Writing your first query

Once you have imported, normalised and published multiple datasets, you can now begin analysing and querying your data.

To start, you can gain an early insight into the relationship between each pair of datasets by switching to the Connections List tab. Here, you will see the overlap and information on the keys and categories contained in each pair. The keys will be used during the queries to link the records referring to the same individual.

Next, use the Query Tool  to begin building, testing and running queries. A query on InfoSum Platform - just like a query in a conventional database - is a way of filtering, combining and analysing data. You can refer to multiple datasets in a single query and the datasets will be automatically joined, where there is a common key.

All queries must be written in InfoSum’s proprietary query language, the Insight Query Language (IQL). IQL is loosely based on SQL, so if you’re used to writing SQL you will find the syntax to be similar, and enables the unique capabilities of the Platform.

Using IQL, you can define an audience and what you are intending to learn and use operators to build relationships between datasets. In addition, using IQL you can filter the results on categorical data, including those held in additional datasets, and reference glue datasets to match up entries where there isn’t a common key.

The simplest IQL query comprises of two clauses. The SELECT clause defines what you are trying to achieve in terms of information gained, and the FROM clause defines the audience you are intending to learn about. So, to aggregate age and gender, you would write something like this:

As you can see above, the FROM clause is used to reference the datasets and build relationships between them through operators.

If you want to, you can identify a subset of these records by using filters. The WHERE can be used to define attribute-based criteria. For example, building on the example above, you may be interested in learning more about those with a certain age and income.

Before submitting the query, you can view the Connections List generated by the Platform to examine the dataset connectivity and quality metrics. The documentation for IQL can be found here.

Next steps

You can further enrich your analysis by referencing datasets owned by other users, provided they have sent you a permission. Try sending a permission to another user here.