How do I import or export ideas?

If you're an administrator, you can import or export ideas between a place in the community and a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. You might want to export ideas to create charts from Excel, such as a pie chart that shows how ideas are distributed among stages). Importing ideas is a great way to add a batch of ideas from data you have in another form.

Exporting ideas

Exporting ideas will generate an Excel spreadsheet (.xls file) that's downloaded by your browser. Think of this as a one-way trip -- exported data can't be imported again in order to update the idea data it was exported from. Any data that's imported will create a new idea for each item imported.

The spreadsheet that's generated when you export will include the following information for each idea (most of which are pretty self-explanatory):
  • ID -- the idea's unique ID in the application.
  • Title
  • Description
  • Score -- the idea's score from voting.
  • Votes -- the number of votes (in both directions).
  • Comments
  • Watching -- the number of people who are watching the idea via notifications.
  • Stage
  • Author Name
  • Author Email
  • Created Date
  • Other fields -- if other fields are available for ideas, they'll be included in the report.

Community adminstrators can export all ideas from the community by clicking the triangle next to their name and then Export ideas. Owners of spaces, groups, or projects can export ideas from the spaces, groups, or projects that they own by going to the place and clicking Manage > Export ideas.

Importing ideas

Community administrators and owners of spaces, groups, and projects can import ideas to a community space from a spreadsheet or a database. You import the data as a comma-separated values (CSV) file, which you can easily generate from programs such as Microsoft Excel.

Of the data that you import, only three kinds of information will be used for the new ideas: each idea's title, description, and stage. The rest of the data in the CSV file will be ignored.

The CSV format should be as follows, with the names of the imported fields at the top. Only the following headers are valid: subject/title, body/description, and stage.

Idea 1,Idea 1 body,Active 
Idea 2,Idea 2 body,Active 
Idea 3,Idea 3 body,Active

Data that you import always creates a new community idea for each item in the CSV file. (For example, if you import a CSV made from a spreadsheet that you exported, you'll create duplicates of the ideas if they're still in the community.)

To import ideas:
  1. Go to the place in the community where you want to import the ideas.
  2. Click Manage > Import ideas.
  3. Click Browse, select the CSV file, and then click Open.
  4. Click Upload File.
  5. Match the Title, Description, and Stage to the categories in your CSV file.
    For example, you might have Subject, Notes, and Phase categories in the CSV file that you'd map as follows:
    • Subject > Title
    • Notes > Description
    • Phase > Stage
  6. Take a look at the example list of data beneath the mapping to ensure that the values there are what you want imported into that idea field.
  7. Click Accept.

    If there aren't any errors in the imported data, new ideas will be created for the data you're importing. If there are errors in the data, you'll be prompted to either enter new data that fixes the error or simply clear the checkbox for that entry so that an idea isn't created from it.