Performing Usage Queries and Reviewing Results

On the Usage tab in the Data Explorer, you can use the Query Builder to configure and perform queries against the metered usage data collected for your Organization in m3ter. The Query Builder is designed to let you quickly set up and submit a query that returns precisely the right data set to serve your current analytical purposes:

  • To build a usage data query, you can select a time period. Any Meters will be available for selection that have numeric Data Fields configured - MEASURE, INCOME, or COST types - and have had data submitted during the time period for those numeric fields.

  • Select an Aggregation function to apply to the numeric data that is returned by your query.

  • You can also filter the data returned by your query:

    • By Account - select only those end-customer Accounts you want data returned for.

    • Using other Meter dimensions, which are any string Data Field types also configured for the selected Meters - WHO, WHAT, WHERE, or OTHER types. For example, you might want your query to only return numeric data for usage data measurements submitted for specific WHO field values.

      • Note that METADATA string fields are not made available for filtering the data returned.

You can then review the data in either a flat Data Table or a Pivot Table format.

This topic explains how to work successfully in the Data Explorer to configure and perform queries against your usage data and review returned data.

Important! Data retrieval from Parent/Child Accounts. When you query for usage data for a Parent Account or any of its Child Accounts, the usage data is treated as entirely separate by the Data Explorer. The data returned for a Parent Account will contain none of the data collected for any of its Child Accounts. If you want data from a Child Account, you must include the Account in the query you submit.

Building and Performing a Usage Data Query

To submit queries for metered usage data and review returned data:

1. Select Data Explorer. The Data Explorer opens with the Usage tab selected. You can build the specific query you want to perform against usage data collected for your Organization.

2. In the Select period section, define a period to retrieve usage data for:

  • Time period. Use the drop-down list to select a period for which you want to retrieve usage data. Today is the default. If you want to select a specific period, you can use Custom.

  • Start date and End date. If you have selected Custom for the query Time period, these date/time fields will be enabled. You can use calendar popups to select the start and end dates/times for the period you want to query.

    • Start dates are inclusive and End dates are exclusive. For example, if you want data returned for the entire month of June 2023, you must set the Start date at June 1st 2023 and the End date at July 1st 2023. If you set the End date at June 30th 2023, the Custom Time period for your query will end at midnight on June 29th 2023.

    • Note that when you select for Custom Time period and select the Start and End dates, the list of Meters available to filter your query by is restricted to those Meters for which data was submitted in that time period - see below Step 3.

Tip: Timezone for Query Start and End Dates/Time? The Start date and End date fields will show the timezone you've set for your Organization. See Managing your Organization.

3. In the Filter by meters and measures section, select the Meters and Measures you want to filter your query by.

  • Meters. Select the Meters for which you want to return collected data. The default is All Meters.

    • Note that when you select a Meter, the Filter by meter dimensions section adjusts to show only those fields on the selected Meter as dimensions to filter by - see below Step 5.

  • Measures. Select the numeric Data Fields on the selected Meter or Meters whose data you want to return. These will be any MEASURE, INCOME, or COST Data Fields configured for the Meters.

Warning! Note that the Meters list will show only those Meters whose numeric Data Fields have had data submitted/collected in the time period you've selected for your usage data query.

4. In the Apply aggregations section,

  • Aggregation function. If you want to aggregate the numeric Measures you've selected for your query, select how you want to aggregate the data returned. Default is No Aggregation. Seven options:

    • Count. Returns a count of the number of measure values.

    • Latest. Returns the latest measure value.

    • Max. Returns the maximum measure value.

    • Mean. Returns the arithmetic mean of the returned measure values.

    • Min. Returns the minimum measure value.

    • Sum. Returns the addition of the measure values.

    • Unique. Special case:

      • If you select this as the Aggregation function, it does not apply an aggregation method to the measure values but means your query will return a list of the Meters that have received usage data for the selected time period.

      • Note that if you also select to filter by a Meter dimension - see step 6 below - then returns a list of Meters and the dimensions used.

  • Aggregation frequency. Select the frequency for the Aggregation data returned for the query. Note that if you select an Aggregation function, you must select a frequency other than None.

5. In the Filter by meter dimensions section, use the Account filter to select the Accounts for which you want to return usage data submitted for the selected Meters:

  • Any Account. Usage data measurements for all Accounts will be returned. An Account Code column will be shown in the Data and Pivot Tables.

