If you’re using spreadsheet software like Excel or Google Sheets and would like to provide data from a table to AI tool ChatGPT for processing and analysis, this article is for you. There are now to ways to provide data to ChatGPT, depending on whether you’re a Plus (paid) user or a free user. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps to format your data into a readable format for ChatGPT in both cases, so you’ll be able to do data analysis with ChatGPT regardless of your plan.
By the end, you’ll know how to give ChatGPT a table for quick and easy analysis.
How to Give ChatGPT a Table – Plus Users (ChatGPT 4)
Giving a table to ChatGPT 4 with the Code Interpreter plugin is really easy! Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Settings and Turn on Beta Features
Click your name on the bottom left, go to settings, and go to Beta Features in order to enable file uploading.
2. Turn on Beta Features and Code Interpreter
Once you click on Beta Features, you’ll see an option to turn on Code Interpreter. This will enable you to easily upload files, and have ChatGPT analyze data for you, create charts and visuals, and more!
3. Add the File To Your Prompt
Click the plus icon on the left side of your prompt box and you can add a file. Many file formats are accepted, including XLS, PDF, ZIP, DOC, and JPG.
OpenAI has merged all of the beta models of ChatGPT plus into one unit (hooray!). Now you can, for example, upload an Excel file with a list of image prompts and have Dall-E 3 automatically make the images for each prompt pulled from the spreadsheet.
Magic, for those who have a Plus subscription (and you should at least try it out for a month, if you haven’t already done so).
How to Give ChatGPT a Table – Free Users (ChatGPT 3.5)
If you’re a free user (using ChatGPT 3.5) Here’s a concise summary of how to give ChatGPT a table. Below, we go into detail how it all works, and why.
- Organize your data in a spreadsheet software (e.g., Excel or Google Sheets) with clear column headers.
- Clean and remove any unnecessary columns or rows.
- Export the data as a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file.
- Open the CSV file in a text editor (e.g., Notepad or TextEdit).
- Copy the formatted text and paste it into the ChatGPT input field.
- Have ChatGPT convert the text back into a table.
- Ask questions or request analysis from ChatGPT based on the provided data.
Understanding CSV Format
CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a simple file format used to store tabular data, such as a spreadsheet or database. It’s a plain text format, which makes it easy for both humans and machines to read. Each line in a CSV file represents a row in the table, and the values in each row are separated by commas.
A CSV is the text version of a spreadsheet. It’s sorta how a .txt file is a simple document with just plain text words, while a .docx file has the formatting in the file as well.
Why Use CSV with ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a text-based AI model and cannot (at the moment) interact with tables directly. Providing your data in CSV format is an efficient way to share your table data with ChatGPT, enabling it to understand and process the information for analysis.
Preparing Your Data in Spreadsheet Software
Before we can give ChatGPT a table, we need to prepare the data in a spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Make it as clear as possible so that it can be easily converted into CSV format.
Clean and Organize Your Data
- Open your spreadsheet software and load the data you want to analyze.
- Ensure that the data is organized into columns with clear headers. This will help ChatGPT understand the context of each value.
- Remove any unnecessary columns or rows to make your data more concise and focused.
- Check for any errors or inconsistencies in your data, such as missing values or formatting issues.
Export Your Spreadsheet in CSV Format
Once your data is clean and organized, follow these steps to export your table as a CSV file:
For Microsoft Excel
- In Excel, click on “File” in the top-left corner, then select “Save As” or “Export.”
- Choose “CSV (Comma delimited)” as the file format.
For Google Sheets
- In Google Sheets, click on “File,” then “Download” and select “Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet).”
- Save the CSV file to a location on your computer.
Converting CSV Data to Text for ChatGPT
After exporting your data as a CSV file, you need to convert it into a text format that ChatGPT can understand.
Open the CSV File in a Text Editor
- Open a text editor, such as Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on macOS.
- Click “File,” then “Open,” and locate your saved CSV file.
- Open the CSV file in the text editor.
Format Your CSV Data for ChatGPT
Follow these steps to format your CSV data in a way that ChatGPT can process:
- Ensure that each row in the CSV file represents a single record, and values are separated by commas.
- Remove any unnecessary quotes, brackets, or other characters that might confuse ChatGPT.
- Add line breaks between each row to make the data more readable.
- Optionally, you can label each value with its corresponding column header for better context.
For example, if your CSV data looks like this:
You can reformat it like this, which in some cases will make it easier for ChatGPT to interpret the table:
Interacting with ChatGPT
Now that you have formatted your CSV data for ChatGPT, you can begin interacting with the AI model.
Provide Your Data to ChatGPT
Copy the formatted text from your text editor and paste it into the ChatGPT input field. This will allow ChatGPT to read and understand your data.
Have ChatGPT Reformat Your Data Back into a Table
Once you have pasted the data, you can now ask ChatGPT to reformat it into a table. It’s much easier to look at and understand what questions to ask when you have an actual table to work with rather than a CSV file.
Here’s what it should provide you with:
Ask Questions or Request Analysis
With your data provided, you can now ask ChatGPT questions or request analysis. For example:
- “What is the average age of the people in the table?”
- “Who is the oldest person on the list?”
- “List all the people from the USA.”
ChatGPT will do its best to understand and respond to your queries based on the data you provided. We put together an article on how to work with tables in ChatGPT with lots of other ideas.
And if you’re using Microsoft Excel, see our article on how to use ChatGPT to write Excel formulas.
Giving ChatGPT a table for basic data processing and analysis is a straightforward process — particularly if you’re a Plus user! But even if you’re a free user, by cleaning and organizing your data in spreadsheet software, exporting it as a CSV file, and formatting it into a text-based format, you can easily provide ChatGPT with the information it needs.
Remember to be clear with your questions and requests to help ChatGPT better understand and analyze your data. With these steps, you can quickly gain insights and make data-driven decisions.