In the early days of SaaS, a lot of companies would make it really difficult to export your data out of their product
Hubspot was one of those. It was near impossible to figure out how to export data out of that product. Their export function was buried 6 layers deep in an unintuitive location. And this was on purpose. So that you would give up trying to migrate to a competing platform. After a few years of using that expensive product with a convoluted export function, I switched to more open systems, like WordPress and others.
Over the years, this effort of blocking data export has waned somewhat. “Most” SaaS tools nowadays have a simpler path to export your data out of it than what Hubspot forced you to do back in 2015.
And that includes XForms. We’ve made it super easy to export your data out…even the metadata captured on your forms. Here’s how.
How to export summary data from XForms to Excel
Log into the Dashboard > go to the Forms screen > Select your data range and form type > Click on the green “Export to Excel” button. Here’s a screenshot.
When you click on that green “Export to Excel” button, the system will generate an xlsx file and download it to your computer. The data in the Excel file will correspond to the summary data displayed on the forms screen. But it won’t contain all of a form’s data….only what’s displayed on screen. So if you want all of a form’s data, read on…
How to export all of a form’s data from XForms to Excel
If you would like to export ALL of a form’s data, click on the ellipsis (3 vertical dots) icon to the right of the refresh icon. When you click on those 3 dots, you will see a small menu that says “Export Form Data”. Select that, and the system will download all form data for the forms displayed in the Forms screen. Here’s an animated gif of what that looks like.
Note that at the time of writing this article (July 2022), table grid data is skipped. A future release of the dashboard will include the ability to export table grid data.
What about geolocation data?
When you export form data using the ellipsis icon (3 vertical dots), the system also exports corresponding latitude and longitude data if it is available. Note that this is something that the app has to ask permission from the user on first run (as per Apple and Google privacy rules), so if the user tells the app not to track their location, then this information will appear blank or denoted as a “0”. See example creenshot below.
What about exporting pictures, signatures, and everything else that can’t export to Excel?
If it’s in XForms, it can be extracted out. In the case of pictures, those can be downloaded one at a time from the Photo Viewer. But if you want to automate all of this, you can use XForms’ open APIs to extract anything stored in it: original images, images with the draw layer, signatures, table data, and metadata. You may need to get your IT department involved, or outsource to someone with the right skillset to do this. Here’s an article we wrote recently about that kind of integration.
Future releases of XForms will include easier ways of extracting and automating data export for images, signatures, and such.
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