What data types does the Open Data portal support?

The following table provides a list of data types available in data.iowa.gov.  The last four data types listed are not available when creating/updating a dataset using a file.  You may add columns using those types of data types once your file has been imported and provide content by editing cells directly on your working copy or via a form.

Data Type


Plain Text

UTF-8 encoded text – no formatting.

Formatted Text

UTF-8 encoded text that may contain HTML.  Note: HTML will be sanitized to remove any potentially dangerous elements.


Numbers should not contain any commas.  For negative numbers, the negative sign should precede the number. (e.g. -10000).


Percent can either be a number or a number followed by a percent sign.  However, if it is just a number it should not be in the 0.01 to 1.0 range (e.g. 42 not 0.42).  If you plan on automating updates, you should NOT include the percent sign in your data values.


Money can be a number or a number preceded with a dollar sign.  For negative monetary values, either a negative sign or a set of parentheses are acceptable (e.g. $-42.21, ($42.21), or -$42.21).  Data values should exclude commas.  If you plan on automating updates, you should NOT include the dollar sign in your data values.

Date & Time

Supported ISO 8601 formats[1]:

  • yyyy-MM-dd['T']HH:mm:ssZ (e.g. "1920-01-22T00:00:00Z", "1920-01-22T00:00:00-10:00", or "1920-01-22 00:00:00Z")
  • yyyy-MM-dd['T']HH:mm:ss (e.g. "1920-01-22T00:00:00" or "1920-01-22 00:00:00")
  • yyyy-MM-dd['T']HH:mm (e.g. "1920-01-22T00:00")
  • yyyy-MM-dd (e.g. "1920-01-22")

Supported non-ISO 8601 formats:

  • MMM d, yyyy (e.g. "Feb 19, 1972")
  • MMMM d, yyyy (e.g. "February 19, 1972")
  • M-d-yyyy (e.g. "2-19-1972")
  • M/d/yyyy (e.g. "2/19/1972")
  • M.d.yyyy (e.g. "2.19.1972")

In the non-ISO 8601 formats, months and days can be either single or double digit and may or may not be led with a '0'.


URL's support two different input formats:  

Only three URL schemes are acceptable: ftp, http, and https.


Three different input formats are acceptable for emails:

  • <a href="mailto:transparency@iowa.gov">State Data Administrator</a>
  • transparency@iowa.gov
  • State Data Administrator <transparency@iowa.gov>

If your data source does not have validations in place to ensure data values are in fact proper emails, it is recommended you use plain text or formatted text instead.


Composite data type based on U.S formatted address information provided in single or multiple columns.  Multiple columns:

  • Street Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code (either 5 or 9 digit)

U.S. formatted address in a single column should be comma separated and wrapped in quotes (for CSV) (e.g. “1007 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50319”).

The following partial addresses may be geocoded:

  • City, State
  • Zip Code
  • State
  • State, Zip Code

Location data may also be based on geographic coordinates provided in decimal degrees.

Separate columns for lat and long:

  • Latitude bounded by 90 and -90
  • Longitude bounded by 180 and -180

Single column for geographic coordinates should enclose in parentheses, use comma to separate latitude and longitude (latitude listed first) and wrap in quotes (for CSV) (e.g. “(41.591186, -93.603782)”).

Addresses and geographic coordinates may also be provided in a single column where wrapped in quotes (e.g. “1007 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50319 (41.591186, -93.603782)”)


Valid false values:

  • 0
  • f
  • false
  • n
  • no
  • off

Valid true values:

  • 1
  • t
  • true
  • y
  • yes
  • on


Is only available after importing a dataset.  Number.  The system does not validate phone number or format.

Multiple Choice

Is only available after importing a dataset.  System allows dataset owner to pre-enter values to select from a drop-down list.


Is only available after importing a dataset.  Accepts the following file formats: .jpg, .png, .gif


Is only available after importing a dataset.  Accepts any file type.

[1] The International Standard for the representation of dates and times is ISO 8601. Its full reference number is ISO 8601 : 1988 (E), and its title is "Data elements and interchange formats - Information interchange - Representation of dates and times"

Program Area
Open Data, Data Types, Importing Data

Printed from the Iowa Department of Management website on April 21, 2018 at 6:17am.