Magento Business Intelligence Help Center

Getting Started Guide

Welcome to Magento BI!

Magento BI is a cloud-based data management and analytics platform. Magento BI provides users with the ability to easily consolidate and manage their data sources, model their data, create charts and reports, and maintain a single source of truth.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to get started and master the Magento BI platform, separated by your user permission level. If you want a visual walkthrough of some of the topics we cover in this guide, check out the Getting Started Video Series.

We consider these resources to be complementary: this guide elaborates on many of the topics and procedures covered in the video series. If you're responsible for managing your organization's Magento BI account and/or data, you'll definitely want to read through this guide. You can use the navigation in your Manage Data view to get an idea of what's included and jump around the guide.

User Permission Levels

Along with dashboard autonomy, each user will also have a set of permissions assigned to them when their account is created. These permissions enable users to perform certain actions or access specific parts of Magento BI.

In Magento BI, there are three general permission levels that apply to users, which are selected when an account is created: Admin, Standard, and Read Only. Here's a breakdown of what each permission level can do in Magento BI:

 
Admin
Standard
Read Only
Create/manage users
   
Create email summaries
 
Create/edit/share dashboards
 
View dashboards
Create/edit/delete reports
✔*
 
Clone dashboards
   
Add/manage integrations
   
Access the Data Warehouse Manager
   
Sync/unsync tables and columns
   
Create/edit metrics
   
Create/edit filter sets
   
Create/edit calculated columns
   
Create list of dependent reports
   
Access System Summary
   
Access Timezone settings
   
Access Billing
✔**
 
Contact Support

*You can limit a Standard user's access to specific metrics. After creating the user's account, follow these steps to put access restrictions in place.

**Standard users can access Billing with an additional permission setting.

Note that Read Only users can only view dashboards that have been shared with them: they can't create or edit anything in Magento BI, nor can they search for and add new dashboards to their account. We recommend that you share a specific set of dashboards with Read Only users that you or another member of your team maintains. Don't clone a set of dashboards for them.

Additional permissions: Billing and Technical

In addition to the general permission levels, two other user designations also exist - Billing and Technical. These designations are intended to be used in conjunction with the general permission levels.

Billing

Billing users have access to the billing page and can change payment information. Additionally, they may also be contacted by our teams for billing questions.

Admin users have access to the Billing tab by default, but Standard users can also gain access if they have the 'Billing' checkbox selected on their profile.

Technical

Technical users don't have any permissions specific to them - this setting just marks a technical contact within your organization. These users may be contacted by our teams for technical questions.

Training Materials

 

All Users

Updating your personal info

You can update your name, email, and password by clicking your account drop down in the top right, and selecting Edit Profile option.

If you forget your password, you can use the Forgot? link on the login page to reset it:

Should you reset your password and still be locked out of your account, follow these handy tips to help pinpoint the problem.

Adding descriptions to reports

When creating reports that will be shared with other members of your team, we recommend adding descriptions which will allow other users to better understand your analysis. 

  1. Click on the i button at the top of any report.
  2. Enter a description into the word box. 
  3. Hit Save Description. 

Let's take a look:

 

Exporting reports as images

Need to include a report in a presentation or document? Any report can be saved as an image (in PNG, PDF, or SVG format) using the Report Options menu, located in the top right corner of every report.

  1. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of any report.
  2. From the drop-down, select Enlarge.
  3. When the report enlarges, click the download icon in the top right corner of the report.
  4. Select the preferred image format from the drop-down. The download will begin immediately.

Let's take a look:

 

 

If you’re not already comfortable with Magento BI, don’t worry. With a little practice, you'll be perfectly at home in no time at all.

We want to give you an overview of how you can access our support team if you have questions, encounter problems, or want to take advantage of some of our professional services.

Our service policies

No one likes to be told 'no,' but there are a few things our support team won't do:

  • Alter user account and/or billing information
  • Share dashboards with other users
  • Debug SQL queries
  • Teach you how to use SQL

This isn't a conclusive list - please refer to this article for the complete rundown.

Self-service troubleshooting

If a problem arises in your account, we encourage you to do a little sleuthing and try to solve it using our troubleshooting resources. We’re always happy to help, but we love the satisfaction that comes from solving a tricky puzzle or problem and we’re sure you do, too. We don’t want to take that away from you.

Submitting a support ticket

Need help building an advanced calculated column? Encountered a defect or connection problem? Should you need to get in touch with our support team, we ask that you use our support ticket guidelines.

