Importing data

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Before you can build your reports, you first need to import your data. BIME offers a variety of data sources for you to choose from, including both on-premise and online locations. You can import your dataset using the Data source Builder. The Data source Builder is an interactive tool for connecting, editing, and storing your dataset. In BIME, a successfully imported dataset is referred to as a connection.

This getting started tutorial contains the following sections:

Connecting to data

The first step in importing your data is selecting your data source. In the Type step of the Data source Builder, you can select the icon that matches your data source. There are four types of data sources.

The four types are:

  • Excel and CSV files (green icons)
  • Web-based services (blue icons)
  • Big data stores (red icons)
  • Relational database management systems (yellow icons)

After you select a data source, you can add your dataset in the Info step of the Data source Builder. The Info step will require you to enter the necessary information to access your dataset, such as email, password, and host name. The Try it yourself below will discuss the Info step for an Excel connection.

Try it yourself: Selecting your data source

If you already created a dataset, you can establish a connection to your data source. If you do not have a dataset prepared, you can download this sample dataset, Shoe sales.

The instructions below will cover the Type and Info steps of the Data source Builder for an Excel connection. If you do not select the Excel icon, then you might have to enter different information in the Info step (see Adding connections).

To add a new Excel connection
  1. Click the Data sources library icon () on the left panel. All connections are stored in the Data sources library.
  2. Click +New to add a new connection. If you haven't created a connection yet, select Connect a data source now!
  3. Select your data source. This example uses Excel ().
  4. Click Next to continue to the Info step.
  5. In Info, enter or select the necessary information for your dataset.

    For an Excel data source, you will need to select a file from your computer. For other data sources you will need to enter sign-in credentials or database information (see Adding connections).

  6. Click Pick.

  7. Drag and drop a file from your computer or click Choose file to select a file from your Finder. Your file will upload automatically.
  8. If your Excel file contains more than one sheet, select the sheet you would like to use. You can only select one sheet.
  9. When you are finished, click Next to edit your dataset. The section below will discuss editing and storing your dataset.

Editing and storing data

If you are using an Excel data source, you can edit and store your data. If you are using a different data source, the editing and storage steps might not be visible. If these steps are unavailable, you can move on to the Advanced step or click Saveto begin building queries. BIME uses the term queries to describe any reports or graphs you build. For information on building your first query, see Creating queries.

This section contains the following topics:

Editing data

After clicking Next in the Info step, you will be redirected to the Schema step of the Data source Builder. In the Schemastep, you can view your imported dataset values, or elements, as either metrics or attributes. Metrics represent all quantitative data, while attributes represent non-quantitative categories. BIME automatically assigns elements as metric or attributes. In the Schema step, you can edit if your element is a metric or an attribute.

There are four options for editing data elements in Schema. These options are located in the middle of the Attributes and Metrics columns.

The available options are:
  • Move elements
  • Reset elements
  • Delete elements
  • Duplicate elements

You can move elements by dragging and dropping them between columns or using the arrows. The move elements option is useful if an element contains numeric information, but is not a metric. For example, IDs, invoice numbers, and product SKUs are all attributes with numeric strings that could accidentally be labeled as a metric. If these elements remained a metrics, they could not slice your data. You would need to add it as an attributes instead.

You can return elements to their imported positions by clicking the Reset button (). Before you reset your elements, you will see the warning dialogue below.

If you have elements that are irrelevant to the queries you would like to create, you can delete them from your schema. Any element deleted from your schema will move to Available columns. You can add the element back to your schema by moving it to either the Attributes or Metrics columns. Available columns also contains any elements BIME could not identify as a metric or an attribute.

Try it yourself: Moving elements

If your elements are located in the incorrect column, you can follow these steps to edit their positions. In the example below, the attribute Order priority was incorrectly placed in the Metrics columns. When Order priority is listed as a metric, you cannot slice your results by it. You can use these same steps for any incorrectly placed element.

  1. Select the element you would like to move.

  2. Click the left or right arrows to move your element.

  3. Click Next to proceed to the Storage step.

Selecting a storage option

The last step in adding a connection is selecting a storage option. Your storage option will determine the amount of data you can access and how you can refresh your data. Some storage options will not be available for certain data sources.

There are four storage options available:

  • None: The connection is live, so analysis is direct. BIME will make a direct call to the original data source when the connection is loaded or interacted with.
    Note: If you are connecting to a database, and select the None storage option, your query is remade in the database for each change. This can result in a lot of processing time. For better performance, you should select a different storage option.
  • Déjà Vu: BIME's cache. Déjà Vu can hold up to 200,000 rows of data. It can store either whole datasets or only query results. Data in the cache can be refreshed manually in the Advanced tab or using the Scheduler (see Using the BIME Scheduler).
  • BigQuery: If you have a BigQuery instance, you can manage data, create tables, and materialize joins through the BIME UI. Any BigQuery tables created through the BIME UI can be refreshed manually or using the Scheduler. For more information on creating a new BigQuery instance, see Connecting to BigQuery.
  • Managed Storage: A cloud-hosted columnar database that can store whole datasets or datasets too large to fit in the cache. For more information, see Using Managed Storage.

Since Shoe Sales is a file stored on your computer and does not contain more that 200,000 rows of data, Déjà Vu is the recommended storage option.

After you select a storage option, click Save to finish establishing your connection. If you want to edit advanced settings such as cache and time zone options, click on the Advanced tab.

Once you click Save, you will automatically be redirected to the Query Builder. See the next getting started tutorial for information on building queries.

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