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JSON Transformation & Why We Need to Transform JSON

Technology   |   Paul Warburg   |   Nov 4, 2016

A JSON transformation is needed when integrating disparate data together, typically web-based data with information pulled from internal databases or applications. A marketing data analyst, for example, will need social media data (in JSON format) pulled and combined (transformed) with more traditional CRM data (csv format) culled from non-web sources.

In other words, in today’s data-wrangling world, transforming JSON data is par for the course. With more web-enabled products hitting the market every day, the need to quickly and easily parse unstructured JSON data and understand it to inform consumer-focused decision-making will rise, as well.

JSON Transformation: The Why

First, let’s define JSON. It’s an open-standard data-interchange format that is “human-readable,” meaning it’s simple to write and read. It’s a way to store and move information between a web browser and a server in an organized, easy-to-read manner. Because it’s easy to generate and parse, it’s considered superior to XML in terms of transmitting data between servers and web apps.

After JSON is used to transport it, data must be reformatted to sync with applications written in other code or with data in other formats. It goes without saying that this JSON transformation must be done very quickly to  minimize page-load time. To date, this has been accomplished through lengthy coding workarounds using multiple languages, with the speed of the JSON transform depending as much upon who was doing the coding as anything else. Today, there is a simpler answer.

JSON Transform with Designer Cloud

We know that to do effective analysis and gain insights from data pulled from web sources, a JSON transformation will probably be necessary. Alteryx (formerly Trifacta) understands this and has created a data wrangling program that enables simple and speedy integration within a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. While there are many ways to conduct your JSON transformation, Designer Cloud has several valuable advantages:   

  • Quick Structure. In just a few clicks, JSON data can be reformatted into a column and row structure more common in data analysis.
  • Suggested JSON Transformation. Designer Cloud will automatically suggest structure to be applied to your JSON data based on actions taken by other analysts with similar metadata, a helpful tool for even the most well-versed data analysts.
  • Visualization. You can get a view of the content and structure of web data to inform your work without doing any coding.
  • Output. You can transform JSON to Excel, CSV, or other common analysis formats instantly.
  • No Code. Designer Cloud has democratized JSON transformation. By allowing analysts to rapidly and simply connect with and manipulate data in a straightforward manner, no clunky coding workarounds are required.

Transforming JSON data into a well-structured output, such as a Excel, is just one of many examples of data wrangling. JSON transformation will become more and more necessary as its popularity as a format for data exchange continues to skyrocket. As analysts increasingly need to transform complex JSON data into more manageable formats, they will turn to easy-to-use tools like Designer Cloud . Alteryx is committed to providing data-wrangling tools that ease pain points—like JSON transformation—and speed time to insight.