Link Spreadsheet Data To Lucidchart Diagrams

Tired of the tedium of working off of multiple spreadsheets containing massive amounts of data? You’ve come to the right place. Import data sets from Google Sheets, Excel spreadsheets, and CSVs into Lucidchart and use them to create powerful, data-driven visualizations. What’s more, see live updates from your data when you work with Google Sheets, as Lucidchart will automatically pull any updates to your spreadsheet data into your visualizations.

Data linking is only available to users on Professional, Team, and Enterprise accounts. To upgrade, visit our pricing page or contact our sales team.

To import a data set into a Lucidchart document, open up the document and follow these steps:
  1. Click import_1a.png in the right bar and then click import_1b.png or click File > Import Data > Data Linking.

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  2. In the window that appears, click import_2a.png.

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  3. Select the data set type (Google Sheets, Excel, or CSV) that you would like to import, or select to choose a file that you have already uploaded to Lucidchart. Click import_3a.png.

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    • If you are importing data from a Google Sheet, you will need to grant Lucidchart permission to access your Google account. Click import_3d.png, select your Google account, and click import_3f.png to grant this permission.

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  4. Select an Excel or CSV file from your device and click import_4a.png or select a sheet from Google Sheets and click import_4b.png.

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  5. Select which pages of your spreadsheet you want to import and click import_5a.png.

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  6. After importing your data, Lucidchart will prompt you to identify the header row of your data set. Select a row and click import_5a.png.

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  7. In the next window, Lucidchart will prompt you to select a column of your data that contains reference keys, that is, unique identifiers for the contents of each row. Reference keys allow Lucidchart to keep track of your data even after you make structural changes to it, such as removing, adding, or reordering rows. Select a column and click import_6a.png.

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Once you have imported a data set, its data will display in the bottom section of the data panel to the right of the canvas. You can open or hide this panel at any time by clicking manage_data_sets_1.png.

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Change Header Row or Reference Key Column
The header row and reference key column will be highlighted in grey.

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To assign/remove header functionality to/from a row, right-click on the number label to the left of the row and click make_header_row.png or remove_header_row.png. Correspondingly, to assign/remove reference key functionality to/from a column, right-click on the letter label above the column and click make_reference_key_columns.png or remove_reference_key.png.

Manage Multiple Data Sets
Lucidchart allows you to import as many data sets as you’d like into the same document so that you can visualize data from multiple sources at once. Click on the name of the data set currently displayed to view a list of all of your imported data sets. 

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View a different data set by clicking on its name and import a new one by clicking manage_sets_5.png.

Update a Data Set
If your data set comes from a Google Sheet, updates to your spreadsheet will automatically sync to Lucidchart every 30 seconds. You can also refresh your data set to pull updates manually by clicking manage_sets_9.png.

Though updates to Excel spreadsheet or CSVs will not automatically be synced to Lucidchart, you can easily replace your data set with an updated one. To do so, hover a data set’s name in the list view and click manage_sets_6.png or right-click and select “Replace Data Set.” You can also delete a data set from this menu. Note: Make sure to replace your data set, rather than delete and re-upload, if you would like to preserve any data mappings you have applied to your chart.


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Custom Data

If you do not have a data set to link to your diagram, you can create custom data fields directly in the data panel and link that data to shapes or other parts of your diagram. To create custom data fields, select a part of your diagram and click Screen_Shot_2018-04-17_at_7.01.00_PM.png or Screen_Shot_2018-04-17_at_7.01.06_PM.png in the top right of the data panel. Fill out the custom fields, and click Screen_Shot_2018-04-17_at_7.01.06_PM.png for each new field you would like to add.
Once you have imported a data set, you can easily assign data to objects, groups of objects, or to your document as a whole. To assign data to an object, simply drag and drop a row or cell of data onto the object or select the object and drag and drop the data into the top half of the data panel. To assign data to your entire document, click on the canvas background and then drag the data into the top half of the data panel.

Note: To allow you to customize the appearance of your data, Lucidchart will not automatically display this data on your document components.

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If you drop a row or cell onto an empty part of your canvas, you will be prompted to auto-create an object from the data.

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You can assign multiple data fields to the same document component. When you drag a data field onto an object that already has data linked to it, you can opt to replace the existing data field or keep both. If you opt to keep both, the second data field will show up below the first one in the top half of your data panel.

