Data Sources in Plecto

Learn more about data sources, their structure and much more.

Last updated: July 22, 2020

Data sources contain all the raw data created manually in Plecto or imported from other external systems. Here is a description of the structure and types of data sources you can use in Plecto to visualize your KPI's on your dashboards.

Data source structure

All data sources have the same basic structure of columns and rows of information (example in the picture below):  

  • ID - a unique ID is used to identify the unique registrations/rows of data. The unique ID per registration is used to update already existing data and it is an easy way for you to find a specific registration in your data source
  • Employee - Employees or members are a generic part of Plecto and that means every registration must be associated with an employee. The employee field is used to display the employee’s names and achievements on your dashboards. If you wish to display, for example, departments on your dashboards instead of employees, you can use the name of the department as a member of Plecto
  • Created Date - is the date on which the registration was created. This Created Date is used by default in your formulas. If you would like to use another date to build your formulas, you have to use a date modifier. Please check out this guide on how to use date modifiers in formulas
  • Custom fields - Custom fields can be added to a manual data source and can also be imported to Plecto through our integrations with external systems. You can add as many custom fields in manual data sources as you wish. The custom fields imported from integrations depend on the type of integration

How to filter the data in your data source

The way to apply filters to your raw data is by clicking on 'Filters' in the top bar while in your data source. A sidebar menu will then open and here you can view all columns of data available. Hide and view them by clicking on the eye icon. If you want to filter on information it is done by clicking on the filter icon on the column or on a specific row. This is a way to troubleshoot and find specific registrations in your data source. 

How to use your data sources to measure your KPI's

The information in your data sources is used to create calculations, which we call formulas in Plecto. The formulas are used to display the results of your chosen KPI’s on the dashboards. Here is a guide on how to create formulas in Plecto.

Types of data sources

Manual data sources

You can make manual registrations and use Plecto as your own CRM system. You can create manual registrations or import an excel file with your data. Go to the sidebar menu and click on 'Data management' > 'Data sources'. From here you can add a 'New data source' and edit the existing data sources on your account. 

Add a manual data source

The way to add a manual data source is by clicking on the '+ New data source'  and then going to the bottom of the page and choose the type of data source you would like to add. From here it is possible to add a new data source and edit the existing data sources on your account. 

How to add custom columns/fields in your manual data source

Go to 'Settings' in your data source and add new fields by clicking on the '+ Add field'. Type the desired field name, data type and check the other displayed options and click on 'Save'.


Please note that only plain text should be included in the column titles. Inserting special symbols such as "()*/" etc. can cause formulas to malfunction and not display any data. 

Integrations - external data sources

Plecto integrates with a variety of external systems, which you can find right here: Integrations
The external data sources have the same basic structure as manual data sources in Plecto with ID, Employee, Created date. 

How to add an external data source

Go to the sidebar menu 'Data management' >'Data sources', then click on '+ New data source'. Choose the external system that you want to integrate and follow the steps displayed on your screen in the guide: Add an external data source and connect your external systems with Plecto.

How to edit an external data source and add new fields

On the 'Settings'-page on your external data source, you will find the title, the default data used in formulas and the field from your external system that should be used as the member in Plecto. Make sure to choose the right member who is responsible for the registrations in your external system. 

Add new fields by going to the bottom of the page and add the new fields that you need. 
When adding a new field, changing the member or the default date used in formulas, you must make a re-import of historical data to make sure that all existing data in Plecto is updated. The way to do this is as follows:

  1. Go to 'Data management' > 'Data sources'
  2. Find the data source on which you would like to do a re-import of data on
  3. Click 'Settings' on the data source
  4. Click on 'import more data' and choose the start date from which you would like to import data. 

What to do if your data source has stopped importing data or there is an error? 

To find the specific error you have to do the following:

  1. Go to 'Settings' and click on 'View logs' on the top right corner
  2. Here you can view how much data there is and see whether there is any data imported at all.
  3. If there is an error on the imported data, there will be a red triangle on the right side of each registration
  4. Hover the mouse over the red triangle to see more information on the error
  5. If there is an error then follow this short troubleshooting guide to refresh your credentials and please do not hesitate to contact our support team if you need any help 

Was this article helpful?