Blog dbt Labs Launches the dbt Semantic Layer, Enabling Greater Consistency Across Analytics Tools

dbt Labs Launches the dbt Semantic Layer, Enabling Greater Consistency Across Analytics Tools

Oct 18, 2022


The dbt Semantic Layer enables key business metrics to be defined centrally and queried across a broad range of analytics tools

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- dbt Labs, the pioneer in analytics engineering, today officially launched the public preview of the dbt Semantic Layer. Announced during the keynote at dbt Labs' Coalesce 2022, the dbt Semantic Layer enables organizations to centrally define business metrics in dbt and then query them from any analytics tool, ensuring that critical definitions such as 'revenue,' 'customer count,' or 'churn rate' are consistent in every data application the organization is using. 14 partner integrations were also announced at the keynote, including integrations developed by Atlan, Hex, Mode, and Thoughtspot, in addition to many other of the most critical tools in the modern data stack.

Until now, organizations have been forced to define business metrics individually in each data application. This leads to significant challenges, including the inevitability that the same metric is calculated inconsistently at different times and in different places. This ultimately leads to the erosion of organizational trust in the underlying data, a problem that is compounded as organizations scale in size and adopt more data tooling.

By moving metric definitions out of downstream tools and into dbt, everyone in the business can feel confident that they are working from the same assumptions as their colleagues, regardless of their data tooling of choice. If a metric definition is updated in dbt, it is seamlessly updated everywhere, ensuring consistency throughout the business.

"Our mission at dbt Labs is to empower data practitioners to create and disseminate organizational knowledge," said Margaret Francis, Chief Product Officer at dbt Labs. "With the release of the dbt Semantic Layer, the 16,000 organizations using dbt today have access to a central source of truth for their critical business metrics. Data teams will be better positioned to enable accurate, reliable self-serve experiences for their stakeholders. We're thrilled to provide this for the dbt Community alongside our integration partners."

The dbt Semantic Layer will provide organizations with several significant benefits, including:

  • Consistency and precision on business-critical metrics across the organization
  • Better self-serve experiences for business users, who will be able to discover and pick from a list of trusted and maintained metrics in downstream tools
  • Easier change propagation, making it possible to make changes to metric definitions centrally and have them be quickly reflected in downstream tools
  • Tool flexibility, enabling everyone in an organization to use their preferred analytics tooling, with confidence that metrics are the same in each

dbt Labs announced two categories of partner integrations at Coalesce:

  • Semantic Layer integrations are capable of interactively querying dbt metrics, surfacing the underlying data in partner tools. Integrations in this category include Atlan, Deepnote, Hex, Houseware, Lightdash, Mode, and Thoughtspot.
  • Metrics Ready integrations facilitate building, discovery, and collaboration on dbt metric definitions. Partner integrations in this category include Alation, Anomalo, Collibra, Fivetran, Preset, Secoda, and Sisu.

For a full list of Semantic Layer and Metrics Ready integrations, see this link.

"It's clear there's a massive shift happening in the transformation layer of the modern data stack, and dbt is at the forefront. Even more exciting however, is the potential for our joint customers to not only build models and metrics with dbt, but make them then consumable for business users with ThoughtSpot," said Amit Prakash, CTO & cofounder, ThoughtSpot. "We are proud to be an official Semantic Layer Launch Partner of dbt Labs, and are excited to work together to scale the impact of the analytics and data engineering community with Live Analytics powered by dbt data models."

"Giving everyone access to powerful analytics workflows has been a widespread industry challenge, and one that we at Hex are on a mission to solve," said Caitlin Colgrove, Co-Founder and CTO, Hex. "Our integration with dbt's Semantic Layer is a huge step forward: now users of every technical level can ask and answer questions backed by consistent, governed metrics. We are so excited to be partnering with dbt Labs on this journey, and can't wait to see what our users build with Hex and dbt."

"It is vital that modern data teams are able to easily discover and trust the data they work with," said Varun Banka, Co-Founder at Atlan. "Today, dbt Labs is taking a major step toward powering the way businesses connect to, understand, and trust their metric data. Atlan's integration with dbt's Semantic Layer brings end-to-end column-level lineage to metrics, enabling richer context, visibility, and self-service for data teams everywhere."

The dbt Semantic Layer is now an optional feature of dbt Cloud. Launched in public preview, it is currently available for no additional cost, and will be a paid feature once it is made generally available. For more information, see today's blog post here.

About dbt Labs

Since 2016, dbt Labs has been on a mission to help analysts create and disseminate organizational knowledge. dbt Labs pioneered the practice of analytics engineering, built the primary tool in the analytics engineering toolbox, and has been fortunate enough to see a fantastic community coalesce to help push the boundaries of the analytics engineering workflow. Today there are 16,000 companies using dbt every week, 50,000 dbt Community members, and over 3,000 companies paying for dbt Cloud.

Last modified on: Jun 03, 2024

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