Using Parabola Tables
Parabola Tables introduce a space for your team to easily view, share, and the data your Flows create. Use Parabola Tables and views to create interactive reports that are shareable with your entire team. Your team can then use Tables as a data source to start up their next Flow. Sharing your Parabola Table enables your team to work off of consistent, cleaned data every time.
How it works
Tables are a tool for sharing the output of your Flows directly in Parabola. To create a Parabola Table, connect any step in your flow to a Send to Parabola Table step:
Tables are the starting point of your new Flow
Parabola Tables allow teams to create "source of truth" data to work from. You can use data from a table in any other Flow with the Pull from Parabola Table step, enabling your team to utilize cleaned, consistent data.
Pull from Parabola Table steps can also be a part of your team's Card Templates, enabling you to create custom datasets that are standardized for anyone on your team to use.
Exploring data in Parabola Tables
Parabola Tables are displayed on the Live view of a Flow. Anyone with access to your Flow will be able to interact with your Flow’s output data. Data that’s exported to Parabola Tables will be your base data set, which can be customized using Table Views, which can be used to:
- Visually style
Table Views can be named and shared with your team.
Any teammate with Editor access on a Flow can create new views, duplicate existing views, or save their edits as a new view. When creating a new Table View or editing an existing view, any changes will be drafted and only visible to the editor making those changes. Drafted views can be saved, which makes them visible to anyone who has access to the Flow, or discarded.
Table Views will refresh their results if: the Flow runs, the base data is updated, and/or settings are changed. The Send to Parabola Table step will always update the base data of the table, which the views will use to calculate their results.
Table Views can be renamed, duplicated, rearranged, and can apply filters, sorts, and visual formatting:
Drag views to rearrange their order. Click the overflow menu next to the name of a view to rename, duplicate, or delete it
Click the “Filter” button to quickly add a new filter rule, or use the view options menu to access the same filter controls. These filters define what rows are kept in the view.
Click the “Sort” button to quickly add a new sort rule, or use the view options menu to access the same sort controls. These sorts define what rows are kept in the view.
Use the view options menu to access the display options to choose between 4 color theme options for a view.
Use the view options menu to access the column options to select any number of columns to emphasize in bolder colors.
- Count all: Counts the number or rows in the entire table, and for any groups.
- Count unique: Counts the number of unique values in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Unique values are case-sensitive and space-sensitive
- Count empty: Counts the number of blank cells in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Cells with just a space character, or other invisible characters, are not considered empty or blank
- Sum: Totals all numeric values in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Cells that are blank or contain non-numeric values are skipped. If no result can be produced, a - - value will be shown.
- Average: Creates an average by totaling all numeric values in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups, and dividing the total by the total number of values used. Cells that are blank or contain non-numeric values are skipped. If no result can be produced, a - - value will be shown.
- Median: Finds the value where one half the values are greater and half are less in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Cells that are blank or contain non-numeric values are skipped. If no result can be produced, a - - value will be shown.
- Minimum (Min): Finds the smallest value in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Cells that are blank or contain non-numeric values are skipped. If no result can be produced, a - - value will be shown.
- Maximum (Max): Finds the largest value in the specified column for the entire table, and for any groups. Cells that are blank or contain non-numeric values are skipped. If no result can be produced, a - - value will be shown.
Helpful tips for groups and aggregations
- When an aggregation cannot be processed, Parabola will display two dashes (- -) as the value. If you encounter this, we recommend using a Clean Text step, or a Fill in the Blank step to clean the data before sending to a Parabola Table
- Tables can be grouped up to 4 times. After 4 groups, the + Add Grouping option will be disabled
- Groups are applied in a nested order, starting at the first group, and creating subgroups with each subsequent rule
- Use the sort options within the group rules to determine what order the groups are shown in. Normal sort rules will be used to sort the rows within the groups.
Sharing tables with teammates
Anyone with access (Viewer or Editor) to your Flow will be able to see the results in any Table Views without needing to access to another tool.
Viewers can create new private views and edit their existing private views, but cannot make edits to existing shared views on a Parabola Table.
To share a table, you can either share the Flow with your teammate (see instructions here),* or click “Share” from a specific table view. Sharing the table will give your teammate access to the Flow, and link them directly to the table.
*Note: if your teammate isn’t yet a member of your Parabola team, you can add them by clicking “Invite someone new to your team” at the bottom of the sharing window.
Data that’s exported to a Parabola Table can be viewed, filtered, sorted, and shared, but not altered by hand. This ensures your team is looking at consistent data every time.
Parabola Tables use cases
Use Parabola Tables to view, share, and engage with the outputs of your Flows.
Parabola Tables and views make it easy to create interactive reports within a Flow.
- Prepare your report data in a Flow. Add the Send to Parabola Table step, connect an arrow to pass data to it, and that data is ready to be displayed in a table. Publish and run the Flow to populate the Parabola Table with the latest output from the Flow.
- For Flows that are already set up to send reports to other tools, you can simply replace an existing destination step with a Parabola Table step.
- Once you have your base data in a table, add views to that table to create multiple reports using the same base data.
You can also turn the Live view of a Flow into a simple dashboard. The Live view can display multiple tables, so if you build your Flow with multiple Send to Parabola Table steps, they will all appear.
Lastly, you can also simplify your team’s reporting workflows. Instead of sending Flow outputs as an email attachment, create a Parabola Table and set the Flow to run on a schedule – you’ll know the Table is ready at the specific cadence your operation needs.
Interact with results from your Flow without editing the Flow
Views on top of Parabola Tables can be edited and updated from the Live View page of the Flow, without ever editing the Flow itself. You and your teammates can tweak the output by adjusting filters and sorts in real time.
- Build a Flow that sends data to a Send to Parabola Table step. Publish and run the Flow to populate the table on the Live View of the Flow.
- Create multiple views on any of your tables to filter, sort, or format the data.
- Share the Flow with your teammates from the Table Views, linking them to the exact view of the data that is most useful for them.
- Any Editors on the Flow can modify existing views or create their own, without ever opening the Flow builder.
Create custom data sets
Parabola Tables enable you to create and share custom data sets with your team. Curated data sets allow your team to utilize the same, cleaned data across multiple Flows, and can help standardize the use of that data.
- Build your Flow with a Send to Parabola Table step. In the step settings, and keep the checkbox enabled to allow other Flows to pull data from this Table. Voila – you’ve created shared data set! Once that Flow is published and running on a schedule, that data set is live.
- To share it with your team, add teammates to the initial Flow as Viewers , or move it to a team folder. Any teammate with access to that Flow will see the tables created by it in the dropdown of the Pull from Parabola Tables step.
You can supercharge this with card templates! Put a configured Pull from Parabola Table step into a card template to share it across your team with additional context or documentation.
Bespoke data sets allow you to:
- Standardize your data - clean up and transform your data just once; analyze it as many times as needed!
- Maintain security - raw data sets aren’t always appropriate to share across your entire organization. By using Parabola Tables, access to the necessary data can be customized based on what’s appropriate.
Store data between Flow runs
Many data clean-up automations need to reference what happened the previous run. Prior run results would need to be sent to something like a Google Sheet to maintain them between runs. Instead of sending these results to a separate system, use Tables to store Flow data.
- Flows designed this way should be faster and more reliable, since a Parabola Table doesn’t rely on another service’s API to upload or download your data.
- Parabola Tables can also help with data organization. Rather than saving in one-off spreadsheets, Parabola Tables enable you to keep important pieces of datain the Flow that needs them.