Convert Existing Data for Prospect

If you have data from an existing project that you want to bring into Prospect, you’ll need to do two separate tasks:

  • Ensure that your Record data is in an appropriate format for Prospect, according to the data type of each column/Attribute;
  • Configure Attribute, Template and Exhibit settings so that they accurately describe your “data universe.”

Record Data

The most common means of storing Record data is by organizing them in spreadsheet format, which can be saved as csv files. Each column corresponds to an Attribute. The very top row provides the names of each Attribute. Every other row past that corresponds to the Records in the data set.

In order to import these into Prospect, which is bundled with the CSV Importer Improved plugin, your file will need to have the following columns:

  • csv_post_title: This is the label you want to give to the WordPress post page associated with the Record. This can be anything you want.
  • csv_post_type: This must be set to prsp-record for every Record/row in your file.
  • record-id: This must be a unique ID (identifier), consisting only of letters, numbers, underscores and hyphens (no spaces!). No other Record/row can have the same ID. Make sure that you have used a hyphen and not an underscore between record and id.
  • tmplt-id: This identifies which Template this Record belongs to; it will usually be the same value for all Records in the same file. Make sure that you have used a hyphen and not an underscore between tmplt and id.

These columns look like this for the first two Records of the President data:

All of the other columns/Attributes in your csv file will be specific to the kind of data you are describing. (A Template defines the “container” that describes a certain kind of data: see the Introduction to Structured Data.)

Each Attribute must belong to a specific data type, which expects data to be formatted (“well-formed”) in a particular way. See a summary in Appendix B of the Prospect user manual.

Configuring Data Entities in Prospect

Once your Record data has been formatted properly and loaded into Prospect (as described on this page), you must create and configure entities so that Prospect can understand and handle your data universe properly. It is generally easiest to follow these steps:

  • create and configure an Attribute for each of the columns (other than the first four, described above) in your file/data set;
  • create a Template and add all of the Attributes to it;
  • create an Exhibit; add one or more visualizations and configure them according to the Attributes in the Template(s) they should display.

Details about exactly how to carry these tasks out is explained in chapter 4 of the Prospect user manual.