The DataHero Blog

Using Google Spreadsheets To Connect Your Database and DataHero

March 11th, 2014


One of the most common questions we hear at DataHero is “Can I connect my organization’s database to DataHero?”  After all, we know some of the most important data in your organization usually lies in your own internal databases and is most likely the cornerstone of your business. Using Google Drive as an intermediary between your database and DataHero is a perfect way to analyze your internal data, keep it updated, and simply append new data with each SQL query.  In this post, I’ll show you step by step how to directly analyze the data in your database using DataHero.

DataHero’s Metrics

At DataHero, we track metrics like weekly user registrations, activations, service connections etc. all via this system. We created a scheduled cron job to run a SQL query and post the results directly to Zapier via webhook.  The Zapier service automatically appends the new data to our existing Google spreadsheet which is available for anyone in our company to view through our Google Drive account.  Besides webhooks, you can use Zapier to connect to MongoDB, directly to your MySQL database or almost anything that fits you current data needs.  Using Google Drive as our data warehouse allows us to easily control what, when, and how queries are run, keeping IT and operations happy, while making sure our employees have the data available to answer their business questions.

Google Spreadsheet

Importing Your Data

Once you have your data in Google Drive, it is straightforward to turn it into compelling visualizations.  To start, import your data warehouse spreadsheet and create the charts you need.  DataHero makes creating visualizations and dashboards painless by allowing you to easily do pivots, time groupings, filter out data, etc.  Having these powerful functions built into DataHero means little to no data manipulation is necessary when setting up your pseudo data warehouse.  Simply output the data in its raw transactional form to your spreadsheet and let DataHero make getting your answers, via a beautiful chart, easy.

Keeping Your Data Up To Date

Once you have created the charts you need, make sure they’re automatically kept up to date as the information in your Google Spreadsheet changes.  To do so, enable Live Charts from your charts homepage and DataHero will automatically update your charts with the most recent data from your cloud storage service while keeping a snapshot of your previous revisions.

Creating Your Dashboard

Finally, add the internal metric visualizations you created to a dashboard and combine it with your other key metrics from services like Stripe, Github or Salesforce.  You now have an up-to-date view of your latest internal data and all your business data in a single location.

Create your SQL queries, output their result to your Google Spreadsheet, import it into DataHero and you’ll be able to visualize your custom database metrics in a flash. Have a cool integration you’ve done?  Let us know in the comments below or get started with your custom analytics today.

DataHero helps you unmask the answers in your data. There’s nothing to download or install. Simply create an account and connect to the data services you use every day (like Salesforce, Stripe, MailChimp, and Google Drive). DataHero automatically decodes your data and shows you the answers you need through dynamic visualizations.

Start tracking your metrics today with DataHero

By Jeff Zabel

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