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Workspaces are Spotlight's collaborative project areas. Add references to datasets and documents that you need for your project. Use the attached Workbench to combine, filter, and otherwise transform your referenced data into new datasets. These new datasets can be used elsewhere in Spotlight or opened in external tools for further analysis.

Use the Flow area to trace the lineage of your datasets and quickly show details about the referenced assets that provide data to them.

Document with comments, tags, and the description field so that your work is more discoverable and you can easily distinguish between related projects.

Create a Workspace#

To create a new Workspace for your project, click 'Add new' button on the Spotlight home page and select Workspace. In the "Create New Workspace" dialog that opens, enter a name for your Workspace and select OK. Spotlight opens to the details page of the new Workspace where you can begin adding collaborators and references to other assets in Spotlight. (See Add to Spotlight: Workspace for details.)


Spotlight is designed to help teams collaborate on new work while discovering and reusing existing work. Inside a Workspace every user has basic permissions to view the detail page and make or reply to comments. To enable more direct collaboration, the Workspace's owner can decide to add other users as collaborators who share many of the owner's capabilities to edit and expand the Workspace.

User permissions

User permissions#

Everyone in Spotlight can:

  • See the Workspace details page
  • Comment on a Workspace or reply to comments

Collaborators can also:

  • Load the attached Workbench tool
  • Add or remove references in the Workspace
  • Create, edit, and delete new datasets in the in the Workbench
  • Edit the Workspace description, tags, and properties
  • Add or remove other collaborators

Owners can also:

  • Delete the Workspace
  • Change the owner

Administrators have the same permissions as owners for every Workspace, even if they do not appear in the list of collaborators.

Security: Spotlight defers to the access controls established on source data systems. Each user will need to authenticate with all the appropriate source systems using their individual credentials. Being a collaborator in a Workspace does not allow users to reuse each other's credentials.

View collaborators

View collaborators#

The Collaborators section lists the owner and all Spotlight users who collaborate on the Workspace. The owner's icon is in the top left, separated from any other collaborator icons with a thin bar. Hover over an icon to see the person's full username. Click the 'plus' button button to open the manage collaborators dialog where you can see the list of collaborators, their full user names, and can add or remove collaborators.

Manage Collaborators dialog

Manage collaborators#

This dialog shows you the existing collaborators for the Workspace and lets you add or remove collaborators. It opens when you select "Collaborators" using the 'Add' button button or when you click the Collaborators section's 'plus' button button. Each section of the dialog is explained below.

Find People

Search for Spotlight users to add as collaborators and search through your existing list of collaborators.

As you enter information here, the "Owner and collaborators" and "Add more people" sections below this will change to only show you the Spotlight users that match your search terms. This will help you locate a particular collaborator on large projects or find Spotlight users you want to add to your Workspace as new collaborators.

Owner and collaborators

Displays the current owner and collaborators on this Workspace as well as any users you are adding as collaborators right now. The owner and current collaborators are marked with a check mark. Users you have just added as collaborators do not have a check mark.

Remove a collaborator by hovering over the check mark next to their name, which will turn into an X button. Clicking the X will remove them as a collaborator. Users you have just added as Collaborators will not have a check mark but hovering to the right of their name will still reveal an X button if you decide to remove them.

When you enter information in the search box at the top of the dialogue, this section will change to display only those collaborators that match your search terms.

Add more people...

Displays the full list of Spotlight users who can be added as collaborators on this Workspace.

When you enter information in the search box at the top of the dialogue, this section will change to display only those Spotlight users that match your search terms.

Once you have found a user you wish to add as a collaborator, move your mouse over their name and click the button that appears to the right of their name.


Click 'Apply' button to save any changes you have made or 'Cancel' button to discard them. Closing this dialog without clicking 'Apply' button will discard any changes you have made.

Change ownership

Change ownership#

The owner of a Workspace can transfer ownership to another user using the 'Change Ownership' button button on the details page. Administrators can transfer ownership of any Workspace.

The new owner will be set to follow the Workspace by default. The old owner will automatically become a collaborator on the Workspace. Anyone following the asset will receive an Activities message about the change of ownership. Administrators will only receive an Activities message if they have followed the Workspace before they change ownership.


Comments appear on the right side of the Workspace details page with the most recent comments at the top. Any user can comment on a Workspace or reply to existing comments. Users following the Workspace will receive a notification in their Activities panel for new comments and replies.


Add a new comment by clicking on the 'plus' button button on the top right of the Comment section.

Delete a comment, including any replies, by clicking the dark 'Context menu' button conversations menu in the top right of the comment box.

Reply to an existing comment by clicking on it and typing in the new comment entry box that will appear underneath the comment. You can reply to comments from the Workspace detail page and also from the notification of a comment in your Activities panel.

Notifications of new comments go to anyone following the Workspace. Owners and collaborators follow the Workspace by default.

Note: notifications are tied to the individual asset, so comments on a dataset will not be sent to users following Workspaces where that dataset is created or referenced.


Add references to the datasets and documents you need for your project. References help you pull together documents you may need for a project and provide data so that you can build new datasets in the Workbench, but the content of references cannot be edited in a Workspace. See "What is a reference?" for details.

Newly connected or uploaded assets are added to Spotlight and then referenced in your Workspace. Before adding new assets we recommend looking through the ones already in Spotlight as these may have been prepared or enriched.

Add Dataset reference

Add Dataset reference#

This dialog lets you add dataset references to your Workspace. You can reference data that is already in Spotlight or add new data. New data will be added to Spotlight first and then refrenced in your Workspace. Each section of the dialog is explained below.

Open the dialog by selecting "Data" using the 'Add' button button, clicking the Data & Documents section's 'plus' button button, or clicking the 'Add data' button button from the Workspace's Workbench.

