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Lightdash x dbt Semantic Layer

October 12, 2023
Lightdash x dbt Semantic Layer
Oliver Laslett
CTO & Co-founder
Lightdash x dbt Semantic Layer

The Lightdash integration is now live for the new dbt Semantic Layer

As one of the first dbt Semantic Layer Ready partners, we’re so excited to share what we’ve been cooking up for you! Before we dive into the integration - let’s take a look at how the dbt Semantic Layer works and why we chose to integrate it into Lightdash. The integration is live right now for Lightdash Cloud users - here's the docs on getting started.

We've enjoyed working closely with the team at dbt Labs to make this happen - and we're excited to be one of the first tools to have a fully fledged integration live for users to try.

Open standards and a single source of truth

The much-anticipated revamped dbt Semantic Layer (this time, powered by Metricflow) is here! With the relaunch of the dbt Semantic Layer, dbt Cloud users now have the power to define their core business metrics in one place and consume them in many downstream tools (including Lightdash of course).

This is a huge deal. The data community has been pushing for an open standard for metrics that would finally allow interoperability between data tools; freeing metrics from proprietary tools where they are commonly found today. This resonates deeply with the core of Lightdash, which has always been built from day one to be open and integrate with the tools that data teams already use and love. 

So now if you’re using dbt metrics, whether you're in Lightdash or a Python notebook, you can pull "revenue for the last quarter" and... you know for certain you’ll have the same numbers in both places, all coming from the same source!

You need to see it to feel it! With that, here are 3 simple steps for dbt Cloud users to create their first metric and visualise it in Lightdash.

3 steps to using the dbt Semantic Layer & Lightdash

Step 1: Get connected to the dbt Semantic Layer

The first step is to get connected with the new Semantic Layer. If you haven't already - head over to dbt's Semantic Layer getting started guide to get connected and define your first metrics! 

Step 2: Start querying your metrics in Lightdash

You can read more in our docs on how to get set up with Semantic Layer if you haven't got this setup already.

Now let’s bring our metrics to life. In Lightdash head over to the semantic layer explorer and you’ll see a brand new sidebar showing up with your metrics and dimensions. Click any metric and start sharing charts immediately. Lightdash already knows which matching dimensions make sense for your selected metrics and only shows you those, so you're always picking the right combination.

Step 3: Go forth, visualize and collaborate!

Lightdash automatically picks a visualization for you, but you can now edit, change and update the configurations with the full power of Lightdash's visualization library.

Wrapping up! 

We’re only just getting started with our plans to build out even more functionality for the dbt Semantic Layer, but we’re excited that folks can already explore, analyse, visualise and share their metrics natively today in Lightdash. We're working closely with the team at dbt Labs, and over the coming months, we’ll be releasing even more features on top of this, make sure to check out our public roadmap to see what’s coming next! 

Lightdash started out with a simple idea: to locate business critical metrics in a single place alongside your dbt transformations. With the meteoric rise of dbt, the community finally has a real shot at a single interoperable layer that can serve metrics to multiple tools.

The dbt Semantic Layer integration is already available in Lightdash for you to use and try out. Drop us a line in our Slack community if you need help getting started and share your feedback on our newest integration! 

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