Importing your data using virtual columns

Updated 5 months ago

Sometimes you need to import data into Beacon, but the data in your spreadsheet isn't quite in the format that's right for you. When this happens, you can choose between two options:

  1. Modify the spreadsheet before you upload it
  2. Add a "virtual column" in Beacon, translating data into the correct format for Beacon

If you only have to import your data once (like you would doing a data migration), we recommend going for option 1. However, if you're importing data regularly into Beacon, you don't want to have to edit your spreadsheet every time before upload! For this situation, you should go for option 2 - virtual columns.

link Using virtual columns

Virtual columns are just like columns in Excel. Add them in Beacon by clicking the '+' in the extra column at the end of the sample data from your import template:

Add virtual column

You can specify any Excel-valid formula:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.48.29

You'll see the calculated values in a special orange column in Beacon when previewing your import template:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.49.59

help_outline Just like normal columns, remember to map your virtual column to a field in Beacon. The header will turn blue once it's been mapped.Virtual column mapped

More usefully, you can pass the values of other columns into your virtual columns, for example:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.52.40

To insert other columns into your virtual column formula, click the icon on the right of the field, and choose the column that you'd like to use:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.53.55

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.54.01

Just like other columns, it's possible to map the values of virtual columns to fields in Beacon, and de-duplicate based on them.

help_outline Any reference to text columns in a formula will need to have double quotation marks around it. Virtual columns quotation marks

help_outline Column references are case-sensitive; so {{{First Name}}} is different from {{{first name}}}.

link Frequently asked questions

link My formula isn't working!

First things first, double check your formula in Excel / Google Sheets. If it works there but not in Beacon, please get in touch with Beacon support and we'll take a look in more detail. (We support most Excel functions, but not every function)


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