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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs / General

What is Holistics?

Holistics is business intelligence (BI) software with an analytics operations focus, making it easy for data teams to maintain.

Non-technical users can explore data and build their own dashboards without the need to know SQL.

What makes Holistics different?

Holistics provides a data modeling layer that is easy for any data teams to adopt (native SQL), and cuts down repetitive mundane work traditionally required to maintain a self-service BI platform.

Learn more about Holistics data modeling layer.

How do I set up Holistics?

Here is a step-by-step of how setting up Holistics looks like:

  1. Connect: Connect Holistics to your SQL data warehouse.
  2. Model: Technical users model data using Holistics’s Unified Data Modeling Layer, this ensures all business logic is properly captured and mapped to underlying database.
  3. Explore & Build: The modeled data is then exposed to non-technical users for deep-diving and exploration. Non-technical users can visualize the data and build reports without bothering technical teams.
  4. Share: Reports are consumed and shared via different channels (web, email, Slack, etc).

Do I need an existing database to use Holistics?

Yes. You’ll need a SQL database for Holistics to connect with, since Holistics doesn’t collect or store the data for you.

If you don’t have a SQL database, you can consider getting one: How to set up a free BigQuery or PostgreSQL for data warehousing.

Is Holistics based on SQL? Why is that?

We designed Holistics to be SQL-based because of the following:

  • SQL is the dominant standard for analytics. That means more people know how to work with SQL. Transferable skills mean it’s easier to train and hire.
  • Most analytics databases now use SQL as the default interface. Designing Holistics to be SQL-based helps utilize fully the power and scalability of these datawarehouse technologies.

Learn more about our biases.

I use MongoDB. Can I still use Holistics for it?

Yes, you can. The way to do it is:

  1. Spin up a SQL database (see above question on how)
  2. Use Holistics (Import Data) to load MongoDB into the SQL database.
  3. Import MongoDB into it and start analyzing your data.
  4. Start building reports off the data in SQL database.

For more details, check this guide.

My company uses Tableau. Do I still need Holistics?

Maybe. If you value interactive, rich visualizations for storytelling, Tableau is more suitable for you. Our focus is on analytics operations that makes it easy for data teams to maintain dashboards with minimal repetitive mundane work across the data preparation process.

I use tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Heap. Are they the same as Holistics?

No.

Holistics falls into a different category compared to these products. Holistics is a BI tool that allows you to analyze your existing business data you already collected. Holistics needs to connect to your existing SQL databases.

Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Heap are “product analytics tools” where they allow you to track and analyze product-related behavioral data and analyze them based on pre-built report templates.

Learn more: Holistics vs Product Analytics Tools

FAQs / Product

Where can I see your past and upcoming product feature releases?

You can see our past and upcoming product releases in our Release Notes.

Do you offer white-label analytics and OEM embedded dashboards?

Yes we do. Read more here:

Alternatively, you can contact us here to discuss how that can be done.

Do you support Python (pandas and sckit) to build machine learning models?

We don’t at the moment. If you are looking for Python workflow automation, you can try Airflow.

However, within our customers’ setup, data scientists usually use Holistics API to extract data to feed into their machine learning models.

Do you support loading data (ELT/ETL) from other sources?

While Holistics primarily focuse on the modeling and self-service BI layer, we do support ELT for some simple and common sources like:

  • Spreadsheets: Excel, CSV and Google Spreadsheets
  • Production DBs: MongoDB and most SQL databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server and Oracle).
  • Apps: We support some common apps like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Pipedrive.

Check out our Import Data docs for more information.

Holistics is not meant or designed to replace other ETL/ELT tools. So if you have many other sources of data, we recommend you use a dedicated ETL/ELT tools. StitchData, Fivetran, Meltano (open-source) are the common options you can look at.

Can Holistics connect to REST APIs?

We don’t support it currently.

FAQs / Performance

Where are your infrastructure located? Do you have plans to host your services in other parts of the world?

Our infrastructure is hosted in Singapore with Digital Ocean. However, if your company would like us to host our service in another place, please contact us here for more detailed discussion.

Our database servers are located in the US/Europe. Will latency be an issue

Based on our conversations with customers so far, latency has not been a problem. Based on our experience, most of the bottleneck is due to long-running SQL queries that happens in your database.

FAQs / Data Security

Does Holistics store my data?

Holistics does not store any of your data. Holistics connect to your existing SQL database and farm queries to the database and only capture the resultset. The raw data sits in your own data warehouse, and you retain the full ownership of your data.

Holistics stores 2 things:

  • The metadata (the definition of reports, metrics and tables)
  • Cached copy of the query resultsets. This helps speed up the report access time and help save cost from running repeated queries. This cached data will expire after a predetermined time, and customers have

Learn more in our Data Security docs.

What other measures do you have in place when it comes to data security?

On top of the not storing customer data above, we also apply other security measures like: encrypted connections between Holistics servers and your database servers. We also conduct penetration testing on our applications on a regular basis.

You can read more about our measures for security in our Data Security docs.

Is Holistics EU-compliant? Do you guys have GDPR?

Yes. Read more about our GDPR Statement

We also have a standard Data Privacy Agreement provided upon request, please contact us for more information.

Is Holistics a cloud-based or on-premise solution? Do we need to install anything on our computers?

Holistics is a fully cloud-based solution. This means you don’t have to spend time to set up and maintain your cloud infrastructure.

Do you offer on-premise deployment?

Currently, we do not offer on-premise solution. If on-premise data security is a strict concern in your industry, please contact us here if you’re interested in deploying Holistics on-premise.

FAQs / Others

I'm pretty new to BI/analytics. Do you have any learning materials for me to understand more about this space?

Yes we do. You can check out our book, The Analytics Setup Guidebook, to get a practical, high-level understanding of a modern analytics system. This will save you the hassle of re-building your data analytics stack in future as we shared the best practices through our experience.

Looks like you are based in Asia (Singapore). I'm based US/Europe. Will customer support be a problem?

While we’re based in Singapore, the majority of our customers are in US and Europe. And despite the timezone difference, Customer Support has been among our most praised qualities from our customers.

“It’s very easy to use…. the responsive rate for support is very helpful.” - Ethan, Data Analyst at Piktochart

FAQs / Billing

What is your pricing structure?

Our pricing is based on usage. Check out our pricing page for more information.