In these guidelines, we outline all the info we’ll need from you to resolve the issue. Ensuring everything is in the initial submission cuts down on time spent researching and email ping-pong.

 

Admin User

One of the most important features in Magento BI is the ability to collaborate with others in your organization. Not only is it easy to add and manage users in your account, but you can also apply different permission settings to each user. This allows you to easily share insights across your team while maintaining user roles.

Magento BI users can have one of three levels of general permissions: Admin, Standard, and Read Only

Admins can add new users to their account by clicking Account Settings > Create Users and following the prompts. After the user is created in Magento BI, the lucky person you’re inviting will receive email instructions on how to complete the account setup process.

At any time, Admins can view all the users in their account by clicking Account Settings > Manage Users. This page displays the user’s permissions and what metrics and dashboards they have access to.

Should you ever need to deactivate a user, you can do so on this page by clicking the Deactivate User button. Don’t panic if you do this by accident - simply re-invite the user using the same email address and their dashboards will be restored upon login.

Need to resend the invitation?

On the login page, simply click the Forgot? link, enter the new user's email address, and click the Reset Password button. This will send the invitation again and allow the user to log in.

Reactivating a deleted user

Accidentally delete a user or do you need the dashboards of a user that you already deleted?

Don't panic! You can reactivate the user by creating a new user with the same email address. They'll get an email to create a new password and their dashboards and settings will be restored upon login.

If you only need the dashboards from that user pushed into a different user's account, do the following:

  1. Use the deleted user's email address to create a new Magento BI user.
  2. Notify us at support@rjmetrics.com after you create the user. We'll transfer the dashboards into your account.
  3. After we've notified you of the transfer, you can delete the user again.

In Magento BI, data sources are called integrations. After an integration is successfully connected, you’ll be able to browse the tables available for syncing in the Data Warehouse Manager.

Integrations are added and managed using the Connections page, which can be accessed by clicking Manage Data > Connections. Here, you’ll see a list of all the integrations connected to your account, the integration type, status ("Google Analytics" and "Data Import API" connections will have blank status fields), and the last time a connection test (Last Connection Started column) was performed.

What types of integrations can I add to my account?

There are four ways to get your data into Magento BI: connect a database, connect a SaaS integration, upload a CSV file, or use our API.

Database integrations

Magento BI supports SQL-based and NoSQL databases such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.

While you can directly connect your database to Magento BI using database credentials, we recommend you use a proven encryption method like an SSH tunnel. This will ensure that your data stays safe and secure as it makes its way into your data warehouse.

Depending on the connection method and type of database, some tech expertise might be required to complete the setup. 

SaaS integrations

 

SaaS integrations are services like Google AdwordsSalesforce, and Zendesk. It’s important to note that because third-party data lives on the vendor’s server, you can’t directly access it like you can with the data in a database.

You can keep tabs on the integrations we currently support (and even those coming soon!) by checking out the integrations page on the RJMetrics website.

In most cases, setting up an integration in Magento BI is as easy as simply entering your account credentials. Some services might require an API key to complete the authorization - check out the integration setup articles for instructions on generating any credentials you need.

File Upload

Not sure how to get data from a supplementary source into your data warehouse? Using the File Upload feature is a good way to pull in data that you don’t need for everyday decision making. Following our formatting rules, you can quickly upload CSV files into your data warehouse and join them with other data sources.

Magento BI Import API

If you’d rather automate the retrieval of data from one of your own sources, you can use the Magento BI Import API. Basically: if it’s not in a database or a SaaS integration, the Import API is your best bet.

Using the API requires a bit of technical expertise - someone who’s comfortable with writing and maintaining a small Ruby or PHP script will be more than qualified.

To learn more about getting started with the Import API, check out the Developer site and how to generate an API key.

How do I add an integration?

To add an integration, click Manage Data > Connections and then the Add a New Data Source button. Click the icon of the integration you want to add and follow the instructions in our help articles to set things up.

Not seeing an integration you want? Some integrations have to be activated for them to be visible in your account. If you’re looking for something - for example, Facebook - but it isn’t listed, reach out to us.

If you see an error status for an integration, don't panic - check out the Troubleshooting section for help.

The Data Warehouse Manager, accessed by clicking Manage Data > Data Warehouse in the sidebar, is the portal to your Magento BI Data Warehouse. Using the Data Warehouse Manager, you can manage table and column sync settings, drill-down into a table’s schema, and create calculated columns to use in reports.

