How to use Business Insights

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Please be Advised

GoCanvas discontinued support for Business Insights on December 31st, 2023

GoCanvas Analytics is the perfect alternative to Business Insights. With expert support and custom dashboards, GoCanvas Analytics is designed with your business needs in mind.

Download Business Insights on your Windows desktop computer.

Business Insights is an Excel plugin that allows GoCanvas users to connect Excel directly with their GoCanvas account. It gives users the ability to download Submissions and upload both Reference Data and Dispatches. Learn more about Business Insights.

Please contact us to request having Business Insights turned on for your account.

Please Note

Business Insights is currently compatible with Windows (Vista and above) and Microsoft Excel 2007 or higher. 

Getting Started

After you have successfully downloaded Business Insights, launch Microsoft Excel. You will find the Business Insights options under the DATA tab. Select the Settings option on the right, and sign-in using your GoCanvas credentials.


Downloading your Submissions from GoCanvas

  1. Select the Submission Download icon.
  2. Select the Application, or form, on your account with submissions you would like to download.
  3. Choose a date range for the submissions to be downloaded.
  4. Download.


Refreshing your Data

If you have completed additional submissions since the initial download, the data in Excel will need to be updated.

  1. Select the Submission Download icon.
  2. Select the Application, or form, and new date range.
  3. Check the Append Data option if you want the data to add to the end of your current file. If you want the data to replace the current information, leave this box unchecked.


  4. Download.

Downloading Data using the Submission Mapping Feature

Submission Mapping will allow you to download data from your form for any specific fields that you choose.

Creating Your Submission Map

Before downloading your submissions, you will need to create a map of the fields that you want to download. The field map will contain the field labels across each version of your form that you are pulling data from.

  1. Create a new sheet in Excel. You can name this sheet Mapping for easy reference.
  2. The first column of any field mapping must be labeled Version. Enter this into Column A, Row 1.
  3. In Row 1, enter in any additional field labels from the current version of your form that you would like to be included in the submission download.
  4. Once you've labeled your columns, enter the version(s) of the form to be included under the Version heading. For example, if you only want to download data from versions 4-6 of your form, enter 4, 5, and 6 in a separate line item under the Version heading. 
  5. Enter the field labels for the corresponding version for each line item.


If you would like information about each submission (submitter name, date, time) to download, enter Submission Info as one of your mapping columns.

Please Note

If a field label was changed between versions, you will need to enter the label published for that specific version. You can find the field labels by going to your Submissions page on the GoCanvas website. If a field was not included in a previous version referenced in the field mapping, leave that cell blank. 

GoCanvas Tip

If you have multiple versions of your form all with the same field labels, you can place an asterisk (*) in the Version column. The asterisk will apply the mapping to all submission versions not defined in other rows. 

For example, if versions 4-7 of your form have the same field labels, place an asterisk in the Version column after the line item for version 3. Enter the label names that apply to versions 4-7 in the remaining cells. For version 8, you would start a new line item with the updated label names (if changed from version 7).


Downloading your Mapped Data

  1. Select the Submission Download icon.
  2. Select Download Submissions with Column Map Provided.
  3. In the Map Sheet drop-down, select the sheet in Excel that you used to create the submission map.
  4. Select your Application, or form, and date range.
  5. Download.


The data will download to or create a sheet in your Excel file with the same name as the form.


Creating a New Reference Data File

Using Business Insights to create reference data files is easy! This process replaces the need to manually upload reference data through the Manage Reference Data page on GoCanvas website.

Simply create your reference data in Microsoft Excel and click the Reference Data Upload button. Choose the sheet in your Excel file that contains the reference data and select Upload.


The file will upload with the same sheet name entered in Excel. If you need to change the sheet name in Excel, double click on the current sheet name and enter any revisions. Save the changes.

Updating Existing Reference Data

If you already have a reference data file created, you can use Business Insights to update the data in GoCanvas.

  1. Open your existing reference data file. If you cannot find the file on your computer, you can download the file from GoCanvas. Navigate to Reference Data & Images. Select the Download icon next to the file you want to download. You will want to note the reference data name in GoCanvas. The sheet name in Excel must match the name in GoCanvas. 
  2. After editing or adding data as needed, select the Reference Data Upload button.
  3. Choose the sheet in your file that contains the reference data.
  4. Upload.

