Modeling includes setting basic information for a data column such as its name, description, and type.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Basic information for a data column is its NAME, DESCRIPTION, and TYPE. All of these can influence how a user experiences your data. For example, the DESCRIPTION appears as a “tip” when a user hovers over a column. So it is the means for helping users understand where the data comes from.

Change the column name

Column Name (UI)/ColumnName (model file) is the name that displayed to users for that column in ThoughtSpot. The column name is what users type to add that column to their search. Change the text that is shown for the column names in ThoughtSpot to make the names more meaningful to users.

The model file contains a row for each column in your data set. It isn’t unusual to have tens of thousand of rows in this file. You can change all or a subset of rows. You can edit the file to leave the heading rows and only those rows you want to change. This can make the file more convenient to work with.

The default is the name you gave the column when you defined the table in the database or imported the CSV file from the browser.

  1. Find the column name you want to change.
  2. Type in the new column name.
  3. Save your changes.

Change column description

Description (UI)/ColumnDescription (model file) an optional description for the corresponding column. You can provide a description for a specific column, to provide additional information for users about the data it contains. When a user hovers over the column, a tooltip will show this description.

To create a column description:

  1. Find the column description you want to change.
  2. Enter a new description.
  3. Repeat for all columns where you want to add a description.
  4. Save your changes.

Change column type

Column Type (UI)/ColumnType (model file) describes the kind of data a column stores. This is set automatically upon defining the table, but in some cases, you may want to change the type. There are two types of columns:

  • ATTRIBUTE contains a property, like name, address, or id number.
  • MEASURE contains a numeric value that can be compared in a meaningful way using math, such as a count or measurement.

When a new table is created, the default column type is set according to the Data Type (UI)/DataType (model file) defined for each column. By default, columns with the numeric data types (FLOAT, DOUBLE, INT, or BIGINT) are assigned the type MEASURE. Columns with VARCHAR, BOOL, or date/time data types are assigned the type ATTRIBUTE.

Usually the default setting for column type works fine. But occasionally you’ll need to change a MEASURE to an ATTRIBUTE. Examples of numeric values for which mathematical operations are not meaningful include:

  • ID numbers
  • Key values that are primarily used for joining tables
  • Product number or SKU
  • Sports team member jersey number
  • Year, when separate from a date (e.g. 1999, 2000)

To change the column type:

  1. Find the column type you want to change.
  2. Change it to either MEASURE or ATTRIBUTE.
  3. Save your changes.