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Demo Week - Feature recap

January 27, 2023
Demo Week - Feature recap
Ian Ahuja
Growth + Community
Demo Week - Feature recap

Demo week day 3: Feature recap

It's the second-last day of the Lightdash Demo Week! If you've been keeping up to date, you'll have seen:

It's been quite the journey, but we're not done yet. For today, we're delighted to be leaving you with a big recap of all the features we've built since the last demo week, 106 days ago, and we're super proud of what the team have achieved with the help of our wonderful community and helpful early adopters

The quarter in review


As you can see it's been a very busy 15 weeks for Lightdash and our Community. During this time, 457 issues have been created on our repo, with exactly two thirds of those being closed...


Of these 457, just under half were feature requests through working with our closed beta users, and of those feature requests, we’ve managed to close off 88 (nearly half) of them, which works out to nearly 1 fulfilled feature request per day.

In general, we've been releasing features along some common themes which were the most important for us to build:

  • Chart types and configuration improvements
  • Table improvements
  • Organisation and Discovery
  • Data interactivity

To check out the details of the features we've released in the last quarter including some screenshots, GIFs and links to our docs, just read on!

If all you want is a laundry list then here you go:

📊 Chart types and configuration improvements

  • Legend config
  • Line smoothing and symbol hiding
  • Series stacking for mixed charts
  • Chart size limit removal

🍽 Table improvements

  • Table calculation sorting
  • Table scrolling
  • Column totals
  • Easy .csv downloads
  • Pivot tables
  • Multi-sort improvements

🔎 Organisation and Discovery

  • A new sidebar
  • Metric/dimension grouping
  • Spaces
  • Global search
  • Dashboard duplication
  • String autocompletion
  • Short URLs for sharing

🕵️ Data interactivity

  • Clickable links
  • View Underlying Data

⚛️ Some other fun stuff

  • Granular time intervals
  • Lightdash statuspage

📊 Let's start with charts

There's a lot you can do with charts in Lightdash, here's a quick roundup of the chart-related features we've shipped in the last quarter...

🥇 Legend config

Vertical legend, no legend, scrollable legend anything is possible with new fine-tuning controls for chart legends and margins.

For charts that simply have too many series, you can make your legend scrollable. Here's the most extreme example we could come up with:


🌊 Line smoothing and symbol hiding

For each series in your line chart, you can get those pesky value markers out of the way and then make your lines so smooth that 🚝 maglev trains will be wanting a piece of the action!


📈 Series stacking for mixed charts 

You can now stack the grouped series in a mixed chart type! We promised more chart config, and here it is, thanks to Issue #2524. This doesn't just work with bar and line chart types, it also works with area and scatter types. If you didn't know about mixed charts in Lightdash, check out our docs.


↔️ Chart size limit removal 

No more limits on chart sizes on dashboards! Want to make those monthly revenue graphs look larger than life? Go for it. Also useful for more sensible things like displaying a large table with many results or if displaying Lightdash on an external screen and want to maximise visual impact.


🍽 Now let's sit at the table

It's not just chart visualisations that have been supercharged in the last quarter, we've done a lot of work for tables too.

↕️ Table calculation sorting

You can now sort by table calculation in both the results pane, and in table chart types (Issue #431). 

And we're definitely not ashamed to be the first analytics tool ever to take inspiration from the British Transport Police in announcing an improvement to table calculations.


⤵️ Table scrolling, column totals, .csv downloads

Table chart types now scroll as many results as needed, with sticky headers, column totals, some visual improvements and the ability to download as .csv directly from the dashboard view.

As per milestone #44, all of these features are now available in Lightdash so that we can all enjoy cleaner tables that are even easier to export.

♻️ Pivot tables

You can now "pivot" your data by a dimension, making it easier to compare across categorical data and see trends!

Sometimes, a simple table with a single level of headers for each metric isn’t quite enough. If you want to group your table by a dimension, you can now pivot by that dimension in your table chart types.

In the table explorer, first, select the dimension by which you'd like to pivot, hit "Run query" to see the dimension added as rows, then select "Configure", and "Group by" that dimension. You'll see that dimension pivoted from rows to columns, with a nested header.


🅰️⚡️ Multi-sort improvement 

We've supercharged the user experience of multi-sorting - it's now clearer and easier. 

We've done this by adding a clearer visual hint above the table which only appears when the table is sorted. Clicking into it, you'll be shown all the fields that the table has been sorted by, in order of sort, and whether each one is sorted ascending or descending. You can also reorder the sort, and remove sort options. 

Read more in the docs. Happy sorting!


🔎 Organisation and Discovery

Aside from all the visualisation improvements we've been making, there's been a strong focus to make it easier for users to find what they're looking for. We've done this by making the UI more clear, adding in the long-awaited feature of Spaces, and also adding a great global search.

🧹 A new sidebar with metric/dimension grouping

Grouping metrics and dimensions in the sidebar is now possible in Lightdash via some easy configuration in your dbt model's .yml file!