Please Note

If you change the column headers in your reference data file, it will not update this change in the reference data mapping in your form. You will need to launch the GoCanvas Form Builder to modify the reference data mapping.

Append Data

The Append reference data feature allows you to update reference data that is separated by User Group. This feature will only update existing reference data files. It will not create a new file.

  1. Download the existing reference data file from GoCanvas (see above). You will want to note the reference data name in GoCanvas. The sheet name in Excel must match the name in GoCanvas.
  2. After editing or adding data as needed, click the Reference Data Upload button.
    Note: The User Group must be defined in the first column of the file under a User Group column header.


  3. Choose the sheet in your file that contains the updated reference data.
  4. Check Append Data.
  5. Select Upload.


Uploading Dispatches

  1. Download the Sample Dispatch File for your form. You can find this in Work Hub.Dispatch_Upload Dispatches_Download Sample.png
    If you already have an existing dispatch file, you will need to ensure that DescriptionUser e-mail, and Scheduled At are the first three columns in the file. App Name is not necessary as you will select the form when uploading.
  2. Fill out all relevant dispatch information. 
  3. Select the Dispatch Upload icon.
  4. In the first drop-down, select the sheet to dispatch from.
  5. In the second drop-down, choose the Application, or form, in your account to dispatch to.
  6. Upload



A Dispatch Status Column is generated in the last column of your data after you upload a dispatch file for the first time. This column contains information on delivery status such as the date and time. After uploading if you want to keep a master dispatch file, add new dispatches to the bottom of your dispatch sheet. If you want to delete old dispatch information from your file and only view new dispatch data, you will need to delete the Dispatch Status Column from the sheet before uploading.


In summary, Business Insights is a great tool for creating reports on the data that you have collected in GoCanvas, updating reference data, and automatically uploading dispatches to your users.

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  • Could the upload reference data function be exploited to automate the reference data upload using zapier?

  • Hey Keith,

    Sorry for the delay. Right now, BI just goes between GoCanvas and Excel (and vice versa). We don't have the Reference Data hook exposed to Zapier, but hopefully that's something we could do in the future. 



  • Is a version of Business Insights in the works for Apple IOS?

  • Hi Travis,

    Business Insights only works for PC versions of Excel. This is an existing feature request, so if you're interested in seeing a Mac version I'd encourage you to upvote this post in the Community:


  • I have several fields with the same label in 1 submission. For example, every sheet of my app asks for a new name, EE ID etc. When I use business insights to download data, only the last field with that label is recorded. How can I map the data so that all fields with that name are downloaded?

  • Hi there! Take a look at our Export Label feature - if you add unique Export Labels for those fields, they should all come out in BI. 

  • Hi Sara, thanks for the help. Do you know if I would be able to download all the fields in 1 column though?

    For example, I can use export labels to rename each EE ID as EE ID 1 and EE ID 2 and EE ID 3, but when I download from BI, I need all EE ID in one column. Right now, with the different labels each EE ID is in a different column. 

  • are you able to create a macro to fresh the data set?

  • Howdy Richard! Are you trying to automatically update your reference data file with user input?

    If so, we do have a paid feature called Dynamic Reference data, which gives you the ability to update your Reference Data with information entered in a previous Submission.

    This is a feature that is currently available through our Professional Services team. They’ll be able to give you a quote specific to your needs and configuration, but here are some general guidelines:

    -Professional Plan and above only
    -Monthly costs (including maintenance and hosting) are typically around $250

    This is currently offered through Professional Services, but is definitely something we're exploring incorporating into the core of the product.

    If there is other functionality you are trying to accomplish with an Excel macro, could you please provide more details on your intended use case?

    (Edited )
  • Hey Chris,

    I am trying to Refresh the Submission data from a certain app with a push button.



  • You can append additional submission data to an existing spreadsheet by checking the related box when downloading within Excel! There are further details above in the, 'Refreshing your data' section.

  • yes but I am trying to get it to append automatically with new submissions with no user interactions

  • Thank you for clarifying! In that case, I would advise looking into using Zapier to pull submission data automatically into Google Sheets. There is a Help Center topic with more details on setting up Zapier here.

    You could potentially use the GoCanvas Webservices API to pull down submitted data as another option. More details on the Webservice API can be found here.