Import Warning and Errors

You've encountered a warning or an error while importing a file onto your site - what do you do? Check below to see the common problems for most errors and warnings seen during import. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, contact and we will help you determine why the file is not importing.

The most common import issues are related to the file type, so please make sure to read "Importing, DataTypes, and You!" before importing your file.



Warning: “Error at row #: There are fewer columns in the row than specified to import, remaining column values will be null.”

  • This generally occurs when you are replacing or appending data, and there are less columns in the file you are uploading than there are in the schema of the dataset you are appending or replacing to. If this is the case, pay extra attention to make sure that the columns in your file are matched up with the correct columns in the dataset schema when you import. To avoid this error, make sure that the columns in the dataset on your site match up with the file exactly before you do the append or replace.


During the import Socrata scans your dataset to determine the most likely data type for each column. However, we may be incorrect or you may want to use a different data type. If this is the case, at the bottom of the import screen you will see a warning (see image below) that will inform you that we recommend a different data type, and what percentage of your data we estimate will be imported incorrectly. Choosing the data type is up to you, and depending on what you data is, you may or may not encounter invalid data after uploading. For example, if you choose data type “Number” and there are some “N/A” values in the column, these text values will become grey and italicized. 

The data on Socrata doesn’t match the data in my Excel file, what is wrong? Excel can sometimes format data so that what is displayed in the cell is different from what the actual value is. When you import that Excel file into Socrata, we try to account for most data types, but there may be an error due to different versions of Excel. If there is a column that isn’t importing correctly, check what the data type is in Excel and switch to a more standard format such as Plain Text or Number.




Error: “There was a problem importing that file. Please make sure it is valid.”

What is means: This error can mean any number of issues. Here are a couple of things to check in your file:

  • Are there many empty columns? The Socrata platform does not recognize files with a larger number of empty columns. Try deleting those columns and cleaning up the “white space” in your dataset before upload.
  • Do you have a % in the file name? This will cause an error. Please remove the % for the import, you can add it back in as the dataset name.

Error: “An unknown error has occurred. Please try again in a bit.” OR "400 (Bad Request) Error" 

  • Are you uploading a .csv and do you have quotation marks in the data? Make sure that all quotation marks, double and single, are properly escaped.
  • If you have removed or properly escaped any special punctuation, we have found that conditional formatting in Excel files to be a problem in general. If you are not able to pinpoint which formatting is the source of the problem, we recommend saving your file as a .csv as this will remove all special formatting and will usually still retain data integrity. You can add formatting properties once the data is on the Socrata platform by changing the column to data type 'Formatted Text'.
  • Your .csv file contained a BOM character (Byte Order Mark): ''. This problem seems to be related to using older versions of Excel, such as 2000, or other text editors which do not handle UTF8 encoding within a .csv file properly. Saving as an Excel file or specifying the type of encoding helps automatically omit the BOM.


Error: “Error at row ##: There was an error converting the value in the column [Your Location Column] to a location. Unparsable address.

  • A value in the location column is not correctly formatted or recognized as a US address. Here are a couple of things you can check:
    • Are your zip codes formatted correctly? We can accept 5 or 9 digit zip codes
    • Did you match up the correct location information in the location column? street as street, state as state, etc.?
  • Sometimes some of your rows will have no address. We will give the error, but as long as you do not expect to have an address there you can ignore this error.

Error: “Irregular row ###; it had # cells (expected #)”

  • This will occur on a CSV file when one row is missing some of the commas in a row. Have you escaped correctly? This will be a bigger issue when the line that is incorrectly escaped has a comma or a line break in it.

  • Socrata escapes with quotations



Error: " "Oh no! Something went wrong. Make sure the file is valid."

  • The zipped shapefile or KML/KMZ file has likely exceeded a limit on our platform.
    • Anything with a file size over 730mb will likely be too large to upload to the platform
    • The max number of vertices per row is 1,000,000.

Error: “Failed to create any layers for shapefile: NameOfYourFile - The data may have been partially imported.”

  • Check to ensure that the shapefile follows our specified data type format

  • This can occasionally be a result of a temporary error on Socrata’s end; try the import later in the day, and if it still is not working, contact

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