Order of Records
The order of the records in the file doesn’t matter, with one exception. If several records, related to the same object, have the exact same timestamp, the application will keep them in the same order they were placed in the file.
The first row in the file is the header row. An example of the data is below:
TimelineID Timestamp Event name Employee Location A 1/16/2017 7:20:15 Student Applied John Boston A 3/10/2017 16:54:10 Student Accepted Mary Boston A 4/11/2017 15:04:00 Bill Generated Ann Charlotte B 2/1/2017 9:15:00 Student Applied John Boston B 3/2/2017 16:20:05 Student Accepted Mary Boston
Here, A and B are the identifiers of the traceable objects, in our example – Students. Event names are “Student Applied, Student Accepted” etc.
In a CSV file, it looks like this:
TimelineID,Timestamp,Event name,Employee,Location A,1/16/2017 7:20:15,Student Applied,John,Boston A,3/10/2017 16:54:10,Student Accepted,Mary,Boston A,4/11/2017 15:04:00,Bill Generated,Ann,Charlotte B,2/1/2017 9:15:00,Student Applied,John,Boston B,3/2/2017 16:20:05,Student Accepted,Mary,Boston
The most common issues with data files are a bad date/time format and a broken file format.
Date/Time Format Issues
The application accepts date/time in most common formats such as:
- 1/6/2017 7:20:15
- 1/6/2017 7:20:15 AM
- 2017-01-06 7:20:15
Make sure you save timestamps in the file in one of these formats. Keep in mind, the default Time Format in Excel doesn’t include seconds. In order to save seconds into a CSV file, switch to Custom Formats in Excel, select “m/d/yyyy h:mm” and change it to “m/d/yyyy h:mm:ss”.
You can visit Mapping Data to understand how to map the data in the data upload process on the TimelinePI tool.
File Format Issues
If the values in any field include commas, the format of the file may break. To avoid this, make sure to specify double quotes as the string qualifier. Excel does it automatically, however, some tools like MS SQL Export Wizard require manual settings like the ones seen in the data requirements.