IBM Watson - Imports & Exports

Rob Hayes
Rob Hayes
  • Updated

Voiceflow allows you to import your data created on IBM Watson, and export it out of Voiceflow in a ready-to-upload format, in order to speed up your design work, and keep your designs in sync with your NLU.

Data Included on Import+Export

Here is a quick overview of the data that will be imported to Voiceflow from Watson’s JSON, and included in our export files:

  • Intents
  • Entities (including names, values and synonyms)
  • User Examples (including all entity annotations)


Exporting Skill Data from Watson

You can follow the instructions provided by the Watson docs to export your Skill’s training data here, from your Skills overview page.


You will receive a single JSON file as the export, and that is what you will need to upload when you import that data into Voiceflow.

Importing Skill Data into Voiceflow

There are two methods to import your skill data into Voiceflow:

On Assistant Creation

When creating a new assistant in Voiceflow, you will be asked to select your use case (Launch & Host or Design & Handoff), choose Design & Handoff. The select the channel you are building for (Voice Assistant or Chat Assistant) and the NLU you are building for.

Once you select IBM Watson from the options, an upload link will appear, and when you click it, you can select the Skill file you have downloaded from Watson.


 This will pre-populate your assistant with the complete training data set contained in your file.

In your NLU Manager

There is a similar import function available in your NLU Manager view, and clicking the ‘Import’ button found in the bottom-left will trigger the import flow.


Using this import method will upload all new intents, entities and user examples without deleting the current ones. Any intents or entities with the same name will be overwritten by the newer version.

Exporting NLU Training Data from Voiceflow

When you are ready to export your NLU data for use back in Watson, you have two options, depending on how you want to manage your data workflow between the platforms:

Export the entire data set (as a JSON)

In the Export Menu, if you do not select any individual intents (ie. leave the Select intents to export field blank), hitting the ‘Export’ button will generate a JSON export file containing every Intent that is currently used in a step on your canvas (ie. in Intent, Choice or Button Steps).

Export individual intents and entities (as CSVs)

In the Export Menu, if you select individual intent and hit the ‘Export’ button, you will generate a ZIP containing an intents.csv and entities.csv files.


You can generate these export for Watson in the following ways:

  • From the ‘Share’ Menu on the design canvas (under ‘Export as…’ and ‘NLU data’)
  • (Coming soon) From the ‘Export’ Menu on the NLU Manager

Uploading Skill Data into Watson’s Console

Based on the type of export you have created, you can upload the data to Watson in the following ways:

Import your full model JSON

You can follow the instructions provided by the Watson docs to upload your Skill’s training data here, from your Skills overview page.


Select the JSON provided by Voiceflow, and it will automatically load your model.

Import your selected Intents and Entities CSVs

Using the ⬆️  icon on your Intents and Entities pages in Watson, you will be prompted to upload the CSV you exported from Voiceflow.


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