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Analyze Trello Data in R

Create data visualizations and use high-performance statistical functions to analyze Trello data in Microsoft R Open.

Access Trello data with pure R script and standard SQL. You can use the CData ODBC Driver for Trello and the RODBC package to work with remote Trello data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to Trello data and visualize Trello data in R.

Install R

You can complement the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open (MRO).

Connect to Trello as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to Trello follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

Trello uses token-based authentication to grant third-party applications access to their API. When a user has granted an application access to their data, the application is given a token that can be used to make requests to Trello's API.

Trello's API can be accessed in 2 different ways. The first is using Trello's own Authorization Route, and the second is using OAuth1.0.

  • Authorization Route: At the moment of registration, Trello assigns an API key and Token to the account. See the Help documentation for information on how to connect via the Authorization route.
  • OAuth Route: Similar to using Authorization, OAuth creates an Application Id and Secret when you create your account. See the Help documentation for information on how to to connect.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for Trello in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData Trello Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Trello Description = My Description APIKey = myApiKey Token = myGeneratedToken

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Load the RODBC Package

To use the driver, download the RODBC package. In RStudio, click Tools -> Install Packages and enter RODBC in the Packages box.

After installing the RODBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RODBC)

Note: This article uses RODBC version 1.3-12. Using Microsoft R Open, you can test with the same version, using the checkpoint capabilities of Microsoft's MRAN repository. The checkpoint command enables you to install packages from a snapshot of the CRAN repository, hosted on the MRAN repository. The snapshot taken Jan. 1, 2016 contains version 1.3-12.

library(checkpoint) checkpoint("2016-01-01")

Connect to Trello Data as an ODBC Data Source

You can connect to a DSN in R with the following line:

conn <- odbcConnect("CData Trello Source")

Schema Discovery

The driver models Trello APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

sqlTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

Use the sqlQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the Trello API.

boards <- sqlQuery(conn, "SELECT BoardId, Name FROM Boards WHERE Name = 'Public Board'", believeNRows=FALSE, rows_at_time=1)

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(boards)

Plot Trello Data

You can now analyze Trello data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(boards$Name, main="Trello Boards", names.arg = boards$BoardId, horiz=TRUE)