Introduction to data sources

Data sources power the Klips on your dashboard. They connect your chosen files, databases, applications and services to Klipfolio.

To get the most out of Klipfolio, think about what source you want to get data from, what subset of data you want to bring in from that service, and how you want to visualize that data. With this knowledge, you can set up your data sources with clear vision and purpose, and quickly get to the fun part - manipulating and visualizing your data.

You can choose pre-built Klips from the Klip Gallery and pre-built dashboards from the Dashboard Gallery, or you can build your own bar charts, tables, gauges, and many more visualizations in the Klip Editor. No matter what approach you take, you will need to set up data sources first. Behind every visualization on your dashboard, there is a data source.

This article will introduce you to data sources. It answers the following questions:

What do your data sources look like in Klipfolio?

Klipfolio retrieves data in two formats: tree-structured data, such as JSON or XML, and tabular data, such as CSV. See examples below to learn more about both formats.

Note: If you are using the Klip Gallery or the Dashboard Gallery, you won't see any raw data unless you make changes to your Klip, but, nevertheless, this is what your data looks like.

Tree-structured data

In tree-structured data, you navigate through the data in an expand and collapse format, typically a JSON or XML file type.

Here are just a few examples of the many data sources that return data in a tree-structured format:

Tabular data

Tabular data is broken down into columns and rows, typically a CSV or Excel file type.

Here are just a few examples of the many data sources that return data in a tabular format:

Note: Some service connectors give you the option to choose whether you want to retrieve data in tabular or tree-structured format. For example, the Salesforce connector lets you choose between JSON and CSV format.

Where in Klipfolio do I connect my data?

You might be prompted to connect your pre-built Klips and dashboards to your data when you are on your dashboard. Or, maybe you are in the Klip Editor ready to build a Klip, but need to hook up a data source before you start building. Or, maybe you want to add data sources to the Library that you can use to build Klips later. Depending on where you are in Klipfolio, there are three places where you can connect your data:

Connect your data from your dashboard (Klip Gallery & Dashboard Gallery Only)

You can connect your data directly on your dashboard when you add Klips from the Klip Gallery or dashboards from the Dashboard Gallery. When you make your selection - whether it’s a pre-built Klip or pre-built dashboard - it is automatically added to your dashboard in sample data mode. Your next step is to connect your data to those data visualizations.

There are two ways to get your dashboard to show your own data:

  • Click Connect Your Data at the top of your dashboard and follow the prompts to update all Klips currently in sample data mode on your dashboard.
  • Click on the Sample Data banner on a Klip and follow the prompts to update that one individual Klip.
    Note: When you hover over the Sample Data banner, it says Connect Your Data.

Don’t see the Connect your Data button on your dashboard? There are two possible reasons:

  • Your pre-built Klips are already connected to a data source.
  • You built a Klip in the Klip Editor.

Connect your data from the Klip Editor

If you are ready to start building Klips yourself, and you know what data you want to display and what visualization type (component) you want to use, you can connect your data directly in the Klip Editor.

To connect your data from the Klip Editor:

  1. On your dashboard, click Add a Klip.
  2. In the Add Klip popup window, click Build a Custom Klip.
  3. In the Klip Editor, from the Components palette on the right side of your screen, drag your chosen component into the workspace.
  4. At the bottom of the page in the Data tab, click +Add Data Source.
  5. In the Add a Data Source popup window, either select a data source you have already created or click Create a New Data Source.
  6. On the Select a Connector page, either find your Service Connector in the list, or choose a generic Core Connector.
  7. Follow the prompts to set up your connection (this process will be different for each service). Use the help of Klipfolio data source documentation and, if needed, any support information provided by the service you are connecting to, for example their API documentation.

Your new data source is added to the Library and associated to the Klip you are about to build in the Klip Editor.

Connect your data from the Library

To connect your data from the Library:

  1. Click Library.
  2. Select the Data Sources tab.
  3. Click Create a New Data Source.
  4. On the Select a Connector page (also known as the Connector Gallery), either find your Service Connector in the list, or choose a generic Core Connector.
  5. Follow the prompts to set up your connection (this process will be different for each service). Use the help of Klipfolio data source documentation and any support information provided by the service you are connecting to, for example their API documentation.

Your new data source is added to the Library.

Videos: Connecting to data sources and working with APIs

Need to see all this in action? These two videos walk you through setting up your first data source in Klipfolio, and introduce you to how API queries work.

Workshop Pro: Connecting to Data Sources

In this recorded Klipfolio workshop Rahul discusses how to integrate data into your Klipfolio dashboard. He shows the differences between our pre-built connectors and using our REST connector to integrate with a plethora of 3rd party web services. Use this worksheet accompanying the workshop to get the most out of this video.

API's 101: Working with APIs (They're not as scary as you think!)

This tutorial explains APIs (Application Program Interface): what they are, and how they are used to access, pull, and push data from one application to another. It touches on authentication and the basics of setting up a query with endpoints and parameters.

What data sources are supported by Klipfolio?

Imagine your new Klipfolio account as an empty library waiting to be connected to your most frequently used applications and files. To fill your Klipfolio library with snippets of data that you can visualize, you’ll first need to know if Klipfolio connects to the data source you have in mind.

Klipfolio supports data sources from:

Klipfolio accepts the following file formats from all sources: .xlsx, .csv, .json, and .xml

For more details, see the Knowledge Base article What data sources does Klipfolio connect to?

Success! I have my data. What do I do now?

Now that you have brought in your data, it's time to start building! Get started creating custom Klips from either your Library or your Dashboard. You choose the right data visualization format for your data source, for example, a pie chart, gauge, or table, and decide whether you want to use an existing data source or create a new one. In the Klip Editor, there are limitless opportunities to display your data. See the following related articles for more information and get building!