To resolve Issue #1851, using the group_label property, you can group related metrics and dimensions together in whatever way you wish. Collect all those profit related metrics in one place, and maybe stick all the date related dimensions together? Or group by theme and keep all averages together? We love making it easy for the data team to make it easy for the data consumers.

Read more about how this works in the reference sheets for metrics and dimensions and you can check out Issue #2685 for more planned changes to the sidebar UI!


🎁 Spaces

You can now organise your charts + dashboards into spaces!

🧘 So many of our users were keen for some space - so now you can breathe easy with Spaces in Lightdash. You can use Spaces to organise your charts + dashboards, for example, you could have a Sales space where all the Sales related dashboards and charts are kept for that team.

🚛 We've put all your existing charts + dashboards into a space to start with, but you can create more spaces and easily move them between each space using the three-dot menu. You can read more about spaces in the docs.

🔒 And there's much more on the roadmap for Spaces, next up: Space Permissions!


🔎 Global search

You can now search across charts, dashboards, metrics, dimensions and even spaces!

📚 With users across the business and the data team all creating content (because it's so darn easy to with Lightdash!), finding the right thing can become tricky. That's why we recently released Spaces and it's why we're now adding Search.

📗 Thats right, you can now search across nearly all your Lightdash content using the new search box - and it even comes with a handy keyboard shortcut for when the mouse is having a bad day.

👯 Dashboard duplication

You can now easily duplicate any dashboard, and it's even easier to delete them!

❓ Do you want to iterate on a dashboard without making changes to the original? Or perhaps you want to show the same dashboard in multiple spaces without having to painstakingly recreate it? Well now this is possible in Lightdash!

Whether you're in the dashboard, or you're looking at the list of dashboards, from the action menu, you can easily duplicate the dashboard. It will create it within the same space but it's easy to move it to any other one in the project. And if you get trigger happy with the duplication, there's also a delete button in the action menu.


🧵 String autocompletion

Autocomplete for string filters now works before you run your query.

We've made filters easier and more intuitive by adding autocomplete before you run your query. This shows all possible values in a dropdown format. This is available in Chart view as well as in Dashboard filters - it's now much easier to find what you're looking for!



🩳 Short URLs for sharing

You can now create short links to make it easier to share your work with your team. Just hit the link icon on any chart or dashboard and a short link will be copied to your clipboard. Simple

🕵️ Data interactivity

🖱 Clickable links

You can now link externally directly from dimension values!

Adding urls to a dimension allows your users to click dimension values in the UI and take actions, like opening an external tool with a url, or open at a website. You can use liquid templates to customise the link based on the value of the dimension.

Check out our docs for dimension templating to read about how to implement this for yourself, and to see what else might be possible with this new power!


🪄 View underlying data

You can now view the underlying data for any value in a chart or table!

🔬 Have you ever looked at a chart and spotted a number that you want to know more about? Well, as of the latest Lightdash release, this is now possible from within the table explorer, or from a dashboard.

All you need to do is hover over the value you're curious about, click into it, and select "View underlying data" from the context menu. You'll be shown the underlying data that makes up that individual data point in a nice handy table.

🔭 Still curious? Well from the underlying data, you can also select "Explore from here" to be taken to the table explorer with the current field selections and filters applied.

⚛️ A couple more treats

🕰 Granular time intervals 

We now support a wide range of time interval dimensions for your date fields!

Using the new time_intervals dimensions tag, you can now create custom dimensions with all sorts of time intervals for date type fields, ranging from the second all the way up to the year. What's more, you can also create numeric dimensions from those dates, like "day of week" or "quarter number", and also string dimensions, like "day of week" and "month name".

Read the reference docs here.


🚦 Lightdash statuspage 

Probably not! But if Lightdash is down you'll find out at status.lightdash.com. Subscribe to be the first to know. 

Our status page shows the current status of all our services so you've got a complete picture of Lightdash's availability in one place.


❓ If you want to learn more about HOW we go about prioritising all of the features we know we need to build, along with those requested by our community, then take a look at our recent blog post on How we do Product Planning at Lightdash.

💞 That's it for today 

This brings the 3rd day of Lightdash Demo Week to a close. We hope you've enjoyed learning about what we've been up to over the last quarter.

📡 Stay tuned for tomorrow, where we'll be talking about Semantic BI and why we are confident that it's the future, and how it empowers businesses to make better decisions faster...

🌈 If you can't get enough Lightdash, maybe we'll see you in person at dbt's Coalesce 2022 conference, 17-21 Oct in New Orleans? We'll be wandering around, checking out some talks AND we hope to see you at Booth #316 in the Activation Hall in the afternoon on Wednesday and Thursday for a super special surprise - a one time opportunity to get your own piece of Lightdash and have some fun in the process!

👷‍♀️ If you're interested in what we're building here, get involved! Don’t watch from the sidelines, help us build the future of BI. We’ve got something for everybody:

Much love from the Lightdash team ❤️

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