Semantic Layer vs. Metric Layer in Business Intelligence

Lecturer: Graham Watts, 16.11.2023

Metrics are an emerging type of BI artifact that packages data into a format optimized for consumption by non-technical business users. Over the last few years two types of technologies, the semantic layer and metric layer, have arisen independently. They both support the creation of metrics.

 In this talk, you will learn:

 👉 Which needs do metric and semantic layers address – for data teams and business teams?
👉 What differentiates these technologies and why do they have such similar capabilities?
👉How can these technologies be used together in BI tools to take advantage of the strengths of both?
Speaker: Graham Watts, Senior Software Architect @Klipfolio

Panel Discussion
Thought leaders will discuss the opportunities for data teams and how these technologies will shape the future of BI.

Nick Handel
, Director of Product @dbt Labs Previously Co-Founder and CEO of Transform.
In his early days as a Data Scientist at Airbnb, Nick learned that most businesses were continuing to track the same North Star metrics from the very early days. This observation inspired him to work on a foundation for the revamped dbt Semantic Layer in his days at Transform.

Magnus Dahlbäck, Senior Director Data and Platform @Voi Former Head of Data Engineering at Telia. Magnus is advocating for a new approach to making data-driven decisions: “Metrics are the core of running a data-driven business. However, most data teams continue to overlook this. Instead, there’s too much emphasis on data and dashboards rather than on metrics.”

Graham Watts, Senior Software Architect @Klipfolio As one of the first thought leaders and metric experts in the space, Graham has worked on and helped design the Klipfolio PowerMetrics metrics layer. He’s been a driving force behind building the first hybrid solution that combines the metric and semantic layer.



I put a lot of thoughts into these blogs, so I could share the information in a clear and useful way.
If you have any comments, thoughts, questions, or you need someone to consult with,

feel free to contact me via LinkedIn – Omid Vahdaty:

2 thoughts on “Semantic Layer vs. Metric Layer in Business Intelligence”

  1. Hello Omid, I have been following your meetups and you triggered my curiosity and encouraged my interest to understanding and drilling into biga data processing and operating details – though coming more from the business and data side, …!
    I am enjoying always the insights and detailed hints provided by you – so thank you very much for your always worthwhile and highly appreciated effort and engagement, i.e. your meetup sessions!
    Just a simple feedback and appreciation – thank you very much for your momentum andf inspiration!
    Best, Michael

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