Fixing a data truncated warning in MySQL

How I fixed my “data truncated for column” warning in MySQL

Recently, while working on a project, I ran into a warning telling me that my “data was truncated for” one of my columns when I was importing a CSV file into one of my SQL tables.

Data truncated warning in MySQL
Pictured: The error in question.

Concerned that I had done something wrong, I Googled for a solution. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any answers there, so I ended up having to find the source of this warning myself.

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Importing CSV files into a MySQL table

Importing a CSV file into an SQL table

CSV stands for Comma-Separated Values, and CSV files are text files that look something like this:


johndoe,,"71 Pickering Street, Singapore, Singapore",+65-91234567
janedoe,,"24 Raffles Lane, Singapore, Singapore",+65-81234567
marysmith,,"83 Riveting Road, Singapore, Singapore",+65-97654321
bobsmith,,"84 Riveting Road, Singapore, Singapore",+65-87654321

Essentially, the CSV file format is meant to represent tabular data. The above CSV file represents the following table:

johndoejohn@example.com71 Pickering Street, Singapore, Singapore+65-91234567
janedoejane@website.com24 Raffles Lane, Singapore, Singapore+65-81234567
marysmith 83 Riveting Road, Singapore, Singapore +65-97654321
bobsmith 84 Riveting Road, Singapore, Singapore +65-87654321

Due to their tabular nature, data in a CSV file can very easily be imported into and stored in an SQL table. The commands to do that, however, are not very well-documented online.

If a CSV file does not open as a text file on your computer, that’s because your computer is opening the file with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. In such a case, to see the file as text, you will want to open these files on a text editing software such as Notepad.

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