the spreadsheet. Your imported notes will end up looking like this:

Jane

Question 1

Answer to question 1

Question 2

Anwer to question 2

Question 3

Answer to question 3

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