Sisense Basic Concepts and Terminology

Sisense Architecture

The Sisense system is comprised of the following components.

ElastiCube Manager

The ElastiCube Manager is a visual environment in which you create ElastiCubes. The ElastiCube Manager is available online in the Data page or locally on the desktop where Sisense is installed. The ElastiCube Manager enables you to structure and import multiple data sources, create relationships between data, and perform ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) processes to prepare data for analysis and visualization. For more information, see ElastiCube Manager.

ElastiCube Server

The ElastiCube Server is installed locally on your computer and enables access to ElastiCubes. Both the Sisense Web Application and the ElastiCube Manager query the ElastiCube Server and receive results.

Sisense Server Console

The Sisense Server Console provides administration functions for managing ElastiCubes on the ElastiCube Server.

Sisense Web Application

The Sisense Web application is an interactive web application that provides the user interface in which users can design, share, view and explore dashboards. The Sisense Web application runs in popular web browsers and enables access to the Sisense server. Dashboards can also be viewed on mobile devices.

Sisense Application Server

The Sisense Application Server is installed locally on your computer and hosts the Sisense Web Application.

Data Models

Data models are abstract entities that organize your data and determine how your tables relate to one another. Sisense has two types of models, Live models and ElastiCube models. Which model you use depends on how you connect to your data source. If you are connecting to a live data source, you will use a Live model. If you are importing your data into Sisense, you will use an ElastiCube model.

Data models enable you to mash up terabytes of data from a variety of sources, for example:

Live and ElastiCubes models are created and managed from the Data page.

Both are described in more detail below.

Live Models

Live models are a type of data model used to manage the schema over your Live data source. Live connections are useful for getting near real-time updates, with changes in your data reflected in your dashboard. For more information, see Sisense Live.

ElastiCube Models

ElastiCube are Sisense’s proprietary super-fast data stores. ElastiCubes are specifically designed to withstand the extensive querying typically required by business intelligence applications.

ElastiCubes are based on Sisense’s proprietary In-Chip technology, which leverages the Sisense engine. Read more about the technology behind ElastiCube in Sisense's technology section.

ElastiCube Sets

Sisense ElastiCube Sets are collections of ElastiCubes with identical schemas that support high availability by allowing you to query running ElastiCubees within the ElastiCube Set while other ElastiCubes are building.

For more information see ElastiCube Sets.


Each widget is a dynamic visualization of data. You pick the type of data to appear in a widget and you pick the type of visualization (chart type). A few examples of widgets are displayed below:

Column Chart Widget

Column Widget

Indicator Widget

Indicator WIdget

Pivot Widget

Pivot Widget

Scatter Chart Widget

Scatter Widget

To learn more about the different widget types, click here.


A dashboard is a collection of one or more widgets that visualize the data that you select and design.

You define which widgets appear in the dashboard, their design, how they are organized and the filtering of the data that appears.

You can access your own dashboards and dashboards others shared with you.

Sisense allows you to create as many dashboards as you need. No limitations! When you create a dashboard, you are the dashboard’s owner. Owners can share dashboards that they have created with other Sisense users.

Sisense provides a variety of built-in automatic dashboard sharing features. You can easily share a dashboard with others in the Sisense environment or have a dashboard automatically delivered to your chosen recipients by email (on a scheduled basis or upon each data update).


Widgets are composed of fields that represent the data in your data sources. You create widgets by simply selecting from the fields displayed in a Data Browser, which appears in various places across the product. Each field represents a column of data in the ElastiCube.

Data Browser

When designing widgets, fields can be categorized into three groups:

Generally, widgets combine both these types of fields.

For example, to show the sales of a product over time, Sales is the numeric data and both Products and Time are descriptive data.

Descriptive data can be considered as numeric when it is simply a count of the number of items. For example, Activities can be considered numeric when it is a count of the number of Activities. A number can be considered as descriptive when it is an actual entity. For example, an identification ID or phone number.

For information regarding Sisense internals and a more advanced explanation of the Sisense architecture, click Sisense Architecture Internals.