The Wide Format

This article covers how to format and save your data in the wide format before uploading to Emcien.

The Wide Format

The wide format is the most commonly used and is easy to start with. The wide format consists mostly of user-defined columns with no required column headings.


The wide format is the more universal and most commonly used Emcien format. You can use the wide format for multi-dimensional data, such as demographics or configurable products. In the wide format, each transaction is identified by a single row of data.

An example of the wide format is displayed below.

This example contains four transactions, each represented by a single row of data. In this data, each transaction represents a client and their associated demographics data.

Unlike the receipt format, the wide format has no required columns and supports user-defined columns.

Wide Format Details

Headers are required for each column in the wide format. Your file must contain at least two user-defined columns with a maximum of 1,000 total columns.

While the data is allowed to contain any UTF-8 characters the header must be in lower ASCII.

Most columns for wide format data are user-defined. Emcien also offers optional columns, which are listed in the table below. You can use these optional columns to use certain Emcien features, such as date and time trends. If used, your optional column header must exactly match the column header listed in the table below.

Column Header Required/Optional Format Description
OR transaction_time_unix
Optional Date/ Time

The date and time when the transaction occurred. Field values must be formatted using ISO or Unix standards. 

Field values can contain date only, or date and time. The column heading indicates the date and time format used.

Important: If used, this column must be first.

volume Optional Integer

The volume applied to all attributes of the transaction. This column is used to calculate the strength of connections in your data.

Field values must be non-negative values consisting only of digits.

Important: If you use this column and not the transaction_date, transaction_time, or transaction_time_unix columns, this column must be first.

If you use this column and the transaction_date, transaction_time, or transaction_time_unix column, this column must be second.

<user-defined> Optional String

This column is defined by you. Each user-defined column must use a unique column header.

Important: Your data file must contain at least two user-defined columns.

Field values must be wrapped in double quotes () and cannot be longer than 255 characters.

All double quotes inside any string should be escaped with another double quote. For example:

“String 3″ Roll” should be changed to “String 3” Roll”

Not sure which format is best for you? The Emcien team can help prepare your data. Contact us at [email protected].