Importing a Yammer Data Export *.csv file into PowerPivot

About a year ago, my colleague Steve Nguyen and I started a side-project that we called, “Codename: Tosilog.” (I’ll explain the name in another post.) It would take the *.csv files from Yammer’s Data Export and leveraging Microsoft’s Power BI, to create usable and actionable dashboards for community managers and verified admins. The project has grown to be wildly successful and used by organizations across the globe. In an effort to inspire others and continue the work we started, I’ve decided to start a blog series outlining how you can get started with Tosilog and Power BI.

Prerequisites:

  • I’m assuming that you are using Excel 2013 with the PowerPivot add-in enabled. (You could follow these instructions if you are using Excel 2010. I believe the functions are there, just might be in different places).
  • You have access to your Yammer Network’s Data Export. If you are the verified admin, you can run the export yourself, otherwise you will need to contact a verified admin to provide you with the data. See this site for more information on running a data export.

Importing into PowerPivot:

  1. From the PowerPivot ribbon, select Manage.
  2. From the Home ribbon, select From Other Sources. From Other Sources
  3. In the Table Import Wizard, scroll all the way down and select Text File. Select Next. 
    Table Import Wizard
  4. Select the Browse button to find the file from your Yammer Data Export. You’ll need to change the file selector from flat files (*.txt) to comma separated files (*.csv).
    • I recommend storing your Yammer Data Export in a generic folder like C:\Exports. This was if you are sharing your data model. You can have your colleagues set up a similar directory structure so they can use your data model as well.
  5. Back in the Table Import Wizard, make sure you check off “Use first row as column headers.” Table Import Wizard 2
  6. Now select what columns to import into your data model.
    • You will not need every column that is in the data export. For example, the column api_url is handy if you are working with the Yammer API, but serves us no purprose, so we will uncheck it. I’ll cover what columns to import for each data export file in a future blog post.
  7. Select Finish. You’ll repeat the above process for each of the *.csv files that you want to import into the data model.

That’s it!

Stay tuned for future blog posts where I’ll go through how to create a Date Table and link it to your imported *.csv files. I’ll also be covering some of the DAX formulas I’ve used to calculate the data we present in Tosilog.