Great model for rapidly evolving analytics
Sigma is the fastest and easiest BI tool to deploy. Iteration on the semantic layer is a cinch.
Sigma is a delight to work with as a vendor. Their support is superbly responsive (during business hours - they don't have global timezone coverage yet).
Sigma's pricing model is reasonable and very friendly to orgs where 80+% of the employees need live data access.
Sigma has the right model.
From the user perspective, the columnar formula editing feels familiar enough, and the learning curve is friendly to anyone with spreadsheet experience.
From an architect perspective, the semantic layer is lightweight and easy to adapt to ever-changing schemas. The UI covers most of the functionality you'll want, and for everything else you can fall back on writing your own code, like cron strings or SQL queries. I let Sigma do probably 95% of my querying, leaving the gnarliest 5% for me to write in their SQL runner.
I do a significant amount of lightweight ELT work in Sigma as well. I like being able to write massive views that I know I'm going to have to update often, and just like Snowflake / Sigma materialize them for me. When I use Sigma to query S3 directly in the SQL runner - usually to POC some new data that hasn't made its way out to the business teams yet - this functionality is really convenient because those queries are not efficient. I just need to get new data in front of the business as quickly as possible.
Visual discovery is lacking when compared to mature tools like Tableau. Sigma needs to continue chipping away at the Tableau features around dashboarding and charting.
Incredible power and flexibility
I am obsessed with Sigma, by far my favorite BI tool I've used. It let me do calculations myself that would usually require whole cycles of data requests, and affords me much more flexibility.
* Ability to pull any data I need or want
* Complexity of calculations possible while being easy to use
* Seriously those grouping levels are VERY powerful
* Pivot tables are the one thing they haven't aced yet - you can make them but then to calculate cased on them you need to make a new dataset and then a new sheet. You can do pretty much all the same work with just levels though so I don't miss them too often.
* I wish my default permissions could be "public" - I'm never doing anything private, so why is that the default?
* Maps could use some work. I want to color-map countries, not just display dots
positively mixed feelings
Overall I have access to more than our previous reporting system, which is a positive. However, as self serve as it is I wish connecting tables and validating was more straightforward as a user.
I like how customizable it is. From a good basic report I can move things around to suit my needs. In addition it has many options for how to export, which is great as I use excel for more complex files & google sheets for collaborating & sharing findings.
Load times to get to a report or filter can be killer for some reports that pull from many data sources, and have large amounts of information. The permissions are a bit annoying when a report is created for me by an admin, but I am the report owner (as it was made for my department), but I can't make my own changes (w/o admin privlidges) and archive the main one. In these cases, I have to request the admin to make the changes, or make a copy and publish my own report and again contact the admin to delete or move the report so that mine is the one the team goes to first.
Sigma plus Snowflake is a revelation!
It has exceeded my expectations in ease of use and the productivity my team has been able to achieve.
I love the secure cloud hosting, the ease of connecting to data sources, the fact that it queries the data directly, but most I like the grid based view of data that is always at hand.
Being able to view, sort, filter, and create calculations on the data in a familiar spreadsheet-like interface is genius. The “Column Details” feature allows me to quickly understand the range of values in the system.
I’ve generated several feature requests for areas we’d like to see more detail.
The BI tool of the future
Love it. We previously had Looker as our BI tool and this is a HUGE improvement over that tool. Ease of use, clarity of features, flexibility of the system are all significantly improved. Couldn't be happier with our switch, I know my whole team would say the same thing.
Ease of use, especially the ability to write custom SQL queries to build datasets and reports. The visualization builder is also very user friendly and has made throwing together dashboards for internal or external use significantly easier. Saves me and my colleagues a ton of time!
There have been some features identified by the team that we need for Enterprise-level software that were missing, many have been addressed though. A major bugbear of mine is that the filters don't seem to react to each other if there are multiple on a dashboard, they filter independently of other inputs.
