Upload a CSV, XLSX, or G Sheet into Pool

You can upload almost any list of participants into Ethnio Pool, but there are some important steps to prep your CSV, XLSX, or Google Spreadsheet. If you've ever uploaded participants, Ethnio will remember the previous mapping, whether it was assigned to an Attribute or Column. especially complex issue is handling multi-select data, which is when you have a questions with multiple answers. Watch out for these common issues when uploading a CSV:

  1. Email column required as the identifier for participants in Pool. This is how Ethnio maps your data to the right participant
  2. One header row – some exports contain two header rows with something like question numbers and then the labels. You would just delete the question number row in that example.
  3. No Duplicate column headers
  4. Multiselect answers must be in one column separated by semicolon – most tools like Alchemer, Qualtrics, and Surveymonkey allow you to toggle between multiple columns or a single column for question data like checkboxes or other multiselect answers 

Here's our template with sample CSV with fake data your can try uploading, or use as a starting point for your own data. To get started head to Pool >> Upload.

Common Issues with Uploading

The biggest problem with any upload is if you have not assigned an email column to be the identifier. You'll see this red error on the mapping step:

Identifier not selected

It's quite easy to fix, just find the column in your upload that does contain email addresses, click the maps to column and then select Email [Identifier]:


When you upload participants from any source (SalesForce, Qualtrics, Internal lists, etc), you might have all sorts of header labels for each column. Could be shorthand like Q3 or a long description like "What's your favorite record label to make records?" Either way you'll want to carefully assign that column to either an existing attribute in Pool, a new column, or skip it altogether.

Data Type: be careful on this one

If you choose data type = number, but then there are other characters besides numbers, that entire column will fail to upload. So "string" is always recommended if you're unsure. These are the current options:

Data Type Dropdown

Ethnio learns mapping over time, so once you associate a header with any column, that will be pre-selected next time. That can save you a ton of time with lots of columns, but practice good data hygiene and be careful not to end up with duplicate columns with similar wording.  

Multiselect: multiple answers for a single question

Ethnio recommends that you use semicolons to separate multiple answers for a single question, not multiple columns. It's a pretty easy change in Excel or G Sheets, with info below on how to do that if you have multiple columns of data for a single question.

Note: if you got your upload by exporting it out of another tool like Qualtrics or SurveyGizmo, it's worth checking to see if you can set the export to single column answers (and separate with semicolons). Check out how to do this in SurveyGizmo here. If not, you'll have to follow these steps:

Open your spreadsheet of participants in Google Sheets or Excel (2016 or later is fine). Then use the TEXTJOIN formula to join your cells. This lets you specify semicolon as the separator, and quickly take answers from multiple columns and get them into one column. Here's the Excel help and here's the Google Sheets help. Before you begin, search for any semicolons in your data and replace them all with something else like /.

<span class="sy1">=</span><a href="https://exceljet.net/excel-functions/excel-textjoin-function"><span class="kw4">TEXTJOIN</span></a><span class="sy0">(</span><span class="st0">"; "</span><span class="sy0">,</span><span class="kw1">TRUE</span><span class="sy0">,</span>B5:F5<span class="sy0">)</span>

In practical terms, let's say your spreadsheet has answers that span multiple columns and look like this:

You would then add this formula:


And now duplicate that on all your rows and voila, you have a new column with answers separated by semicolon:

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