Blog dbt Labs & Hex: Partnering to enhance the modern data workspace

dbt Labs & Hex: Partnering to enhance the modern data workspace

Nikhil Kothari

Nov 30, 2022


Data assets built with dbt power a wide variety of analytics workflows, and over time we’ve seen a pull from businesses to bring more and more contributors into the analytics process. As a result, we’ve been working closely with the Hex team over the past year and are proud to share how our partnership has grown to enable both data teams and data consumers to be more effective together.

Empowering everyone to build and share knowledge

Data practitioners across more than 17,000 organizations have adopted dbt and the analytics engineering workflow, helping them collaborate on data transformation with an accessible, SQL-first framework. Similarly, the Hex analytics workspace democratizes analytics through its “low floor, high ceiling” philosophy: It’s accessible and easy enough for novice users by virtue of its no-code and SQL capabilities, yet sophisticated and flexible enough to support advanced users with Python and R. In Hex, all of these things – and all of these users – can work together in one place.

We’ve teamed up to enable native integrations between dbt Cloud and Hex, allowing joint customers to do more with a deeply integrated, end-to-end workflow.

Gaining trust with the power of metadata

Data consumers need appropriate context and assurance that they can trust the analyses they’re depending on. Hex’s integration with dbt Cloud pulls dbt metadata to surface insights such as source freshness, test results and column descriptions right within Hex’s database schema browser where analysts, data scientists and data engineers build queries.

The Hex schema browser, complete with dbt documentation.

A dedicated Metrics cell for the dbt Semantic Layer

Last month at Coalesce, we welcomed Hex as a launch partner for the dbt Semantic layer, which offers analytics engineers a way to define consistent, governed metrics as part of their transformation pipelines. Hex integrates with the Semantic layer via a new Metrics Cell: an easy-to-use UI that lets anyone access these trusted metrics without writing any code. Users can specify metrics, dimensions, and time grains, and get back a data frame that they can use to analyze, visualize, and share. Hex’s integration makes dbt metrics usable for everyone to ask and answer questions, with high trust that they’re looking at the data the right way.

The Hex metric cell in action.

The deep integration with the dbt Semantic Layer also offers users the ability to write dbt-flavored SQL right in Hex - including the use of refs, macros, and sources - putting more options in the hands of data practitioners.

Customer impact

Many shared customers are reaping the benefits of our integration, including retail analytics provider Bluecore and live shopping platform Whatnot.

Whatnot ships faster with trusted data, trailblazing live shopping in the US

Whatnot replatformed their data stack to focus on SQL-first offerings that would increase analyst output, drive collaboration, and make it easier to scale their Data team. By standardizing on a stack that delivers trusted and governed data, Whatnot’s data team is moving from idea to production 4-8x faster, end-to-end workflows are simplified and widely accessible, and new analytics engineering hires are pushing code to production within a week of onboarding.

“dbt and Hex make the data development environment so much easier to work with than any other combination of tools,” said Emmanuel Fuentes, head of Machine Learning and Data Platforms at Whatnot. “Since it’s all native, we don’t need to wait for or build a custom adapter. I can instead focus on scaling my team, and building the best live shopping platform.”

Bluecore builds trust with stakeholders, improving forecasting and saving time

When Bluecore built their data stack on BigQuery, dbt, and Hex, their goal was to create a central source for quality data, analytics tooling, and process. A big win from Bluecore’s data stack has been a revenue forecasting model that’s used by their Existing Business team to manage renewals, and it has earned the trust of the Customer Success org as well.

“A lot of people in Sales don't want to use tools like this,” said Adam Whitaker, their GTM Analytics Lead. “We've been challenged a number of times from these folks… People who were total doubters have said, ‘You know, this saves me a ton of time.’ That’s where the benefit of focused documentation and enablement really shows through.”

Get started today

The first-class integration between Hex and dbt ultimately allows analytics engineers, data scientists and business analysts to work faster and deliver an outsized impact to the business.

If you're ready to take Hex's integration with dbt Cloud for a spin, their integration docs provide more detail on how you can do just that. You can also visit the #tools-hex channel in the dbt Community Slack to discuss with other community members, ask questions, or just say hi to the team.

Last modified on: Jun 03, 2024

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