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How to use an input file together with Alma Data in Alma Analytics Data Visualization (DV)

In this blog post we will combine data from an Excel input file together with data from the Funds Expenditure subject area of Alma Analytics.

We will do this using OAS (Oracle Analytics Server) Data Visualization, specifically how it is used with Alma in the framework of Alma Analytics.

In this specific example we have an Excel file with two columns:

  1. The POL number (also exists in Funds Expenditure subject area as PO Line reference)
  2. The staff member who initiated the POL (does not exist in Alma or Alma Analytics)

We import it to Alma Analytics using Data Visualization, and get the expenditure amount from each POL.  We will match the POL from the input file with the POL from Alma analytics and retrieve only POLs which have a staff member who initiated the POL.

In this way we can get the expenditure amount total per staff member who initiated the POL


Have an input file in Excel which we have received from the finance department.  Here is our input file which is used below.   Here is a different input file.

The column “Initiator of POL” is information which the finance department has and does not exist in Alma.

The field “POL from Finance” is the “PO Line reference number” in Alma.

Tip: Do not call the field in the input file the same name as the field to which you want to match it in Alma (to avoid confusion).

  • In Alma it is called “PO Line Reference”
  • In the input file it is called “POL from Finance”

Here is the beginning of the input file


In Data Visualization create a data set


Choose to import from a file by clicking “Drop data file or click here to browse”


Upload the file


See the Excel file in DV


Make sure that the field from the Excel input file and the field which it will match from the Alma Analytics subject area are defined the same way.

In our case the “PO Line reference” from Alma and the “POL from Finance” from the input file should be defined the same way.

Here it is an attribute of type text.


Add the file to Data Visualization

See that the data set has been created


From within a Data Visualization project add a data set.

First create a project then “Add Data Set”

Add a data set and choose the set we just created.

Note that after creating the project you will be prompted to add a subject area or data set.  That is when we added the data set above.  A subject area or data set can also be added to the project at any time by clicking the + sign in the project.

The “Add data Set” will prompt the user to add a data set or Alma Analytics subject area to the project.


We already added a data set to the project.  Now we will also add a subject area to the Project.

Click the “Add Data Set” (the plus sign above) and choose the funds expenditures subject area


Now we have the Excel file and the funds expenditure subject area together

Save the project (not mandatory at his stage but a good idea as we have already done a lot of work)


Click “Prepare” to link the POL from the input file to the POL in Funds Expenditure Subject Area.

Then on the bottom click “Data Diagram”


Click the “0” which means there are now “0” connections.  This will allow access to the area where the connection can be defined.


Link the POLs.  Choose the column from the input file “POL from Finance” and the column from the Funds Expenditure Subject Area “PO Line Reference”


See that the fields are now connected


Return to the “visualize” tab


Make a table with the desired fields from both the input file and the Alma Analytics Subject Area.

We have from the Alma Analytics Subject Area:

  • PO Line Reference
  • Transaction Expenditure Amount

We have from the input file:

  • POL from Finance
  • Initiator of POL

We have filtered that the field “Initiator of POL” is not null.


Leave just the desired fields.  In this case:

  • Transaction Expenditure Amount (which came from the Alma Analytics Funds Expenditures Subject Area)
  • Initiator of POL (which came from the input file)

In this way we have what we desired: The expenditure amount per initiator.

We already matched the POLs of each source above via the data diagram.


Change to desired visualization.  In this case we choose “Auto Visualization” and the Data Visualization gave us a “Bar”.

3 Replies to “How to use an input file together with Alma Data in Alma Analytics Data Visualization (DV)”

  1. Hi Yoel,

    This is a very clear and easy to follow instruction on how to input an external data file for DV. Thanks for this.

    I am wondering if you can recommend some business cases for each subject areas to make this feature useful for libraries? Just a few to inspire ideas would be good.


    Tony Wai

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