Data Sources in Plecto

Learn about the data sources in Plecto, types of data sources, their structure, and more.

Last updated: Nov. 2, 2021

Data sources contain all the raw data created manually in Plecto or imported from external systems known as integrations. This article describes the structure and types of data sources you can use in Plecto to visualize your KPIs on dashboards and reports.

All data sources have the same basic information structure that is organized in rows and columns. In Plecto, we call one row of data a registration.

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An example of a data source in Plecto.

  • ID: Each registration in Plecto has a unique ID that associates it with specific data. It is an easy way for you to find registrations in your data sources and update existing data.
  • Employee: Employees are an indispensable part of Plecto, and therefore, every registration must be associated with an employee. This field enables you to display employee metrics and achievements on dashboards and reports.
  • Created date: This column shows when registrations are created.

Plecto allows you to add custom fields to your data sources. Custom fields can be added both to manual data sources or imported to Plecto through integrations.

You can add as many custom fields to manual data sources as you need. The custom fields imported from integrations depend on the type of integration. Find the technical details about each of our integrations on the Integration page.

Note: You can change the default date for integration data sources. If you are using manual data sources, the default date is usually the "Created date," meaning the date when the registration was created. Read more about date modifiers in Plecto.

Use Plecto as your own CRM system and create registrations manually. You can also add data to manual data sources by importing Excel spreadsheets.

Add a manual data source

To add a manual data source, go to Data management > Data sources > + New data source. From there, scroll to the bottom of the page and choose the type of manual data source you would like to add.

Plecto offers 3 templates for manual data sources: "Closed deal," "Sales target," and "Booked meetings." If you select one of these, all you need to do is click "Confirm" to create the data source.

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An example of manual data source options.

If you select the "Custom input" data source, you will have to create your manual data source from scratch. Give your data source a title, adjust the permissions if necessary, then click on "Save" in the bottom-right corner.

Add custom fields to your manual data source

Custom fields are additional columns in your data source. You can add custom fields in different formats: number, text, date, list, yes/no, and country.

  • To create a custom field, go to your data source settings in Data management > Data sources.
  • In the section "Fields," select "+ Add field" to create a new custom field.
  • Fill in the details such as field name, data type, and others.
  • Click "Save" to finish.

Be aware: 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. 

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An example of the default and custom fields in a data source. The custom field names are displayed in bold.

Plecto integrates with a variety of external systems (external data sources). When you connect an external system to Plecto, it will display the same basic data source structure as manual data sources: ID, Employee name, Created date, and others. Find our list of integrations here: Integrations

How to add an external data source

To add an external data source, go to Data management > Data sources > + New data source and choose a system from the list you want to integrate. Not all integrations follow the same procedure for connecting to Plecto. Follow the steps on your screen or find our integration guides to help you set up.

How to edit an external data source and add new fields
  • Go to Data management > Data sources, hover over your external data source, and click "Settings." There you will find the data source title, the default data used in formulas, credentials, fields, and more.
  • To add new fields, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the fields you want to see. When you add a new field, change the default date used in formulas, or perform other actions, you must run a manual import to make sure that all existing data in Plecto is updated.
  • To reimport your data, click on the "Import more data" button in the data source settings and choose the start date from which you would like to import the data.
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The "Import more data" button is on the right in the data source settings.

If you have a large data source, you can filter the information to find or troubleshoot your registrations. Open your data source from Data management > Data sources and click on "Filters" in the top-right. A sidebar will appear on the right where you'll be able to see all the fields from your data source.

To apply a filter, click on a filter icon and type in the parameters you would like to see. For example, "Status = answered" for a data source that keeps data for your calls. You can also choose to hide or view entire columns by clicking on the eye icon on the right.

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Be aware: Filtering is case-sensitive, therefore, make sure to type in the filtering parameters exactly as they are registered in the column fields.

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

Once you have data in your data sources, you can start building formulas. For more help, go to Introduction to the Formula Editor or How to Build a Formula.

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