Combine tables

The Combine tables step allows you to join together two tables based on one or more unique identifiers. This step is Parabola’s equivalent of Excel’s “VLOOKUP” and “INDEX MATCH” — without the tricky syntax. 

Building challenge

In this challenge, we’ll begin creating an alert that notifies the team of low inventory SKUs. Along with information about the low inventory SKUs, we’ll also include some sales data so the team has a sense of how quickly the product is selling. 

  • Directly above our “Find total revenue and units sold by SKU” card, add a card titled “Combine sales and low inventory SKUs.”
  • First, add a Filter rows step to the card, and filter for SKUs from our inventory data where the Inventory Status is equal to Low. 
  • Directly below the Filter rows step, add a Sum by group step. Connect an arrow from the Format number step in your sales branch to the new Sum by group step. Sum up total units and revenue by SKU. 
  • To the right of your Filter rows step, add a Combine Tables step. Connect both the Filter rows and Sum by group steps to the Combine Tables step. 
  • Join together your inventory and sales data based on SKU.
    • Keep all rows from our inventory data, and find the matches from our sales data. 

To check your work, take a look at this quick video.

How to use the step

  1. Drag a Combine tables step onto the canvas. 
  2. Specify rules for keeping rows from inputs 1 and 2. 
    • The most common approach is to keep all rows from one table, and find only matching rows from another table.
    • Check out the visual below for an overview of the four different types of join options. 
  3. Tell Parabola which column(s) to use for the join. 
    • This will often be something like a unique ID, email address, SKU, etc. 
  4. If you are joining on multiple columns (like SKU and Warehouse), click the + add a match button and specify the criteria for your additional join(s). 
    • Make sure to specify whether this is an Any match or an All match.

Pro tip

  • The input step that you connect first will always be Input 1.
  • Keep an eye on the number of rows in your input datasets and Results view. If you have more rows than expected in your Results view, you likely need to edit the settings in the step. 
  • Understanding the concepts behind joining data is the hardest part. Remember: There’s no mistake that you can make in Parabola that you can’t just undo. 

To learn more, check out our support docs.

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