Sigma Computing is a data analytics platform that allows you to connect to your cloud data platform with a live connection to extract the most insights from your data. Using a cloud data platform like Snowflake, you can query tables with billions of rows of data efficiently using Snowflake’s query optimization.
One differentiator for Sigma is that it allows for team collaboration and sharing in a modern and efficient way. The days of saving extracts and local copies of workbooks are behind you when using Sigma Computing. In this blog, I will go over a few ways that Sigma sets itself apart in the A&BI space regarding team collaboration.
Live Edits in Sigma
One new feature released during Snowflake Summit 2022 was live edits in Sigma Computing. This is a game-changer in the A&BI space since no other platform does live edits across multiple users.
This feature is helpful because it is familiar to an offering we are all used to: Google Docs. Live edits in Sigma function very similarly; you see real-time updates your colleague makes, see who has the workbook open, and see where each user clicks.
Here, you can see that my colleague, Katrina Johnson, and I both selected the bar chart simultaneously. We were using this functionality as it was released in our behind-the-scenes Sigma environment, and we were blown away by how quickly changes were made.
You don’t have to do anything special to use this functionality, simply pull up the workbook with both users and edit the workbook. You will see a prompt in the top right corner showing that live edits are available, and from there, you will see any changes that another user makes in real-time.
This feature is perfect for a screen share working session or if you want to show someone how to perform a specific task in Sigma. In my opinion, this is the best way for your teams to collaborate using Sigma since there is no problem with version control, outdated local copies, or sending workbooks via email back and forth.
Sharing Workbooks Using Workspaces
Workspaces are another easy way to share workbooks and control access in Sigma. Think of a workspace as a folder system. In my internal Sigma instance, we have a workspace for our Analytics team. We use this workspace to house any Analytics Team focused work, and by setting up an Analytics team in Sigma, we can control who can see the documents in this workspace.
To do this, you may create a team as an administrator in your administrator console and name it what you’d like. You can then create a workspace and share it with individuals (not recommended) or, preferably, with a team. Below, you can see our Analytics workspace is shared with our Analytics team in our phData internal Sigma instance.
This feature is important because you can begin to set up governance and data access standards in your Sigma instance. You may assign people to teams like Data Engineering, Analytics, Senior Leadership, or Marketing, and assign permissions to their workspaces based on their respective teams.
Scheduling exports is another great way to share your Sigma dashboards and workbooks with people in your organization. To schedule an export, select the drop-down arrow next to the workbook name, and select “Schedule Exports.” You will see the screen below:
Depending on your selected destination, you will be required to input different information. Sigma allows for reports to be sent via email, Slack, Google Sheets, Google Drive, and Cloud Storage (at the time of publication, this feature is in beta). Sigma makes it extremely easy to schedule exports at the cadence you need, whether multiple times a day or once a week on Fridays before you take off for the weekend.
This feature is useful because you can begin to automate your reporting with Sigma. By scheduling exports, you get the dashboards selected, or the entire workbook sent to you whenever you specify. Sigma does a great job of keeping your analytics front and center in your organization and truly allows you to extract the most out of your data from Snowflake.
As you can see, there are several ways that Sigma can allow you and your organization to work collaboratively. These new capabilities, such as live edits, workspaces, and scheduled exports, put analytics at the front of your business.
Thanks to the live edits capability, Sigma enables your team to develop and refine dashboards in real-time. Further, sharing workbooks using workspaces allows your teams to see the workbooks they need in a controlled way and scheduling exports allow your team to have workbooks sent directly to them. This is important in the age of self service analytics which allows your team to stay in the loop with almost no effort at all.
Sigma offers plenty of useful features alongside collaboration, take a look at the things you need to know to get started in Sigma here on our blog.
phData is Sigma’s largest and most trusted consulting partner. Whether you are new to Sigma or are an established sigma user looking for new use cases, we can help you at any step of the way in your analytics journey. Feel free to reach out today!