I'm a Mathematica newbie and I have the following problem: I connect to a Oracle DB and read out a set of variables, further on I want to histogram some of the variables. A Dataset seems to be the right tool, but I produce only datasets without a key via:

DBtest = SQLSelect[db, "TABLE1", {"ID", "VAR_1"}]


Result is a Dataset with one column containing ID and the other containing VAR_1 (sorry for the generic names - I can't copy my real work, since it contains sensitive data).

Then I can't use the DBtest[Histogram, "key"] functionality, since there is no "key" available.

Is there anyway to add keys after filling the dataset from the DB? Or shouldn't I use the Dataset class?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You have to thread the keys "ID" and "VAR_1", like RunnyKine's answer here mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/59684/… ... Dataset[AssociationThread[First @ data, #] & /@ Rest @ data] $\endgroup$ Oct 29, 2014 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect! Now it works, many thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Lea
    Oct 30, 2014 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


For discussion purposes, let's use some data from Mathematica's example databases:

$connection = OpenSQLConnection["publisher"];

$dbTest = SQLSelect[$connection, "SALESDETAILS", {"TITLE_ID", "QTY_ORDERED"}]

(* {{"PY2002", 75}, {"PY2002", 10}, <<17>> , {"CK4017", 20}, {"CK4016", 20}} *)

We can create a histogram directly from this data without wrapping it in a Dataset:

Histogram[$dbTest[[All, 2]]]

histogram screenshot

As observed in the question, a Dataset with this data carries no column names since the original result set is comprised of lists instead of associations:

$dataset = Dataset[$dbTest]

dataset screenshot

However, the columns are still accessible by their indices:

$dataset[Histogram, 2]

histogram screenshot

When we retrieve the original SQL data, we have the option of including a header row by means of the "ShowColumnHeadings" option. We can use the headers from this row to create associations that provide names for our columns:

$dataset2 =
  SQLSelect[$connection, "SALESDETAILS", "ShowColumnHeadings" -> True] //
    Inner[#2->#1&, Rest@#, First@#, Association]& // Dataset

dataset screenshot

Now we can produce histograms using the column names:

$dataset2[Histogram, "QTY_ORDERED"]

histogram screenshot

  • $\begingroup$ This solution works as well. And the definition of $dataset2, including the SQL connection, is quite elegant. The way to produce histograms without using Dataset at all, was new for me. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Lea
    Nov 17, 2014 at 9:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.