About Data Flows

Data flows enable you to organize and integrate your data to produce a curated data set that your users can analyze.

For example, you might merge two data sets containing order data, strip out columns you don't need, aggregate the value of orders, and save the results in a new data set named Order Summary.

Figure 11-1 A data flow in the data flow editor

Description of Figure 11-1 follows
Description of "Figure 11-1 A data flow in the data flow editor"

To build a data flow, you add steps. Each step performs a specific function, for example, add data, join tables, merge columns, transform data, save your data. Use the data flow editor to add and configure your steps. Each step is validated when you add or change it. When you've configured your data flow, you execute it to produce a data set.

To add steps, either right-click an existing step and click Add step or drag a step from the left-hand Data Flow Steps pane and drop it into the data flow editor.

When you add your own columns or transform data, you can use a wide range of SQL operators (for example, BETWEEN, LIKE, IN), conditional expressions (for example, CASE), and functions (for example, Avg, Median, Percentile).

You can save the output data from a data flow in either a data set or in one of the supported database types. If you save data to a database, you can transform the data source by overwriting it with data from the data flow. The data source and data flow tables must be in the same database and have the same name. Before you start, create a connection to one of the supported database types.

To find out which databases you can write to from a data flow, refer to the More Information column in Supported Data Sources.