Historical Data Import

Requirements and process for historical data import into edison365ideas

You're at the beginning of a journey with a new innovation platform provider, and you are bringing your historical data with you. Here at edison365, we know the power of ideas - and importantly, making ideas pay. We know how crucial legacy data can be, and through this article will provide you with guidance on the preparation of your historical data, the preparation of your edison365ideas instance - so we can work through this efficiently, allowing you to focus on driving transformational change.


  1. Requirements
  2. Preparation
  3. Process


  • The target instance of edison365ideas must be deployed and configured prior to works commencing
  • edison365 do not require an account for the data import. However, an account will be required to verify the data post-import if required
  • We need to spend a bit of time with you ahead of the import process, to assess and verify the historical data prior to importing it. If we find the data is not ready to be imported, we'll give you guidance on what changes need to be made in order for us to begin.
  • We aim to complete the data import in two weeks. This is subject to delay based on the state of the historical data, confirmed through the initial exploration as mentioned above.
  • Historical data must be provided in .csv format


Target field configuration

When importing data into edison365, we will use historical data (also referred to below as source data) into the edison365ideas app (also referred to below as the target instance). 

Your source data will be produced in tabular format - typically, each idea will occupy a row in a table. The columns in this table are the fields of data recorded against each idea  - example below:

Challenge ID Idea ID Idea Title Idea Owner Category Description Stage
1 143 Making Idea Pay Erik Oscarson Innovation Let's Make Ideas Pay Under Review
1 144 Microsoft Gold Partner Chris McDonald Partnership Driving excellence through the MS stack New Idea
2 145 Ideas Economy Ayah Woods Innovation Bringing fresh ideas to the forefront of our business Approved

You must ensure that your edison365ideas instance has been configured ahead of the data import process, so that there are target fields available for us to import the data into.

If your source data contains fields of data that are not present within your edison365ideas instance, we will be unable to import that data. To add these fields, navigate to the Admin panel of the app, then Configure Fields.

Then, you'll need to ensure that each field of data you're importing exists as a field in edison365ideas.

You can save time here by renaming, where necessary, the source data column headers to match the names of the fields in the target instance. If there are clear, distinct matches between the source data and the target instance, a more formal relationship map may not be required.

Relationship between Challenges and Ideas

In the edison365ideas platform, each idea must be associated with a challenge. If you already have a concept of challenges and ideas in your source data, you'll need to confirm how ideas and challenges are linked. If there is no concept of challenges in your source data, you'll need to:

  1. Create a target challenge in your edison365ideas instance (we'll use this challenge to associate all imported ideas).
  2. Once you've created this new challenge, you'll need to take the Challenge ID and associate it against each idea in your source data. You can do this by adding a new Challenge ID column to your file, and recording the required association.

    You can find the target challenge ID by navigating to the newly-created challenge. At the bottom of the page, within the Details tab, you will find the unique Challenge ID.

Field Types

Within the edison365ideas platform, we have a number of ways to classify data within each field.

Field Type Description
Single line of text Single line of text
Number Locks formatting to a numeric value
Multiple lines of text
Multiple lines of text - single line text box
Multiple lines of text
(rich text)
Multiple lines of text - advanced format text box, including font, bulletpoints, size, colour and images
Multiple lines of text
(multi select)
Multiple lines of text - provide choices, then select multiple options from that list of choices
Multiple lines of text
(drop down box)
Multiple lines of text - provide choices, then select a single option from that list of choices
Date time Calendar view to select date / time
Yes / no Switch between yes / no
User Multi Select multiple people, interrogating the active directory
User Select a person, interrogating the active directory
Picture Upload an image
URL Upload a URL as a hyperlink

Within your source file, you will need to confirm how each of your source fields align to these field types.

Incorrect matches between source and target datatypes may lead to errors in the import process.

For example, if there is a field in the source data that is formatted as a number, however the target field in edison365ideas is a date field, these will be incompatible and may not import correctly.

For choice fields, where you are providing the end user the ability to pick from one or more preconfigured options (like a dropdown box), you must ensure that these options have been configured in your target instance first. This can be done by editing the field options in the Admin panel:

You'll need to tell us how to handle the data in case of any errors. Are there default values we should fall back to?

Each idea and challenge in the edison365ideas platform must have an associated owner. We require confirmation of who the owner is. This should be provided as a username or email address.

You will also need to confirm that the owner information provided (username email) in the source data matches the information in the target Microsoft365 tenant. If you are importing data from a system where owner information does not match the individual's account information within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, you will need to update these records so they match the user account in your Microsoft 365 tenant.

The same applies for any other people picker fields - where you are naming one or more individuals.

You'll need to tell us how to handle the data in case the owner / people picker fields cannot be resolved. This may happen if you are importing user information where accounts are no longer active.

Are there default values we should fall back to? We recommend using the key contact in your team here so they retain responsibility of such ideas.

Within the edison365 app, each idea has an associated stage - highlighting the stage of the process in which the idea currently resides. As with the fields, you will need to ensure that the target instance has been configured to include all required stages. This can be done by navigating to the Admin panel, then onto the Configure Stages area.

edison365ideas uses Microsoft Yammer as a third-party solution to enable open, collaborative discussions and comments against each idea. We can import historical comments against an idea, and impersonate those users to post comments on their behalf.

To import comments via Yammer, each comment owner must have logged into Yammer at least once before.

If you wish to import attachments associated against each idea, we need to know how each attachment relates to each idea. For us to facilitate the import of attachments, you need to ensure that each attachment has a unique file name - to prevent any clashes when importing the data.

If you wish to import images associated to each idea (these images will be used on the card as well as the submission page), we need to know how each image relates to each idea. For us to facilitate the import of images, you need to ensure that each image has a unique file name - to prevent any clashes when importing the data. Additionally, the sizing of each image must be considered. Below is the recommended sizing - if images do not confirm to this, we can resize the images as part of the import process. This may however lead to distortion of the images as they are expanded / contracted to fit the required dimensions.

If no images provided, you will need to provide a default image.

Minimum image width is 750 pixels and the image must have a 2:1 aspect ratio. The ideal image size is 750*375 pixels.


  1. Export historical data into .csv format
  2. Ensure that the target instance of edison365ideas has been installed
  3. Ensure that the target instance of edison365ideas has been configured, including:
    1. All required target fields
    2. All required target stages
    3. Target challenges for submissions to be associated against
  4. Review your .csv file to confirm the below. If possible, consider renaming the source column headers to match the target field names within the your edison365ideas instance.
    1. The data classification for each field, aligned to the field types contained within the edison365ideas app
    2. The relationship of ideas and challenges
    3. Association of attachments to submissions
    4. Association of images to submissions
    5. Association of comments to submissions
  5. Send the .csv file, along with folders containing and associated attachments or images, to the edison365 team
  6. If data verification is required, you must provide the edison365 team with access to your instance.