  • Select Accounts. Usage data measurements for the selected Accounts will be returned. An Account Code column will be shown in the Data and Pivot Tables.

  • No filter. Default setting. If you leave the Account filter blank, all usage data measurements for the Meter will be returned, regardless of whether an Account code was submitted with the measurement. No Account Code column will show in the Data and Pivot Tables.

6. In the Filter by meter dimensions section, use any string Data Fields on the selected Meters to filter your query by:

  • The string Data Fields available for filtering will depend on the Meters you've select for usage data querying.

Tip: Which Meter string Data Fields are included for filtering? Note that as you start to set up your query and select a Time period, a check is made to determine the Meters which have had numeric data submitted during that period. The Filter by meter dimensions section then automatically adjusts to include any string Data Fields configured for those Meters. This is because the default selection for Meters is All Meters. However, if you then select only some of those Meters to query for submitted usage data, the Filter by meter dimensions section might auto-adjust again to remove any string Data Fields that do not belong specifically to the Meters you've selected.

In this example we have:

  • Set a Custom time period of one month. The Organization Timezone is set to UTC.

  • Selected to filter our query by two Meter numeric Measures: file_submits for number of files submitted and gb_store for gigabytes stored.

  • Chosen not to aggregate any of the numeric measures returned for the query.

  • Filtered for any relevant Account codes to be shown as a column in the returned data.

  • Selected to filter our query by the Customer_name Meter string field to return data for all values for that field.

7. Select Perform Query. The query executes and the resultant data is loaded into the data tables for you to review.

Important: Limits imposed on response payload size and number of rows!

  • Response too Large: If the response payload for your query is >10MB, this exceeds the limit and you'll receive an error message to inform you. You can either use the available filters to further limit the query result set and re-run your query or use the Export button to download the current results in a .csv formatted file - see Exporting Query Results.

  • Number of Rows Returned for Query: If the number of rows returned by your query exceeds 5001 but the payload size limit is not exceeded, then only the first 5001 are loaded. You will not receive an error and if you suspect your query return contained more rows, we recommend you use the Export button to download the results in a .csv formatted file and check.

  • Number of Rows for Export: If you download the query results in a .csv formatted file, the number of rows is limited to 20001.

Reviewing Usage Data Query Results in a Data Table

You can review the usage data returned for your query in a Data table:

You can make adjustments to the Data Table to:

  • Show/Hide data element columns.

  • Reorder the columns.

To Show/Hide columns:

1. Select the book icon at top-right of the table:

A panel appears showing the columns available for the table and you can use switches to select your Show/Hide preferences:

2. Select Update - the panel closes and the Data Table refreshes for your Show/Hide selections.

  • Note that if you've run a query that doesn't aggregate the usage data it returns, you'll be able to Show/Hide a UID column:

  • This shows the UID used for the original usage data measurements when submitted:

To reorder columns:

1. Select the book icon at top-right. A panel appears listing the available table columns.

2. Drag-and-drop these into a top-bottom ordering to correspond to the left-right ordering you want for the Data Table:

2. Select Update. The panel closes and the Data Table refreshes for the selected column order:

Tip: Collapse Query Builder. If your query returns a large results set, to make it easier to review the data loaded into the tables, you can collapse the Query Builder by selecting the arrow at top-right next to the Saved Queries button.

Reviewing Usage Data Query Results in a Pivot Table

You can review the usage data returned for your query in a Pivot table:

  • To review returned data using the Pivot Table, you can drag-and-drop data elements to show the preferred arrangement. For example:

Important: Returning Aggregated Data for Pivot Table Review and Analysis! In the example given, we chose not to apply any Aggregations to the data returned for the query. If you want to work with raw usage data returned for the selected Meter Measures, you must de-select any Aggregation functions and select None for Aggregation frequency before you perform the query. In the Pivot table, you can then apply your own aggregations, without risking a distorted view of your usage data by aggregating already-aggregated data.

Tip: Saving Usage Queries and Exporting Usage Query Results? You can save, update already saved, and re-use saved Usage queries. You can also load pre-configured Standard Queries directly into the Query Builder. See Saving, Updating, and Re-Using Queries. You can export the results of a Usage query. See Exporting Query Results.

Next: Performing Billing Queries and Reviewing Results

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