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Using OData for Custom Analytics

By: Bastian.Gehnke / Thu Aug 02 16:45:14 GMT 2018

Bluetracker One also makes it possible to query the results of such calculations as performance summaries, leg and voyage aggregations, plausibility checks, KPI results, and the like. For example, customers can integrate all performance-related results into their company’s intranet and combine calculations generated by other in-house systems. An interactive API reference is available here: https://api.bluetracker.one

An API key is required to use the open-source API. Users can create this in the API Key Manager in the Bluetracker One web application. For more information about the capabilities and limitations of the API as well as how to use it, please send an email to us at service.bluetracker@navis.com.

I would now like to focus on a second API we provide. The OData interface is perfectly suited for querying data using tools like Excel, Tableau or PowerBI. In this post, I’d like to demonstrate how to load performance data into Excel. This involves taking the following steps:

  • Introduce the Bluetracker One OData interface.
  • Create an API key.
  • Load leg aggregations into Excel with OData.
  • Explore the data.
  • Create the dashboard.

Introduce the Bluetracker One OData interface

The OData interface provides different API endpoints.

https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/ReportResults

Provides the results of performance calculations on the report level.


https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/LegResults

Provides the results of performance calculations aggregated on legs (e.g. port-to-port voyages). The results are distinguished by the operational state, which makes it possible to filter, group or aggregate the values in terms of the state of the vessel e.g., at sea, in port, maneuvering.


https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/LegSummaries

Provides the results of performance calculations aggregated on legs, but does not distinguish the report state. The returned rows are aggregations over all states.


https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/VoyageResults

Provides the results of performance calculations aggregated on round-trip voyages. As with LegResults, the results are distinguished by the state of the vessel.


https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/VoyageSummaries

Provides the results of performance calculations aggregated on round-trip voyages. The operational ship operations are not distinguished.

 

In our example, we will query the LegResults for the whole fleet to show a leg dashboard. The OData endpoint we show uses version 3 of the OData specification. Your OData client (e.g., Excel) must support this OData version to be able to query data.

Create an API key

To use the OData interface, you have to provide an API key. Open the Bluetracker web application and navigate to Data Manager / Manage API keys. If you do not have a key yet or if you want to use a dedicated key for the OData access, click on the “Add Key” button. Optionally, you can specify a key name for reference. Once the key is created, note the key or (preferably) copy it to your clipboard.
 

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Load data into Excel

After installation of Excel, simply start the program. Then go to “Data,” select “New Query” and navigate to “From OData Feed.”
 

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In the endpoint dialog, choose “basic” and enter the endpoint (in this example, we want to get the leg results’ endpoint):  https://api.bluetracker.one/odata/v3/LegSummaries
 

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When you open the connection for the first time, an authentication dialog will appear once you click “OK.” Note that Excel will save your log-on details automatically and you don’t need to reenter them the next time you connect.

Switch to the “Basic” section for authentication and type “apikey” into the “User name” field. You then need to enter the API key you generated with Bluetracker One into the password field.
 

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Explore the data

Once you have clicked on “connect,” a preview will show you the results to be loaded into Excel. If you request another view, you may connect to one of the other URLs from the above-mentioned options. If you are satisfied and want to connect, click “load.” The data will appear as shown in the example below. Each column has a preset filter to drilldown by vessel or a different parameter:

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Create Dashboards

From here, you can use all Excel functions available to create your own dashboards on the basis of Bluetracker One data and the results. Note that you can save the dashboards and refresh the data at any time. Every BI tool with OData/v3 availability is able to handle such connections, including Excel, Power BI and Tableau.

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