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Data types

As soon as your dataset is uploaded into Rhiza for Research, you're asked to specify the type of data in each column. The system suggests a data type based on what it sees in the first row of the data file, but in many cases, you need to change the default assigned type to make the assignment more specific. Use the guidelines in this topic to help you get the most out of your uploaded data.

Supported types

Rhiza for Research supports a range of text, numeric, and geographic data types. In some cases, the type you assign determines how the data can be visualized in a presentation:

  • Numerical data: If you assign a numeric type (Whole Number, Decimal Number) to a column, it can be used to create calculated values in a presentation. This is important if you want to look at proportion or if you want to create an index. If you want to use the number as a count variable in a Geographic report, it must be typed as a Whole Number.

    In addition, numeric data can be used in a data series to more precisely filter the dataset. It cannot, however, be used as a category to aggregate (or sort) your results.

  • Categorical data: If you assign a column as a Category data type, it can be used in data series as a filter, as a category to aggregate your results, or as a break-out value in a Geographic report.
  • Date: Data that is of type Date can be used in a data series as a filter (represented with the date-picker widget) or as a category.
Text Available for all text strings. Although you can use this option for information that doesn't adhere to a specific data type, we recommend using a more precise type when possible. For example, if you have data about ethnicity or education level, consider assigning the Category data type to it.
Date Available for date data formatted as MM-DD-YYYY. Dates are useful for filtering your report data and telling a time-based story.
Date Time Available for data that contains both a date and a time (for example, 2015-03-27 18:26). If your column contains time information, you must use this data type.
Whole Number Available for whole numbers. This is useful for whole numerical values that don't adhere to a specific data type (for example, a count like "people who own blenders"). Numeric fields are aggregated by reports and are also available as filters.
Decimal Number Available for numerical data that contains a decimal point. Use this type when you have fractions or when your have exceptionally large numbers (for example, 2 billion). Numeric fields are aggregated by reports and are also available as filters.
Percent Available for data formatted as a decimal. Be sure to exclude the percent sign (for example, 25% should be .25 in your uploaded data file).
Category

Available for any type of data. Data defined as a category can be used to aggregate the data in your report (for example, you can aggregate, or group, your results by "favorite color" or "gender" if you have those defined as categories).

Latitude Available for data formatted as a decimal (for example, 35.929673). Use this option with the Longitude option to specify exact map coordinates.
Longitude Available for data formatted as a decimal (for example, -78.948237). Use this option with the Latitude option to specify exact map coordinates.
Street Address Available for text strings; indicates the value is a street address. Although there are no restrictions on the values, note that values such as "2nd floor" or "Apartment #3" can lead to less accurate mapping.
City Available for text strings; indicates the value is a city.
County Available for text strings; indicates the value is a country.
State Available for text strings; indicates the value is a state. You can use full state names or abbreviations.
ZIP™ code Available for data formatted as a 5-digit ZIP Code.
DMA Available for data formatted as a Designated Market Area (DMA) code (for example, 504). This is sometimes also referred to as Nielsen Markets.

The system only shows eligible data types in the drop-down menu. If you can't set the data type you want, check your file for missing or incorrectly formatted data. This sometimes happens with zip codes - if your data file has missing values in the zip code column, or if a zip code has been mistyped or truncated (for example, changed from 00501 to 501 as some spreadsheets do), the ZIP Code type will not appear as an option.

If you do not assign a data type to a column, it defaults to Text.

Related information

User-uploaded geographic data

ZIP Codes in uploaded datasets

Upload data


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