Businesses are evolving to be data-driven. To convert data into implementable insights, you will need to connect to data to analyse. Data sources are a physical or digital location where data is stored in form of a table, object, etc. The data sources are the first thing you require to import or connect before building anything else.
Let us understand what are the different types of data sources.
A relational database is one of the most common sources of data sources. Each database represents an individual data connection. Generally, data is stored in table format in relational databases where the column depicts the attribute and the row shows the value of the attributes. The important task would be to prepare and connect the database to your software.
2. Flat Files
It involves preparing, uploading, & updating the CSV file. Flat files like CSV files are easy to use. They can be easily uploaded to the required software. They can be used to query, visualise and pair up with other data sources. When a flat file is imported into a system, it is broken down to detect column data types. Before you upload the flat file, it must be decided that if you want to upload the file once or update the file regularly. Different ways to upload a flat-file are:
- Upload the flat file directly from the computer
- Create an uploading link on cloud storage services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
3. Social Media
Social Media has recently emerged as a data source as information from it helps to understand customer preferences and choices. Connecting to social media data is an easy task. It can be connected to Google Analytics effortlessly. Custom connections to social media platforms can be created to connect to them.
4. APIs and other platforms
Many online platforms and web services, such as Google Analytics and Facebook, reveal data through APIs. One needs a custom connection to import data from these services to their software.
5. Database Access
Full database access can be given to allow your software to access the database. Proper firewall settings must be implemented. Also, software must be compatible to connect to the database. There are two methods of establishing a connection with the database:
- Direct Method: It is one of the easiest methods to connect to a database. The only concern is software and database must be compatible with each other.
- SSH Tunnel Method: It is a much safer option than the direct method. Data is transported using an SSH tunnel over an encrypted SSH connection.
6. Join Data Sources
You can join multiple data sources and perform cross-database queries to fetch the desired data. Extracting data from unified sources has proved to be beneficial to get actionable insights from the data. You can link flat files or databases to one another to perform advanced calculations on data stored in various locations.
DSN: Common anchor to all the data sources
DNS stands for Data source name. It is a file that contains information on the required digital data source. It consists of the name of targeted data table. It is used in the case of all digital data.
Data is very crucial for businesses as their decisions depend on it. Identifying data sources is an important task as it affects the decision-making process.
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