Gathering and merging data from multiple sources and formats can be a huge initial hurdle to overcome for many businesses. Importing data into Rulex Platform really is as simple as dragging and dropping a task.
The first step in any data management process is gathering your data. But when you start looking at what you have, you’ll soon find that it’s pretty messy and disorganized. You may have transactional data on an SAP database, numerical data stored in MS Excel files on a SharePoint repository, and text files saved locally.
To complicate matters further, each dataset is likely to be structured according to its purpose. Transactional data may be based on the Order ID, customer service data on the Customer ID, and product data naturally on the Product ID.
So, how can we merge all these sources, and make any sense of it all?
Getting off the starting block to data collection
Getting started with a data management plan is always the hardest part. It may leave businesses, big or small, on the starting block, wondering what to do first.
In Rulex we understand your pain, so we’ve made sure that Rulex Platform has all the tools you need to be the first off the block.
Let’s go through the key actions data scientists and business analysts perform when importing and merging data on Rulex Platform.
Importing data from different sources
It really is as simple as dragging and dropping a task and selecting the source where your data are stored.
Rulex Platform is all WYSIWYG, so while you change options in the task, you get to see a preview of what data you are about to import, and how.
So, what databases are supported? Pretty much all the commonly used databases available on the market. Including SQL Server, MySQL, Postgres, Teradata, Hive, Impala, Spark, Azure Synapse, DOMO, Snowflakes, Oracle, SAP 4 HANA, and IBM DB2 series. And the list keeps growing.
Once you have set up the connection parameters for your database or file system, you can save them, and even set permissions to share them with other users.
And if your data are in the cloud? No problem. Rulex Platform supports AWS S3, Microsoft SharePoint, FTP/S and HTTP/S servers, Hadoop HDFS filesystems, Share drives, Azure Files, BLOB Storage, and many more.
Blending data with different file formats
Data can be imported from practically anywhere, but what about the format? Everyone knows that each format has its own structure and requirements.
To speed up the process, there are separate tasks for the main data types, such as MS Excel, text files (csv, tab, txt), XML, JSON.
Once imported, Rulex Platform automatically converts the file into a single table format, even working out the data type of each column. Whether your original data was in MS Excel, CSV, XML or an SAP table, the imported results will all look the same in Rulex. So it’s then really easy to quickly reshape these tables, and blend them into a single spreadsheet.
If you’d like to know more about table transformation, check out our article on Rulex Community: Could you please reshape my table?
Summing up what we’ve seen so far, Rulex Platform not only allows you to import multiple data formats, from multiple sources, but also merge all these files into a single spreadsheet, providing you with a user-friendly data view in just a few easy steps, so you can start getting the answers you were looking for.
Handling really big datasets
As your business grows, the data you have at your disposal does too. To the point where it is difficult to handle. Excel files may grow to such as extent that Excel itself has problems opening them, and even simple data-prep operations become excruciatingly slow.
Thus, questions start arising. Is there a risk in merging all our data into a single dataset? Will it get so big that even sorting columns will become painfully slow?
The simple answer is: no. Rulex Platform can handle vast amounts of data extremely quickly. For example, it can sort 5 million rows of data in 2.2 seconds. Impressive.
Exporting data in whatever format
Once your data have been imported and elaborated, you can export the results how and where you want. Just drag an export task onto the canvas, and select the format you want and the destination, which can even be via email to a list of recipients.
Using REST APIs to import/export data
Rulex Platform has a REST API that allows you to programmatically import data into the platform. This method can be useful if you want to automate the data import process or if you want to integrate Rulex with other systems.
Ready to import and combine data on Rulex Platform?
You can download a free trial from Rulex Community, where you’ll also find discussion forums, articles, interactive courses, sample flows, and videos to get you off to a flying start with your data.
And just to answer your last question – is Rulex Platform too expensive for a small business or personal user? The answer is no, with a starting price of €95 / month Rulex Platform is very accessible.