Importing data

Baking with your own data – Import views

If you’re analysing the performance of your building and its HVAC systems you probably already have data from other sources – meter data, building management system data, occupancy data, for example.

We at PurrTowers have been working for a while on ways to allow you to use other data alongside your kitten data. So we’d like to introduce our Data Import view.

Import

The Import view is available if you have an unlimited account (ie any tier above the free account). It allows bulk import of historical data, and attaches the data to a special external-data kitten. This kitten can be dragged and added to other views exactly as if it were one of our own sensor kittens and you can put this data alongside that collected by kittens.

How do I get my data in?

First create an import view as any other by clicking on the Import view in the Create Views selection:

Select

This will create a new Import view:

Import view

Data formats

Data is added to the import by dragging a data file to this view. The data file is going to get analysed before it gets imported to your account, so it helps to get it into the right format. Each line needs to include a time and date, and a value, with a comma between the two:

Datafile

This can be created using Microsoft Excel by saving a spreadsheet with two columns, one for the date time and one for the value, as a .CSV, comma separated value file. In order to get the date and time format right you’ll need to use a custom cell format which can be found in the cell format dialog box:

dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm

(For some Excel users you may find that this format doesn’t exist, but this link explains how to create the custom format you need)

Excel

OK, so you’ve got your data file sorted out, now drop it onto the Import view. This should put it to work, first uploading the file, and then checking the contents:

Analysing ….Found

Organising your Import Views

If everything went well then that Import view should tell you what it thinks of your data, and offer an import button that you need to press in order to get the data in. Once there just use the new Import kitten just as you would any other (yes, you can rename it just as you can rename the Import view).

We strongly recommend that you keep all your Import views in a dedicated project. This makes it easier to find each Import view when you want to add more data.

You can delete the Import view, it won’t delete the kitten or the data that you’ve already imported, you just won’t be able to add any more data to the kitten.

The small print – some important details

OK, as you might expect there’s a little small print:

You need one Import view for each thing that you want to import data for. Example: if you have three thermostats in a room you will need three Import views.

The Import view should happily eat several 100,000 points in one swallow. We have limited the import to 2MByte files at a time.

You can reuse an Import view as many times as you like, adding data from different times to the Import kitten to build up a complete history.

Sorry, but no, we haven’t worked out how to let you delete the data you’ve just imported. Please be careful to be sure that you are adding the data you actually want.

Yes, you can add data that might overlap the data that you’ve already imported. Our far-to-clever for its own good database will just average the data during those overlapping periods.

The Import view needs you to give it data points in time order. If you try to import data that is all backwards, or where some points are in backwards order then it will do its best but it will reject those points.

If the Import view cannot understand your data file it will warn you and let you try submitting different data:

Reject

Pricing

And finally – how much will it cost? We will charge the same amount for an import view as for any other kitten, so depending on the number of end points you are measuring prices will start at £10 per end point, per annum.

This is a new view that will be in beta for the next month so we welcome feedback and bug reports. Enjoy!

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