How to prepare your spreadsheet

Silk's importer accepts CSV files (a text-based spreadsheet format), and spreadsheets created with Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Silk imports your spreadsheet and converts them into a collection of datacards, which you then can visualize and filter freely.

This article explains how to best prepare your spreadsheet for importing it with Silk. Check out the spreadsheet importer tutorial for information on how to use the importer.

Here is a video that explains how to prepare a sheet in general:


How Silk reads your spreadsheet

Silk creates a datacard out of each row in your spreadsheet. One column will determine the datacard names, and the other columns will be used to fill in the tags on the datacards.

The very first row of your spreadsheet determines the tag names.

Below is an example sheet. In this example, the 'Headphone Name' column will be used for the datacard names, and the subsequent columns will determine the tag names ('Price', 'Open / Closed', 'Style', and so on).

An example spreadsheetAn example spreadsheet

About the structure

Because of the way Silk reads your spreadsheet, it must be 'flat'. This means that your data should read as a normal table, without merged cells or nested tables.

Also, keep in mind that Silk will look at each row to create a datacard. If the information you want on each datacard is in the columns, you can use the Transpose function of your spreadsheet program to switch the rows and columns in your worksheet (see the Google Sheets documentation and this Superuser article on how to do it in Excel).

Size

Silk can easily handle sites of up to 1500 datacards. Above that number, the user experience can get less optimal. This is something that will be improved soon, but keep this in mind when preparing your spreadsheet.

Locations

Silk uses Google Map's API, so the values of your location tag should be 'normal' addresses that Google Maps can understand. A specific address like '3 Abbey Rd, London NW8 9AY, Great Britain' will be most reliable, but you can also use something more vague like 'Brooklyn, NY. Also, see the Map visualization and the How to format locations articles.

Images

You can import images by including URLs to images in your spreadsheet. However, Silk doesn't support importing images embedded in the spreadsheet.

Time series

If you are working with time series, place the correctly formatted dates in a column and make sure you have at least one column with numeric data. Silk will automatically recognize your data as a time series, and will let you plot any of the numeric columns on a time series chart after import.