Learn Metabase

Learn how to set Metabase up, build out your analytics, organize things and set permissions, and how to do data ops right.

Guides

  1. Guide

    Getting Started

    Get up and running by asking questions, creating dashboards, and sharing your work.

    5 Lessons
    1. Getting started with Metabase

      Get to know your way around Metabase and ask your first question.

    2. Sharing your work with others

      Create a dashboard with saved questions, and set up an alert to get notified when your question returns something interesting.

    3. Exploring data with Metabase's data browser

      Discover the tools Metabase provides for learning about your data. These tools include a customizable data dictionary, as well as editing tools for curating your metadata.

    4. Beyond BI: other problems you can solve with Metabase

      Use Metabase as a database browser, or a publishing platform, or a lookup tool, or a quick business intelligence tool, or as just a way to field frequently asked questions.

    5. A tour of Metabase

      Metabase is a deep product with a lot of tools to simplify business intelligence, from embeddable charts and interactive dashboards, to GUI and SQL editors, to auditing and data sandboxing, and more.

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  2. Guide

    Database fundamentals

    Learn the basics of data and databases.

    8 Lessons
    1. A short overview of databases

      How tables, rows, columns, and keys work together to make a database.

    2. Data types and metadata

      Why data types matter and how metadata can help you better understand your data.

    3. Database table relationships

      Understanding how tables in a database can relate to each other.

    4. Measures and dimensions

      How to work with quantitative and qualitative fields in your queries.

    5. Data normalization

      What a normalized database looks like and why table structure matters.

    6. Types of databases

      What to know about different types of database and how they work.

    7. Data warehouse vs data lake vs data mart

      You'll probably hear these terms thrown around, so here's some context on the differences between a data warehouse, a data lake, and a data mart.

    8. Data cubes

      Thinking about your data in more than two dimensions.

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  3. Guide

    Asking questions

    How to use Metabase's query builder to ask better questions.

    6 Lessons
    1. Create charts with explorable data

      Using the Action Menu to drill through data.

    2. Custom expressions in the notebook editor

      When you should use custom expressions and why you should take advantage of them in Metabase's notebook editor.

    3. Time series comparisons

      How to do year-over-year or month-over-month comparisons using custom expressions.

    4. Joins in Metabase

      How to join tables in Metabase using the notebook editor in simple and custom questions.

    5. Multi-level aggregation

      How to ask questions with multiple parts using the query builder.

    6. Searching your tables and questions

      Learn how to search within your SQL questions and simple questions using filters and custom expressions. Finding words or phrases in your tables is now easier than ever.

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  4. Guide

    Working with SQL

    Using SQL in Metabase.

    11 Lessons
    1. Best practices for writing SQL queries

      SQL best practices: a brief guide to writing better SQL queries.

    2. Create filter widgets for charts using SQL variables

      How to create filter widgets in native SQL queries using basic input variables for text, numbers, and dates.

    3. Field Filters: create smart filter widgets for SQL questions

      Learn how to use Metabase Field Filters in SQL queries to build filter widgets.

    4. Working with dates in SQL

      Use SQL to group results by a time period, compare week-over-week totals, and find the duration between two dates.

    5. SQL snippets: reuse and share SQL code

      Learn everything you need to know about using snippets in SQL code.

    6. Simplify complex queries with Common Table Expressions (CTEs)

      CTEs are named sets of results that help keep your code organized. They allow you to reuse results in the same query, and perform multi-level aggregations.

    7. SQL Snippets vs. Saved Questions vs. Views

      Learn about the Metabase features you can use to keep your SQL code organized.

    8. Combining tables with joins

      How to combine information from two tables with a join.

    9. SQL join types

      Learn everything you need to know about using different SQL join types.

    10. SQL trick: ordering bars in a chart

      A simple trick to preserve the order you want the bars to appear in a chart.

    11. How to calculate customer lifetime value (LTV) with SQL

      Learn how to use SQL to calculate customer lifetime value in Metabase.

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  5. Guide

    Debugging SQL

    Finding the root cause of common SQL query problems.

    4 Lessons
    1. Debugging SQL syntax errors

      What to do when your query returns an error message.

    2. Debugging SQL query logic

      What to do when your query returns data that looks wrong.

    3. Debugging duplicated data in SQL query results

      What to do when your query returns data with duplicated rows or columns.

    4. Debugging missing data in SQL query results

      What to do when your query returns data that's missing rows or columns.

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  6. Guide

    Visualizing data

    Charts, maps, gauges, funnels, tables, numbers, and more.

    8 Lessons
    1. Which chart should you use?

      Which type of charts and graphs should you use to best communicate insights from data? This guide will help you pick the right visualization for the job.

    2. Guide to line charts

      What we talk about when we talk about line charts: time series, trend lines, alerts, and more.

    3. Master the bar chart visualization

      Create a bar chart and customize it with visualization settings.

    4. Visualize your data as a histogram

      Learn when to use a histogram, and how Metabase makes it easy to create histograms.

    5. Visualizing data with maps

      How to use pin maps, region maps, and grid maps to visualize data in Metabase.

    6. Almost everything you can do with the table visualization

      Learn how to set up conditional formatting, mini bar charts, value formatting, and more.

