Insiders: Data Visualizer for process diagrams in Visio Pro for O365

Want a quick overview of the Data Visualizer feature?

Watch the demo video


Hello Insiders,

We've some very useful feature updates for you!

First, Visio Data Visualizer now supports bi-directional synchronization between the Excel data and the Visio diagram. Now keep both files synchronized and up-to-date, when you change the Excel data, refresh the diagram; when you change the diagram content, update the Excel data.

Where can I find these options?

Once you have created your diagram from data, click anywhere inside the diagram to enable the Data Tools Design tab in the ribbonIn this tab, you will find the following entry points (as shown in image below):

  • Refresh Diagram
  • Update Source Data

For more details read through Stage 6: Synchronizing the data and the diagram in this article.

Second, now create Data Visualizer diagrams using any stencil of your choice! The shape mapping step of the Create from Data wizard allows you to select more shapes now. More details here.


Updated: 9/27/2017

Hello Insiders,

We've got a cool feature update for you, now enhance your Data Visualizer diagram by adding data graphics! Visualize the key metrics in your process map Excel data using Visio data graphics. For example, notice how an analyst can overlay the process step cost and owner information on the diagram using data graphics as follows. 

To use the Apply Data Graphics to Data Visualizer diagram feature in Visio Pro for Office 365, you must be an Office Insider.    

Check out details here.


Updated: 5/22/2017

We've got some great feature updates for you! The following new Data Visualizer feature enhancements are available in app version 16.0.8067.2115 (or above):

  • Create your Visio process diagram automatically from an Excel file stored in SharePoint document library! Now work collaboratively on your process map in Excel and import it in Visio to automatically create the diagram
  • Now you can create your process diagram automatically with stencils of your choice. Check out the details here

Thank you for all your feedback, it really helps us in improving the feature. We invite you to try it out once again and let us know if there are any other improvements we should make.



I am Shashank Gandhi, and I work as a Program Manager for team Visio at Microsoft. Back in October 2016, we released an early preview of the Data Visualizer feature in Visio. We created this feature for those of you who would like to present your process map requirements captured in Excel in a structured format, and automatically convert those to diagrams. This helps with:

  • Generating standardized data driven diagrams
  • Creating diagrams quickly by converting Excel data to Visio diagrams

We’ve received some fantastic feedback on the Data Visualizer feature (referred to as Visio smart diagrams earlier) from Insiders. Your insights have been invaluable for us as we continue to make improvements on this feature. As our valued Insider, we are pleased to share with you a first look at the improvements we’ve made since we announced this feature last fall.

You can get a quick overview by watching this video:

Check it out!

What's improved since the last Insider preview?

We’ve added several new features based on asks from our Insider customers --

  • Out- of-box Visio and Excel data templates to create diagrams
  • A wizard based UI to map Excel data columns to create diagram

  • Improved layout for automatically created diagrams

  • Refresh diagram and keep it up-to-date as data changes


To preview the Data Visualizer feature, make sure you've checked the following --

  1. You're an Office 365 subscriber, and have  Visio Pro for O365
  2. Microsoft Excel is installed on your machine to use this feature
  3. You have build 16.0.7967.2030 or later installed (see update from May 22, 2017 on top).
  • Check your Office app version by going to File > Account
  • Update to the latest version by clicking File > Account > Update Options > Update Now
  • Restart Visio app once after updating

Scenarios to try

a) Creating a diagram from data in Excel

  1. Launch Visio and go to File > New and then click Templates

2. On the Template Categories, click the Flowchart tile. You will see two Data Visualizer templates

3. Click on any of the two templates to launch template preview. In the description, you’ll see a link to an Excel data template that helps you represent your process flowchart steps in Excel.

4. Enter your process steps in the Excel and save the file. The Excel file has help content and snapshots of sample data to get you started.

5. Go back to the Data Visualizer Visio template preview and click Create. The diagram creation wizard gets launched automatically.

In the Create a Diagram from Data wizard, click Browse, and navigate to the Excel file you just created for the process steps. All diagram mappings will get pre-populated.

