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As discussed earlier, data is imported into FreeSight by dropping your data files onto the FreeSight icon on your desktop, or with a simple “drag and drop” onto the FreeSight Home Page. Where it makes sense, the files are joined automatically into FreeSight Data Tables. Importantly, FreeSight does not require matching column headers to join data files. It analyzes your data structure and content and creates joins based on the data itself.Linking Tables is the function required when you have data in one Table that should be added to the individual records of another Table, such as additional fields for each data record. As long as there is at least one matching field of shared data in each Table to be joined, then a good link can be created.
The key is that, when importing data files, FreeSight analyzes the data in all of the imported files to see whether suitable links exist between them. If FreeSight finds that data in one of the files looks like reference data that supports another file, it will join the two and automatically populate one Data Table with data from the other.Accepting links and connections between Tables – When a join is created, you always have complete control to accept or not accept the recommended join. You can click UNDO to remove the join. Or, double-clicking the arrow between joined tables gives you access to the Append or Link Tables dialog box where you can modify the Append or Link settings. At any time, dragging the arrow between two Tables away from the connection also unjoins the Tables. Dragging one Table on top of another creates a new join. Appending Data is the function required when the Data Tables contain the same data elements in different subsets, but they need to be appended together for further work or data analysis.
Again, in FreeSight this is a simple process. Select the Data Tables you wish to append together. With a right-click of the mouse and selecting Append Tables, or by selecting Data / Append Tables from the Menu Bar, the append is completed for you instantly. Additionally, simply dragging one Table onto another and selecting “Append Rows” instead of “Link Columns” in the Append or Link Tables dialog box will accomplish the same thing.
What if appended Tables don’t have the same format or column order?
Invariably, when appending data from multiple files, there are times when the order of the columns is not consistent between files. In such a case, when you append the files together, FreeSight gives you warning icons to alert you that the data from one file appears not to match the other(s).
The Column Append Order function (located in the Append or Link Tables dialog box, or under “Data” on the Menu bar when an Append Table is selected) makes mapping the columns across the different files a simple process. Plus, FreeSight will remember the adjustments you have made for appending these Tables for future updates, so that you don’t need to do this step next time.
These, and all other FreeSight functions and commands are described in our FreeSight Help area within FreeSight itself (under the Help menu), and also found on our website.