Create and manage input tables

Create input tables to integrate new data points into your analysis and augment existing data from Snowflake or Databricks. Manage table structure, enter cell values, and configure advanced options, including data validation, column protection, data entry permission, and row edit history.

This document explains how to create and manage input tables. To understand the purpose and benefits of input tables, see Intro to input tables. For information about editing input table data, see Edit existing input table columns.

System and user requirements

The ability to create and manage input tables requires the following:

  • You must be granted Can use data permission for a Snowflake or Databricks connection with Write access enabled. If using an OAuth-enabled Snowflake connection, see Configure OAuth with write access for additional requirements.
  • You must be assigned an account type with the Create input tables and Create, edit, and publish workbooks permissions enabled.
  • You must be the workbook owner or be granted Can edit workbook permission.

See Edit existing input table columns for permissions required to edit input table data.

Create a new input table

Create an empty input table to enter data independent of existing data, or create a linked input table to link your manual entry to data from Snowflake, Databricks, or data elements in the same workbook.

Create an empty input table

An empty input table must be associated with an existing Snowflake or Databricks connection with Write access enabled. Once you enter data in the input table, Sigma writes it to your database through the selected connection.

  1. Open a workbook in Edit mode.

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    Unlike other workbook elements, input tables cannot be created in Explore mode.

  2. In the navigation menu, click Add element to open the Add New panel.

  3. In the Elements tab, go to the Input Tables section and select Empty.

  4. In the Connection dropdown, select a connection for writing the input table data, then click Create.

    If you're granted permission to write to multiple destination schemas in the applicable CDW or DBMS, you must also select an option in the Destination dropdown to determine the schema to which Sigma writes the input table data. If you only have permission to use a single connection and destination, Sigma autoselects both and skips this step.

  5. Sigma adds a single-column input table to the workbook. See Customize the Table Structure in this document to continue building your input table.

Create a linked input table

A linked input table inherits column values from a parent element (in the same workbook) that must source data from a Snowflake or Databricks connection with Write access enabled. Once the workbook is published, Sigma writes the input table data to your database through the associated connection.

  1. Open a workbook in Edit mode.

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    Unlike other workbook elements, input tables cannot be created in Explore mode.

  2. In the navigation menu, click Add element to open the Add New panel.

  3. In the Elements tab, go to the Input Tables section and select Linked.

  4. Select a source element for the input table:

    • Browse the In Use tab to choose from qualified sources of other child elements in the current workbook.
    • Browse the Page Elements tab to choose from all eligible sources in the workbook.

  5. In the Create Linked Input Table popup, choose source columns to link to the input table:

    1. Select a source column to generate row identifiers in the primary key.

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      The primary key generates row identifiers based on distinct values in the selected source column. The input table cannot display data correctly if the source column values change over time. To ensure consistent and reliable row identifiers, choose a source column that contains static values, such as IDs, product names, or regions.

    2. Select additional source columns to link to the input table.

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      Linked columns arenโ€™t editable in the input table. Values are generated from the source element and continually reflect live data as the originating database table is updated.

    3. Click Create Input Table.

  6. Sigma adds the linked input table to the workbook. By default, only the source columns are included, but you can add data entry columns as needed. See Customize the table structure in this document to continue building your input table.

Customize the table structure

Modify the structure of an input table by inserting rows, adding columns, and designating the data type of individual columns.

Insert a row

Insert a row into an empty input table to create a new data record for your analysis.

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You can only add rows to empty input tables. Linked input table rows and row count are defined by the primary key column.

  • To add a row to the bottom of the input table, click the last row.
  • To insert a row, right-click anywhere in a row, then select Insert row above or Insert row below. You can also select and insert multiple rows at once.

Add a column

Add a column to an empty or linked input table to record an additional dimension or variable for your analysis.

  • Click the caret () in a column header, then hover over Add new column and select a column type (Text, Number, Date, Checkbox, or Calculation).

    Sigma adds an empty column to the right of the column referenced in the previous step.

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You can also add columns via lookup or add AI-generated columns that classify data, perform sentiment analysis, or fill column values based on existing and provided context.

Move and rename a column

Move and rename a column to organize the input table and clarify column content.

  • To move a column, click the column header, then drag and drop it to the preferred location.

  • To rename a column, double-click the column header, then enter a new name.

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    You can also copy and paste column names. For more information see Enter table data in this document.

Change a columnโ€™s data type

Change a columnโ€™s data type (text, number, date, or checkbox) to optimize storage, query performance, and analysis.

