Designing reports, documents, and dashboards » About importing data into MicroStrategy Web

About importing data into MicroStrategy Web

You can import data directly into MicroStrategy Web, for use in creating dashboards, documents, and reports. You can import data from many different data sources, such as Excel files, databases, or Salesforce.com reports, or by using the results of custom database queries. You import the data into MicroStrategy with minimum project design requirements.

Some common uses for this quick import feature include:

Quickly integrating data into MicroStrategy as part of a proof-of-concept design
Immediately building dashboards, documents, and reports without having to "model" the data source
Importing and reporting on personalized data from various data sources
Combining and analyzing personalized data with your project data
Modifying the data in your data source, then republishing the data to quickly update your dashboards, documents, and reports

A dataset is a set of data that can be displayed in a dashboard or document. The data can be displayed in objects such as visualizations, filters, text fields, and so on. You can import data into a new dataset or add the data to an existing dataset. You can select multiple tables to create a single, multi-table dataset.

You can combine different types of data sources in a single dataset. For example, you can import an Excel spreadsheet and then import a table from a relational database, and combine them into a single dataset.

Data sources can access data directly or from memory. Direct data access means that MicroStrategy Web connects to the data source. If the in-memory data access is used, MicroStrategy Web retrieves the dataset results from the data sources and stores them in memory. For more details about the difference, and steps to change how a dataset accesses data, see Determining how a dataset accesses its data.

You can:

* Depending on your MicroStrategy privileges, you may not have access to all of the data sources described listed below.
Import data from within a dashboard or a document. Your imported data is saved and can be used immediately in the dashboard or the document. For general steps to add data to a dashboard, see Adding and removing datasets from a dashboard. For general steps to add data to a document, see the Document Creation Guide.
Import and save data in a folder location. You can use this data immediately to create a dashboard, document, or report, as described above, or create dashboards, documents, or reports using the data at a later time.

For steps to import data from a specific data source, see the appropriate topic below:

Importing data from a file on your computer or network, a URL, or a file URI scheme
Importing data from a database by:
Picking relational tables, see Importing data from relational tables.
Building a SQL query, see Importing data from a database by building a SQL query.
Typing a custom database query, or Freeform script, see Importing data using a Freeform script.
Importing data from a Hadoop file browser by:
Browsing Hadoop files, see Importing data from a Hadoop file browser.
Picking relational tables, see Importing data from relational tables.
Building a SQL query, see Importing data from a database by building a SQL query.
Typing a custom query, or Freeform script, see Importing data using a Freeform script.
Importing data from an OLAP source. OLAP sources, which are also referred to as MDX Cubes, include Microsoft Analysis Services, Cognos TM1, SAP BW, and Essbase.
Importing data by scraping a web page (public data)
Importing data from a Salesforce.com report
Importing data from Google Analytics
Importing data from Google BigQuery by:
Picking relational tables, see Importing data from Google BigQuery.
Building a SQL query, see Importing data from a database by building a SQL query.
Typing a custom database query, or Freeform script, see Importing data using a Freeform script.
Importing data from a file stored on Google Drive
Importing data from a file stored on Dropbox
Importing data using a search as a source
Importing data by typing or pasting values directly into Web
Importing data from a BI tool. BI tools include SAP Business Objects Universe (BO), Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), and IBM Cognos Framework Manager.
Importing data from Facebook
Importing data from Twitter
Importing data from a sample file
* Note the following: 
If the data source that you want to use is not available,  you can suggest it as a possible future addition to MicroStrategy Web. For steps, see Suggesting a data source for data import.
You can also hide and display different data sources and databases, so that only the options that you use regularly are displayed. For steps, seeDisplaying and hiding data sources and databases for data import.

Dashboards can be exported and saved as MicroStrategy files in MicroStrategy Desktop or in MicroStrategy Analytics Express. You can then import the dashboard file into MicroStrategy Web. Importing dashboards allows you to migrate data from Desktop or Analytics Express to Web, and share it with other Web users. For steps to import a dashboard, see Importing a dashboard.

After you select the data from the data source, you can modify and refine the data, as described below, before importing the data:

Preview and modify your data, using the Preview page, by:
Selecting the worksheet of data to import, if you are importing the data from an Excel workbook with more than one worksheet
Adding more data from the same data source or a different one
Designating columns of data as attributes or metrics
Choosing whether to import your data in a tabular or cross-tabbed layout (for data that is imported from a source other than a database)
Inserting column headers into the data, if the file does not provide them (for data that is imported from a source other than a database)
Using data columns as attribute forms to define a new, multiform attribute, if your data contains different attribute forms of the same attribute saved in separate data columns

For steps to preview and modify your data, see Previewing your data and specifying data import options.

Explore your data to evaluate its quality and usability, and then prepare your data to improve its quality (also known as data wrangling). For steps, see Refining your data quality before importing.
Prepare your data to be displayed on a map by assigning geo roles to each data column that contains geographical data. Geo roles indicate that a data column contains geographical information, making it easier to display geographical data on mapping visualizations. For more detailed information on geo roles, see Assigning geo roles and shape keys to your imported data. Steps to assign geo roles are included in Previewing your data and specifying data import options.
Improve performance by partitioning a very large dataset and creating search indexes for attributes. For reasons to use partitioning and search indexes, as well as steps to create them, see Improving performance: Partitioning large datasets and creating a search index.
* If you add multiple datasets to a dashboard, you must link the attributes that are shared in common across multiple datasets. Linking the common attributes allows the data in one dataset to relate to the data in other datasets. For steps to link attributes that are shared in common, see Linking data shared across multiple datasets.

You can perform the following additional tasks to update, edit, and share imported data:

Update (republish) imported data using data from the same type of data source originally used to import the data. For steps, see Republishing imported data.
Edit imported data. For steps, see Editing imported data.
Automatically update your imported data according to a set schedule. For steps, see Scheduling updates for an Intelligent Cube created using imported data.
Share your imported data with other users or user groups. For steps, see To assign permissions to a user or user group for an object in Web.

Attributes and metrics that are created during the import process are created as managed objects. You can include the imported data along with project data on a single document or dashboard. For more information on including supplemental data in a project using the Import Data feature, see the Creating and Configuring a Project chapter in the Project Design Guide. For steps to add data to a dashboard, see Adding and removing datasets from a dashboard. For more information on creating documents with multiple datasets, see the Document Creation Guide. For steps to link imported data to existing project data, see About linking imported data to project attributes.

When you import data into MicroStrategy Web, the data is imported as an Intelligent Cube, meaning that it will affect the overall administration and sizing considerations of Intelligent Cubes for a project. For example, once you publish an Intelligent Cube, the Intelligent Cube is stored on the Intelligence Server and takes up memory, which can impact performance. The amount of memory used is displayed at the bottom of the Select a Data Source page. To view more details about the Intelligent Cubes, such as name and memory, and manage the Intelligent Cubes, click the memory used information. The Data Storage page opens. For descriptions of the available information and options, see Data Storage page.

Related topics

Best practices: Importing data into MicroStrategy Web
Creating a dashboard
Adding Text and Data to Documents chapter in the Document Creation Guide for steps to create a document using an Intelligent Cube as a dataset
Creating a report that accesses an Intelligent Cube
Web Administrator Help for steps to define or edit a database connection in Web. For general information about defining a database connection, see the Configuring and Connecting Intelligence Server chapter in the Installation and Configuration Guide