Find dataset

Find any dataset by entering its name, description, tags, or any column names it contains in the built-in "find magnifying glass" icon find tool at the top of this dialog.


The Sources section lets you browse through the data source systems your organization has connected to Spotlight.

Click on a source to see the datasets inside it. When you find the dataset you want, click "Add to Workspace" to add a reference to it in your Workspace.

If you don't see the dataset you want, you can return to the list of sources using the button in the top left corner.

Add New From

If the information you need is not in any of the connected sources, use the icons at the bottom of this dialog to add something new to Spotlight. Newly connected or uploaded materials will first be added as assets to Spotlight and then referenced in your Workspace.

Select the appropriate icon for the type of system you need to access and follow the prompts in the new dialog that opens.

Details for how to configure each different type of system are available on the "Connect" page.

Newly configured sources will be introspected as normal so that other datasets stored on them can be discovered through Spotlight.

Add Document references

Add Document reference#

This dialog lets you upload files that will be added to Spotlight and then referenced in your Workspace. It opens when you select "Document" from the Workspace's 'Add' button button or when you select "Upload File" from the add dataset dialog.

To reference a document that already exists in Spotlight, use the 'Add to Workspace' button button from the document's detail page or select "Add to Workspace" from the context menu of the Document's search result (see Find assets for details).

Drag and drop any files you wish to upload or use the add buttons to browse for files and folders on your computer. When a folder is uploaded, each file will be turned into a separate document or dataset depending on its file type. A progress bar will indicate the upload status.

Files in CSV, XLS/XLSX/XLSB, JSON, and Parquet formats become datasets in Spotlight and can be viewed and interacted with inside a Workspace's Workbench. All other formats (including PDF, DOC, and image files) are handled as documents.

See uploading files for full details on handling of different file types, upload limitations, and other features of uploading files.

Any files you upload will live in your company's Spotlight environment and all the other Spotlight users in your organization will be able to read and use them in their own work. Please consider the confidentiality of files before uploading them to Spotlight.

Remove references

Remove references#

Document and dataset references can be removed from a Workspace through their context menus. References that have been removed from a Workspace will still exist in Spotlight and can be added to this or other Workspaces in the future.

Remove a document reference:

  1. find it in the Data & Documents section of the Workspace's detail page
  2. move your mouse to the right of the document's name
  3. click the context menu 'Context menu' button button that will appear
  4. select "Remove"
  5. Your document reference has been removed from the Workspace

Remove a dataset reference:

Dataset references can either be removed using the above method or you can right-click on the dataset in the Flow section and select "Remove" from the context menu there.

Flow Area#

The data Flow area provides a graphical view of the datasets in a Workspace, with directional arrows showing how they are related. When an asset is selected, its icon is highlighted (green) and secondary highlights (grey) indicate datasets that provide data to or receive data from it.

Data flowing from three references into a dataset.

You can select any item in the Flow area and use the context menu to navigate to its details page. The context menu also provides options to open the item you have clicked on in the Workbench, open it in an external tool, or to remove the it from the Workspace.

Create datasets with the Workbench#

Once you have added references to the data you need for your project, you can create a new dataset in the Workbench.

Open the Workbench by clicking the 'Open in Workbench' button button on the Workspace details page or by double-clicking on any of the elements in the Flow area. Once in the Workspace, follow the "Create new dataset" instructions to begin transforming the data you have gathered into the form that your project needs.

From inside the Workbench, you can get back to the Workspace detail page using the 'Return to Workspace' button button or by clicking the Workspace's name in the breadcrumbs at the top of the page, circled here in red:


The Workspace detail page displays user and machine-created metadata to help you better understand what the goal of a workspace is, who is working on it, and to see any outcomes of the work.

Delete a Workspace#

When you delete a Workspace, any datasets created in it will be deleted as well. Documents and datasets from elsewhere in Spotlight that have been referenced here will be unchanged. A Workspace cannot be deleted if it contains datasets that are referenced in other Spotlight Workspaces. Only the owner or an Administrator have permission to delete a Workspace.

To delete an entire Workspace, click the 'Context menu' button button on the Workspace's detail page and choose "Delete". You will be asked to confirm the deletion.


Only the Workspace's owner, collaborators, and Spotlight administrators can visit the Workspace's details page or see it as part of search results using the 'Find' icon find tool. This is equivalent to the Specific people metadata visibility setting on other assets (see Concepts of Spotlight: Visibility).

Metadata fields


Names can be up to 100 characters, cannot start with an (_) character or a space, and cannot contain a (`) character.


Shows the number of users following the Workspace and is also a toggle button so that you can follow/un-follow the Workspace. Owners and collaborators follow a Workspace by default.


The description can be up to 400 characters long. Use this to outline project goals, summarize important assumptions, or otherwise make it easier to understand the work you are doing. The more a Workspace is documented, the more useful it becomes for collaboration.


Displays the dates on which the Workspace was created and last modified. A Workspace is considered to have been modified whenever a dataset or collaborator is added or removed, and whenever the title or description is edited. The last modified date is used to sort some search results.


Properties help you capture the state and features of an asset as structured data. This includes the "Status" value for datasets and other values that are customized for each asset type by your organization. Common properties include the person responsible for an asset's maintenance, how often the asset is supposed to be updated, and whether it has been trusted by a data steward. Using properties makes it easier to search for and categorize an asset (see "Find Assets: Find by other asset features").


Tags help quickly identify, search for, and categorize assets in Spotlight. Add some here to make this Workspace easier to find and easier to tell apart from the rest of your related projects.

A tag can be up to 80 characters (spaces are not allowed). Clicking on a tag launches a search for all assets with that tag in Spotlight.