Delighted to Delta Lake

This page provides you with instructions on how to extract data from Delighted and load it into Delta Lake. (If this manual process sounds onerous, check out Stitch, which can do all the heavy lifting for you in just a few clicks.)

What is Delighted?

Delighted provides a service that businesses use to gather feedback from customers. It lets companies send single-question surveys to customers through email, SMS, or the web, and uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) to maximize response rates and feedback quality.

What is Delta Lake?

Delta Lake is an open source storage layer that sits on top of existing data lake file storage, such AWS S3, Azure Data Lake Storage, or HDFS. It uses versioned Apache Parquet files to store data, and a transaction log to keep track of commits, to provide capabilities like ACID transactions, data versioning, and audit history.

Getting data out of Delighted

Delighted exposes its data through a REST API, and via webhooks for survey responses created and updated. The API calls are simple; for example, the call to get a listing of survey responses is GET /v1/survey_responses.json.

Sample Delighted data

Delighted sends the information it returns in JSON format. Each JSON object may contain more than a dozen attributes, which you have to parse before loading the data into your data warehouse. Here’s an example of what data might look like for survey responses:

[
  {
    "id": "1",
    "person": "10",
    "survey_type": "nps",
    "score": 0,
    "comment": null,
    "permalink": "https://delighted.com/r/2jo3B7Gak9q37XkuHrGLGAbCdevemcx8",
    "created_at": 1713009880,
    "updated_at": null,
    "person_properties": { "purchase_experience": "Retail Store", "country": "USA" },
    "notes": [],
    "tags": []
  },
  {
    "id": "2",
    "person": "11",
    "survey_type": "nps",
    "score": 9,
    "comment": "I loved this app!",
    "permalink": 'https://delighted.com/r/5pFDpmlyC8GUc5oxU6USto5VonSKAqOa',
    "created_at": 1713011680,
    "updated_at": 1713012280,
    "person_properties": null,
    "notes": [
      { "id": "1", "text": "Note 1", "user_email": "foo@bar.com", "created_at": 1713011680 },
      { "id": "2", "text": "Note 2", "user_email": "gyp@sum.com", "created_at": 1713012580 }
    ],
    "tags": []
  },
  ...
]

Preparing Delighted data

If you don’t already have a data structure in which to store the data you retrieve, you’ll have to create a schema for your data tables. Then, for each value in the response, you’ll need to identify a predefined datatype (INTEGER, DATETIME, etc.) and build a table that can receive them. Delighted's documentation should tell you what fields are provided by each endpoint, along with their corresponding datatypes.

Complicating things is the fact that the records retrieved from the source may not always be "flat" – some of the objects may actually be lists. This means you’ll likely have to create additional tables to capture the unpredictable cardinality in each record.

Loading data into Delta Lake on Databricks

To create a Delta table, you can use existing Apache Spark SQL code and change the format from parquet, csv, or json to delta. Once you have a Delta table, you can write data into it using Apache Spark's Structured Streaming API. The Delta Lake transaction log guarantees exactly-once processing, even when there are other streams or batch queries running concurrently against the table. By default, streams run in append mode, which adds new records to the table. Databricks provides quickstart documentation that explains the whole process.

Keeping Delighted data up to date

At this point you've coded up a script or written a program to get the data you want and successfully moved it into your data warehouse. But how will you load new or updated data? It's not a good idea to replicate all of your data each time you have updated records. That process would be painfully slow and resource-intensive.

Instead, identify key fields that your script can use to bookmark its progression through the data and use to pick up where it left off as it looks for updated data. Auto-incrementing fields such as updated_at or created_at work best for this. When you've built in this functionality, you can set up your script as a cron job or continuous loop to get new data as it appears in Delighted.

And remember, as with any code, once you write it, you have to maintain it. If Delighted modifies its API, or the API sends a field with a datatype your code doesn't recognize, you may have to modify the script. If your users want slightly different information, you definitely will have to.

Easier and faster alternatives

If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t be alarmed. If you have all the skills necessary to go through this process, chances are building and maintaining a script like this isn’t a very high-leverage use of your time.

Thankfully, products like Stitch were built to move data from Delighted to Delta Lake automatically. With just a few clicks, Stitch starts extracting your Delighted data, structuring it in a way that's optimized for analysis, and inserting that data into your Delta Lake data warehouse.