What are Datasets?
Datasets let you reuse your data prep work across as many metrics as you want. In practice, this lets you save one or more reports with their transforms and joins, and reuse that data across multiple metrics.
Datasets help overcome several issues that arise as you create a data-driven culture in your company:
|Poor Data Organization||Using Grow's Datasets|
|Get conflicting numbers within your company due to different individuals or departments calculating the numbers in different ways.||Create a single source of truth for your company's data, with definitions for your data that everyone agrees with.|
|Spend a lot of time creating reports and adding the transforms for each metric, especially when some of them use much of the same data.||Separate data-prep from the metric-building by preparing the data once and then using it across multiple metrics.|
|Something changes in how you define your data and you have to add a new filter or other transform to a group of similar metrics ONE. AT. A. TIME. (taking a lot of your time and increasing the chance of user error).||Edit the dataset once, and all of the metrics built from it will now use the current data.|
|Each person in your company makes their own reports despite varying skills and knowledge of good data practices.||Leverage those in your company who are more skilled in data practices or more familiar with the data to create datasets that everyone else can use.|
For example, you advertise on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and you track the spend from some local advertising in a spreadsheet in Dropbox. You can pull in all three reports, add any transforms, join them together in a master report, and save that as a dataset. Now each time you want to use your advertising spend or performance in a metric, you can use that dataset along with any other reports to create your new chart. What's even better is that if you decide to filter out a specific campaign from Google Ads, you can do that once in the dataset and it will apply to all of the metrics using that dataset.
You don't need to use datasets when you are only creating one metric, or if the data you're using is temporary.
How to Create Datasets
There are 2 ways to create datasets. You can create a dataset from the Settings management page, or from the Metric Builder. If you are planning on creating a dataset and then move right to building a metric with that dataset, start in the Metric Builder.
Go to Settings > Datasets > then click on the blue "Add Dataset" button at the top right.
This will open the Dataset Builder, which is just like the Metric builder but without the charting tab.
From the Metric Builder
From the dashboard, click on "Add Metric" and pull in the data and use any transforms that you need. You can use multiple reports. After you've set up the data the way you need it for the dataset, click the 'Create Dataset' button on the far right of the report tab.
NOTE: This will convert your reports into a Dataset. There is no undo. All your data and work is saved, but it is now a dataset.
A window will prompt you to give the new dataset a name and description. Fill it out and hit 'Create'.
Using a Primary Report
When you save a dataset, you have the option to select one of the reports used as a "Primary Report." This means that as you use that dataset in a new metric, it will only bring in that one report instead of all of the reports used in the dataset. Of course, if there is only one report used in a dataset, there is no need to select a primary report.
It is most common to use a primary report when you have joined reports. For example, if you are tracking marketing spend from different data sources, you could bring in each report into a dataset, join them all together into one master report, and save that last report as the primary report since it contains all of the data and you don't need to use the other reports separately.
Selecting a Primary Report
- Go to Datasets in the account settings.
- Click on the action menu at the far right of the dataset you want to use.
- Click "edit" and it will open in the dataset builder.
- At the bottom left, under "Settings," select "Primary Report."
- Check the box to "Use a Primary Report" and select the one report you want to use.
- Click "Save" at the top right.
How to create metrics using Datasets
It is simple to create a metric using a dataset. In the normal Add Metric flow, pick the dataset you are interested in. Click 'Get Data', and start to build your metric.
If your dataset has multiple reports in it, you can remove any of the reports after bringing it into the metric builder without affecting the other reports.
Dataset playbooks are ready-made datasets using the most-common reports and data preparation for many of our data sources. You can use a dataset playbook and edit it to match what you want to use. Learn more about using dataset playbooks.
Dataset Refresh Rate
If you have a dataset that will be pulling in a lot of data and you want to build several metrics from it, you should set a refresh rate for your dataset. This will help avoid any API rate limit issues or slowing down the system if multiple metrics are trying to get the dataset to update all at once. Instead you can put the control of the data on the dataset so it gets the latest data as often as it needs, then feeds that to the metrics using that data.
You should set a specific dataset refresh rate when:
- Your data has more than 10K rows
- It takes over 30 seconds to pull your data
- Many metrics use that dataset
- Your data doesn't have to be up-to-the-minute. (For example, if your database updates once a day, you can set the refresh rate to every 12 or 24 hours.)
To set the refresh rate for a dataset, go to Settings > Datasets > then click on "Edit" in the dataset's Actions menu at the far right. This will open the dataset in the Dataset Builder. At the bottom left under "Settings" there is an option for refresh rate. You can set it to refresh the data when the metric refreshes, or set it to a specific time frame.
To see all of the Dataset on your account, go to Settings > Datasets. Here you can also see what data sources were used, who created it, and how many metrics and dashboards use each dataset.
To see the specific metrics that use a certain dataset and who made them, click on the Actions menu at the far right and select "Details."
The other options in the Actions menu let you edit the dataset in the dataset builder, delete the dataset (which will also remove metrics that use that dataset), make a copy of the dataset, and build a new metric with the dataset.
Deleting a Dataset
If you delete a dataset, it will delete any metrics that are built off of that dataset as well. You will be wanted and asked to confirm before any datasets are deleted.
If you accidentally delete a dataset, you can restore it for up to two weeks after. Contact support to restore a dataset or a metric.