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Build Interactive Dashboards from USPS Data in Amazon QuickSight

Create a virtual MySQL database for USPS data in CData Cloud Hub and import USPS data into Amazon QuickSight SPICE to build interactive dashboards.

Amazon QuickSight allows users to build interactive dashboards in the cloud. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get cloud-to-cloud access to USPS data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for USPS in Cloud Hub and build dashboards in Amazon QuickSight with access to USPS data.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for USPS, allowing you to easily build visualizations from USPS data in Amazon QuickSight. By importing your USPS data into the Amazon QuickSight "Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine" (SPICE), you can leverage the powerful data processing features of the Amazon ecosystem to build responsive dashboards. And with the ability to schedule refreshes of the data stored in SPICE, you control how up-to-date your dashboards are.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for USPS Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "USPS" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to USPS.

    To authenticate with USPS, set the following connection properties.

    • PostageProvider: The postage provider to use to process requests. Available options are ENDICIA and STAMPS. If unspecified, this property will default to ENDICIA.
    • UseSandbox: This controls whether live or test requests are sent to the production or sandbox servers. If set to true, the Password, AccountNumber, and StampsUserId properties are ignored.
    • StampsUserId: This value is used for logging into authentication to the Stamps servers. This value is not applicable for Endicia and is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • Password: This value is used for logging into Endicia and Stamps servers. If the postage provider is Endicia, this will be the pass phrase associated with your postage account. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • AccountNumber: The shipper's account number. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
    • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required to use the GenerateLabels or GenerateReturnLabels stored procedures. This should be set to the folder location where generated labels should be stored.

    The Cache Database

    Many of the useful task available from USPS require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilize a cache database to make requests. Set the cache connection properties in order to use the cache:

    • CacheLocation: The path to the cache location, for which a connection will be configured with the default cache provider. For example, C:\users\username\documents\uspscache

    As an alternative to CacheLocation, set the combination of CacheConnection and CacheProvider to configure a cache connection using a provider separate from the default.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Amazon QuickSight.

Import USPS Data into SPICE and Create Interactive Dashboards

The steps below outline creating a new data set based on the virtual USPS database in Cloud Hub, importing the dataset into SPICE, and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Amazon QuickSight and click "Manage data."
  2. Click "New data set," select MySQL as the data source, configure the connection to your Cloud Hub instance, and click "Create data source."
  3. Select a table to visualize (or submit a custom SQL query for your data).
  4. Click "Edit/Preview data" to customize the data set.
  5. Select "Import to SPICE for quicker analytics" and click "Visualize."
  6. Select fields to visualize and a visual type.

Schedule Refreshes for SPICE Data Sets

QuickSight users can schedule refreshes for data sets that are imported into SPICE, ensuring that data being analyzed is only as old as the most recent refresh.

  1. Navigate to the QuickSight home page.
  2. Click "Manage data."
  3. Select the data set you wish to refresh.
  4. Click "Schedule refresh."
  5. Click Create, configure the refresh settings (time zone, repeat frequency, and starting datetime), and click Create.

SQL Access to USPS Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to USPS data from your Amazon QuickSight dashboard. You can create new visualizations, build interactive dashboards, and more. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Amazon QuickSight, refer to our Cloud Hub page.