There are usually three possibilities for the DataPilot to have a data source: a Calc spreadsheet, an external data source that has to be registered in OpenOffice.org, and access to an OLAP system (not available at this time).
The simplest and most often used case is analyzing a list in a Calc spreadsheet. This list might be updated regularly or the data might be imported from a different application.
A huge list can for example be selected in a different application and pasted into Calc. The behavior of Calc while inserting the data depends on the format of the data. If the format is acceptable, the data is copied directly into Calc. However, if the data is in plain text, a dialog appears with the text import assistant described in Introducing Calc.
Calc can import data from a huge number of foreign data formats, for example from other spreadsheets (Excel, Lotus 1, 2, 3) from data bases (like dBase) and from simple text files.
The drawback of copying or importing foreign data is that it will not update automatically if there are changes in the source file. With a Calc file you are limited to 65535 rows.
A registered database in OpenOffice.org is a connection to data held in a database outside Calc. This means that the data to be analyzed will not be saved in Calc. It always uses the data from the original source. Calc is able to use many different data sources and also databases that are created and maintained with OpenOffice.org Base. See Linking Calc Data for more information.
External data (OLAP)
No implementation exists at the moment so this option is not available.
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