Using Sigma as a Software developer
I think is a nice tool, is easy to use and it's fast. You can load your data and start analyzing it very fast, also, it's a nice tool for non technical users, but when I need more features or power I rather to use Data Studio
Is an easy to use software, I liked that it's very fast, I don't have to wait to start seeing the data
It needs more features, specially to migrate the worksheets to different environments, also it has a very limited number of functions. Sometimes the error messages are not very descriptives, so we can't know what's happening or how to solve it (we had a worksheet with an error like: "the joins are not efficient", something like that, so that message was kind of useless)
Quick route to collaborative BI (especially for Excel users)
Sigma got my business to the point of insightful, collaborative BI in a couple of weeks, and it instantly was our most critical performance monitoring tool.
Love the dataset -> spreadsheet -> dashboard usage model
Seamless integration with Snowflake
User admin/roles functionality is not as easy and consistent to administer as it should be
Powerful data visualization tool
As a data analyst, I've have had a lot of fun building dashboards and reports with Sigma. It's very flexible and has great usability
- You can easily add data sources, and then create datasets with the columns you need
- It also lets you format the columns and process the data by using formulas, very similar to what you would do in a spreadsheet, but more streamlined
- You can easily join different datasets and filter data
- The new dashboards are very easy to use, with a clear interface to add widgets, filters and views
- They also have quick and effective customer support
- It can be a little intimidating if you are not familiar with spreadsheets
Good price, needs more features
This has been a net positive for our org.
Sigma allows viewers for free, even viewers from outside your organization.
The dashboard feature is not fully built out - many features seem to be missing. For example, I can't put percents on a pie chart.
Decent features, need to cater to code-less users
Incredibly Useful Tool for data analysis and workflow
The speed with which I'm able to pull together disparate data and generate some useful insights.
The Dashboard functionality has been particularly useful in creating reporting our teams can use with customers and prospects.
Version management and permissions. It's hard to keep everyone looking at the same version of a document, to view data, a document is created and generically named, so our folder system is getting very full and hard to navigate. Additionally, there's no way to tell if another user will be able to see a given document without asking them to try viewing it, and there's no way for them to request view access to that document.
Sigma - making SQL a visual effort
It has been great. The tool fit very naturally into my companies data flow and getting _explorable_ data into stakeholders hands. We also have a more static dashboarding tool that excels at that, but is weak for exploration.
Sigma also makes my job as an analyst easier by making data sets explorable using point-n-click tools vs code
Makes 'easy' queries very easy to work on and see results visually immediately. Natural way to think about grouping objects but still showing the 'row' level data is amazing and a huge selling point on getting non data people to use the sheets shared with them.
Makes the mental structuring of large undertakings choppable into smaller to-do's and then joining sheets together
Expanding on my point in my pro's about chunking down large undertakings to smaller conceptual efforts per sheet.... this is not very performant. I have two projects where I create a base sheet and then have 2-6 sheets built off of it before potentially joining them back together to combine the aspects I've added. This however, results in the base sheet/query being run numerous times and is often times a time consuming query to begin with. In a code based environment this could be made more performant by using a WITH statement so it only has to execute once and can then be used multiple times
Joins have to be exact matches (no date comparison) and can only be on original columns from the data source. Therefore, if a column must be switched from integer to string, you have to create a reference to the sheet before being able to join to other tables.
Turns non-technical business users into data power users
Stellar overall experience. The Sigma team makes a massive effort to truly understand and design around customer needs and use cases, as well as to provide hands-down the best customer support and training I have ever received from a B2B vendor, period.
The ability to connect to any data number of data sources across our enterprise data warehouse to extract useful insights for my team. Without a line of coding I can report, analyze, and visualize data from our CRM, IoT data streams, 3rd party APIs, and now .csv uploads. The full access is balanced by perfect row-level security controls so I can use the same system to power data dashboards and portals for internal teams as I do for external clients.
