Dynamic Data Mapping
Emeralds Signage Plus application brings a real-time Dynamic Data Mapping feature to help you link different values for the same items. It is achieved via mapping the item name to its value using Google Sheets. Some common use cases of this function include:
- Price mapping for restaurant menus
- Metric mapping for dashboards
- Information mapping for banners
- Promotional value and product mapping where prices and availability differ as per the location
The steps mentioned below take the menu as an example. Login to your Emerald Signage Plus account.
- Click on the Files/Assets option present in the toolbar.
- Click on the Apps option present in the side toolbar.
- On the modal dialogue that appears select the Designer option. A new screen displaying a wide range of customizable templates appears. You can utilize the pre-built templates or customize your own using the editing tools present in the Editing toolbar.
You can add text, images, shapes, and symbols to your templates. You can also import your pre-designed template and use design elements like filters to enhance your design.
In this example, we will map the office address according to the location it is displayed, using dynamic data mapping tool.
- Add all the elements to your design.
- Provide a name to your design in the text box adjacent to the Move option.
- Save the design.
- Select the office address text box.
- Click on the DataSource option present on the left side menu.
- Select the textbox containing the address of the office location.
- Provide the element name in the Asset Element Name text box that appears on the left side menu. It is optional but recommended as the best practice to bring clarity when you have multiple data elements to map.
- Select the second element and provide this element a name. Repeat this step for all the elements that require dynamic data mapping. You can even select images to change them dynamically.
- Once all your elements are mapped click on the Generate DataSource option. The following screen appears:
- Sign in with your Google account to access the data source spreadsheet the application generates containing the populated mapped data.
- Once authenticated select the folder in your Google drive you wish the spreadsheet to be created in and click the Select option. Check that the data source spreadsheet gets created in the selected folder in your Google drive.
- Navigate to the Emeral Signage Plus application, and the message Authorized with Google as Username is displayed. Click on the Close option.
- Observe your datasheet gets attached to your design.
- To access the data source spreadsheet click on the three dots adjacent to the data source name. A box listing different functions for the data source appear.
- Click on the Open in Google Sheets option. It opens the created data source sheet in a new tab.
Data source spreadsheet
This sheet has the following columns:
- Screen Name: It lists the name of the screens that you have in your account. The Emerald Signage Plus application identifies the screens by name and adjusts the value based on what you enter in this sheet. In case there's a change in the screen name, make sure to update this spreadsheet for correct data mapping. Also, it's a good practice to name each of your screens uniquely and have naming conventions as per the location, for content to be displayed on the screens. This will facilitate the identification and management of resources. ***ALL*** is a special value that indicates that if a screen does not have assigned values, it will take value from this row of data.
- Asset Element Id: It is a unique auto-generated value by the system. It helps the application recognize and map the dynamic data elements in the design.
- Asset Element Name: It is the name you provided while the Data Mapping process. It's for reference purposes only and does not affect data mapping.
- Value: It shows the value you want to display on the screen. It is either a text or a URL to an image.
Currently, all the screens show the same address. Let's modify it according to the region.
- Modify the value of the Screen Name and Value column according to the region's addresses. Note that the value of the Asset Element Id remains the same.
Value mapping to Screens
- The screens placed in different geographic locations are mapped to a value that's relevant to them and displayed in the same text box. This is worldwide dynamic data updating.
You can also use this feature to change images dynamically by just providing a URL of the image in the value field. An example of the same is for restaurant chains where the price of an item varies based on location. You can modify the dish/platter images as per your serving.
Data Source for a Restaurant Chain
- Data mapping from other applications: You can use Zapier to automate data from your application to update the Google Sheets. Zapier has various integrations to many apps including Point of service (POS), Human resources information system (HRIS), Employee Engagement, Sales, Customer support, Project management, etc. If your application is not supported by Zapier, you can build your own integration to Google Sheets API.
- How quickly the screens will be updated from the time data changes in Google Sheets? Google does not have a published SLA on how fast the webhooks will be called. Usually, when the spreadsheet has small amounts of data (a few thousand rows or less) it's less than 1 min, but sometimes, it can extend to a few minutes.Emerald Signage Plus Application reflects the modifications on the screens within 15s of Google letting us know of the changes.
- An Internet connection is required to push the changes through, but if the device does not have internet, it will just keep playing old data.
- You can upload your image to Files/Assets like other media files and copy the URL to use in your mapping. Once you copy the image a success message is shown indicating that the URL is copied to the clipboard. You can use this URL to map elements in your Google data source spreadsheet.