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Formats for data import

In Castor it is possible to import data captured with other tools. The article Import study data provide an extensive explanation of the preparation of the datasheet and the steps to import it in Castor. 

This article outlines some specific data formats that you need to be aware of when preparing your data for import.

Importing option group data: radio buttons, dropdowns, checkboxes

Below you will find the requirements to prepare the option groups for import.

Importing radio buttons / dropdowns

Enter a value that corresponds to the option value that should be selected. The option values have to match the option values specified in Castor.

Importing checkboxes

Since checkboxes allow for multiple answers to be selected, each answer option needs to be in a separate column indicating, in the first row, the variable name of the checkbox field and the option label as follows: variablename#option_label. If a particular option of a checkbox field should be selected, it has to have a value '1'. If it is not selected, then the value should be '0'.

Tip: You can best approach this by first exporting the data from a test record, so you have the columns ready. Please do note, however, that long label names can be cut off in the export. Simply adding back the label should resolve the issue. Another issue can be the use of special characters in the label: some characters should be skipped upon creating the variable name with the option label, while others should be replaced with an underscore. See the list below:

Variable name used for import
Original option label from export
Special character
Replaced by
check#testa
test,a
,
skipped
check#testb
test.b
.
skipped
check#testc
test/c
/
skipped
check#test_d
test_d
_
_
check#teste
test-e
-
skipped
check#testf
test'f

skipped
check#testg
test"g

skipped
check#testh
test;h
;
skipped
check#testi
test:i
:
skipped
check#testj
test`j
`
skipped
check#testk
test(k
(
skipped
check#testl
test)l
)
skipped
check#testm
test+m
+
skipped
check#testn
test?n
?
skipped
check#testo
test[o
[
skipped
check#testp
test]p
]
skipped
check#testq
test&q
&
skipped
check#testr
test!r
!
skipped
check#test@s
test@s
@
@
check#test#t
test#t
#
#
check#test$u
test$u
$
$
check#testv
test%v
%
skipped
check#testw
test^w
^
skipped
check#testx
test*x
*
skipped
check#testy
test"y

skipped
check#testz
test{z
{
skipped
check#testa1
test}a1
}
skipped
check#testb1
test|b1
|
skipped
check#testc1
test\c1
\
skipped
check#test_d1
test d1
space
_

Importing grid field data

When a grid field is exported, each grid cell is exported as its own column, which is labeled as Variablename_rowname_columnname.  The grid data should be prepared for import in the same way.

An example of this can be seen here. We have a grid field with the variable name 'grid_test' containing 3 columns, 'Hip', 'Knee' and 'Ankle' and 3 rows: 'Date', 'Score' and 'Range of Movement'. The configuration shows that each cell contains a 'number' field. 

Our spreadsheet, prepared for import, contains a column for each grid column and row:

Please note: Row and column names cannot have special characters in Castor for the import to work. That includes parentheses.

Importing user missing data

To assign data as user missing before importing, you should use the value ##USER_MISSING_99## in the appropriate cell. (This will import the value -99, you can replace 99 with any of the other values that are used for user missing, from -95 to -99).


As a complement, here is a summary of the notable data formats required in the different kinds of fields where data import is possible:


Field_labels - Max. 1048 characters
Variable names - Max. 64 characters
Radiobutton / dropdown
- One column with the variable name as header
- Option value matches options in Castor
Checkbox field
- One column per option
- No special characters in the option labels (such as > / $ # _ @)
- Input column name: variablename#optionname (spaces in the option labels are replaced by _)
- Values 0 or 1
Date field
- DD-MM-YYYY
Date & time field
- DD-MM-YYYY HH:MM
Number field
- Decimal position: . (point)
- Maximum upper limit: 100 000 000
Number & date field
- Separate number and date columns
- Column headers: variablename_number;variablename_date
- The number and date field should be separated by a semicolon, for example 15;15-04-2021
- Additionally, make sure that the separator in the CSV file is commas, not semicolons
Text / Multiline text field
- Max. length = 4196 characters
Time field
- HH:MM
Year field
- YYYY
- Range: 1891 - 2099
Grid field
- No special characters in the row and column names
(such as > / $ # _ @)
- One column per cell
- Column headers: variablename_row_name_column_name (spaces are replaced by _)
- The values should be formatted as text, radiobutton value, number, or date
Slider field
- One column with the variable name as header
- Value must be numerical and must be within specified slider limits and increments
Calculation
- Calculation values can be imported
- If the value is incorrect as per the calculation specifications, this will be updated when the calculation is run in Castor
Repeated measure See import report data.
Other field types
Cannot be imported


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  1. Castor Support Team

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