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dbt introduced the public preview of Semantic Layer. After naming a metric in dbt, the new feature pushes the name to all apps that process data from dbt. Data consistency improves as a result.

dbt is a popular framework for data transformation. The framework provides a central environment in which analytics professionals can structure unstructured data with SQL SELECT queries.

The framework runs on top of data warehouses, allowing organizations to store unstructured data directly in data warehouses for later structuring with dbt. As a result, analytics professionals don’t have to deal with multiple silos and complex data pipelines during the transformation process.

dbt recently unveiled a new feature. dbt Semantic Layer allows metrics such as ‘revenue’ or ‘contract term’ to be named once and automatically pushed to all apps that process data from dbt.

The feature is now available in public preview. During the preview phase, users must meet a number of conditions to access dbt Semantic Layer. One of the prerequisites is a multi-tenant dbt Cloud account hosted in North America.

dbt Semantic layer

Many organizations use dbt to process unstructured data and send structured data to business intelligence tools, machine learning models and general business apps. To be able to read incoming data from dbt, an app has to use the same terms for metrics as dbt: ‘revenue’, ‘customer number’, ‘term increase’, and so forth.

Changing a term in dbt requires users to manually push the change to all apps that process data from dbt. Failing to do so can result in the app no longer being able to read incoming data. In the case of a business intelligence tool, the latter means that conclusions are no longer correct and dashboards display incorrect insights.

dbt Semantic layer solves the problem. Users can configure the terms of metrics once and automatically push consequent changes to all connected apps.

“This way, everyone in the company can be confident that they are working from the same assumptions as their colleagues, regardless of their preferred data tooling,” dbt said. “With Semantic Layer, the 16,000 organizations using dbt have access to a ‘central source of truth’ for their business metrics,” added CPO Margaret Francis.

Tip: ‘MySQL HeatWave Lakehouse queries 17 times faster than Snowflake’