CSV import

Introducing process diagrams from CSV import

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Posted by: Lucid Content Team

When it comes to developing new features here at Lucid, we like “your wish is my command” to be our mantra—we’re all about making your work easier. So when we started hearing repeated customer requests for a process diagram import feature, our engineers went to work to build just that.

Problem: Scattered processes

The loudest requests sounded from one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies—they needed assistance with some housekeeping. The company’s processes around rules of engagement and business best practices were scattered and unruly, housed in different databases in different formats.

The company was on a mission to organize and consolidate, both to facilitate easy reference of their processes but also to allow for process improvements. They knew that nothing could change until there was a crystal clear understanding of the current status of any given process.

Problem: Lack of accessibility and clarity

The first step was putting all standard processes in one central location in a consistent format. Employees worked hard to get everything tracked in a single database, and while this was a definite improvement, the processes still weren’t easy to reference or digest in this state.

This lack of accessibility was a particular problem for upper management who needed to frequently reference these processes. They found themselves wasting time trying to wade through text-heavy documents, decipher code, and make sense of complicated spreadsheets.

In addition, the company found that work was siloed because there was no clear indication of who was responsible for each aspect of a process. When employees couldn’t identify which person to turn to, they ended up doing things themselves and duplicating work.

The company needed a solution that would allow anyone to come in and understand any given process and its corresponding owners at a glance.

Solution: Diagrams

Employees reached a conclusion that was music to our ears: diagrams. Diagrams would allow them to visualize any process and quickly grasp the big picture behind it. Now they just needed an easy way to get their processes out of a database and into this type of visual. That’s when the requests started rolling in.

Cue the Lucid engineers. They welcomed the challenge, and the process diagram import from CSV feature was born. Once database information is correctly formatted in a CSV file, employees simply import the CSV, and Lucidchart automatically generates a diagram mapping out the complete process.

And the icing on the cake—Lucidchart places the process diagram in swimlanes, deciphering the appropriate swimlane for every step in a process. A diagram showing how a process works makes a pretty picture, but a diagram showing who is doing each part of the process is a gold mine.

swimlane process map

With this new feature, employees have their processes in an easy-to-read format that clearly assigns accountability for every step. As a result, this knowledge allows them to spend more time on process improvement and execution.

Visualize your own processes

Now it’s your turn. Follow these steps, and you’ll have any process diagrammed in no time.

  1. Make sure your CSV file meets the Lucidchart formatting requirements found here.
  2. Open a Lucidchart document.
  3. Click File > Import Data. From the workspace manager that appears, select "Process Diagram" and click "Import Your Data."

import process diagrams

  1. Select the CSV files you would like to import. You can choose multiple files at a time. Download the example CSV if you need help formatting your files.
  2. Click “Import.”
  3. Click “View Document.”


So stop making life difficult with code, text, or spreadsheets. Let Lucidchart do the heavy lifting and start visualizing your processes today.

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