If you need to analyze information in your NetSuite account, one of the key ways you can do that is by building a SuiteAnalytics workbook. But before you can use a workbook, you need to create the underlying dataset that your workbook will use. In upcoming weeks we’ll actually build out a sample dataset and workbook, but first we need to understand the basic components of a SuiteAnalytics dataset.

What is a SuiteAnalytics Dataset?

So, what exactly is a SuiteAnalytics dataset? At its most basic level, a dataset is a collection of information gathered from records across a NetSuite account. This information has a base record (or root record) that it is built around, but it will likely contain information from additional record types as well. Datasets can be connected to workbooks, enabling users to visualize the content of the dataset more easily. A single workbook can pull information from multiple datasets, but it must have a minimum of one dataset in order to work.

Basic Components of a SuiteAnalytics Dataset

Now, let’s walk through the basic components of a SuiteAnalytics dataset.

The Datasets Tab

First, there’s the Datasets tab. When you navigate to the Analytics tab in your center and select the Datasets tab on that page, you’ll see a list of all the datasets in your NetSuite account.

At the top of the page, you can search for a specific dataset. Alternatively, you can filter the list down to certain categories, such as the datasets you created, datasets that were shared with you, and dataset templates. Some of the basic information you can see in the list of datasets includes the name of each dataset, a description (if one was provided when the dataset was created), the script ID of the dataset, and the last opened/last modified dates for each dataset. 

Clicking the link in the Details column next to any of the datasets will pull up more information about the actual content the dataset is based on. The Owner column specifies who created the dataset. If the owner is listed as “System,” then that dataset is a template that automatically came with your NetSuite account. The Root Record column shows the record that the dataset is based on, though most datasets will also pull information from other records in addition to their root record. And under the Actions column, you have the option to create a workbook from that dataset, to share the dataset with other users, and even to delete the dataset altogether. 

The New Dataset Page

On the list of datasets page, notice the New Datasets button. Selecting this button will take you to the New Dataset page. 

The first step in creating a new dataset is to select the record type that you will base your entire new dataset on, and you can do that on the New Dataset page. This record type will be the root record for the dataset. Notice, however, that in addition to the name of each record type in your NetSuite account you are also provided with the record category of each record type and each record’s script ID. 

There are three different record categories: standard, custom, and analytical. Custom record types are record types that were, obviously, created specifically for your NetSuite instance. The other two record categories, standard and analytical, are for record types that came with your NetSuite instance. The main difference between these two is that the analytical record types were created by NetSuite with the express intention of providing analytical data. 

The Dataset Builder

Once you select your root record, you will be taken directly to the Dataset Builder. On this page, there are four key sections.

First, in the far left column you will see a list of record types that you can join to the dataset. If you want to add any information to your datasets from these record types, simply select the desired record type and then, in the next column, choose the fields from that record type that you wish to add. Notice, though, that when you initially arrive on this page your root record is selected.

In the column next to the list of joinable record types, you will see a list of all the fields that are in the record type you have selected. Fields that have already been added to your dataset are arranged at the top of the list and highlighted in blue. If you want to add a new field to the dataset, simply select the field and drag it onto the Data Grid.

The third component of the Dataset Builder is the Data Grid. In the Data Grid, notice that the columns represent all the record fields you have selected while the rows represent each unique record instance within the record type. You can easily rearrange the order of the columns by grabbing the column headers and dragging them to a new location.

You may want your dataset to include each record instance within a record type. But, depending on the record types you have joined to this dataset, you may be dealing with thousands of record instances, and some of these instances may not be relevant for you. To narrow down the data in the Data Grid, you can set filters on the data in the criteria section above the Data Grid. To add criteria to this section, simply drag the fields you want to use as filters to this section and choose the exact criteria you are looking for within those fields.

After you have built out your dataset and saved it, the dataset is all ready to be used in a workbook!

Conclusion

Understanding the components of a SuiteAnalytics dataset is foundational to working with workbooks in NetSuite. In upcoming posts, we’ll be delving even deeper into SuiteAnalytics, so be sure to join our newsletter below if you would like to follow along with the entire series.

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