Expand JSON with nested data + inconsistent structure - not working

I’m using an uploaded JSON file and I’m trying to expand nested JSON, whilst in the flow I’m offered the choice of expanding nested data, it doesn’t expand.

The data is always that which is inconsistent.

I’ve tried flipping the table and trying to manipulate the data, but a little stuck.

Not data I want to share publicly, so feel free to reach out Parabola team :slight_smile:

Hi @jim,

I sent you a direct message, so feel free to reply with your email address and we can take it from there.


I’m having this problem too.

My JSON has three properties, each of which has nested data, but only one property has a value for each record.

I’ve tried filtering, to get rows that only have a value so that I can then Expand JSON further. But, no joy. The source column is empty - when I can see in the API response that there’s a value.

Do I need to somehow “tell” Parabola where to look for the data, like a path or something. I can’t see any way to do this?



Hey @Dave_Anderson,

This type of irregular JSON expansion can definitely be a bit tricky. While there’s no exact way to ‘tell’ Parabola where to look for the data, Parabola will look at the JSON in the first row and use that as a ‘template’ for expanding JSON in subsequent rows. If there is an invalid or missing key in the top row, our expand step JSON step will omit that field in subsequent expanded rows.

Are you able to identify a record that is missing a key? If you’re able to do that, you can then use an “If/Else” step to ‘tag’ rows with missing keys (ex. Use If/Else to create a new column called Need key? → Rule: If JSON column doesn’t contain key name then set the new column value to true).

You can then use another “If/Else” step to create a new column that directly manipulates all rows where Needs key = true, virtually rebuilding a complete JSON package. Other steps that can be helpful here include the “Combine Tables” and “Insert Text Column” steps, which you can use to piece the data back together/ add keys to your JSON body.

If you’re unable to unpack the JSON with these suggestions, feel free to send a link to your flow over to support@parabola.io and we’re happy to make a more specific recommendation over email!

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Hey @Adam_R,

Thanks! I made sure that the first row had a value - that was indeed the problem.

I did lose a few hours trying to figure this out. Maybe I missed this in the docs? Might be good to note this.



Glad to hear that did the trick @Dave_Anderson!

Apologies for the lost time here – you’re certainly right, this would be useful info to include in our “How To” docs. I just added a note in the “Helpful Tips” section of our “Expand JSON” documentation – appreciate you calling it out!