Import data from a CSV file

Whether you are setting up your Aha! account for the first time, or creating a new workspace in an existing account, one of the first things you need to do is to populate your workspace with your own data. Aha! allows you to import and modify data using a CSV import. 

To start importing your information into Aha!, first navigate to the workspace where you want to import. Then navigate to Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Import from CSV (or Settings ⚙️> Parent line > Import from CSV). Follow the steps listed below. You must be an owner or administrator in Aha! to use the import functionality. 

Note: Depending on your workspace type, this article may refer to Aha! record types differently than your team does. 

Click any of the following links to skip ahead: 

Select the type of information you would like to import

You can import the following record types by CSV file. 

  • Workspaces and parent lines
  • Goals
  • Initiatives
  • Releases
  • Master features
  • Features
  • Ideas
  • Portal users
  • Aha! account users
  • Custom table records (Enterprise+ only)


Items to note when importing

  • Initiatives, goals, and custom table records can be imported to a parent line.
  • When importing features, you may also import your requirements' names and descriptions, if applicable.
  • You can import records by their unique IDs or their Names. But since two records could have the same name, you should be careful when importing records with a parent/child relationship by Name. For example, if you import features and include a link to a master feature, you should ensure that master features in your workspace have unique Names, or use the unique master feature ID instead.
  • If you are importing formatted text (such as a feature description or comments on an Aha! record), you will need to use HTML formatting, e.g. <br></br> for line breaks, <p></p> for paragraph breaks, or <strong></strong> for bold formatting.
  • When importing ideas or features, you may also import scorecard metrics. If you leave a metric blank, a score of zero will be imported for that metric. If you set a metric value above or below the metric's range, the import will error.
  • You may also update your Aha! data when importing if you include your records' Reference ID in your import. Reference IDs are the unique identifiers for Aha! records; importing with a record's Reference ID will import changes to that record in each of the fields included in your import.  
  • To import master features, you must have them enabled for the workspace you are importing to. Enabling master features requires owner access and is done through Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Configure.
  • Importing idea portal users also requires an administrator with customization user permissions.
  • Importing users requires an administrator with billing privileges. Enterprise+ customers can also assign paid seat groups to users upon import.  You also have the option to choose whether or not to send those users an email invitation to the Aha! account.
  • If the total users being imported exceeds the account's available paid seats, every user will still be imported so that Aha! administrators can activate/deactivate the users as needed.


Choose where you would like to import the data

Select where you want to add the information. The selection available depends on your choice in the first step. 

If you are importing new features, they will be associated with the release that is selected in this step.

If you are updating existing features, it is possible to update their release by including a column named "release" in your CSV file. You can then use the Release ID or Release reference fields to specify the desired release you wish to move your features to when importing. The Release column in your CSV should be mapped to the Release Aha! field in the final step of the import process.


Prepare your CSV file

We know that importing information into a new tool can be painful. That’s why we have provided templates and guides to make this process as easy as possible. Click the What fields can I import? button and take a moment to review the supported fields for your workspace. We have also provided a template you can use by clicking Download template CSV.


  • If you are importing fields that have values already configured in Aha! you should ensure that the data that's in your CSV file will match the data in Aha! — otherwise you will get an error on import. Examples of these fields are feature status fields, or pre-defined custom fields.
  • Be sure to convert any dates to YYYY-MM-DD format before importing.



Upload your CSV file

When you upload your CSV file, you will be prompted to map the Aha! fields to your fields. After you confirm the right column headings, click the Import button. The import will happen automatically; when it is complete, you will see a confirmation message with a link to the location of your newly created Aha! data. If there are any errors during the import, an error message will be displayed with instructions on how to correct the problem.



Your import was successful. You can add more information or view the information in Aha! that was just added.



File format issues

The Import from CSV feature only supports files which have UTF-8 encoding. UTF-8 encoding supports all writing systems around the world, including special Asian and European characters. However, there are some characters that are often found in exports from bug tracking systems that are not valid for UTF-8. In that case, you may see this error message during the import:

CSV file is invalid: invalid byte sequence in UTF-8

The most common cause for this message is the existence of curly quotation marks and apostrophes — often with text that was created in MS Word or Outlook. There are two ways to convert your CSV file to UTF-8 encoding:

  1. If you are using Windows, you can get Excel to save in UTF-8 encoding. Visit this link for instructions:
  2. If you are using Excel on a Mac, you can save as MS-DOS Comma separated. This will convert to 7-bit ASCII, which is compatible with UTF-8.


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