How to pull live data from different sources
Please note connecting to live data sources is only available on our Business Pro and Enterprise plans.
Our Live CSV feature lets you create live-updating visualizations where data from publicly-accessible CSV files are automatically fetched at regular intervals, the visualizations are updated and graphics are republished, all automatically.
For more information about how this feature works, check out this help doc first.
How does the live data work?
The key to this feature is having a publicly-accessible CSV file. That means as well as being specifically a CSV file format, it needs to be directly available at a public URL that the visualization can use to fetch from and update.
In this help doc, we'll show a few different public sources where you can host your data and how they work with Live CSV.
Google Sheets is the most typical source for Live CSV. You are able to edit and update your data in a Google Sheet, then publish it to the web, and are provided with a URL that can be dropped into Flourish.
For more information about how to use Live CSV with Google sheets, follow the steps in this help doc.
You could host your CSV file in your Dropbox instead. Here's a couple of quick steps to get you started:
- Upload your CSV file to your Dropbox folder (if saving from Excel, make sure to export as a CSV file first).
Click Copy link next to the file in Dropbox. This link ends with
dl=0. This link simply opens the file in the browser, whereas Live CSV needs a direct download link to the CSV file to work properly.
Changing the URL to end with
dl=1provides exactly this. Your URL should now look a bit like this:
- In the Data tab of your visualization in Flourish, choose the Import from URL option and paste the new Dropbox link.
GitHub can be another useful source for hosting your data. You can push your data to a public repository and connect it to your Flourish visualizations. Here's how to set it up:
- Your CSV file needs to be in a public repository on GitHub. In a private repository, Live CSV won't be able to fetch it automatically and update your visualizations.
- In your public repository, upload your CSV file and then click on that file in GitHub.
- Right- click on Raw and select Copy link address. This ensures we are retrieving a direct link to the CSV file.
In the Data tab of your visualization in Flourish, choose the Import from URL option and paste the raw GitHub CSV link.