Note that you need Admin permissions to access the Data Warehouse Manager.

Selecting tables and columns to sync

The Data Warehouse Manager in Magento BI not only gives you the ability to easily view and manage your data sources, you also have the freedom to select the individual tables and columns you want to sync.

After an integration is successfully connected, Magento BI will perform what we call a “structure sync” during the update cycle following the initial connection. [Note: If the connection is not a database, please contact Support to start the initial "structure sync".] During this process, Magento BI will determine the structure of your data so all your tables and columns display in the Data Warehouse Manager.

Once the structure sync is complete, you’ll be able to select individual tables and columns to sync.

Setting replication methods for tables

In addition to choosing what data to sync, you also have control over how it’s replicated to your data warehouse. Replication methods are used to identify new and/or updated data in your tables and are crucial to ensuring both accuracy and optimized update times.

When new tables are synced in the Data Warehouse Manager, a replication method will automatically be chosen for the table. Understanding the various replication methods, how tables are organized, and how the table data behaves will allow you to choose the best replication method for your tables.

Setting recheck frequencies for columns

Columns within a database table aren’t necessarily static: just as tables can be updated with new records, columns can be updated with new data. These columns have to be “rechecked” for new information.

For example, in an orders table there might be a column called status. When an order is initially written to the table, the status column might contain the value "pending." The order will then be replicated in your data warehouse with this "pending" value. Order statuses can change, though - eventually it could become "complete" or "cancelled." To ensure that your data warehouse syncs this change, the column will need to be rechecked for new values.

Data rechecks are directly tied into different replication methods and the processing of rechecks varies based on the selected method. To ensure you’re correctly setting column rechecks, check out this tutorial. Keep in mind that incorrect rechecks can lead to stale data and slow update times, so we recommend you read up before you move on!

Understanding the update cycle

Magento BI syncs with your integrations throughout the day to replicate only the new data relevant for analysis. This ensures that your dashboards show the latest insights. Regular updates are scheduled processes, but you can also force an update if you need to. Keep in mind that forced updates will start after any current update completes, and that forced updates will not respect any blackout hours that you set.

It’s important to note that changes in the Data Warehouse Manager - including syncing/unsyncing tables and columns and new calculated columns (we’ll get to those in the next section) - require one full update cycle to be completed before you’ll see any changes.

Maintaining a healthy data warehouse

Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to explore the databases of hundreds of online businesses. We consider ourselves experts when it comes to building and maintaining a healthy data warehouse.

That being said, we recommend using the resources in the Update cycle and database optimization section to maintain the integrity of your data and optimize your update times.

Whether you’re a SQL expert or a novice analyst, learning your way around the data modeling features in the Data Warehouse Manager can be a little daunting sometimes. How does Magento BI translate SQL queries? How do you create a metric?

In this section, we’ll guide you through everything you need to confidently model your data. Note that while only Admin users can perform the functions in this article, this is still useful knowledge to have for analysis purposes.

Creating calculated columns

What are advanced calculated columns?
Advanced calculated columns are calculated columns that require help from one of our analysts to build. They include columns that convert currency or time zones, sequentially order events, find the time between two events, or compare sequential event values.

Need these in your account? Review the guidelines for submitting this type of ticket and then reach out to our support team.

Simply being able to see and manage data from all your sources makes gaining insights into your business that much easier. But within the Data Warehouse Manager, you have the ability to go a step further by creating calculated columns inside your tables. Calculated columns derive new information from your existing data. If you understand SQL, calculated columns are equivalent to aggregate functions.

Let’s say you want to add user’s lifetime revenue to your users table to find high value users. Or, if you want to segment revenue by gender, you can addcustomer’s gender to your orders table.

To help you master creating these columns, we created a tutorial to walk you through it.

Creating and managing metrics

After you’ve connected your data and started establishing relationships, you’re ready to start building metrics. But what exactly is a metric? What do you do with it in Magento BI?

Simply put, a metric is a measurement. It’s the bridge between your data warehouse and the visualizations you’ll create in the Magento BI Report Builders. If you’re familiar with SQL, metrics are essentially saved queries that you can use in reports. If you’re not familiar with SQL, no worries: you can consider a metric a single, repeatable question that pulls data from your database.

When used in reports, metrics can be analyzed over a specified time period andfiltered or segmented by different categories.

