SQL Analytics: How to build Embedded Dashboards

SQL Analytics: How to build Embedded Dashboards


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In today's data-driven world, the ability to visualize and interact with data is not just a luxury—it's a necessity. SQL and Explo offer a robust foundation for embedding dynamic dashboards directly into your applications, providing real-time insights at a glance. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to seamlessly integrate powerful, interactive dashboards into your software, transforming raw data into actionable intelligence.

SQL Analytics 101 Overview

Structured Query Language (SQL) is an easy to learn programming language used to pull data from relational databases. Today, many companies use SQL databases to store their data. The process of retrieving that data for analysis is called: SQL Analytics.

In a nutshell, SQL analytics is the way in which businesses extract meaningful insights from their data. It involves using SQL queries to analyze, clean, and interpret data stored in a SQL database. This method of data analysis has become integral for companies seeking to harness the potential of their information to drive strategic decisions.

SQL databases play a pivotal role in the realm of analytics. They serve as the foundation for storing and managing vast amounts of structured data. Whether it’s customer information, transaction records, or user behavior data, SQL databases provide a structured framework that facilitates efficient querying and retrieval of valuable insights. 

SQL Analytics: Integration with Explo's Embedded Dashboard Builder

Overview of Explo as an Embedded Dashboard Solution

Explo provides personalized and real-time customer facing analytics by offering a single solution to access, visualize, and share data. For product managers looking to enhance their software platforms with robust analytics capabilities, Explo offers a standout solution. Explo is an embedded dashboard builder designed to seamlessly integrate with SQL databases, offering a comprehensive look at analytics. It provides cost-effective, easy-to-implement, and white-label analytics solutions. Because of these features, its appeal extends across the company to Heads of Product, C Suite Executives, and Founders. 

Embedded Dashboard Capabilities and SQL Integration 

Explo stands out for its versatility in accommodating the diverse needs of software companies. Its embedded dashboards can be tailored to match the branding of the host platform, ensuring a cohesive user experience. It supports all relational databases and warehouses. The ease of integration with SQL databases further cements Explo’s position as a go-to solution for companies seeking to elevate their analytics offerings. In addition, Explo offers different ways of sharing your data, whether that be in an embedded dashboard, email, shareable link, or white label portal. 

Creating Embedded Dashboards with SQL and Explo

Step One: Setting up Explo's Embedded Dashboard solution

The process of setting up Explo for embedded dashboards is simple. If you have access to a relational database, you can easily get started. You’ll first need to gather your database credentials and connect Explo to your database. Once you’ve established that connection, you can begin creating your dashboard from the drag and drop interface. The components of your dashboard can include tables, charts, KPI cards, filters, switches, and a share button. Once your data is displayed to your liking, you can then embed or share your dashboard with others. 

Step Two: Connecting to SQL databases

Explo supports many different database management systems. These include MySQL, Postgres, and Redshift, among others. The authentication credentials you will need for connecting to your database depends on the type of system your data is stored in. At a minimum, you will need the hostname or IP of the server, a user name, and password. Explo also supports SSH Tunnels for users who need that functionality as well. 

Once you have connected to your database, you will create a data source within Explo. A data source object is simply a representation of the connection to your database or data warehouse. Explo supports multiple data sources if your data is housed in different locations or if your data is just stored in multiple databases. You can view the data from your data source by clicking on a data source from the “Data” Tab.

Connect to a SQL database and build an embedded dashboard

Step Three: Designing and customizing embedded dashboards

Once you are able to access your data from within Explo, you are ready to begin building your first dashboard. First, you’ll drag a chart component onto the canvas and select the dataset you would like to use for this visualization. There are many different types of charts to choose from including: bar charts, heat maps, KPIs, line charts, and maps. 

Create interactive embedded dashboards powered by a SQL database

Now that you have this component on your dashboard, you can edit both the data and the format of this object. Under the data section, you can configure any aggregations, filters, and parameters. The formatting pane gives you the flexibility to adjust labels, colors, text, and more. Once you have this component set up to your liking, you can add to your dashboard by repeating this process for other chart types and visualizations.

Outside of individual charts, you can add additional components such as filters, date selectors, and drop downs. Explo also supports the creation of custom variables which allow you to segment data for useful interactions for the end user. Variables are created by default for each dashboard, but you can also create your own under the “variables” tab.

Customize your embedded dashboard with charts, filters, and more.

In addition to charts, filters, and drop downs, Explo offers several different types of UI elements for added sophistication. These elements fall under 3 different categories: Controls, Export, and Display. Some examples of control elements are date inputs, switches, toggles, and text input. Export elements allow end users to create pivot reports or share the dashboard. Display elements allow you to add images, containers, and text. To add any of these elements, simply drag the component onto the canvas as you would any chart. Before you let go, you will see a hovering shadow so you can place it where you want it.

Explo's white-label capabilities allows you to incorporate your brand system

Finally, to add filters to your dashboard, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the setup page. Here you will find a field to filter by, the operator, and the value. For example, if you were building an e-commerce dashboard, you might want to filter sales and display only the last 30 days. To do this you would add a filter on the date field, the operator would be greater than and the value would be 30 days prior to today. Below is an example of the filter card:

Easily embed your dashboard into your SaaS application or a web portal.

Once your dashboard is complete, it is ready to be embedded or shared with others. You can add a “share” component to your dashboard which will allow users to copy the link to the dashboard or download it as a pdf.

If you would prefer to embed your dashboard, you have a few options. The first is via a web component, which is a custom HTML element. It functions as a native HTML element and can be used in any web development context. You can also embed it in an iFrame or a customer portal.

Get Started Building Embedded Dashboards

SQL analytics is becoming more and more of a requirement for many companies. Whether that be analyzing their own data or offering these features to their end users, SQL analytics provides meaningful insights for product leaders and stakeholders. 

As you can see, Explo seamlessly integrates with SQL databases, offering a versatile and user-friendly interface for creating personalized reports and dashboards. The setup process is straightforward, requiring only access to the database and the necessary credentials. Once connected to the database, Explo allows users to create a dashboard with a drag and drop interface, featuring components like tables, charts, KPI cards, filters, and many other UI elements. The customization options are extensive, with the ability to tailor dashboards to match the branding on the host platform.

Whether users choose to share their dashboards through links, PDFs, or embed them using web components, iFrames, or customer portals, Explo offers a comprehensive approach to SQL analytics.

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