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An intro to metrics and dimensions

What are metrics and dimensions?

Metrics and dimensions are defined in your dbt project alongside your dbt model properties.

  • Dimensions are used to segment data in your Tables.
  • Metrics are used to perform calculations on your Tables.

Say we're running an ecommerce business, we probably have a table containing all order data. We might want to ask:

This question can be answered using a single metric "the total number of unique orders" and a single dimension for splitting the metric by "status of order". In Lightdash you'd get the following chart:

two metrics on a bar chart

To learn more about why we use dimensions and metrics in Lightdash, read the Lightdash approach to BI.