There are usually three possibilities for the DataPilot to have a data source: a Calc sheet, 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 sheet. This list might be updated regularly or the data are imported from a different application.
A huge list can for example be selected in a different application and with copy and paste inserted into Calc. The behavior of Calc while inserting the data depends on which format the data is pasted to the clip board. If the format fits well, the data is copied into Calc directly. Often the data are in plain text. In this case a dialog appears with the text import assistant that also appears when you open a text file.
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 of foreign data is that it won’t 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 an online connection. This means that the data to be analyzed won’t be saved in Calc. It always uses the original data. Calc is able to use many different data sources and also databases that are created and maintained with OpenOffice.org Base. Chapter 9 (Linking Calc Data) gives you more details about this.
External data (OLAP)
The option External Source/interface is grayed out (deactivated) in the selection dialog. This does not mean that a connection to external data is not possible. It is a very specific option for an interface in OpenOffice.org, for which no implementation exists at the moment.