CSV Requirements and Best Practices

Document created by Ike Bennion Employee on Apr 28, 2016Last modified by Tyler Clark on Jan 14, 2019
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This guide will help you to understand the requirements and best practices for fields that should be included in a user data CSV. Bridge user data is pretty easy, but this document will help you to think about your CSV and what data should come into Bridge. Note that for the file itself, the data must be in .csv format and the columns can appear in any order. Below are more requirements that are field specific.



Requirements for the CSV


Must Haves

A Bridge CSV must have:

  1. A field to be used as the Unique Identifier (UID). This data point also serves as the user login.

    • This field must not contain any duplicates.

    • Can be any string of characters (including spaces), or numbers.

  2. The UID should:

    • Not recycle a string to represent another user.

    • Not change.

  3. UTF-8 encoding. Most data software like Excel, Google Sheets, and others export using UTF-8 while some HRIS systems may compile reports in a format other than UTF-8. Though, settings sometimes can be adjusted to export in UTF-8.
    • For companies that have employees with names containing special characters (é, ñ, ç, ł, etc.), this requirement is essential. Bridge will accept CSVs not encoded with UTF-8 but the characters will not appear.
  4. Date and Time Formats. Date formats in Bridge should conform with the ISO 8601 Data elements and interchange formats – YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ


Should Haves

Bridge user CSVs should have:

  1. An email address. This string must be in email format (like abcd@xyz.xy or abcd@xyz.xyz)
  • This string cannot contain any invalid characters, like spaces.
  • Bridge will not upload a line that contains invalid emails.



Recommended for the CSV


Any data on top of the two fields listed above is awesome to create Smart Groups from. Here are some thoughts on things you should bring into Bridge from your HR data.


Organizational Data

  • Manager UID
  • Department/division/team
  • Cost center (if different than Department)
  • Product delineations
  • Employee status (FT/PT/contractor/temp/intern, etc.)


Geographic Data

  • Country/state
  • Names of company locations
  • Location codes (if easily understood/referenced by Admins)
  • Corporate or geographic regions


Job Function Data

  • Position or Job Role - There is a standard field in Bridge called Job Title, but currently it cannot be used to create Smart Groups. It is recommended that you only use the Job Title field if using Bridge Perform.
  • Job function
  • Required job certifications
  • Jobs requiring any compliance training (animal handling/noise/biohazard, etc.)


Bridge recommends against uploading sensitive or private data (Social Security numbers, health data, home addresses, etc.). However, some personal data to consider:

  • Name
    • This can appear as:
      • First (as a single column)
      • Last (as a single column)
      • First Last
      • Last, First
  • Email
  • Language
  • Bridge allows you to define what language the learner will experience in all user interface interactions with Bridge (emails, the language in Bridge navigation, but not course content unless if the course has been translated by the author). The CSV should be formatted with the corresponding language indicator:


    English (US)en
    English (Australian)en-AU
    English (UK)en-GB
    French Canadianfr-CA
    Brazilian Portuguesept-BR


  • A default password. The Bridge team can enable password upload for your account if your users are unable to set a password through the Welcome to Bridge email. This is not recommended as the file has the password in plain text.


If you are required (sometimes by law) to target training to certain groups, you should consider:

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity



Additional Resources

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