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Workflows

CARTO Workflows provides a visual language to design and execute multi-step spatial analytics procedures. With Workflows, our mission is to bring spatial analytics to a broader audience of data analysts and business users, and to democratize access to advanced Location Intelligence.
This tool, like the rest of the platform, is fully cloud native; running Spatial SQL in your own data warehouse, and leveraging CARTO’s Analytics Toolbox and the other components of our technology stack.
In order to improve performance and be able to inspect the results of intermediate steps, Workflows makes use of temporary data that, by default, is stored in a workflows_temp schema/dataset in your data warehouse (learn more about temporary tables here).
CARTO Workflows reduces the complexity and the high dependence on specialist knowledge. Users can leverage the scalability of cloud data warehouses through the use of spatial SQL without needing to write SQL code themselves. It opens up analytical modelling to all roles and skill levels, through a simple, familiar user interface.
Workflows runs in a directed graph structure, meaning that the workflow will run from left to right, step by step, but outputs of nodes can be used in the immediate next step or later in the Workflow. For example, if you have 5 nodes, the output of node 2 can connect to the immediate next node, or node 3, or nodes 4 or 5, or all if needed.

Workflows UI

Before we jump into Workflows, let’s take a quick tour of the Workflows UI so you know your way around before getting started.

Canvas

First is the Canvas where you will design your Workflow. This is a free-form Canvas meaning you can drag nodes onto any part of the canvas. You can zoom in and out to see different parts of your workflow and see the layout of the workflow in the mini viewer in the lower right corner. As you add nodes to the canvas they will snap to a grid to align.

Sources & Components

On the left side, you will find a menu where you can add data sources from the connection you created the Workflow. You can add any data source that you want that exists in your connection. You also have all the components, or nodes, that you can add to the canvas. We will go over the various components later. You can search for components or scroll to find the component you want.

Results

The bottom panel is the results space where you will see four different tabs:
  • Messages: Messages about the status of your Workflow including success and error messages.
  • Data: After clicking on a node, you can see the tabular data outputs of that specific workflow step.
  • Map: After clicking on a node, if that step returns a valid geometry, it will show up in the map. If there is more than one geometry you will have an option to pick which one to show.
  • SQL: The compiled SQL of the workflow. This includes different steps and procedural language.