Introducing Query

Introducing Query

Victoria Marinoff

We’re very excited to announce the release of Query, one of two big changes coming to Transform. We spoke to Roxanna, one of our product managers who was responsible for driving Query to dive a bit deeper into the concept behind such a huge change to our product.

What is Query, who is it for and how is that different from what is on the market today?

Roxanna -  Query will help enable business users that need data to make decisions to answer their data questions flexibly, build assets around the information they need to make decisions, and share those findings with the rest of their organization. At its most basic form, Query enables users to flexibly and safely construct datasets, and visualize them with charts like line stacked bar charts, and then add them to a board.

We feel that business intelligence is currently a bit underserved for a lot of people. Specifically for the business side of the house. We understand our user’s difficulties break down into two main issues. The first being, tools in the market today are too flexible. They're kind of scary to use and people who aren’t data experts don't feel don't feel empowered to use them because they don't feel like they understand how to, or they are afraid of breaking something, so they're going to just go to their resident data analyst to to get the answers they need, which in turn, puts a lot of stress on data teams.

The second is that there are tools that just aren’t flexible enough. They don't enable users in the way that they should because they are trying to provide an experience that targets people that aren’t data scientists, but that often just leads to the user not being able to answer their questions.

We’ve decided to grow our product into a tool that provides the perfect balance between flexibility for all users while also helping with something we like to call Metrics Chaos, which is all of confusion about what metrics actually mean. Transform is uniquely positioned to handle that because we are backed by our metric framework, MetricFlow.

Are there specific workflows in the BI space that are underserved today that Query can help to address?

Roxanna - Yeah, I think there's a couple. Often, users want to see how their metrics behave over time, sliced by various different dimensions, or different time period comparisons (what is often called time-over-time or period over period analysis). They create some sort of asset that answers the question they want to answer and then they're monitoring it over time and sharing with others

We have also seen a lot of people who want to perform cohort analysis in order to help them understand how users behave depending on certain events, like when they were onboarded or when they acquired the product, and it's something we hope to support in the future.

Is there an aspect of Query that you are most proud of?

Roxanna - We put a lot of time into thinking about the philosophy behind all of our new charts. There is a lot of back and forth in the data industry about what charts you actually need and what charts make sense.

We have various types of bar charts depending on groupings, as well as just regular bar charts , a single value number (because sometimes you just want to see what’s cumulative revenue over a set of days), and area charts which include a share of % option.

We believe that covers a lot of what people are currently looking for and we’ll be adding more in the future. I think that we took a really logical approach into understanding what charts our users are actually going to use. There’s also the fact that they just look really nice.

Last question: what's coming next for Query, and how does this tell the story of BI with Transform?

Roxanna - I think that we've been telling our users, “ Transform is your source of truth for your data model powered by MetricFlow”, but now we're saying “you should be able to get a majority of your consumption needs from your business in Transform as well.”

That's not to say that we won’t integrate with other tools down the road. You can still use our API to send metrics wherever you want, but we are putting our best foot forward to making this a place where non-technical users can do their best work on their own and feel safe and confident about it.


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