The first step of any data management, analysis or reporting project is accurate data capture. Whether you are importing data from a spreadsheet, text file, website or even directly from a database, FreeSight imports the data seamlessly into a normalized and consistent structure that is easy to work with.
Getting data into FreeSight is simple. You could simply drag your file(s) on top of the FreeSight icon on your computer’s desktop. Or, select File / New Table / Import Table from the FreeSight Menu Bar, and then follow the dialog box instructions. Select your data and away you go.
But FreeSight’s philosophy about data capture is not only about importing the data. The work you do in FreeSight often ends up becoming a template for repeating these exact steps every time your data is updated. So FreeSight is designed to make it easy to control and manage the dynamic nature of your data imports over time.
Specifically, when you import data into a FreeSight model, a running history is maintained containing information about every dataset you’ve imported, including its name, file or data location, date of import, etc. FreeSight also retains a record of exactly which data you have imported from each data source at a granular level (i.e. which specific rows and columns).
In this way you always know which version of the data went into your analysis. And you can easily adjust your import settings at any time if required to make a change – such as adding new or updated data. To access FreeSight’s Import Settings, select or highlight any imported data table in a FreeSight model. Then, from the menu bar, select Data / Import Settings.
When you select Import Settings, a window appears that shows you the import history detail for that particular file or dataset. This data is updated every time you change your data import. You can choose how much history you wish to keep, and you can also manage the exact columns and rows of the data you import from this screen.Automate data updates to existing reports:
Most reports and analyses are snapshots of the then current “reality” – weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual business results, forecasts or expenses, etc. Then, next week, month or quarter, or even ad hoc, you likely need to create the same reports and analyses again.
With FreeSight, updating your reports and analyses with the next period’s data is a simple “Refresh” function. FreeSight can be set up so that with a single click of a mouse it will find and import your updated data, and then automatically update all your analyses and reports for you.
From FreeSight’s Menu bar, select Data / Refresh Imported Data. With Refresh Settings you have complete control to define precisely how data is updated within your FreeSight model.
You have options to indicate which data files are to be refreshed or updated, whether from the same or other location(s), whether the new data is to be appended to or replace existing files, and more.Import Settings and Refresh Settings details, and all FreeSight features, are described in FreeSight’s Help documentation on our website and within the product under Help on the Menu Bar.