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Connect a datasource

What is a datasource?
In Serenytics a datasource is an object that is used to connect your data. One datasource is roughly equal to one table of data. This means that a worksheet of an XLS file is a datasource and several worksheets are represented by several datasources in Serenytics. An SQL table maps to a single datasource. And a SQL server usually generates several Serenytics datasources.
Types of datasources
In Serenytics, datasources are grouped by types:
  • Files
  • Web Services
  • SQL tables
  • Joins between several datasources
  • Storages
Files
To upload a file into Serenytics, just click on "New Data Source" in the Data menu, and then on the icon with the type of file you want to upload and select your file:
Upload a data file

You can upload XLS or CSV files into Serenytics. When a file is uploaded, Serenytics has a copy of it. The data queries are run on the copy of the file.

The "BigCSV" option lets you upload very large CSV files (up to millions of rows). When you upload a CSV file with this option, it is loaded in the internal Redshift datawarehouse of your account. Then, queries are run against this datawarehouse.

The "CSV link" option lets you connect to a CSV file hosted somewhere else and available through an URL (e.g. like an S3 file). Serenytics does not copy the file locally. Queries are run against the distant file. So the dashboards always use the latest version of the file.

Web Services and API
This section lets you connect to a webservice that provides data. The most used connectors are Google Analytics and Google drive.
Options to connect a web service

Serenytics does not copy the data from a webservice into Serenytics. Each data query will query the distant API of the webservice. So the data will always be the latest data, but it may be slow if you query a lot of data.

If you need to copy the data into Serenytics for performance reasons, you need to create an "ETL step". Using an "ETL step", you will be able to trigger a data sync between the webservice and the Serenytics internal datawarehouse.

SQL tables
To connect tables from your SQL server, use the tab "SQL" and select your SQL server type:
Options to connect an SQL server

You need to create one datasource for each table you need to use for your dashboards.

By default, we don't copy the data from the SQL server to Serenytics. Your queries will be executed directly on your SQL server.

If you need to copy the data into Serenytics for performance reasons, you need to create an "ETL step". Using an "ETL step", you will be able to trigger a data sync between your SQL server and the Serenytics internal datawarehouse.

Joins
The join tab lets your create joins (or concatenations) between datasources:
Options to create joins

Most joins are created between tables from the same SQL server. It is possible to create joins between datasources from different origins (e.g. one datasource from an SQL table and one XLS file). This will work but it will be very very slow.

If you need to create joins between several different origins of data, we strongly advise to sync all your data in the internal datawarehouse (i.e using storages and ETL steps) and then to create your joins on these datasources.

Storages in the Serenytics Datawarehouse
One original feature of Serenytics is that your account comes with an internal datawarehouse. To create a table in this datawarehouse, click on "Storage" in the "Serenytics Datawarehouse" tab:
Storage creation (i.e. table in the internal Redshift datawarehouse)
There are several ways to load data in a storage:
  • Using an "ETL step" to load data from any other datasource.
  • Using an "(S)FTP task" to schedule a data loading from a CSV file on a FTP server.
  • From a Python script to load data from a file or from a Pandas dataframe.
  • By pushing JSON objects to our API.
Configure and inspect your datasource

For each datasource, once you have created it, you need to configure it.

It can be as simple as selecting the worksheet to use for an XLS file (it uses the first worksheet by default). For an SQL table, there are more fields as you need to provide your SQL server details.

But eventually, once your datasource is correctly configured, a data preview will be shown in the configuration page. It shows the first 100 rows of your dataset:

Data preview for a datasource
Each column header contains three items:

  • The first one is the header's name.
  • The second one is its type. It's very important to check that the types are correct when you connect data as the type will enable/disable some options for this column. For example, if a column is detected with the datetime type, you will be able to group data by month, quarter, year...
  • The barchart icon to inspect the column (see details below).

Data header

If you click on the barchart icon, default statistics for the column are shown:

Statistics obtained when inspecting a column
Next step
If you have connected your own datasources, congratulations! The next step is to create your first dashboard based on your data.
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