26.04.2023 | Nikolay Valiotti
Modern Analytics Stack: A Way to Unleash Business Insights with Innovation
Businesses and organizations are constantly on the lookout for powerful tools to help them gain insights from their data. Enter Apache Superset—a cutting-edge open-source business intelligence platform that is taking the business world by storm.
Here is what organizations should know about this versatile solution in order to turn their data into actionable insights.
Apache Superset is a modern business intelligence and data visualization platform that allows users to explore and visualize data from various sources in real time.
It was originally developed by Airbnb in 2015 and was later released for free in 2017 under the Apache Software Foundation. Superset’s development was driven by Airbnb’s need for a data-exploration and visualization tool that could handle the company’s massive data sets and complex analytics requirements. The tool quickly gained popularity within the data community and was adopted by other companies, leading to its open-sourcing.
One of Apache Superset’s key features is its web-based SQL editor, which allows users to execute SQL queries directly from their web browser. This eliminates the need for any additional software installations or command line interfaces, making it much easier to work with data.
Here are some of its other key features:
It supports a wide range of data sources, including nearly any SQL database like PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle, as well as NoSQL databases (supported databases: MongoDB and Apache Cassandra). It also works with popular data platforms such as Amazon Redshift, Apache Druid, and Google BigQuery.
Superset facilitates the creation of interactive dashboards with drag-and-drop functionality, allowing users to easily create and share data visualizations and insights.
Apache Superset enables data exploration through its SQL Lab feature, which allows users to write and execute SQL queries and view the results in a table or chart. It also supports ad-hoc analysis with pivot tables, cross-filtering, and drill-down capabilities.
The BI tool provides collaboration features that enable users to share dashboards and visualizations with others, as well as to comment on them and annotate them. It also supports integration with popular collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Superset provides robust security features, including role-based access control, row-level security, and integration with popular authentication and authorization protocols like OAuth and LDAP.
Apache Superset is highly extensible, enabling developers to build custom plugins, visualizations, and data connectors. It also supports integration with popular third-party tools like Jupyter notebooks and Apache Airflow.
Apache Superset offers a wide range of visualization options, allowing users to choose the best representation for their data, from simple bar charts to complex geospatial visualizations. What’s more, Superset offers geospatial visualizations lightweight enough to be embedded in web applications.
Here is a closer look into a few examples:
So, you’re intrigued enough to install Apache Superset! Here are the steps to get you up and running with it:
Next, you should follow the steps to connect Apache Superset to a database:
Once the database is saved, it will appear in the list of available databases. You can click on it to view the tables and columns and start exploring your data.
Note: Some databases may require additional configuration, such as installing drivers or enabling network access. Check the documentation for your database for more information on how to connect to it from external applications.
The arguably more exciting part is creating charts and dashboards. For the former, you need to:
Once the chart is created, you can customize it further by clicking on the chart and selecting Edit Chart. You can also add the chart to a dashboard by clicking on Add to Dashboard.
To create a dashboard, you need to:
You can customize the dashboard further or also share it with others by clicking Share Dashboard and selecting the appropriate options.
Apache Superset offers many benefits for organizations looking to implement a visualization and analytics tool:
The solution also comes with some challenges that need to be considered, such as:
Apache Superset is a powerful open-source business intelligence tool that offers a wide range of functionalities and beautiful visualizations for modern data exploration. Unlike proprietary business intelligence tools that are expensive and often require significant training to use, Apache Superset is free and open source. It also supports all major database solutions, including PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle, making it a versatile tool for any data professional.
Its place in the modern data stack is well established, alongside other technologies like data warehouses, ETL tools, and data analytics platforms. And Superset will likely continue to play a critical role in the future of data visualization and exploration.
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