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Tables reference doc

You can run queries against the tables in your Lightdash project.

Tables are built from dbt models (either one, or many joined together).

Adding Tables to your project

Tables come from dbt models that have been defined in your dbt project's schema.yml files.

If your dbt model has been defined in a .yml file, it will appear in Lightdash as a table.

For example, if we had this in our schema.yml files in dbt, we'd see a Table called users in Lightdash.

version: 2

- name: users

You can read more about adding Tables to Lightdash here.

Table configuration

You can customize your Tables in your dbt model's YAML file. Here's an example of the properties used in defining a Table:

version: 2

- name: my_table
label: "My Custom Table Name"
order_fields_by: "label"
group_label: "Revenue"
sql_filter: ${date_dimension} > '2020-01-01'
- join: my_other_table
sql_on: ${my_table.column_a} = ${my_other_table.column_a}

Here are all of the properties you can customize:

labelstringCustom label. This is what you'll see in Lightdash instead of the Table name.
order_fields_by'index' or 'label'How the fields will be sorted in the sidebar. Read more about the order rules in here
joinsarrayJoin logic to join other data models to the Table. Read more about joins in here.
metricsobjectModel metrics. Read more about model metrics in here
group_labelstringGroup tables in the sidebar. Read more about the group label in here
sql_filterstringA permanent filter that will always be applied when querying this table directly. Read more about sql_filter below
sql_wherestringAlias for sql_filter

If you've added a new dbt model to your project, you need to do dbt run + dbt refresh before it before it will appear in Lightdash

Lightdash gets information about your data models from dbt. But it gets information about the data generated by those data models from your data warehouse.

This means that if you add a new dbt model to your project or update a model so that you're making changes to the table it generates, then you need to do two things before your changes will appear in Lightdash:

  1. Materialize the new table/changes to the table (using dbt run). You basically want the data in your data warehouse to be the new table you're expecting. So you need to do dbt run to update the table from the data model you just changed.

  2. Click dbt refresh in Lightdash. This will re-sync your dbt project in Lightdash so that any changes you made to your dbt models is shown in Lightdash (e.g. adding a new table).

Order fields by

By default, the fields in your sidebar for any table will appear alphabetically (order_fields_by: "label"). Sometimes, you might not want your fields to appear alphabetically, but instead, in the same order as they are in your model's dbt .yml file. You can achieve this by setting the order_fields_by parameter in your table's meta tag to index, like this:

version: 2

- name: my_table
order_fields_by: "index"
- name: user_id
- name: product_id
- name: account_id

So, in the example above, the fields in the sidebar for "My Table" would appear in the order:

  • user_id
  • product_id
  • account_id

Instead of being listed alphabetically.

Here are some other things worth mentioning about the order_fields_by parameter:

  • By default, order_fields_by is set to label, which means that your fields will appear in the table listed alphabetically.

  • Since metrics can be declared in multiple places within your .yml (as a dbt metric, in the model meta tag, under a dimension's meta), we force the following order on metrics if you set order_fields_by to index:

  • dbt metrics appear first

  • then, metrics defined in the model's meta

  • then, metrics defined in the dimensions' meta

  • Group labels inherit the index of the first dimension that use them.

Group label

If you set this property, the table will be grouped in the sidebar with other tables with the same group label.

The tables in your sidebar will appear in the following order:

  • Group labels appear first, alphabetically
  • Ungrouped tables appear after the grouped tables in the sidebar, alphabetically
  • Tables within the groups are also ordered alphabetically

SQL filter

Use sql_filter to permanently filter the table for all queries made against it. sql_filter accepts a sql string that can reference

  • ${TABLE} the current table
  • ${dimension_a} a dimension from the current table
  • `${table_b.dimension_b} a dimension from a joined table

The filter will only be applied when querying this table directly. If the current table (Table A) is included via a join to another table (Table B) then the sql_where for Table B will be applied but not for Table A.