What is Data Build Tool

Modern organizations mainly depend on continuously generating data to make valid business decisions. Over the decade, we have seen significant technological advancements in the data processing segment. Along with the technologies, the data growth rate has spiked to a massive extent, and there is a considerable need for centralized data-sharing platforms to make the data available for all decision-makers.

Raw Data has to travel through advanced technologies such as ETL, data warehouse platforms, databases, BI tools, etc. The data build tool fits at the data transformation level and is specifically designed to build, test, deploy, and document organizational data infrastructure. Let's have a detailed understanding of the Data build tool.

Table of Contents
  • What is a Data Build Tool - DBT?
  • Where is DBT being Used?
  • Types of DBT Products
  • What can you do with DBT?
  • Prerequisites to learn DBT


What is DBT?

Data Build Tool is an open-source software platform that streamlines the process for data engineers, data scientists, and BI professionals by making data transformation more straightforward and more reliable. It allows users to transform data warehouse data by writing simple SQL statements. 

Moreover, you can use DBT to perform core functions such as writing business logic, deploying code, automating data quality tests, tracking lineage, documenting code, and more. Users can define data models using SQL code, which can run on top of any data warehouse or storage system.  DBT supports organizations in building scalable and easy-to-maintain data infrastructure.

Want to learn end-to-end implementation of DBT from experienced data engineering architects? Check out this Data Build Tool Training Mastery Program"


Where is DBT being Used?

The data build tool is a highly scalable framework that can fit into any cloud storage and data warehouse system. Implementation of DBT varies from organization to organization, but the following are some of the joint data engineering areas where DBT is being used.

Related Article: DBT Interview Questions

1) To Build & Manage Data Pipelines

DBT allows you to build & Optimize SQL-based models that run on any cloud data warehouse or storage system. DBT eliminates data barriers and allows organizations to build a data infrastructure that is easy to scale.

2) To Test Data Quality & Integrity

It is essential to ensure that the data we use is accurate and usable for further data processing operations. DBT comes with built-in features to test data quality and integrity. You can perform actions such as tracking lineage, running data validation tests, etc.

3) To Enhances Data Consistency & Transformation Process

Organizations can use DBT features to build a standardized approach that ensures data quality, consistency, and integrity. It eliminates the struggle for data engineers and gives organizations the confidence to gain insights and make business decisions.

4) Team Collaboration

Team collaboration is essential for good coordination between different data engineering teams. DBT offers a collaborative environment where different teams can collaborate and share the same datasets and models to build analytics and reports. Moreover, collaboration becomes more helpful while working on complex data engineering projects.

Types of DBT Products:

DBT offers the following two products:

  • DBT Core
  • DBT Cloud

Let's discuss each product:

DBT Core:

DBT Core is a command-line open-source tool that helps data teams define and build models using a structured query language (SQL). Then, we can generate optimized SQL code that is highly compatible and runs on any data storage or data warehouse system.

DBT Cloud:

DBT Cloud offers advanced features & functionality compared to DBT core. It has a graphical interface that makes it seamless to manage data models, scheduling, integrations, collaborations, scheduling, and many other operations.

What can you do with DBT?

Following are some of the everyday tasks performed using DBT:

  • You can perform customized transformations using SQL
  • Using the DBT cloud, you can achieve continuous integration and push only changed components instead of the whole repository. Also, you can automate the continuous integration process.
  • You can leverage the data lineage option in DBT to track each pipeline, what data it contains, and how it suits business requirements.
  • DBT allows you to write Macros in Jinja and reuse the code in macros multiple times.
  • DBT gives the flexibility you require to schedule production refreshment intervals.
  • You can perform any test using in-built testing modules in the DBT platform.

6) Prerequisites to learn DBT 

To learn DBT, you need basic knowledge of SQL, GIT, and Data modeling.

Let's understand how each of these prerequisites is essential to learning DBT:

SQL: DBT uses SQL as its core programming language to run select statements. So, you need to have a clear understanding of SQL.

GIT: Often, we use Git while working with DBT. You need basic knowledge of Git to get started with DBT.

Modeling: Data modeling is one of the core aspects of any ETL process, and it helps you build clear data structures. 

We offer an end-to-end DBT learning program where you can learn things from scratch, including Git and modeling.

Final Thoughts

By now, you may have a clear idea of what DBT is and how its powerful features make the data transformation process far more accessible than other tools in the market. DBT Cloud has become more popular because of its flexibility and simple user interface, and its ability to work efficiently with top cloud data warehouse platforms like Snowflake, redshift, Azure Synapse, etc. 

By Tech Solidity

Last updated on April 1, 2024