Scope of this guide

This is a guide describing how to use the RAW user interface. It assumes no familiarity with RAW but some familiarity with SQL-like query languages. For more information and documentation on RAW please visit


RAW is an adaptive, near real-time query engine that works directly over raw data.

Using RAW is simpler than traditional query engines, since you don't have to define schemas, building indexes or load data. All these tasks are done autonomously by RAW, based on how you are actually querying your data. Moreover, as your queries change, RAW changes along, creating new caches for hot data, dropping old caches, etc.

There are, however, some unique features you'll need to learn. Let's get started!

Adding Sources

RAW queries data directly from its original location. Therefore, you need to tell RAW where your data is; RAW takes it from there.

We currently support two sources: Dropbox or S3. Since both of these are secure (i.e. not publicly available), you first need to authorize RAW to access them. You only need to do this once!

For tutorial purposes, we have authorized all RAW accounts to access an S3 bucket of ours, where we keep tutorial data. We'll use this for the remaining of the tutorial. However, you may also want to learn how to give RAW access to your Dropbox account, or S3 bucket to query your own data later on!

Adding a CSV file

To add a file, go to the top menu bar and click , then and choose .

You'll be presented with a list of S3 buckets. Click on RAW Labs's bucket named raw-tutorial.

In the following screen, select file airports.csv. Then click on .

The name airports is automatically suggested as the "table" name to use in the SQL query. Click and you are all set.

RAW will access the file to infer its schema. When it's done, you'll see the schema RAW inferred. You may now query the file!

Your First Query

To create a query, go to the top menu bar and click , then .

In the popup dialog, you may choose the query name, or keep the default one. Then click on .

The query editor shows up. The pane on the left-hand side is for writing Raw SQL queries; the pane on the right-hand side to preview the query results. Type the following query then press :

SELECT * FROM airports WHERE Country = "Iceland"

Congratulations! You've run your first query in RAW!

Now let's see how to preview results live, change your query and save it for future use.

Live Preview

After executing the query, you can preview its results on the pane on the right-hand side.

RAW suggests a set of visualization alternatives under . Try a few different ones!

When you are done, click on to keep those results around! This will be useful when we build a Dashboard in RAW.

Joining a CSV and a JSON file

Now let's add a JSON file to RAW and join it with our CSV file.

As before, click on , then and choose . Click on RAW Labs's bucket named raw-tutorial.

Now select file trips.json and click on . The name trips is automatically suggested as the "table" name to use in the SQL query. Click and you are all set.

Once trips is ready for use, create a new query by clicking , then . Finally, click on .

Now type the following query and click on to run it.

SELECT DISTINCT a.City, a.Country FROM airports a, trips t WHERE a.IATA_FAA = t.destination

Congratulations! You just joined a CSV and a JSON file! Before you leave the query editor, remember to click on . We need this query saved for the next step, as we build a dashboard.


RAW also includes some essential Dashboard functionality. To create your first dashboard, first make sure you have executed and saved both queries. If not, repeat the tutorial steps.

To create your first Dashboard, click on , then . Choose a name for your dashboard and click on

You are now presented with an empty dashboard. Let's add some queries to it!

Click on on the right-hand side. Choose the two queries previously created and click on . (If you don't see two queries, make sure you have executed and saved both queries in the previous steps of this tutorial. If not, repeat the tutorial steps.)

You now have two plots shown in your dashboard. The visualization show is the one you choose on the query. Feel free to resize/move each plot with your mouse. Remember to save the dashboard before you go, by clicking on .

Next Steps

There is a lot more to learn about RAW:

Thank you for following through! Let us know what you think and how we can help!