Creating a Model from a File

You can import data from an external file, such as an Excel spreadsheet or comma-separated-values file, into a new model. The data columns in the source file are used to create dimensions in the model.


First, the source data is analyzed, and then the data is shown with proposed dimensions for the new model. You then refine the proposal by specifying dimension types and fixing any data-quality problems.

The workflow to create a new model from a file is:

  1. Import a source file.
  2. Choose dimension types for the dimensions in your new model.
  3. Specify attributes for the dimensions.
  4. Cleanse your data and fix any mapping or data quality problems.

Data files can be in your local file system or in your network. The source data can be an Excel spreadsheet (.xlsx) or a delimited text file (.csv or .txt). If you import data from Microsoft Excel, and if the data is saved in separate sheets in the Excel workbook, either you can choose which sheet to import (if from a local file system) or the first sheet is automatically imported (from a network file).

The source data must include columns that can be used to create dimensions in a new model, and it must also include transactional data (measures). (The transactional data is visible in the Data Foundation view, which shows you the fact table containing the raw, unaggregated transactional data loaded into your model. For details, see Introduction to the Modeler.)

The data will typically include details for the main account. You can identify which dimension is the main account during the import process, but if no account data is found, an account dimension will be generated automatically.

In addition to the main dimensions and transactional data, the source can also include attributes for dimensions; that is, text information such as hierarchy information or other properties.


  1. From the () Main Menu, select Start of the navigation path Create Next navigation step  ModelEnd of the navigation path.
  2. Select Import a file from your computer.
  3. In the Import Model From File dialog, choose whether you want to import data from a file on your local system, or from a file server.
    If you don't see the options to choose a local system or file server, see Allowing Data Import and Model Export with a File Server.
    If you import a file from a file server, you can also schedule imports from that file. For more information, see Updating and Scheduling Models.
  4. If you're importing from a file server, choose a file server connection, or select Create New Connection.
    If you create a new file server connection, specify the path to the folder where the data files are located. For example: C:\folder1\folder2 or \\servername\volume\path or /mnt/abc.
  5. Choose the file you want to import.
  6. If you are importing from a local Excel workbook containing multiple sheets, select the Sheet you want to import.
    If you are importing from an Excel file on a file server, the first sheet is automatically imported.
  7. If you're importing a .csv file, select which delimiter is used in the file, or select Auto-detect.
  8. Select Import.
    For small data files, the data is imported and displayed in the data integration view, which shows the imported data columns that you'll define as dimensions, measures, and attributes.

    Larger data files may take some time to upload. You can work on other tasks while the data is being uploaded in the background.

  9. When the data is finished uploading, select it from the Draft Data list to open it in the data integration view.

Next Steps

After the initial import of raw data, continue with the data preparation task before completing your model: Preparing Data.