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After assigning data to a shape, you can save the linked shape to one of your custom shapes library by right-clicking on the shape and then selecting "Add to Custom Shape Library."
When you assign data to part of your document, Lucidchart will not automatically display it. Instead, Lucidchart will store the association between the data and the object in the data panel, allowing you to customize how the data appears on your canvas.

The easiest way to display a data label or value on an object is to select the object and click the corresponding text_icon.png in the top half of the data panel.

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The label or value will appear as regular text that you can style and embed in longer text strings.

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If you replace the data linked to an object with a new row or cell of data, the new data will automatically take on the format and style of the old data.

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Pull Fill Color from Google Sheets
If you add fill color to a cell, column, or row of data in a linked Google Sheet, the color will automatically import to Lucidchart. To display the fill color on a linked object in your diagram, click three_dots.png next to a value or label and select "Apply Imported Fill Color."

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What is considered a “data-linked” document?
In this section, we refer to any document that contains imported data as a “data-linked” document. This includes ERDs, org charts, smart containers, account maps, and any other document to which you have imported data from Excel, Google Sheets, BambooHR, AWS, SQL, Salesforce, or a CSV file.


What happens to my data when I share a data-linked document?
If you share a data-linked document with another Lucidchart user, then your collaborator will be able to see the full data set linked to your document.


What if I share my data-linked document as “view only?”
If you share a document as “view-only,” then your collaborator will still see any data you’ve linked to your document, including data that has not been attached to shapes on your canvas. Your collaborator can access this data by making a copy of your data-linked document.


What happens if my collaborator makes a copy of my data-linked document?
If your collaborator makes a copy of your data-linked document, then they will gain full access to the data set linked to your document.


How can I control who can see the data linked to my document?
If you do not want your collaborator to have access to the data set linked to your document, we recommend that you make a copy of the document (“File” > “Make A Copy”) and completely remove any sensitive data before you share the document.

Alternatively, you can also export your document to a PDF, PNG, JPEG, or SVG file and then share this file with your collaborator. Additionally, you can publish your document and use the area selection feature if you only want to share a portion of your document.


What are the best practices for data protection in Lucidchart?
We recommend that you use password protection whenever you publish your documents to secure your documents and data. Furthermore, please be cautious if you use public access links because anyone who finds the link will gain access your document and data. You can find more information about the security features available for enterprise accounts here.

Whether you’re in a basement brainstorming your best startup ideas or finishing up your fifth round of funding, Lucidchart’s data linking functionality empowers you to create data driven product roadmaps.

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Product roadmaps are a great way to communicate your organization’s priorities to different teams and even investors. However, creating a product roadmap typically requires substantial organization, as you need to think through the strategic steps required to accomplish these goals. On top of that, there are usually various stakeholders and teams that work cross-functionally to make gradual improvements to the product over time. This makes the creation of a product roadmap difficult because teams might have conflicting priorities and timelines to consider.

However, with Lucidchart, you can visualize the many variables that go into the creation of a comprehensive product roadmap. Rather than writing vague statements about your organization’s vision, you can import data directly into Lucidchart to show exactly what projects each team is working on when.

For example, the product roadmap example template shown above demonstrates how you can link your data sets to Lucidchart, display data on shapes, and arrange the shapes on your canvas into a timeline. To build this product roadmap example, we took a simple spreadsheet that organized product objectives by team and Epics (aka: a big chunk of work that has one common objective). Then, we imported the data set into Lucidchart and linked data to individual shapes on the canvas.

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Spreadsheets like the one shown above are useful to reference, but they fail to paint a full picture about the product vision or timeline. However, when you combine spreadsheet data with Lucidchart’s flexible diagramming tools, the possibilities multiply.

For example, you can add conditional formatting rules to make the document easier to navigate. This template added four easy conditional formatting rules that color-coordinate the roadmap by team. Not only does this make the document a more visually appealing, but also it makes sure that your collaborators aren’t overwhelmed with information.

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The possibilities don’t end there! For more complex projects, you might want to consider adding actions and hotspots to create buttons that link out to other document pages or external resources. If you want your product roadmap to double as a progress dashboard, you can use layers and add dynamic shapes to track how far along teams are on their objectives. Additionally, if you pull data from live data sources such as Google Sheets, then you can rely on Lucidchart as your source of truth because Lucidchart automatically updates your data every 30 seconds. Once you’ve finished building the product roadmap, you can easily shift to presentation mode and showcase your work to employees, investors, or anyone who might be interested.

Try it yourself – click here to get started with our product roadmap example template, or click here for a blank product roadmap template!



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