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You cannot change a columnโ€™s data type while data validation or column protection is applied.

  • Click the caret () in a column header to open the column menu, then hover over Change column type and select an option.

    If the column contains data, Sigma automatically removes values that donโ€™t correspond with the selected data type.

Enter table data

Enter table data through keyboard entry, or paste values copied from Sigma or an external source (like a spreadsheet or text document). You can also edit the formula in a calculation column, click to toggle the state of checkboxes, or select predefined values from dropdowns in columns with data validation.

For information about the ongoing data entry workflow in a workbook draft versus a published version, see Edit existing input table columns.

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Input table cells only accept values that align with the columnโ€™s data type. If you enter an invalid value, the cell clears the data.

  • To enter data through keyboard entry, select a cell and enter a value.

  • To paste copied values, select a cell or range of cells, then right-click the selection and select Paste.

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    You can select and paste values in up to 12,500 cells at once (500 rows and 25 columns), including column headers. When you copy multiple rows of data and select a column header or a range of cells that include a header, the first row of the copied data is pasted in the header.

  • To update the values in a calculation column, click the the column header or any cell in the column, then edit the formula in the formula bar.

  • To change the value in a checkbox column, click the checkbox to toggle between true (selected) and false (cleared). You can also press the Delete key to remove the checkbox and produce a null value.

  • To select a predefined value in a column with data validation, click the caret () in a cell, then select an option from the dropdown.

Configure advanced options

Preserve data integrity and security by adding data validation, protecting columns, and setting the appropriate data entry permission.

Add data validation

Add data validation to individual columns to ensure data accuracy and consistency. Data validation verifies existing values and restricts new inputs to predefined values.

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Sigma only supports data validation for text, number, and date columns. Data validation doesnโ€™t apply to checkbox data columns because Sigma already restricts the values to true (selected) or false (cleared).

  1. Click the caret () in a column header to open the column menu, then select Data validation.

  2. In the Data Validation modal, define the valid values in a custom list or from an existing data source or element in the workbook:

    • Create a custom list of values:

      1. In the Value source dropdown, select Create manual list.

      2. In the Define values field, enter values that align with the columnโ€™s data type.

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        Enter values through keyboard entry, or paste data copied from Sigma or an external source (like a spreadsheet or text document).

      3. Click Save.

    • Apply values from an existing data source or element:

      1. In the Value source dropdown, select a data source or element.

      2. In the secondary dropdown, select a source column to define the valid values.

      3. Click Save.

      Sigma checks existing data against the defined values and displays red indicators in cells that contain invalid values.

  3. To replace invalid data, manually enter valid values, or click the caret () in the cell and select a predefined value from the dropdown.

Add column protection

Add column protection to individual columns to prevent edits and promote data integrity.

  1. Click the caret () in a column header to open the column menu, then select Protect column.
  2. A protected column displays a gray background and the lock icon in the header. To unprotect a column, return to the column menu and select Unprotect column.

Set data entry permission

Set the data entry permission to determine which workbook version (draft or published) allows users to add rows or edit table values.

The ability to create and configure an input table remains limited to the workbookโ€™s draft version (Edit mode). By default, data entry is also restricted to the draft, meaning only users granted Can edit workbook permission can edit input table data. To extend the functionality to users granted Can explore workbook permission, you can configure the input table to restrict data entry to the workbookโ€™s published version (View and Explore mode).

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You can toggle the data entry permission between the draft and published versions, but they cannot support data entry simultaneously.

  1. In the element toolbar, click the action icon to open the element menu, then select Set data-entry permission.

  2. In the modal, select a permission option, then click Save.

    Only in Draft version
    Allows users to edit input table data in Edit mode if theyโ€™re granted Can edit workbook permission
    Only on Published version
    Allows users to edit input table data in View and Explore mode if theyโ€™re granted Can explore or Can edit workbook permission.

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    The data entry permission isnโ€™t applied to the input table until the workbook is published.

    For information about the data entry workflow in a workbook draft versus a published version, see Edit existing input table columns.

Add row edit history

Add row edit history to provide transparency and promote accountability by timestamping edits and identifying users responsible for the changes.

  • Click the caret () in a column header, then hover over Add new column and select a Row Edit History column:

    Last updated by
    Identifies the user responsible for the latest row-level edit
    Last updated at
    Records the date and time the row was last edited

    Sigma adds the selected column to the right of the column referenced in the previous step.