Creating or editing an import specification

An import specification defines how Analyst's Notebook converts data into entities and links that it can analyze. When you import data from spreadsheet or text files, you must either create an import specification, or amend an existing specification to suit your needs.

Importing data into Analyst's Notebook involves choosing a source file and then finding a compatible specification, or choosing a specification and applying it to one or more source files. If you need to create or amend an import specification, both paths lead to a step-by-step wizard that allows you to see how your specification processes the data in a particular source file.

As part of creating or editing an import specification, you provide the wizard with information about the structure of the data in the source file. The wizard then gives you a fine level of control over how the data in the file turns into entities and links on a chart. In particular, the wizard allows you to:

  • Specify the format, the separators, and the meaning of white space in the data to be imported
  • Include or exclude rows in the incoming data, individually or through rules
  • Combine values in the data to be imported, or make bulk adjustments to them
  • Specify the types of the entities and links to generate from each row of data
  • Define mappings from the incoming data to the properties of entities and links
  • Choose how Analyst's Notebook determines whether two incoming entities or links are the same

Depending on whether Analyst's Notebook is connected to an i2 Analyze server, the specifications that you create are different, and those differences are reflected in the steps of the wizard. The sequence and the purpose of the wizard, however, do not change.