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Business Intelligence Development with Lightdash

There are many tools and services offering a wide range of business intelligence services in the market today. But having more choices means having to make many tough decisions as well. Some of these tools require you to go through a learning curve to get used to their modeling language and programming specifics.


Some tools can provide an all-inclusive dashboard but are very expensive and do not fit within your budget. Besides the cost and ease of use, you must find better ways to manage your workflows so that your data engineering and BI teams work together efficiently. Otherwise, you will end up with a lot of chaos and redundant data objects with no proper tracking.


If you are looking for a sweet spot solution that does just the right things to bring together both your data and BI teams without much programming complexity and cost worries, Lightdash would be a great option for you.




What is Lightdash?


Lightdash is a business intelligence platform that helps you work out the BI logic with the relevant metrics and dimensions by directly working with your dbt projects.


Dbt is a data transformation workflow tool that helps you manage your data with an SQL-first approach. About 90% of everything you do with dbt can be handled using .sql files. Thus, while your data team works on developing production-grade data pipelines with dbt, your BI team can use Lightdash to derive the valuable insights they seek from the data.


By allowing you to work with dbt projects directly, Lightdash lets you optimize the workflow across your data engineering and BI teams. While your data engineers can work with dbt to create their data models, views, and transformations, your BI analysts can simply use the intuitive interface presented by Lightdash to get their insights from the dbt projects. This allows for a better collaborative environment where workflows can be tracked easily, and any complexities from sharing data among the teams can be removed.


Lightdash presents an easy-to-use syntax and makes it much simpler to incorporate metrics with your data engineering efforts. You can easily adapt to the Lightdash environment as it allows you to work with tools you have always worked with and see live previews of your work without distributing your development workflow.


Lightdash to Enhance Your BI Capabilities


Abstracts complexity and self-service

Lightdash provides a complete full-stack solution to BI with both frontend and backend modules. So, even a person who is barely fluent in SQL can use Lightdash to get insights from data.


It provides a nice visual presentation layer over the dbt, allowing analysts to quickly build custom workflows without worrying about the programming complexity behind it. It is a truly empowering self-service tool that can enhance BI functionalities to a great degree. What normally takes hours could be done within minutes thanks to the intuitive UI presented by Lightdash.


Native integrations

Lightdash integrates readily with many existing data stack tools and can work with dbt from Snowflake, Airbyte, and Fivetran. Providing native integrations with the data tools, the tool helps you build efficient data workflows and boosts collaboration across data teams.


Open source

The core Lightdash project is open source, and like many other successful open source projects, it is also set to continuously evolve and improve. Being open source also makes it more adept to a vibrant community and user base that you can use for guidance and support. You can get ample support from the user forums, documentation, and other resources continuously built up by the growing community behind Lightdash.


Besides the open-source product, Lightdash is also available as a fully managed and hosted cloud service that you can use for additional support and advanced features.


Custom metrics and analytics

With Lightdash, you can perform advanced calculations, create custom pipelines, establish your own metrics, create customizable data visualizations, and do much more. It supports all major data source types, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, GitHub, GitLab, Slack, Databricks, Redshift, dbt, Azure DevOps, and Firebolt.


Powerful data features

Lightdash provides a range of features that make it a complete tool for your BI analysts to carry out all their tasks:

  • Support for connecting multiple data sources, be it databases, cloud-based services, spreadsheets, and more.

  • Custom dashboards with a wide range of data visualizations such as graphs, charts, tables, and more.

  • Advanced filtering and data discovery features to determine the trends and insights from data.

  • Data sharing enabled with support to export data to a varied range of formats like CSV, JSON, and EXCEL.

  • Data and dashboard sharing feature to help collaboration across teams.

  • Customized dashboards that match your brand aesthetic.

  • Self-serve features with support for pre-defined metrics and a familiar interface.

  • Ability to declare your dimensions and metrics in YAML and create dimensions automatically from your existing dbt models.

  • Auto sync of all your dbt descriptions, allowing ease of use for your users.

  • Easy table calculations support for quick data operations

  • Lineage feature support lets you track the upstream and downstream dependencies of a model

  • Easy sharing options to share your charts, visualizations, dashboard, and all your work as URL.


One of the biggest advantages of Lightdash is its easy-to-use, intuitive user interface. With options like drag and drop, it allows anyone to be able to create their own dashboards and data visualizations.


It also has amazing export capabilities that boost collaboration among the team. As mentioned earlier, you can export reports into various file formats, export your visualizations, save your charts, and send them to your teammates. Thus, you can work on your data projects with optimal productivity.


In a Nutshell…

In conclusion, Lightdash has emerged as a powerful solution for businesses seeking efficient and cost-effective business intelligence development. Its seamless integration with dbt streamlines collaboration between data engineering and BI teams, reducing complexity and enhancing self-service capabilities.


Its user-friendly interface and export capabilities further contribute to its appeal, making it a valuable asset in the modern BI landscape.


That said, if you are willing to get started with Lightdash or plan to discover how it can be integrated with your business processes, we can help. Talk with our professionals to learn more.


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