Note: If you'd prefer to learn how to set up a Smart Connector watching a video, see [Video] Setting up a Smart Connector.
Table of Contents
What is a Smart Connector?
A Smart Connector allows you to add data to TapClicks from nearly any data source and from almost all file formats. TapClicks has native integrations with 100s of applications. But if there isn’t a native integration, you can build a Smart Connector to bring in any data for use in reports and analysis.
The two most common use cases we see people use are manually-uploaded csv files and fetching data from a Google Drive or Google Sheet location. As you’ll see, the Smart Connector feature is able to pull data from just about anywhere, and can read almost every common file format.
Once you set up the Smart Connector, it will automatically check for and retrieve new data on a daily basis.
Smart Connector - Quick Start Reference
Creating a Smart Connector involves the following steps:
1] Select the upload method and location of your data (see more on Delivery Types).
2] Determine which additional features will be necessary.
3] Define the fields in your file by mapping them to the TapClicks system (see more on Field Mapping).
4] Setup alerts and fetch settings.
5] Save your Smart Connector.
|NOTE: After creating a Smart Connector, it's not possible to delete it completely. It can be made inactive, or the name can be white labeled (i.e., re-named), but it remains in the system. So, decide your long-term plans before setting up a Smart Connector.|
Smart Connector Step-by-Step Instructions
1] On the left side menu click Data.
2] Click Smart Connectors. You're taken to the Smart Connectors list.
3] In the upper right, click the "+" to add a Smart Connector.
4] On the New Smart Connector page, enter a name for your Smart Connector in the Name textbox. This is effectively the name of the data source, so make it memorable and relevant to the data you are adding.
5] Enter a drilldown name for the Smart Connector in the Drilldown / view name textbox.
|NOTE: The drilldown / view name will be the name of the data view you are creating. A data view is a the same thing as a table in a database. You can read more about data views here: What is a Data View?|
6] Slide the Is active? to the right to ensure the Smart Connector is turned on after you save it. You can change this later if needed.
Choose a Delivery Type
7] Click in the Delivery type textbox. A dropdown menu appears.
8] Select a delivery type from the dropdown menu. The delivery type selection tells TapClicks where to look for your data. The table below details your options.
Authenticate an application or provide an email:
Authenticate an application or specify a location:
Specify the database location and credentials:
|Direct to Source||
Authenticate the application:
|NOTE: The steps you'll follow after you make your delivery type selection depend on what delivery type you choose. The general actions are shown below in the table in bold.|
|NOTE: If you want to email a file into the system, slide the Use Email Service? slider to the on position. This will open up a new section that includes a special email address personalized to your instance. When you email a file to this address as an attachment, it will be automatically added to your database.|
|NOTE: If you are uploading a JSON file, the system will automatically recognize the format, regardless of what delivery type you use. However, if you want to only pull a subset of a JSON file, you should slide the Use JSON File Config? slider to the on position. This will enable you to specify one or more arrays, subarrays, or objects from a JSON file to pull into TapClicks while ignoring the rest. Learn more about the Use JSON File Config settings in this article.|
|NOTE: The Use Geo Data? feature is by request only and may not be available for all accounts.|
9] After you have chosen your delivery type and either selected a file or authenticated the source location, you will need to upload a sample file. The sample file is used to map fields and tell the TapClicks system how to interpret your data. Start by clicking the Select Sample File... button on the right.
10] Navigate to the file on your local machine and click Open. The file will appear in the Sample data field.
11] If you want to load sample data from the data source to enable TapClicks to immediately begin processing the data, choose Yes from the Load sample data dropdown menu.
12] If your data has automatically-generated footer rows and you want the import to ignore them, enter the number of rows in the # Footer rows to skip textbox.
13] Click the Upload button next to the Select Sample File... button.
Mapping Data Fields
|NOTE: After you upload data, you will need to tell TapClicks how to interpret each field of the file. This is referred to as mapping. As part of mapping, you will need to tell the system what type of data is being displayed (e.g., text, numeric) as well as how to identify uniqueness. For more details about mapping data, refer to this article: How to Map Data Fields in a Smart Connector. For more details or help understanding the concept of uniqueness, please refer to this article: Understanding Unique Fields.|
14] The parsed data appears in the data mapping screen.
15] TapClicks does it best to guess at the field type for each field. In the event that it's wrong, you can change the field type using the Field type dropdown menu.
16] Select the Use for mapping? radio button to use that field to map the data.
17] Select the Use for date range? radio button to use that field to map the data
18] Check the Unique field? checkbox if that field should be used to establish uniqueness.
19] Check the Is metric? checkbox is that field should be used as a performance metric.
20] Check the Include in charts? checkbox if the performance metric specified above is to be used in the row breakdown chart and part of the Report Generator chart.
21] To remove an unwanted field, click the trash can icon on the far right.
22] If you would like to receive alerts should the smart connector fail or experience an error (recommended), enter one or more emails, separated by a comma, in the Email text field.
23] Slide the slider to the on position to only receive an email for errors and warnings.
|NOTE: If you have the multi-level Smart Connector capability enabled, you can join multiple files together using a related field (such as user ID or campaign ID). A common use case for this is when you have a csv file with multiple tabs. Each tab can be loaded individually on a separate file and then joined together using the multi-level feature.|
|NOTE: (Optional) The Advanced Fetch Settings enable you to delay the daily fetching of data when using a Smart Connector. The fetch begins each day in the morning based on your instance's fetch strategy. (The default is 6 AM EST or Eastern Standard Time.)
A common use case for delaying the fetch for a Smart Connector is when you don’t expect to upload data into your file location until later in the day. For example, if you receive a file from a 3rd party system at 9 AM EST and typically upload it around 10 AM EST, you may want to select a delay of 5 hours (or 300 minutes) to account for this and give yourself the most up-to-date data in your reports.
|NOTE: Manual upload does not get this option.|
24] To delay the fetch, enter the number of minutes you want to delay the fetch by (720 minutes max) in the Fetch Delay textbox
25] You can also choose to set a longer or shorter fetch history. By default, the system will grab the last three days of data.
26] When you have your data mapping configuration the way you want, click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen. Your can begin using your Smart Connector in your reporting.
How to Deactivate a Smart Connector
|NOTE: You cannot delete a Smart Connector. If you want to remove it from the active Smart Connector list, you'll have to deactivate it.|
|NOTE: You will not be able to set the Smart Connector to inactive if it's fields are being used in Channels, Calculation or widgets.|
1] On the left side menu, click Data and then click Smart Connector.
2] Locate the Smart Connector you want to set inactive in the list by scrolling, using the page controls or the search box.
3] Click the edit (i.e., pencil) icon to the far right of the Smart Connector.
4] Slide the Is active? slider to the off position.
5] Click Save Changes.