How to prepare, import and bind your data

Step by step flow from data preparation to formatting for Datylon charts


This article explains all the steps in the data flow for creating a Datylon chart in an efficient way. Some steps are mandatory (Importing and Binding) others are optional or depend on the type of chart one wishes to create. 

The 4 steps in the data flow are: 

  1. Preparing the data
  2. Importing the data
  3. Input formatting of the data
  4. Binding the data

1. Preparing the data

Input data structure

Before the data can be imported into a Datylon datasheet, the data shall be structured as a pivot table. One has the choice to provide the dataset structured in rows or in columns. 

See below on the right, 2 examples of the same dataset structured as a pivot table in rows and columns. 


Match data with chart type

The data should match the chart type one wants to create. Some charts support multiple series or require at least 2 columns/rows. A scatter plot for instance needs at least 2 columns or rows with xy coordinates, or a bullet chart requires a very specific structure. Entering wrong data will result in error messages. 

More information on how the data should be structured for specific charts can be found in the the "How to create a ........ chart" tutorials in the Help Center, or samples can be downloaded from the Datylon Inspiration page. 

What you see is what you get

When data is copied or imported from spreadsheets, the data is imported as it is presented in the spreadsheet. Meaning with the same number of digits, the same decimal and thousand separator, currency, percentages, etc.. 

Although this can be set and changed in the Datylon panel as well, it is more efficient to format the data correctly beforehand during preparation. 

2. Importing the data

Every Datylon chart is connected to a Datylon data sheet. When drawing a chart box and selecting one of the default charts, dummy data is loaded in the data sheet. This dummy data should be replaced by your data. There are 6 ways to enter new data in a Datylon data sheet: 

  1. Type the values straight in the active data sheet.
  2. Copy & paste the data directly in the active data sheet
  3. Import file. Go to Manage >  +Add > Import file. Supported file types are .xls , .xlsx and .csv
  4. Swap sheet, replaces the active sheet. 
  5. Swap workbook, replaces the whole workbook.
  6. Add online workbook loads a workbook from the Datylon webapp. 

Details on how to import and manage data can be found in the article Data management in Datylon.

3. Input formatting of the data

Incoming data can be formatted as Text, Numbers or Date & Time in the Formatting tab of the Datylon panel. Input formatting of the data is optional and set per column/row. There are 3 format types: 

  • Text
  • Numbers
  • Date & Time

Formatting is required for:

Click on the links above to learn about the details. 

4. Binding the data

Data binding is the mandatory step to connect the data as columns or row to categories, series, or data marks (e.g. bars or bubbles). The binding options depend on the type of chart.

In the Datylon panel, the data binding features can be found in the property pane under the Binding tab and its 2 sections Dataset and Series

Bindings tab
> Dataset

  • Enable/disable First row of datasheet are headings
  • Data is structured in Rows/Columns

Bindings tab > Series

Here the actual binding of the data with the chart objects and properties occurs. Select the wanted column or row in the drop down box for the appropriate property.

Except for a Datylon Text object, every Datylon chart requires minimum 2 properties that need to bound: 

  • A position over the X-axis (X) or a some kind of a category (Category).
  • A position of the Y-axis (Y) or a numerical value (Value)

Some chart types allow you to add more series. Click on the + sign to do so. See more details about working with series here.

On top of the mandatory properties, data can also be bound to colors and other properties using reference codes in the data (read here), or color palettes read here


After you have successfully imported and bound your data, you can start styling your chart.