6. Click Next to customize or Finish to create the diagram.

b) Refresh your diagram

  1. Add new data rows or modify existing ones in the source Excel file and save your Excel file
  2. Select the diagram container in Visio and click Refresh (in the Data Tab ‘Create from Data’ section) to update the diagram


  • Any customizations you make to the existing shapes in the diagram will be preserved on Refresh
    • Example: Shape formatting changes, adding comments to shapes etc. will not be preserved post refresh
  • However, any new shapes added to the diagram on canvas will be lost after refresh. To add new shapes/ modify Swimlane or Phase/ modify connections, please update the data and then click on Refresh

c) Export as a Template Package

Once your diagram is created, share it as a template package with others in your organization. The template package enables users to share the diagram and associated data file together with the diagram mappings preserved in the template itself!

 Create mappings once and re-use them across your organization

  1. Once you have created your diagram, select the diagram container, and click on Export (in the Data Tab ‘Create from Data’ section)

2. Save the template package using the save dialog

3. You can find the template package (.VTPX) in the saved location, share it with another user or install the package in your own machine by double clicking on the file.

4. Double clicking on the .VTPX file places the Visio template in the Personal Tab for templates, in Visio backstage

5. Single click on the template thumbnail to open the template preview, you will find the link to the associated Excel file in the preview

6. Open the Visio template and point it to the Excel file associated with the template. You will find all diagram mappings pre-populated in the wizard!

Send us your feedback

Did you hit any rough spots, have suggestions for improvement, or looking for more ways to automatically create any other diagram types? We’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment on this post or send us an email at <dv-feedback[at-the-rate]>

Have any other feature ask for automatic creation of diagrams from data? Post your suggestions/ ideas at Visio User Voice.

Thank you!

Shashank Gandhi and team


Create a Data Visualizer diagram

Use the Create Diagram from Data wizard

Data Visualizer Frequently Asked Questions

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Please note that if you are on build 16.0.7870.2013 then you can still try out the feature, however:

  • You will not see the link to Excel data template in template preview (backstage)
  • You can find the link to Excel template on Canvas (hyperlinked on a shape) once you open the template on the Read Me page
  • The wizard will not launch automatically, go to data tab and click on Create to launch wizard
  • You will not find the Export as Template Package feature in this build
Shashank Gandhi

Hello everyone,

I updated this post as we’ve rolled out 2 key feature enhancements to Data Visualizer. Now create the diagram automatically using stencil of your choice and you can also create your diagram from an Excel file stored in SharePoint.

Check out the updates and try it out! We’d love to get your input as we continue to make improvements on this feature.

Thank you!

Shashank Gandhi

Hi Shashank,

I've spent almost a day with my IT helpdesk to get the correct version so I can get the template for the Cross Functional Data Vizualizer.  We finally got the version installed (June 1, 2017, Version 1704 (Build 8067.2157)); however, the link to "excel data template" still doesn't show when I go to create a new file.  Also, my attempt to try to upload data that I've created in excel doesn't work; when I go through Data>Custom import wizard, nothing appears on the page.

Is there someone I can call for live help asap?  If I can't get the link it would be great if someone could guide me through how to set up my data.  (I've already gone through the short guides I've found online.)



having the same issue here. I worked for a month with our IT team and finally got me the latest version of 16.0.8201.2102. But this feature is not available. When clicking the Step 1 of the Out-of-Box template, the wizard based UI to map Excel data columns to create diagram does not appear. Can anyone help specify what was wrong and how to enable it?

Dear User,

Please send a screenshot of your File>Account page in Visio app to dv-feedback[at-the-rate] 

I apologize for the inconvenience caused, we will look into this and get back to you soon.


Shashank Gandhi

PM, Visio

Dear User,

Please send a screenshot of your File>Account page in Visio app to dv-feedback[at-the-rate] 

I apologize for the inconvenience caused, we will look into this and get back to you soon.


Shashank Gandhi

PM, Visio

the email was removed by this website. Not sure where to send the screenshot to. So, I'm attaching them below.

I assume you are looking for the revision number of my Visio and here it is.

I'm also attaching the screenshot of how my Cross-Functional Flowchart Data Visualizer template looks like when I tried to use it. Any help is appreciated.  


Thanks for sharing this, the email id would have been removed for privacy concerns. I have edited it, so it should show up now.

I have also replied to you in a private message on the forum for the required details. 

I sent you a private message on the forum sharing the feedback mail Id and the details we need to help solve your issue.
Same problem here. I have the same Visio build. 32bit though.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.


Discussion Info

Last updated November 8, 2020 Views 5,207 Applies to: