How to load data from Delighted to MS SQL Server

Access your data on Delighted

The first step in loading your Delighted data to any data warehouse solution is to access your data and start extracting it.

Using the REST API that Delighted offers, you can programmatically interact with your account to access your NPS Survey Data. By doing so, you can:

  • Retrieve and list all survey responses
  • Check new submissions and any updates to existing surveys.
  • List subscribed and unsubscribed people
  • List people whose emails have bounced

You can also retrieve some basic aggregated metrics for any user-defined time period, such as the average score of all your surveys or a specific trend or client.

Moreover, a few more things you should keep in mind while dealing with the Delighted API are:

  1. Rate limits. To guarantee a high quality of service to all API users, Delighted may rate limit requests in certain usage scenarios. However, with normal API usage, it is unlikely to experience rate limits.
  2. Authentication. You can authenticate to Delighted using a private API key that is linked to your account. All API requests must be made over HTTPS and are authenticated via HTTP Basic Auth.
  3. Pagination. API endpoints that return a collection of items are always paginated.

Transform and prepare your Delighted data for MS SQL Server

After you have accessed your data on Delighted, you will have to transform it based on two main factors,

  • The limitations of the database that are going to be used
  • The type of analysis that you plan to perform

Each system has specific limitations on the data types and data structures that it supports. For example, if you want to push data into Google BigQuery, you can send nested data like JSON directly.

Also, you have to choose the right data types. Again, depending on the system you will send the data to and the data types that the API exposes to you, you will have to make the right choices. These choices are important because they can limit the expressivity of your queries and limit your analysts on what they can do directly out of the database.

Also, you have to consider that the reports you’ll get from Delighted are like CSV files in terms of their structure and you need to somehow identify what and how to map to a table into your database.

Load your Delighted data into Microsoft SQL Server

So, after you have managed to access your data on Delighted and you have also figured out the structure that data will have on your database, you need to load any data into the database, in our case, into a Microsoft SQL Server.

As a feature-rich and mature product, MS SQL Server offers a large and diverse set of methods for loading data to a database. One way of importing data into your database is by using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. With it and through a visual interface, you will be able to bulk load data from a number of supported data sources.

Another way for importing bulk data into an SQL Server, both on Azure and on-premises, is by using the bcp utility. This command-line tool is built specifically for bulk loading and unloading of data from an MS SQL database.

Finally and for compatibility reasons, especially if you manage databases from different vendors, you can BULK INSERT SQL statements.

Similarly, and as it happens with the rest of the databases, you can also use the standard INSERT statements, where you will be adding data row-by-row directly to a table. It is the most basic and straightforward way of adding data in a table but it doesn’t scale very well with larger datasets.

Updating your Delighted data on MS SQL Server

As you will be generating more data on Delighted, you will need to update your older data on an MS SQL Server database. This includes new records and updates to older records that have been updated on Delighted for any reason.

You will need to periodically check Delighted for new data and repeat the process described previously while updating your currently available data if needed. Updating an already existing row on a SQL Server table is achieved by creating UPDATE statements.

Another issue that you need to take care of is identifying and removing any duplicate records on your database. Either because Delighted does not have a mechanism to identify new and updated records or because of errors on your data pipelines, duplicate records might be introduced to your database.

Ensuring the quality of data inserted in your database is a big and difficult issue, and MS SQL Server features like TRANSACTIONS can help tremendously. However, they do not solve the problem in the general case.

The best way to load data from Delighted to MS SQL Server

So far we just scraped the surface of what you can do with MS SQL Server and how to load data into it. Things can get even more complicated if you want to integrate data coming from different sources.

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