Import from Excel

What data can I import?

Avion supports importing data from an Excel workbook (XLSX). This is a very powerful import tool that gives you the ability to quickly create and update the following types of data in your story maps:

  • Cards (journeys, steps, and stories)

  • Releases

  • Personas

  • Tags

  • Labels

  • Workflow

Preparing your data

The Excel importer requires that you follow a standardised structure for each object in your story map when getting your data ready for import. Therefore, you must use the latest version of the XLSX import template. We offer both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets versions of this template and you can get access to these from the link below:

pageXLSX import template

The XLSX import template has separate sheets that each relate to the different types of data you can import. We've prepared an example file here with some sample data to demonstrate:

How does the import template work?

Each individual sheet within the XLSX import template provides you with the ability to mass-create and bulk-update objects within your story map. Each sheet is optional, so you can choose to only import very specific data within each sheet as you see fit. This means you can use the Excel importer to create and / or update any combination of objects as needed.

The Excel importer will analyse your current story map data and compare it with the data provided in your import file when trying to decide whether to create new objects or update existing objects. The matching algorithm is primarily concerned with comparing the names of each object you are importing when trying to identify a potential match. If a name match is found, the object's properties are fully updated with the supplied row of data in your import file.

As a result, the only required fields in each sheet are the Name columns. You can optionally choose to leave everything else empty, and the importer will choose sensible defaults when creating new objects.

Note: When updating existing objects, an empty cell is considered valid and will therefore overwrite its respective property in Avion. For example, an empty description on a matching Release in the import file will remove the description in Avion. If you plan to use the import tool to perform a bulk-update operation, it is recommended to first export your story map to Excel and use that as your import template.

When matching objects with parent relationships, the Excel importer will also compare the names of parent objects too (this specifically relates to steps and stories). Therefore, when using the importer to update existing steps and stories, you must ensure that the parent journey name and parent step name is also correct. Otherwise, new objects will be created instead.

Tip: If you are importing a large dataset into a story map with existing items, you should make sure to export your story map to an Excel file beforehand. This way, you will always have a backup of your data just in case you make a mistake and need to revert. Alternatively, you can also duplicate your story map from the dashboard.

How to quickly import user stories

To import a set of stories, simply populate the Stories sheet within the import template, adding a new row for each new story. You can leave the Parent Journey and Parent Step columns empty and the Excel importer will append an "Excel Import" journey to your story map, with all your new user stories inserted below.

Importing your XLSX file

First, browse to the story map you would like to import data into. Then click on "Import" from the left hand menu:

Then use the following screen to select your XLSX import file and upload:

Import limits

There are restrictions with how many objects you can import at once. Below are the limits for each type of object. If the amount of data exceeds the specified limits, you will need to run multiple imports separately.

Object Type

Import Limit

















Reference diagram for persona avatars

When creating a new persona via the Excel importer, you must set an avatar by choosing a number from 1–20. You can refer to the below key which will help as a reference guide when trying to decide which number to use.

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