Basic Data Access

This chapter describes advanced features, i.e. available only in KnowageBD and KnowageSI products, to access data as end user.

Important

Enterprise Edition

If you purchased Knowage EE, the following features are available only in KnowageBD and KnowageSI products

A dataset is a way to read data from different sources and represents the portion of data used by various documents. Suppose you want to create a bar chart showing the sales trend for the current year; in this case you need to pass to the document the total sales amount for each month of the current year. You can create your own dataset uploading an XLS or a CSV file or use a dataset already defined. Knowage offers you also the chance to download open data from WEB thanks to CKAN integration. Moreover you can create your own and more complete dataset from different sources through the dataset federation. In the following we will describe all these functionalities.

Let us suppose to enter, with end user credentials, the data management area clicking on the Workspace icon from BI functionalities menu as shown in figure below and the Data section of the window.

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Fig. 114 Access to My Data area

Afterward you have the subsections: Dataset and Models. Select Models to explore the models and the Dataset Federation area. Please note that the Dataset Federation functionality is available only in KnowageBD and KnowageSI.

Dataset

Into the “Dataset” area we find all the datasets classified according to their types. The datasets are categorised as follows:

  • My dataset: datasets created by yourself uploading a CSV or XLS file or creating a query on a business model using the Qbe interface;
  • Enterprise dataset: certified datasets, namely datasets created by the technical/experts users and shared with the end user.
  • Shared dataset: datasets created and shared by other end users;
  • CKAN dataset: in this area you can download public datasets and visualize your CKAN datasets;
  • All dataset: in this folder are stored all the available datasets, namely all datasets contained in the classes just described.

My dataset

In this area you can create datasets uploading your own files.

Click Create Dataset to open the dataset wizard which guides you through the dataset creation. You can choose between XLS or CSV file as in the following figure.

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Fig. 115 Dataset creation.

In the example shown in the next figure, we upload an XLS file.

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Fig. 116 Uploading XLS for dataset.

The wizard, shown below, leads the user to insert some information to configure the dataset. For instance to specify the number of rows to skip or to limit and which sheet (of the XLS file) to pick up values from.

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Fig. 117 Configuration features.

Once you have uploaded the file, you can check and define the metadata (measure or attribute) of each column. To switch a measure to an attribute (or viceversa), click on Value column of the interested row field as shown below.

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Fig. 118 Change metadata.

Just few steps before saving the dataset:

  • Check the data preview in order to verify the accuracy of your data;
  • enable or disable the persistence of dataset. Thanks to this functionality the server creates a snapshot of the extracted data in order to avoid to reload the dataset each time that the user revokes it;
  • finally, name and save the dataset as shown below.
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Fig. 119 Saving dataset.

As we discussed previously, you find all created datasets under My dataset area. You can share/unshare them by clicking on the share icon (have a look at the next figure). The colour of the icon changes from white to red when sharing is turned to active. A shared dataset is visible to all other users having your same role.

Note that dedicated area “Shared Dataset” contains all acquired datasets thanks to the sharing of other users.

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Fig. 120 Share a dataset.

CKAN integration

Thanks to CKAN integration you can easily access to datasets published in the World Wide Web (e.g. datahub.io, data.gov, data.lab.fiware.org, dati.gov.it, and more). Indeed, CKAN is the world’s leading open-source data portal platform. It is a powerful data management system that makes data accessible by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is addressed to data publishers (national and regional governments, companies and organizations) who want to make their data open and available. So you can search and handle open data in a self-service manner.

Warning

CKAN Datasets

CKAN datasets can be divided into four main categories: “Public”, “Organization private”, “Acquired”, “User private”. You can download and use only the datasets having a Public category.

CKAN datasets access method

To start using CKAN datasets inside Knowage suite, go to the CKAN Dataset tab in the “Dataset” subsection of “Data” section under “My Workspace”. As shown in figure below, choose from the combobox the repository that you are interested in and then click on the repository name to access it.

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Fig. 121 CKAN Repositories.

A preview of datasets stored in the chosen repository will be shown.

These are not usable yet, but you can start to handle them as we will show in the following sections. The datasets are shown with their name and description. By moving the cursor over a dataset, a list of available actions will appear. Clicking on the Info button, a set of information from the original CKAN resource and about the dataset status (e.g. visibility, last modification date) ill be displayed by Knowage, as in the following figure. To use one of them you have to import metadata information and then analyse the dataset on demand.

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Fig. 122 CKAN dataset details.

Export dataset

Note that once the dataset has been created, the user may find useful to get an excel from it. Knowage has designed a specific button to fulfil this need that the user can find exploring the detail panel of the dataset, as reported below.

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Fig. 123 Export dataset.

Save and handle dataset

If you want to use a dataset not used yet, any action on it will start the metadata import wizard. You access it by clicking the magnifier icon. As a first step, you have to insert some mandatory parameters to set the parser configuration.

As a second step the user have to specify how the dataset will appear and to check metadata. Be careful to choose the proper data type (String, Integer, Double) and field type (Measure, Attribute). After that, click on Next to see the validation results, confirm and finalize dataset import. Once completed the dataset importation, the selected dataset will appear in the DataSet tab too. These actions just listed on the dataset change for downloaded datasets. In particular you have the eye-shaped icon to refresh the dataset or change metadata by repeating the download process and the magnifier icon to inquire it through the QbE interface.

Models

Here you find the models that the a technical user has built for you. You can query it using the QbE interface and create your own dataset from them.

Dataset federation

Dataset federation is a functionality available only in KnowageBD and KnowageSI. Thanks to the Data federation functionality, you can create a new dataset combining two or more datasets according to your role permissions. Let us give you an example. Suppose you have stored in a database your products information (i.e. sales, costs, promotions ecc.) and you find as open data the customers feedbacks on these products. If you create datasets on these Dataset federation resources sharing at least one column, then you can join them on the common column and improve your analysis.

Click on Create Federation to see all available datasets and choose the ones you want to federate. Click Next and choose which columns the join have to be made on and click the plus icon to add it to the Association list. In our example in the following figure we choose Product.

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Fig. 124 Federated dataset details.

Once saved, The new federation has been created in Federation definition and you can find it in Federation definition. Open it by clicking the magnifier icon on the federation. In this way you open it with QbE tool. All details on how to use the QbE interface to perform free inquiries can be found in the dedicated chapter. You can create new datasets, save them and retrieve them from the Dataset section.