If you think about BI, you’ll normally think about charts: line charts, bar charts, charts on a dashboard. They’re kind of a fundamental part of any BI tool.
At Lightdash, our goal is to make our charts incredibly customizable for power users, but with great default settings for everybody else.
We hadn’t really updated our charts since we first launched Lightdash back in April 2020 and we were getting feedback that the charting options in Lightdash were pretty limited. The folks from Art Processors needed big number charts, Mark Rittman posted about Lightdash in his blog and said “the range of charts, configuration options[...] are still fairly primitive”, Andre de Vries pointed out that our default colour palette was not colourblind friendly (and you couldn’t even change it!)...and there was more.
Our users were totally right.
At the beginning of the year, our charts looked something like this:
This was good enough to get us up and running, but it was definitely time to give our charts a makeover.
...is pretty complicated.
So, we wanted to make sure that we broke up our plan for revamping charts into smaller bits that we could tackle one-by-one. We did a bunch of user research, created some designs, and came up with a plan for how we wanted to update our charts:
So, over the past two weeks, our mighty engineering team of 3 migrated our backend to support these more custom chart configurations (a massive effort), then smashed out the Version 1 of our updated chart configs. While they were at it, they also added some new chart types requested by our users.
Some of our favourite updates include:
Gone are the restrictive days of only dimensions on the x-axis and metrics on the y-axis. Now, you can have it all! Plot those metrics on your x and y axis, analyze those correlations, enjoy the freedom.
The default labels for your axes just aren’t cutting it? No worries, count unique users can now be easily customized to something much more memorable (and useful) like: katie’s super cool metric.
No more whipping out your ruler and quick arithmetic to figure out what the “value of that column between 30 and 35 is.” Now, you can just add value labels to your charts and take it all in. Easy.
Sometimes, you just need a simple table. So, we built you just that: a table chart type. It takes exactly what’s in your results table and displays it as a chart - so you can save it, share it, and keep it simple.
Big number chart types are here, and they’re big. Add a metric to your table, then click on the big number chart type to see (and maybe even share) your big number.
Nothing’s more fun than picking your favourite colour to put on your chart, right? (or maybe that’s just me...) In Lightdash, you can now change the colours of the series in your chart, so you can truly make your charts into art.
We’re still working to improve our charts, but we think they’re only going to get better from here. Right now though, we’d love for you to play around with the changes we’ve made already and tell us what you think.
Any and all feedback is welcome :) You can open an issue in GitHub, or come chat to us in #tools-lightdash in dbt’s slack.