How to Build LightDash from Source

November 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

LightDash is a super-cool Open Source business intelligence tool built on top of DBT (which I think of as node for SQL). While it is distributed as open source, the usual way to deploy it locally is by simply running a docker container.

If you want to actually built lightdash directly from source yourself, you need to follow the instructions under CONTRIBUTING. However, what was written there (as of November 11, 2021) did not quite work for me, so here are my workarounds.

I will also file this as a GitHub issue, and they are super-responsive so hopefully this page will be obsolete soon!

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From “Zombie Data” to “Smart Reports”

October 4, 2021 § Leave a comment

The bane of my IT existence is a business user who says, “Please get me the latest version of <random Excel file I have never seen before, named using idiosyncratic or ambiguous words>. Oh, and I need it tomorrow or else we won’t {make our numbers | pass our audit | satisfy the board}.”

I call this “zombie data” because it:

  • Lacks any self-awareness
  • Doesn’t remember where it came from
  • Has no relationship to its current context
  • Infects everyone it touches with that same mindlessness.
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Being Human: A Curriculum

September 21, 2021 § Leave a comment

Reframing spirituality as the culturally-neutral, teachable practice of becoming more human, as expressed in:

  • 3 Capabilities
  • 4 Attributes per Capability
    1. Prerequisite
    2. Task
    3. Technique
    4. Mindset
  • 12 Learning Outcomes

Inspired by the Minerva Baccalaureate, especially their focus on Content over Context.

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Religious Entrepreneurship in Nevil Shute’s Round the Bend

September 8, 2021 § Leave a comment

I am currently podcasting a book club with my father on Nevil Shute‘s novel Round the Bend. The framing question we are using for our discussions is “What is this book about?” There are a number of different themes that have come up (e.g., technology, love, and racism), but my current hypothesis is that the book is primarily about “Religious Entrepreneurship”, a sort of cousin to the Spiritual Entrepreneurship I studied with Hatchery LA.

Here (four chapters in) is how and why I think the author wrote this book. This is all purely hypothetical on my part; I have not done any actual research on his methods. However, this reflects the kind of process that I could see myself going through, based on comments the author made about the context in which the protagonist built his business.

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The Reporting Control Center

September 5, 2021 § 1 Comment

aka Quilt Data Hub or Lightdash 2.0?

Challenge

Can I evangelize
a corporate data platform
by just emailing out reports
with sufficiently smart URLs?

Rationale

I don’t have the power
to pull others onto a new platform.
But I can push useful data to others
in a way that inspires them to participate more directly with the platform

Proposal

Replace friendly Salesforce Reports and powerful NetSuite Saved Searches with a unified interface for viewing, editing, sharing, and managing:

  • versioned reports
  • personalized alerts
  • variant analyses

that are delivered via self-contained emails that also onboard people into greater use of the platform

Definitions

Friendly

  • Browseable
  • Drag and Drop
  • Live previews

Powerful

  • Complex formulas
  • Scaleable notifications
  • Easy joins and relabeling

Motivation

The main value of Quilt to my business
is as a point of leverage
to shift the culture of communication
from “zombie data” in tables
to “smart reports” in a repository

The Coherency Manifesto: Towards Communal Data Platforms

August 21, 2021 § Leave a comment

Version 1.0: Sep 11, 2021 (Interdependence Day)

As a community
who produces, consumes, and manages data
we hold these truths to be self-evident:

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Psycho-Analytic Engineering (Coalesce 2021)

June 6, 2021 § Leave a comment

Using Data to Differentiate Our Selves

Keynote Talk Proposal for Coalesce 2021

Google Slides

Based on “DBT as Organizational Therapy

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DBT as the “Couch” for Organizational Therapy

May 13, 2021 § 1 Comment

Or, “How ELTT is the Key to World Peace”

Draft Submission Script for Coalesce 2021 « Read the rest of this entry »

Configuring DataBricks on AWS

May 5, 2021 § Leave a comment

Despite the excellent QuickStart tools, this was way harder than I thought. For some reason I had the worst difficulty creating a Workspace on AWS for Databricks.

Here are some tips that might help others who get stuck.

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SyncHouse: MVC for Enterprise SaaS

May 2, 2021 § 1 Comment

A concrete proposal for Imagining a Data Resort as enforcing a Model-View-Controller architecture across multiple Software-as-a-Service applications. The key is replacing transient enterprise data integrations with a persistent “sync house,” and making that the one full-service Source of Truth for data, schemas, and business logic.

  1. Ingest data from Salesforce, NetSuite, etc. (e.g., Stitch/Talend, FiveTran)
  2. Store raw data in a LakeHouse (e.g., Databricks, Delta Lake; or just Redshift)
    1. Aka “ELT vs ETL
  3. Manage schemas via dbt (e.g., dbt Cloud)
  4. View and report on appropriate data (e.g., Mode, Data Studio)
  5. Push updates (reverse ETL) back to source applications (e.g., Celigo, Get Census)
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