Gist Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll through this FAQ to see some common questions that we get about Gist, and explore our team’s helpful tutorial articles and videos!

What can I use Gist for?

Gist users can create engaging micro-sites and data visualizations through a user-friendly platform. Use Gist to turn your data into knowledge through simple data visualizations that can generate insights to be shared internally or externally. Browse digital collections with Gist gallery visualizations, and engage audiences through data journalism visualizations that bring your data to life. Here are some resources to help you get started with Gist, and figure out if it’s right for you:

Do I have to be a data visualization expert to use Gist?

Nope! Gist was designed to be a simple, user-friendly interface that is approachable to data visualization beginners. We provide tutorials and examples to easily get you oriented with the process of data visualization:

Can you take me through a step-by-step tutorial of Gist?

Of course! Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial to get you started:

What data types can Gist use?

Gist accepts the following field types in datasets: Text, Number, Percent, and Date. Additionally, Gist can take datasets in CSV, TSV, or JSON file formats. We have some more information about the data types and file formats that are supported by Gist, as well as sample datasets for you to explore:

Will my data structure work well with Gist?

Gist works best with particular data structures, data field types, and file formats. There are steps you can take to optimize your data prior to uploading it to a Gist visualization, which we detail in these resources:

What third-party apps does Gist integrate with?

Gist integrates with multiple third-party apps, including Google Sheets, Smartsheet,, and Salesforce. A new visualization can connect to any of these as a data source, in addition to APIs, spreadsheets, and databases, as seen in the image of available data sources (below). To connect to these, select one as a data source and follow the login prompt. You should then be able to connect to data sheets and projects within these apps. We’ve also linked our Google Sheets tutorial article to help you navigate using third-party apps as data sources for your Gist visualizations.

How do I know which visualization view will best represent my data?

We understand that choosing the right visualization can be tricky, even with an intuitively designed interface, so we’ve written some articles on choosing the right views for your data, based on what you want to accomplish. The Gist Playbook helps you plan your visualization in Gist based on what you want to do, and we have plenty of articles explaining the best uses for each visualization type. Once you’ve made sure your dataset is structured well for Gist, you can begin to explore view options.

How can I share my visualizations?

Once you’ve created a visualization in Gist, you can embed visualizations, publish and share insights, and create articles. We’ve gathered some resources below to help you explore options for sharing both your Gist visualizations and insights gathered from your data.