Best practices, Building data pipelines, Product

Introducing the Data Wizard: 4 Small Steps to Data; One Giant Leap for Data Analysis

The very latest Incorta development sprint includes the new Data Wizard feature, which makes it faster and easier for people to load and interact with their own data. This is important because the real “ah-ha!” moment for new Incorta users happens when they are able to see their own data and explore it with surprising speed, simplicity, and flexibility.


The Trouble with Flat Data

So, why does data need a wizard?

Before Incorta, most data analysis was done against a single data file (or denormalized data set) usually originating from a data warehouse or business application, and often prepared by a data specialist. This data was flattened – that is, extracted, summarized and sanitized for a particular set of business questions. I’ve written about the limitations of flattened and reshaped data before; namely, that it restricts natural exploration of the data leading to fewer insights. 

Historically, this was the only way to get reasonable query performance out of a spreadsheet or data visualization tool. Unfortunately, flattened data can provide only the answers that it was designed for. If your analysis goes in a direction that isn’t supported by the data set, you’ll need to request a different, flattened data set. And usually wait. And wait… 

Incorta’s unified data analytics platform, on the other hand, does not require the data to be flattened. Our Direct Data Mapping technology allows you to work with original, full-fidelity data that can be directly analyzed in any way you like. Plus, Incorta is designed to be continuously refreshed, so your data analysis is always up to date. You can easily combine data sources together, and query across them in real time – something that is impractical with most tools. 

However, going from flat-file analytics to full-fidelity analytics does require an extra step or two, and that’s where the Data Wizard comes in.


Four Simple Steps to Data Brilliance

The Data Wizard guides you through connecting, selecting and importing your data from any source. Here’s how it works:

1. Connect with your data: This can be a database, an application data store like an ERP or CRM system, or a data stream from a bunch of IoT devices. If it has data, chances are we have a connector that we can enable for you.

2. Select your tables: After connecting, you’ll be presented with a list of all available tables. You can select them all, or just some of them. Technical users can customize the SQL used to extract the data, or create new tables using SQL. You can also set the label, data type and analytic function for each column. Incorta will find the relationships between the tables for you. That’s important when you’re bringing in complex ERP data with 50+ tables.

Wizard - data-wizard-define-schema

3. Load the data: Once the schema (the metadata describing the data you’re bringing in) has been defined, the next step is to start the data extraction and loading process. Incorta will display the progress visually, and there are a set of short informative videos to watch while you wait!


4. Explore your data: Once loading is complete, you can immediately begin exploring the data using the Incorta Analyzer.

If you want to add another data source, simply repeat the process. The Data Wizard makes it simple.


More Magic from the Data Wizard

The Data Wizard will continue to get better. Users will soon be able to review all the suggested joins and edit them as they see fit. We are also planning a suggestion engine that consults past usage and employs pattern matching to find potential data relationships. Another idea is to allow you to collaborate with others to complete the data wizard, for instance, to enter a password.

We want to surprise people with how much they can do.  

We hope that you’ll try the Incorta free trial, run the Data Wizard and say, “Wow, I can’t believe I just did that!!”


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