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How can I upload, import or update people in bulk or via a spreadsheet?
How can I upload, import or update people in bulk or via a spreadsheet?

Our "Bulk upload or enrol" feature allows admins to create and update users via a CSV / spreadsheet import.

David King avatar
Written by David King
Updated over a week ago

As the Admin of your Tribal Habits portal, there will be times when you need to manage users, enrolments, or other data in bulk. The "Bulk upload or enrol" feature allows admins to use CSV spreadsheets to manage data in bulk.

Admins can navigate to the People menu in the admin area and use the "I want to..." menu on the top right of the page to select "Bulk upload or enrol". There are a variety of data imports available via this feature. Please see this article for an overview of the choices.

In this article, we review uploading people data - to create new users or update new users.

NOTE: Only Super and Standard admin access levels can create or update people via the upload / import CSV function.

Which type of import should I select to create or update people?

Super and Standard admins will see both People and People & Enrolment upload types. Either can be used to create or update people. The only difference is that the People & Enrolment type can simultaneously manage people and enrolments. See this article to learn more about the process of uploading enrolments.

What are the steps in uploading people?

The People upload follows four steps:

  1. Select the import type (People or People & Enrolments).

  2. Upload your CSV.

  3. Map the columns in your CSV to the fields in your portal.

  4. Process the upload.

Step 1 - Type

In Step 1, select either People or People & Enrolments. Both of these types of uploads work the same way for people. Either of these types of imports will BOTH create new users as well as update existing users (or both in the same upload).

You will need to create your CSV for the upload. There is a template CSV you can download for this type.

NOTE: The template CSV contains ALL POSSIBLE fields to use during your import. You do not need to use all fields - this is just a template with all possibilities. Ultimately, just use the columns/fields you need for your import.

What columns/fields are required for an upload of people?

If you are uploading a CSV with EXISTING people, then you need:

  • An identifier - either user name or email (since both are unique to every use, either can be used as the identifier)

  • Any other fields you want to update

If you are uploading a CSV with NEW people, then for each new person you need the following 4 x mandatory fields with data:

  • User name (unique to that user)

  • Email (unique to that user)

  • First name

  • Last name

  • plus any other fields you want to update (not mandatory)

In summary - existing users just need a single identifier field, while new users need all four mandatory fields for their creation.

Step 2 - Upload

You can now upload your CSV (only standard CSV files are accepted).

Step 3 - Map

You now need to map your CSV to your fields in Tribal Habits and select a few key settings.


Select the column which will be used as the identifier. This can be user name or email (since both are unique to each user). Your CSV needs at least one of these fields.

SCENARIO: Need to update the user names of your users? If so, upload a CSV with two columns - user name (with the new user names) and email (with the existing email). Set email as the identifier and map the email and user name fields. This will then keep the email field as it is and update the user name field with the new user names.


Now review each column in your upload and select which Tribal Habits field to map the data to. Select 'Ignore this column' if a column does not need to, or cannot be, mapped. All CSV columns must be mapped or ignored.


Please check that you have mapped all columns in your upload to your fields, or selected 'Ignore this column' if not required.


Select the invitation option for this upload as a final step. You can then start the import.

Step 4 - Process

Your upload will now be processed. You can return to other tasks or go to the overview page to see the results of your uploads and any errors.

On the overview page you can view your uploads (Super Admins can see uploads from all users, while other admins access levels can only see uploads of their own).

What if there are errors?

If there errors in your upload, you will see an Errors file to download on the overview table and a number of errors. Admins can download that Error file, which is a CSV containing each row in the upload which had an error.

NOTE: Rows with errors will not be processed. This means users were not updated and enrolments were not processed.

When you open the 'Errors' file, the final row of the CSV will outline the errors in that row. Admins can fix those errors and re-upload the file with the fixed rows to import those users.

Common errors include:

  • User name or email already taken. This means that you are trying to create (or update) a user but another user already has that user name or email. Every user must have a unique user name and email.

  • Custom field data is in the wrong format. If you are using a List custom field, then your data must be an existing item in that list. You cannot add new list data in a bulk upload. If you are using Date or Number custom fields, then your data must be an accepted date format or a number respectively.

  • Certain fields cannot be blank. Fields such as Active, Creator, User notifications and Force Password Reset must be Yes or No (and cannot be blank in the upload).

  • Roles or Groups are not correct. If you upload assigned Roles or Groups, the data must exactly match an existing Role or Group.

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