Introduction to modelled data sources

A modelled data source is a streamlined version of a data source. When you run data through the modelling process, you end up with a cleaner, simplified version that makes custom Klip and custom metric creation easier and faster! For example, if your data is tree-structured (JSON), the modelling process converts it into a table, making the data more easily understood, especially for inexperienced builders.

Keep reading to learn more about what modelling your data sources can do for you!

What are the benefits of modelled data sources?

Have you ever wanted to:

  • Prepare data for custom Klip and custom metric building to provide clear, all-tabular, aligned data … and only need to do it once? Calculations are built into the modelled data source and tree-structured data is converted into table data. Data is easier to understand and visualize and calculations can be reused.
  • Avoid duplicating formulas within and across Klips that refer to a changed data source? Update everything in one place and have all downstream formulas within and across Klips update automatically.
  • Take a data source with multiple sheets and convert it into a single table? Organize and order data from multiple sheets into one, simplified table format that doesn't require you to toggle between multiple sheets when building visualizations.
  • Broaden your team’s ability to create custom Klips by hiding data complexity from less technically inclined builders? The “heavy lifting” is done in the modelling phase, making building Klips in the Klip Editor easier and more accessible to everyone.

By modelling your data sources, you can do all this and more!

Modelling a data source leverages all the flexibility available in Klipfolio, brings significant efficiency gains for the builder, and simplifies the visualization building experience. The ability to create a modelled data source once and then apply it within and across Klips and metrics reduces duplication of work effort and improves consistency between visualizations and within dashboards.

Efficiency gains

Using modelled data sources dramatically reduces the time spent building, updating, and maintaining Klips.

  • With a modelled data source, you create a formula once and then reuse the modelled data source in all applicable formulas and Klips.
  • When you modify and save a modelled data source, all associated formulas and Klips are automatically updated.
  • When you set column headers and data formats in your modelled data source, you don't have to re-set them again when building a Klip.

Simplification gains

Our design focuses on simplifying the process of creating a modelled data source and clarifies the relationship between your raw data and the modelled data source you will create based on that data.

  • The data in a modelled data source is always represented in a tabular (versus tree-structured) format, making your data easier to understand and visualize. The relationship between tabular columns in the data source and columns in the preview area when modelling is more obvious than when using tree data.
  • Most of the data manipulation, including combining data with multiple sheets into one table, is performed when modelling, which streamlines and simplifies Klip building in the Klip Editor.

How do I create a modelled data source?

You can either create modelled data sources from existing raw data sources or model your data at the same time as you create your raw data sources.

When modelling, you define and manipulate the data you want to include by applying formulas and properties and settings, such as date/time, number, currency, and text formats.

Note: Klips can include either modelled data sources or raw data sources or a combination of both. However, metrics can only be created based on modelled data sources.

For more detailed information on modelling a data source, see How do I model a data source?

How do I manage my modelled data sources?

After modelling a data source, you can view and edit its general properties.

To see which data sources have been modelled, go to your Data Sources List page, either by clicking Data Sources in the left navigation sidebar or by clicking your Account Name (at the bottom of the sidebar) and selecting Data Sources:

  • If the data source has been modelled, the modelled symbol will display under the Format type.


  • Use the drop-down filter list to change your data source view to only show modelled data sources.

To see and edit details for a modelled data source:

  • On the Data Sources List page, select a modelled data source to see its details page. Here you can:
    • Click Edit Properties to modify the modelled data source name and description.
    • See the owner and when the modelled data source was created.
    • See the Data Source ID.
    • Click Edit Model to edit the modelled data source.
    • When the modelled data source was last refreshed (based on the data source it was created from).
    • Under Connection, see which data source the modelled data source uses.
    • See a visual representation of the modelled data source.
    • Delete the modelled data source.

Note that some of the above options don't apply for modelled data sources that were created while adding instant metrics. Learn more here.

For a general overview on working with modelled data sources, watch this video:

Learn more:

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