Standard Data Format

Without the need for any custom programming, the quickest account setup can be achieved so long as your data can be configured into FlowWorks' Standard Data Format (known as the FW Format). The FW Format is a comma delimited time series data file with a 3-line header section that defines the Site and channels to which the data belongs. A file constructed in this format can be used to quickly import data via the FlowWorks FTP Site.

This topic describes FlowWorks' standard data format. We've also attached a downloadable zip file (please find at the bottom of this page), which includes a template to get you started, and a sample spreadsheet for your reference.

Header Section

The first four lines of the data file must consist of some basic information for identifying the data and its source. See below:

  • Client #: If you do not have a client number, enter the client name.
  • Site Name: The Site name must match the 'Internal Site Name' as found on your Site Setup Sheet.
  • Channels: Channel names must exactly match those specified in your Site Setup Sheet. Examples: "Flow, Level, Velocity, Rain, etc." Note the comma (,) separator between measurement labels.
  • Date: The date data must match the date format listed on line 3 of the header section (yyyy/mm/dd). The data must be ordered sequentially by date, from oldest to newest.

Sample of 'FW_format_sample.csv': as seen in Excel

Sample of 'FW_format_sample.csv': as seen in Notepad

Note: If the data to be uploaded is for use in FlowWorks' I&I (Inflow & Infiltration) tool, the time-spacing between measurements must be in 5-minute intervals.

Creating a CSV file using Excel

If you have never created a comma-delimited file before, you can start with your data in Excel, where it is neatly organized in an easy-to-work format with rows and columns. This section describes how to create a CSV file that complies with FlowWorks' Standard Data Format, using Microsoft Excel.

  1. After entering your data in Excel, ensure that the data is in the proper format. Follow the images above for good examples. Make sure that small details like the YYYY/MM/DD configuration are in order. Failure to do so will result in an FTP file processing rejection.
  2. Save the file in a comma-delimited format. In Excel, click File and then click Save As. Under the filename will be a drop-down menu where you can change the file type.
  3. Expand the file type drop-down menu and select 'CSV (Comma delimited) (*csv)'.
  4. Click Save. Excel will save a copy of your data as a CSV file, removing the column structure and inserting a comma where each column boundary had been.

Important: Most installations of Microsoft Excel have associated the file format '.csv' with Excel. Hence, if you click on such a filename, Excel will be the default program that opens it; and Excel will recognize that the material is comma delimited and will break the data back up into rows and columns. In Excel, the file will look just like it did before you saved it as comma-delimited. However, it is important to note that the file is still in CSV format. Thus, if you want to confirm the format of your data before trying to FTP it to FlowWorks, you must launch another program such as Notepad, and then find and open the csv file from within Notepad. If you do it this way, you will see your data just as the FlowWorks FTP process will see it, and you will be able to confirm that you have properly formatted the data, removed any footers, and have the proper file header structure.

Important: If any of your data lines are longer than 250+ characters, Notepad will break the line and may cause you confusion when reviewing your CSV file. If you think any of your data entries exceeds this character limit, we recommend using Notepad++ in lieu of Notepad.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.