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Get Your Data Analysts, Data Users, and Data Engineers on the Same Page

“Let me get back to you on that …”

How many times have you heard this from your business intelligence team? It seems like everyone is always waiting around for everyone else — your business users are waiting for your analysts, your analysts are waiting for your engineers, and your engineers just can’t catch a break.

Holistics solves exactly this problem. We think there’s too much friction in the business intelligence teams of today. And we want to change that, forever.

The old way

Many businesses use a variety of different tools in their business intelligence team. You use one piece of software for visualisation, one for ETL, one for governance, and so on.

This is terribly broken.

The reason your data analysts, data users, and data engineers have to wait on each other is because of this mess of different tools. Your tools lack context. They restrict your people from getting the things they want. They bind them into silos.

As a result,

  • Your data users keep wondering what’s taking the analyst so long to get back to them.

  • Your data analysts keep waiting on data engineers to setup ETL and materialized views so before they can continue with their work.

  • Your data engineers spent too much time writing ETL, constantly get distracted from their core work of scaling data infrastructure.

At Holistics, we think that more tools aren’t a solution. We think more tools are the problem. Old tools are built with silos in mind. To get rid of the silos, we’ll have to reimagine what Business Intelligence looks, from the ground up.

We asked ourselves:

  • What if your data engineers aren’t stuck writing ETL all the time? What if they could hook up data sources once, and let your analysts write transformations later? And what if they were alerted when data sources or transformations failed certain data integrity tests?

  • What if your data analysts aren’t forced to depend on engineering? What if they could transform data and turn those into reports and scheduled emails all in one tool?

  • And what if your business users are empowered to reuse metrics that have already been defined for other reports? That is: a self-serve analytics platform that is truly self-serve — as discoverable and searchable as Wikipedia?

We think this is possible:

  1. If you get rid of ETL. Load everything into a data warehouse. Empower analysts to transform later. Focus your engineers on monitoring and maintaining data sources.

  2. Move away from one-off transformations. Everything that can be transformed, can be persisted in a modelling layer with a single click. This empowers your analysts to manipulate data any way they wish.

  3. Give all users the ability to tag metrics, reports, and physical data — so your tribal knowledge is captured, and you never have to worry about report sprawl again.

Extract First, Transform Later

Your data engineers spend too much time writing custom ETL. This is a problem: it turns them into a bottleneck when your analysts need data.

Consolidate

With Holistics, you extract and load data directly from your data sources to your data warehouse. You then transform that data later — as and when you need answers to your business questions.

This is a much better way: you empower your data analysts to get the data they need, when they need it — without bothering your engineers. You free your engineers to work on more important things. (And you can even choose to hire less data engineers if you wish!)

We use Holistics for transforming and scheduling data. With simple clicks, we can import and transform any database to our desired form. Before using Holistics, we needed to write those data pipelines on heavy Python or R platforms to push data into our systems. Those pipelines were really inefficient.

– Anzer Nafis, Senior Manager, Analytics, RedDoorz

Anzer Nafis

Forget One-Off Transforms. Model Your Data.

Transforming data in a pipeline made sense in the old world of Business Intelligence, when businesses produced small batches of data. It doesn’t make sense in today’s world of big, rich data. It’s rigid, it taxes your data engineers, and it prevents you from re-using previous transformations.

With Holistics, all your data lives in a model layer. You transform that data on the fly. Data analysts are able to write transformations inside Holistics itself. Business users see those transformations as a logical representation, not a physical one. Want to persist that transformation? Do it with a single click.

Folder hierarchy and view fields

Know How Much To Trust Each Metric

“I don’t trust the output of a report unless I wrote the code for it …” We hear complaints like this all the time. You shouldn’t need to know where your numbers come from … until numbers smell wrong, and you suddenly have to.

In Holistics, we empower data users and analysts to answer business questions with confidence. If you keep all your business intelligence in one tool, it’s trivially easy to view the data lineage of every metric you define. We give you a birds-eye view of every transformation your data has gone through. Look through the queries for yourself, and never second guess your numbers again.

Data Lineage

Data model lineage

Solving the Report Sprawl Problem

1000s of tables. 100s of reports. 10+ data sources.

All growing businesses eventually encounter what we call the report sprawl problem. You can’t keep track of your BI department’s reports. If a metric changes, you’ll have to hunt down every report that used that metric in order to update it. Your data team feels lost in their tools.

With Holistics, you no longer have this problem. Each report is composed from data in a model layer. If a metric changes, every report that depends on that metric changes with it.

You’ll also have the ability to tag every metric you ever define. With our rich metadata editing tools, you can add comments, tags and people to metrics, reports and models, so you’ll never feel lost in report sprawl again.

Know When Your Numbers Are Wrong The Moment They Go Wrong

Nothing sucks more than making a business decision on bad numbers. But bad numbers happen all the time. Databases fail. Data sources have errors. Scheduled events stop running. In the past, you might have gone on for months without noticing.

Not so with Holistics. Your data team may now define checks for your data sources and their transformations. Rest assured that they’ll be alerted the moment your data fails their checks.

Data Checking

Deliver Data Anywhere

Building a BI system is already a hard task. Getting adoption across your company is even harder.

Instead of giving your stakeholders yet another dashboard to look at, give them insights where they already are. Holistics 3.0 integrates with Slack, email, FTP and other services to give your stakeholders the reports they need. Automate beautiful PDF exports of your dashboards. Send them numbers in a cadence they’ll come to expect.

External clients? No problems. Send them a password-protected link with a single click.

Completely Secure and Governed

Because everyone now works in a single tool, you’ll need powerful access control functionality to ensure your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Holistics has top-notch data governance that you’ll come to rely on. Why bother buying a separate tool? Define access control for every report, metric, or data model in our system. Browse access logs for every transaction created in your organisation. Read more about our security here.

A Radical New Approach To Business Intelligence

“Where’s the catch?” we hear you ask.

There is no catch.

The magic of Holistics is simple: we realised that if you want to make business decisions faster, you’ll need your team of data analysts, data users, and data engineers to work together, not against each other. The old way of business intelligence creates unnecessary silos for your data team. Nobody is empowered to do more than their role calls for.

There has to be a better way. And we think we’ve found it.

Want to see everything Holistics does? See our full list of features and integrations here. If you have any questions, we’d love to talk to you.

Start a free trial today.

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