Help & Support

How do I upload and manage a CSV of participants for Hub?

written by
Courtney Webster
Last updated:
August 23, 2022

Setting up your CSV file

Creating a CSV is a great way to get started building your Hub panel and the most important field in your CSV file is the email. Email addresses are the only required data point, and without this import the file will not work.

We also recommend including fields for first and last names. These are available by default in User Interviews and allow you to send more personalized emails when inviting your participants to a project. 

As you continue building your CSV, feel free to add any fields you need! During the import process, you can map any column in your CSV to a custom field that you create in Hub.

The custom fields can be any of the following data types:

  • Text (i.e. Premium)
  • Number (i.e. 234)
  • Date (i.e. 2018-08-11), Note: date columns must use the YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • True/False (i.e. True)

Be careful to select the right data type when you’re creating a new field.

To get started, use our sample CSV file as a template. 

Having trouble? Excel and Numbers sometimes mishandle things like special characters, line breaks, and formulas that may exist in the original file when creating a new CSV file. If you’re having issues, we recommend importing the file to a Google Sheet and creating the CSV there.

Importing tips and tricks

Our system is designed to support and handle importing the same participant (as determined by email) multiple times and this can be used to your advantage!

Recommended workflow

1. Upload your entire population of users by choosing “Import from CSV”  with all of the data you need and map everything to custom fields.

2. Break your master CSV into smaller CSV files that correspond to user segments.

3. Upload those smaller CSV files and apply labels during the import process to easily segment the users in our system.

4. If you’ve previously mapped all of the custom data you need on these users, you will only need to map the email column this time around.

Mapping and Editing Custom Data

When uploading a CSV to your panel, you'll be asked to map existing or add new columns to your panel. The following columns cannot be edited or removed even if they have no information. This is because they are synced to participant activity data.

  • Email
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Date added
  • Last invited
  • Last applied
  • Last participated
  • Unsubscribe

To edit or remove custom fields, click “Manage” in the top right corner. 

You can rename or delete columns. If you delete a column, all data will be erased and no longer retrievable (even by us!).

Import Confirmation

When a list has been successfully uploaded, the individual who imported that list will be sent an email. It will look like this:

Best practices

Include a header row. This will make it easier to map your fields during the import.

  • Use short, succinct column names in your header row. When you create a new custom field in our system, we default to using the data in the header row as the field name. Things can go haywire with excessively long column names.

Pay attention when creating a CSV from another file format. Here are some tips for common tools.

  • ‍Microsoft Excel → “save as” select “CSV UTF-8” or “Comma Separated Values” as the format option when saving.
  • Google Sheets → “download as comma-separated values” works reliably and there are no options to select.
  • Numbers → “export to CSV” then check advanced options to make sure the text encoding is set to Unicode (UTF-8).

In general, keep the original sheet as simple as possible before converting to a CSV.

  • Avoid complex formulas.
  • When possible, copy calculated fields that include formulas and re-paste them as values before converting. You might even consider replacing the formula with its result.
  • ‍Stick to a single worksheet in the original document, if possible. Otherwise, be mindful to only export the worksheet you need to import.
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