Creating Org Charts Automatically by Importing Data from Excel®

You may have an HR software package that has all your employee data, but no visualization. SmartDraw makes it easy to take a data file and turn it into a professional organizational chart automatically. And better yet, you can also interact with this visual online. You can reorganize teams and departments, change titles, remove or add employees - all quick and easy with simple drag and drop.

Let's walk through the steps of creating an org chart using a data file.

Perhaps the easiest way to create an org chart is to generate it automatically from a data file that lists all of the employees and who they report to.

Import org chart data

Building Your Chart Automatically from a Data File

Here are the four steps for importing org chart data into SmartDraw:

  1. Export your data file as a CSV from whatever HR tool you're using
  2. Check to see that the data is formatted in a way SmartDraw can interpret it
  3. Import the data file into a SmartDraw org chart
  4. Update the org chart after importing

Get Your Data

You'll probably be exporting your data from a third-party software. Make sure to export it as a CSV.

You can open the file in Excel® to make sure it's formatted correctly.

Here's how you'd build a data chart if you were making it from scratch.

  1. Label the columns in an Excel spreadsheet "Title", "Manager" and "Name" and so on. Labels are just for your information. They will be ignored during the import.
  2. In the first row under the title enter the title of the job at the top of the chart. If this is the CEO, type "CEO".
  3. The top position has no manager so leave that column blank.
  4. Enter the name of the person who holds the CEO position in the "name" column.
  5. Repeat this for the second person, but in the "manager" column, enter the title of this person's manager. For example the COO reports to the CEO. Continue this process until you've added everyone from your organization.

In addition to title and name, your data file can also contain phone numbers, email addresses, links to bios, and more. Every line of data will be appended to the shape representing that person.

Import Org chart data

Import Your Data File to Build an Org Chart

Use SmartDraw to open a new org chart file to receive your data import. Click on the button to "Import from File" on the bottom left of the screen.

Import data

Update Your Org Chart Visually and Export it as Data

Youn can edit your org chart using the data or make changes visually and then export the changes back to a text file.

SmartDraw makes it easy to make changes to your org chart. You can reorganize departments, add or change information, delete or add team members, and more. Once you're ready, you can either share your visual org chart with anyone or export it back out to a data file.

Export data