Main concepts

Find Tinybird Analytics-related terms and their definitions.

Data Sources

When you import data into Tinybird Analytics it goes into a Data Source. It is where you store your data; you can append more data to each of them as well as perform SQL queries against them.

Data Sources can be managed through the Console UI or the Data Sources API.

Supported input formats are:

Supported input sources are:

  • Local files

  • Remote files reachable through a URL

  • Kafka


Pipes are the most important concept in Tinybird Analytics. They are a sequence of one or more SQL queries (transformations) that you can:

  • apply to one or more Data Sources,

  • apply to the result of other pipes, and

  • publish as an API endpoint that anyone with permissions can then query through HTTP in JSON or CSV formats.

Auth tokens overview

Auth tokens table scopes can be applied to full tables, or filtered rows.

Think of Pipes as data transformations. You can transform your data through Pipes and the result is a resource you can query: if you have a pipe called test_pipe, you can query it like SELECT count() from test_pipe. If test_pipe has three transformations (three different SQL queries), Tinybird will apply all those queries in sequence when you use it.

Auth Tokens

Access to Tinybird Analytics’s API requires an Auth Token that connects API requests to your account with special permissions. Once you get access to the platform, a default admin Auth Token gets created for you, but you can also create and manage additional tokens through Tinybird’s UI or using the Auth token API.

Auth tokens overview

Auth tokens table scopes can be applied to full tables, or filtered rows.

When creating a new Auth token, you have the option of setting:

  • one or many scopes (DATASOURCES, PIPES),

  • different permissions (CREATE, DROP, APPEND or READ), and

  • filters (e.g. "City='Madrid'") through which you can restrict access to specific subsets of your Data Sources or pipes.


Workspaces. are meant to organize and make teams collaborate in data projects.

Data Sources and Pipes belong to workspaces. In a workspace, a user can be “admin” or “guest”, “admins” can invite other users as “guest” to the workspace. All the users with access to a workspace can work together via the API, dashboard, or command-line interface (CLI).

  • Each workspace has an admin token: You can use the workspace’s admin token to authorize requests when automating scripts. Only the admin user can see the admin token of a workspace.

  • Each user invited to a workspace has a personal admin token, usually named as “admin token”. Use your personal admin token to authorize requests when interacting with the API or CLI.

Read more about organizing and sharing data across workspaces.


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ClickHouse is an important part of Tinybird Analytics. It is is an Open Source column-oriented database management system (DBMS) for online analytical processing of queries (OLAP). You can learn more about ClickHouse in its official website.