Datawrapper Troubleshooting

You uploaded your data, but it looks weird? The chart doesn't display your data in a way you want it to display? This article tries to help. Here, we explain common problems that lead to an unsatisfying experience with Datawrapper.

My chart doesn't show the data it should show. / I try to select a certain numeric/date column for my chart type, but it's not possible to select it. / Normally Datawrapper creates nice date intervals out of my time data, but not this time.

These problems occur when the data is uploaded in a way that makes it impossible for Datawrapper to interpret them correctly as numbers or dates. There might also be some problems with column headers:

  • The data is not in a clean format. Follow our guide for clean data. There, we explain how your data should look like to be imported well with Datawrapper. For example, make sure to import your numbers without currency or percentage signs.
  • Dates are not recognized as dates or numbers are not recognized as numbers: If numbers or dates appear as left-aligned and black in step 2: Check & Describe, Datawrapper recognizes them as text instead. Visit this article that explains how Datawrapper interprets data types, and search for & delete footnotes or extra characters in your table cells.
  • Special characters: Try to search for hyphens or slashes, especially in the column headers, and delete them.

My chart looks weird. More like art.

You mean, it looks like this? Then you want to "transpose" your data; meaning, you want to swop columns and rows. To do so, go to step 2: Check & Describe, and click on "Swap rows and columns". Or visit our more exhaustive guide on transposing.

I changed a setting in the chart editor, but the chart doesn't change. 

In rare cases, your chart doesn't show a changed setting. In our current chart editor, that can quickly be solved by refreshing the page with Strg+R (and Command+R on a Mac). Don't worry, your settings will be saved. (And yes, we're working on a long-term fix for this problem.)

My uploaded .csv isn't properly translated in Datawrapper.

Make sure that you import a well-structured data file, with labels for the data in the first row. If there are numbers in the first row, Datawrapper will assume that this contains the legend, so you need to go back to your spreadsheet and add those. We have a separate tutorial about using .csv files for data uploads

My maps don't load.

We found that if there is a slash in one of the country descriptions, e.g. "Bosnia/Herzegovina", it might cause Datawrapper to not parse the data properly. If you get rid of the slash and write "Bosnia and Herzegovina", the data will load properly. 

Datawrapper is down or unresponsive.

Sometimes, you might see an error page where you expected a chart editor. That might be due to updates we push, or due to our servers on which we run Datawrapper. We are taking precaution by constantly working on the server set-up, backups and other resources. We do quality checks, monitor workload, and servers. On top, we have some redundant resources. But we can't promise 100% uptime. 

But even if the tool is down, your charts won't be. All charts are existing on two separate locations: The original chart or map is in the tool itself. Once you publish your chart it is sent to a global CDN (Content Delivery Network). Which means that even when Datawrapper is down for whatever reason, the published charts will be shown. 

If we know what the problem is and when Datawrapper will be available online, we will let you know on our Twitter account @Datawrapper.

I have general questions about pricing plans, map types, customizing your chart and there like. 

For questions about Datawrapper that are not directly linked to the chart editor, visit our Frequently Asked Questions on datawrapper.de/faq.

I have a question about the chart creation process that wasn't answered here. 

If you have a new question, please send it to support@datawrapper.de. Our support person Elana will get in touch with you. You can help her to identify your problem by sending a direct link to the chart you work on from the application (not the published link). 

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