We're living in a data-driven age. In every sector, we've seen new companies emerge, executing lightning-fast strategies based on sophisticated analytics. These data mavericks have disrupted and sometimes even devoured their more traditional rivals. 

To stay afloat, you need a state-of-the-art data infrastructure. That means having the right platforms, the right data pipelines, and the right analytics engines. 

But when you have all that data, what do you actually do with it? 

To be an effective data-driven company, you need:

  • The right information
  • In front of the right people
  • At the right time
  • In the right format

Business intelligence (BI) platforms are the best way of achieving this. With the right BI platform, you can create sophisticated charts, reports, and dashboards that will empower decision-makers to make the right choices, fast.

One of the leading BI tools on the market is Chartio, an intuitive and feature-laden platform that anyone can use. Let's see how Chartio and Xplenty can transform your organization. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is Chartio?
  2. How Chartio and Xplenty ETL Work Together
  3. Optimizing Chartio with Xplenty
  4. Get Started

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What is Chartio?

Chartio is a cloud-based BI platform that offers powerful functionality to both technical and non-technical users. Their mission statement is to "make data accessible to anyone." They achieve this with the power of Visual SQL

Visual SQL is a unique system that allows you to create no-code database queries using a visual menu system. This can be a big help to users at all levels of tech expertise: 

  • Non-technical business users: Chartio's Visual SQL system allows anyone to create powerful SQL queries, even if they don't know the first thing about databases. Simply build your query using the intuitive menus, and then you can use the results to create a chart.
  • SQL experts: If you know how to write queries, you can use Visual SQL to speed up your process. The Chartio editor allows you to flip between the visual editor and the text editor at ease. This means that you can build a query using the menus and then fine-tune that query by hand. 
  • Developers: Visual SQL includes some functions outside the scope of SQL, such as filtering, forecasting, transposition, and custom formulas. Developers normally have to code these functions themselves. With Visual SQL, it's all built-in. 

Chartio users all have the same goal: to create beautiful and informative data visualizations. The platform includes a number of features that will help to deliver great charts, such as: 

  • Smart charts: Chartio's wizard can help you find the best kind of chart for your data. You can then use manual tools to finesse the results and produce a killer visualization. 
  • Data dashboards: You can combine multiple charts into a single view, known as a dashboard. A dashboard can include tables from multiple sources, providing business users with a single location to get a detailed view. 
  • Collaborative creation: Users can work together on charts, adding notes, and making edits. Chartio offers highly configurable access control and version history so that you can keep track of any changes. 
  • Schema management: Your source data might not contain the ideal data schema. For example, column names might not make sense, or you might want to ignore specific tables. Chartio allows you to adapt the schema on import, so your data looks the way you want it to. 
  • Easy sharing: You can share charts or dashboards simply by sending out the link. To make things even easier, Chartio integrates with communication platforms like Slack, so your charts can become part of the conversation. 

Of course, Chartio is only as good as the available data. This is where Xplenty can help. 

How Chartio and Xplenty ETL Work Together

The typical organization has dozens of data-gathering systems within their stack. For example, say you purchase something from an online store. Your action creates data in multiple systems: 

  • E-commerce database: Order details and your user account
  • Fulfillment database: Shipping information, including your delivery address 
  • Payment and reconciliation systems: Confirmation that your payment cleared
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Log of any customer service interactions 
  • Marketing automation: If you opted-in to marketing messages

When this online store is performing analytics, they could use Chartio to examine each system one-by-one. But this would offer a limited perspective.

The alternative is to bring all of this data together into a single data repository, such as a data warehouse. To do this, you'll need an automated Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) platform like Xplenty. It works like this: 

  • Extract: Xplenty connects to the source systems and exports specified relevant data.
  • Transform: Xplenty then works with the raw data and prepares it for its destination.
  • Load: FinallyXplenty sends the data to the data warehouse, integrating it with other business data.

Xplenty, like Chartio, doesn't require any coding experience to set up. Using the visual menu, you can configure Xplenty to set up an automated data pipeline between your sources and the data warehouse. 

Integrate Your Data Today!

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Once this pipeline is running, Chartio will have all the data it requires. There are other advantages to using a data warehouse, such as: 

  • Better data quality: ETL can handle all of your data quality needs, including validation, cleansing, and harmonization. This means that the contents of your data warehouse are reliable. In turn, this means that your BI and analytics results will be more accurate.
  • Faster processing time: Live databases are constantly running queries. When the systems are busy, Chartio is competing for bandwidth against other users and processes. But a data warehouse isn't dealing with the same kind of demand, so it can serve data at top speed, day or night. 
  • "Single Source of Truth": When you use multiple data sources, you may run into inconsistencies. Data warehouses act as a Single Source of Truth for the organization – a place where you can find definitive data values. 
  • Low cost: Data warehouses are an efficient way to store massive volumes of data. This is especially cost-effective if you're storing historical data with no other business value, but that Chartio needs for trend analysis.
  • Optimized for analytics: You can configure your data warehouse to support tools like Chartio. This will ensure fast, accurate results in your charts and dashboards. 

Xplenty helps take care of the back-end part of your data operation. With a cloud-based ETL, you can count on having a source of timely, accurate data.

And with a reliable data source, you can use Chartio to create charts, dashboards, and other visual tools that empower decision-making. 

Optimizing Chartio with Xplenty

The great thing about using Chartio and Xplenty is that both offer a no-code approach. This means that you can set up an entire end-to-end business intelligence process, even if you don't have any tech skills. 

To put this in effect, just follow these steps:

In Xplenty:

  1. Connect your sources: The integration library allows you to connect to hundreds of sources with just a few clicks. Pick the sources you want to use, grant access to Xplenty, and you're ready to go. 
  2. Connect to your destination: Where do you want your data to end up? Use the same process as above to integrate with a destination, such as a data warehouse. 
  3. Create a transformation schema: Use the visual interface to define the relationships between the source and the destination. You can also configure Xplenty to do any transformations you require.
  4. Connect to Chartio: Xplenty's integration library allows you to connect directly to Chartio via the REST API component. 

In Chartio:

  1. Create a Visual SQL query: You can use the Visual SQL editor to pull data from your target tables.
  2. Generate a chart: You can use the chart wizard or generate a more complex data dashboard.
  3. Share with other users: Simply share the link to your chart, and your collaborators can get to work right away. 

As you can see, you can take data from sources, create a chart, and distribute it to leaders – all without any coding or queries.

This is a big step towards democratizing data. People are no longer dependent on the IT team to run reports or help with analytics. Instead, anyone can create sophisticated business intelligence reports. That is also good news for the IT team. They'll spend less time dealing with meat-and-potatoes data queries, giving them more time to develop and improve the data infrastructure. 

Integrate Your Data Today!

Try Xplenty free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Get Started

If you want to make the most of your enterprise data, a cloud-based ETL is the first step. Contact us for a demo and seven-day trial to see if Xplenty can work for your organization.