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Dbt Coalesce conference: best talks to watch

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The Coalesce 2020 conference, which I’ve mentioned before, took place from 7 till 11 of December 2020. This year, the organizers decided to carry out the conference in 5 days with a bunch of talks.

On the one hand, it’s an advantage as due to the abundance of information you have a sense of choosing what’s more interesting to watch. On the other side, such an amount of information is tiring as often it’s impossible to tell if the presentation will be interesting and useful just based on its name. In my opinion, it’s too much to have more than 3 days for a conference as the audience loses interest. Moreover, the need to deal with personal and professional issues cannot disappear because of the event that although online takes your time.

However, I managed to watch most of the talk, sometimes skimming through. First of all, my overall impression, it is great to study the presentations from conferences like Coalesce as they mostly cover modern BI tools and cloud solutions. Almost every talk mentions Redshift / BigQuery / Snowflake or BI tools like Mode / Tableau / Looker / Metabase. Obviously, dbt is in the middle of everything.

The shortlist of talks that I recommend for studying:

  1. dbt 101 — an introductory talk on what dbt is and how to use it.
  2. Kimball in the context of the modern data warehouse: what’s worth keeping, and what’s not 
    — an interesting but extremely controversial video that raised a lot of questions in dbt. In short, the author suggests using wide analytical tables and giving up normal forms everywhere.
  3. Building a robust data pipeline with dbt, Airflow, and Great Expectations — a talk about a rather interesting tool called greatexpectations which is used for data validation.
  4. Orchestrating dbt with Dagster — a video seemed a bit boring for me, but if you want to learn about Dagster, you’ll like it.
  5. Supercharging your data team — the guys created a wrapper for dbt called dbt executor 9000 and presented it.
  6. Presenting: SQLFluff — a video about a really cool feature called SQLFluff that automatically edits SQL code according to the SQL rules.
  7. QQuickstart your analytics with Fivetran dbt packages — from this video, you’ll learn about Fivetran and find out how to use it with dbt.
  8. Perfect complements: Using dbt with Looker for effective data governance
    about the interaction of dbt with Looker, differences and similarities of the tools.
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