    7. Creating pivot tables

      Learn how to create pivot tables using different databases in Metabase.

    8. Funnel charts

      Use funnel charts to show progression through steps.

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  7. Guide

    Building dashboards

    How to build interactive dashboards.

    9 Lessons
    1. BI dashboard best practices

      Learn how to make great business intelligence dashboards.

    2. Linking filters in dashboards

      Link filters in dashboards to limit the choices available in one filter based on the current selection of another filter.

    3. Custom destinations: choose what happens when people click on charts in your dashboard

      You can set up dashboard cards to send people to dashboards, saved questions, and URLs, and use values from the card to update filters at the destination, or parameterize links to external sites.

    4. Cross-filtering: using a chart to update a dashboard filter

      With just a few clicks, you can configure any chart or table to update a dashboard filter.

    5. Adding filters to dashboards with SQL questions

      How to add filter widgets to dashboards and connect them to Field Filter variables in multiple SQL questions.

    6. How to compare one time period to another

      We walk through different ways to compare how a metric performed from one date range to another.

    7. Build a record lookup tool with Metabase

      How to use Metabase to build an internal lookup tool to quickly find details about your customers, orders, or other data.

    8. Why you should regularly edit your dashboards

      Editing dashboards is more than just maintaining your tools; it helps keep you focused on the right priorities.

    9. Fun with Markdown in your dashboards

      How to use Markdown in your dashboards for fun and profit.

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  8. Guide

    Data modeling

    How to make building blocks for analytics.

    2 Lessons
    1. Models in Metabase

      Create models to give people good starting datasets for new questions.

    2. Analytics engineering for fact tables

      How to model data for a fact table, based on real analytics use cases.

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  9. Guide

    Analytics with Metabase

    Guidance on data analysis, modeling, and making better data-driven decisions.

    8 Lessons
    1. Which data warehouse should you use?

      Which data warehouse you choose depends on how much data you're wrangling. This guide walks you through your options, whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise.

    2. Managing your information budget

      Wanting more data on something can sometimes become an excuse to avoid making any decisions at all.

    3. Don't use "data" as a crutch for lazy thinking

      Figure out what you really mean when you talk about data.

    4. Common data model mistakes made by startups

      Data modeling is hard. Here are some missteps to avoid when you're developing your models.

    5. Ten common analytics mistakes startups make

      You're going to make mistakes when bootstrapping your analytics. Here's how to make fewer mistakes.

    6. The five stages of embedding grief

      So you want to put data in front of your customers... but at what cost?

    7. The push and pull of analytics

      How to foster a culture that uses data to inform its decisions.

    8. ETLs, ELTs, and Reverse ETLs

      How to bring data from multiples sources into your data warehouse, then how to operationalize that data by pushing your insights to where you can make use of them.

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  10. Guide

    Administration and operation

    Guidance on running and administering Metabase at scale.

    8 Lessons
    1. Admin overview

      An overview and list of resources for Metabase admins.

    2. Managing people in Metabase

      How to go from managing dozens of users to thousands.

    3. Guide to sharing data

      Inside or outside your organization, what are your options for sharing your data or analysis, and when should you use one method over another?

    4. Keeping your analytics organized

      How to keep your analytics organized as the numbers of users, questions, and dashboards inevitably increases.

    5. Serialization: preloading dashboards in a new Metabase instance

      How to use Metabase's serialization feature to copy questions, dashboards, collections, settings, and more from one Metabase instance to a new Metabase instance.

    6. Making dashboards faster

      How to make your dashboards load faster.

    7. Metabase at scale

      Best practices for scaling Metabase to support more people and databases.

    8. Working with the Metabase API

      An introduction to Metabase's API.

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  11. Guide

    Permissions

    Permissions, groups, data sandboxing, and auditing.

    8 Lessons
    1. Permissions strategies

      How to think about structuring groups and permissions in Metabase.

    2. Guide to data permissions

      Learn about how Metabase handles data permissions by setting up permissions on the Sample Database included with Metabase.

    3. Working with collection permissions

      Set up collections with permissions to help people organize and share the work that's relevant to them.

    4. Data sandboxing: setting row-level permissions

      Learn how to set row-level permissions using Metabase's Data Sandboxing feature.

    5. Advanced data sandboxing: limiting access to columns

      Learn how to use a saved SQL query to sandbox a table and limit the columns people can view based on their user attribute.

    6. Configuring permissions for different customer schemas

      Learn how to set up permissions for a one-schema-per-customer model.

    7. Auditing your users and data

      Metabase's auditing tools are an essential feature for monitoring and compliance, but they can also help you make the most of your Metabase instance.

    8. Using LDAP for authentication and access control

      Learn about using LDAP to authenticate people and manage their access to data.

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  12. Guide

    Customer-facing analytics

    How to share data with people outside your organization.

    4 Lessons
    1. Strategies for delivering customer-facing analytics

      Compare the development effort, customizability, and security of different approaches to data sharing.

    2. Publishing data visualizations to the web

      Share standalone charts and dashboards with the good people of the internet.

    3. Multi-tenant self-service analytics

      Embed the entire Metabase app (including the query builder) to give people secure, personalized access to data.

    4. Brand your Metabase

      Customize your Metabase's name, color palette, logo, favicon, and home page.

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