2013 – Convert a column from text to choice(checkbox)

I need to upload (edit: currently trying via import spreadsheet) a table from excel where one of the columns needs to be a multiple choice selection field.

By adding a “;” separator into the excel column and then uploading it SP then converting the text column to a checkbox choice column SP seems to automatically know which values are the selected ones.

The only problem is that this does not work for filtering. When I click on the column to filter by and select a value the list will return 0 items.

Going into quick edit mode and opening the choices for that column on that item will then update the list so that when I filter by one of the selected values that item will appear.

I am looking for a quicker way of updating the columns so that I do not need to touch each row individually.

column data example: