Data Sources in Plecto

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

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 visualise your KPI's on your dashboards.

This article covers the following topics:

Data source structure

All data sources have the same basic structure of columns and rows of information:  

- 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.

- Employee - Employees or members are a generic part of Plecto and this why 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 the member in Plecto.

- Created date - is the date on which the registration was created. This 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 this guide on how to use date modifiers in formulas.

Custom fields - can be added to a manual data source and can be also 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

Apply filters to your raw data by clicking on "Filters" in the top bar in your data source. A sidebar menu will open, where you can view all columns of data. Hide and view them by clicking on the eye icon. Filter out the information 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. 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" and then "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

Add a manual data source by going to the bottom of the page and choose the type of data source you would like to add. From here you can 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 "+ Add field". Type the 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 like ID, Employee, Created date. 

How to add an external data source

Go to the sidebar menu "Data management" and "Data sources" click on "+ New data source". Choose the external system that you want to integrate and follow the steps: Add an external data source. Follow the steps displayed on your screen 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 click 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 data to make sure that all existing data in Plecto is updated. Click on "import more data" and choose the start date from which you would like to import from. 


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

Go to "Settings" and click on "View logs" on the top right corner where you can view how many and see whether there is any data imported. If there is an error, there will be a red triangle. Hover the mouse over the red triangle to see more information. Please follow this short troubleshooting guide to refresh your credentials and please do not hesitate to contact support if you need any help.