Visual Data Modeling

Sigma’s community-driven, visual data modeling approach brings data experts and business teams together to build centralized models that make data usable and insightful for everyone.

Data Modeling Then:
The Wild West vs. the Ivory Tower

The Wild West

Business teams use desktop tools like spreadsheets to extract data and conduct independent analyses. This causes problems for data experts, including data silos, conflicting insights, inaccurate analyses, security risks, and noncompliance.

The Ivory Tower

Data experts try to centralize analyses and lock down data models using proprietary languages or SQL. Non-coding business teams can’t explore data or do what-if analysis without asking data teams to change the model, so they extract the data instead.

Data Modeling Now:
The Sigma Approach

Sigma enables companies to strike a balance between the Wild West and Ivory Tower approaches by focusing on the four following areas:

Visual and community-driven

Data and business teams can collaborate together in Sigma’s spreadsheet-like UI using SQL and/or Sigma’s visual data modeling functionality to build highly contextual, centralized models.

Safe, guided exploration

Sigma saves data teams time by making it easy to pre-model joins between data sources and models in a way that gives non-technical users a guided, endorsed path for exploration.

Live and adaptable

Give business users the freedom to explore ad-hoc ideas without waiting on data teams to update the central model, and easily make changes as data and processes evolve.

Reusable, single source of truth

Use models in Sigma to build curated, reusable Datasets, and repurpose them outside of Sigma by writing views back to your data warehouse to create a single source of truth.

Modern Modeling Features

Familiar, no-code UI

Empower anyone to model data in a spreadsheet-like UI that supports but doesn’t require SQL.

Datasets

Create collections of modeled data that serve as reusable bases for more detailed analyses.

Links

Pre-model joins between objects, enabling users to easily add relevant data to worksheets.

JSON parsing

Visually identify, model, and explore semi-structured data in just a few clicks — no SQL required.

Definitions

Enrich data objects and provide clear context by adding table and column descriptions.

Object badges

Guide users by flagging Datasets and worksheets as Endorsed, Warning, or Deprecated.

Lineage

Anticipate the downstream impact of model changes, and view all upstream data sources.

Warehouse views

Write views in Sigma back to your cloud data warehouse to reuse models across other platforms.