Creating filter sets for metrics

You can further refine your metrics by applying filter sets. Consider the testing that initially goes into setting up a business or a new website - your data might contain test orders or events, which could skew your reporting if it isn’t filtered out. Filter sets can be applied to any metric that uses the same table the filter set is created in, meaning you can easily control what’s included or excluded from your metrics.

 

SQL Report Builder

The SQL Report Builder gives you the power to directly query your data warehouse, view the results, and quickly transform them into a report. Using SQL also allows you to utilize SQL functions that aren’t available in the Visual or Cohort Report Builders, thus giving you greater control over your data.

We’d like to mention that calculated columns created using SQL aren’t dependent on update cycles, meaning you can iterate on them as you please and immediately see results.

Note that this only applies to the structure of the column, not the freshness of the data. Fresh data is still dependent on successfully completed update cycles.

This is perfect for... This isn’t so great for...
  • Intermediate/advanced analysts
  • The SQL savvy
  • Building one-time-use calculated columns
  • Data with one-to-many relationships
  • Testing a new column or analysis
  • Beginners - you need to know SQL
  • Simple analyses - writing a query can be more work than simply using the Visual Report Builder
  • Sharing with others - consider your audience: do they understand SQL? If not, they may be confused by how the report is built.

 

Admin and Standard User

Visual Report Builder

The Visual Report Builder is the easiest way to visualize your data. If you’re not familiar with SQL or you just want to quickly create a report, the Visual Report Builder is your best bet. With just a few clicks, you can add metrics, segment your data, and create reports to across your organization. This option is perfect for beginners and experts alike, as it doesn’t require any technical expertise.

This is perfect for... This isn’t so great for...
  • All levels of analysis/tech experience
  • Quickly creating reports
  • Creating analyses to share with other users
  • Analyses that require SQL-specific functions
  • Testing new columns - calculated columns are dependent on update cycles for initial data population, whereas those created using SQL aren’t

Cohort Report Builder

Unlike the Visual Report Builder, the Cohort Report Builder is meant for a single purpose: analyzing and identifying behavioral trends of similar user groups over time. Using the Cohort Report Builder doesn’t require any SQL savvy, so you can dive right in without hesitation if you’re just starting out.

This is perfect for... This isn’t so great for...
  • Intermediate/advanced analysts
  • Identifying behavioral trends over time

The main way you'll share information in Magento BI is through dashboards, but you can also create automated email summaries, create images from reports, and export raw data.

Creating dashboards

Dashboards are essentially sharable, themed buckets for the analyses you create in the Report Builders. This is how you can encourage your team to collaborate and maintain a single source of truth across your organization.

If you’re an Admin or a Standard user, you can create a dashboard by clicking the Dashboard Options drop-down and choosing Create New dashboard.

What the dashboards you create look like is entirely up to you. You can arrange and resize the elements in the dashboard any way you wish to suit your needs and workflow.

Managing your dashboards

In Manage Data > Dashboards, you can manage user permissions for dashboards you own, delete dashboards you no longer need, and set a default dashboard.

Sharing your dashboards

To truly scale Magento BI throughout your organization and provide valuable insights, we encourage you to share dashboards you create with other team members. You can share dashboards you own by clicking the Share Dashboard option at the top of the page.

When you share a dashboard, you can assign permissions across your organization OR on an individual basis, meaning you get to decide who can view and edit your reports.

Remember: Read Only users only have access to dashboards that are directly shared with them - they aren’t able to search for and add dashboards on their own. Don’t forget to keep them in the loop!

Accessing shared dashboards

If you’re an Admin or Standard user and want to add a shared dashboard to your account, you can do so by clicking Dashboard Options and then selecting Find in the dropdown.


Click for a closer look!

Setting up automated email summaries

If some members of your team don’t have Magento BI accounts or you need on-the-go access to reports, you can set up an automated email summary. Email summaries are convenient and useful ways to always be in the know.

Because these summaries are text-only table versions of your reports, they can be easily viewed on mobile devices.

Getting data out of Magento BI

We created Magento BI to be inclusive, meaning data is both easy to get in and out of the system. You can export reports, dashboards, and raw table data to ensure everyone is in the loop at all times. If you’re more tech savvy, you can even use our API to automate data retrieval from your data warehouse.

 

Billing User

Admin users have access to the Billing page by default, but you can also grant access to Standard users by selecting the Billing checkbox when creating/editing a user:

You can update your payment info by clicking your account drop-down in the upper right, and selecting Billing.

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