The upside of being able to access ALL data streams leads to a downside -- it can take a long time to process and load information. However I look forward to data materialization features in the works which will eliminate this problem.
Great product and better value
Compared to competitors I found Sigma to be much more straightforward with regard to database connections and dashboard building. No complex data warehousing layer, or reporting databases to instrument / sync, it simply reads from whatever db you assign and syncs in real time. While there is still a learning curve, the excel-like functions make it friendlier to business users who are not familiar with SQL to enable them to build custom reports rather than only viewing. While there isn't a "team" assigned to you for onboarding like other tools offer, I have found adhoc email and chat support to be good enough, and certainly worth the $ saved compared to other 'implementation costs' that often come with or are built in to the pricing of competitive products.
The team/user permissioning and management could be more straightforward.
Revolutionary Data Tool
The most significant impact of Sigma has been exposing data to so many people around the business who would otherwise have had to go through the data team bottleneck, both slowing their access to data and limiting the explorability and agility of the results. However, this can be accomplished in a controlled manner with Sigma, ensuring that stakeholders only have access to vetted sources of truth procured by the data team.
- ability to explore and inspect the source data and perform sophisticated SQL functions via GUI (group, join, aggregate, etc.)
- ability to create single source of truth worksheets and build all related content off of that, instead of reinventing the wheel with every new query
- unlimited reader accounts allows usage to really take off and flourish instead of hamstringing itself
- pricing still unclear as to what constitutes an author vs a reader - based on recent conversations with Sigma I'm afraid that we are going to be upcharged on items that were never made clear to us (I am still unclear)
- new software still has its share of bugs
Sigma shaved 5 hours off my monthly reporting
While Sigma could be great for a lot of use cases, there is one in particular that I use it for. Every month I have a summary report that I have to put together. I used to run multiple database queries, dump the data out into Excel, do some manual sorting and manipulation of the data, and then build out pivot tables so that I could see trends month over month. Sigma takes care of all of the data fetching, formatting, and styling for me (and lets me do it in a way that turns out better than I had in Excel).
Doing the reports this way, now saves me about 5 hours a month off of that monthly report that I was doing, which means that I have more time for data exploration, and spend less time with data garbage collection.
I love the ability to build out extra columns in my data visually, which lets me build pivot tables that I cannot even replicate in Excel.
Having built out tables once, I can reuse them again and again with fresh data without having to pull and manually re-translate everything like I used to do.
Having the ability to change the type of data in a column to a new structure saves me a lot of time.
Extracting JSON from my tables is a snap!
While the documentation is good, I wish there was a little better messaging around error handling. Sigma formatting is slightly different from the PostgreSQL that I am used to.
I wish that there was a little more visual punch to the charts I can make.
Excel for your data warehouse
I help B2B SaaS startup founders and CMOs with their customer data platforms and reporting.
The ability to create additional columns on your data containing custom formulas and the ability to sort and filter on multiple columns is great.
One of my clients uses Sigma and I’ve been extremely impressed at how easy and quickly it is to build reports on multiple tables of data without writing any complex SQL. For example, sessionization of page view and event time series data is a complex SQL query which can be performed within a few minutes in Sigma without any knowledge of SQL. It’s a great tool for business users.
I’ m very impressed at Sigma’s ease of use for building reports from my clients data warehouse running on Snowflake. If you can use Excel, and understand the data in your database you can be up and running extremely quickly without having to write SQL queries or any code to describe your database.
The ability to create additional columns on your data containing custom formulas and the ability to sort and filter on multiple columns is great.
As with any tool there is a learning curve to the interface, but since it’s similar to a spreadsheet, it’s quick to learn.
Theres no feature yet to save custom formulas to be used across worksheets so you’ll have to copy and paste them for now.
Good product, becoming better every quarter
I was using Sigma increasingly over the last year or so. One thing that I am most pleased with is how in the new releases I can see the issues raised by me and my coworkers addressed and solved. It is becoming more and more usable with time.
Sigma is a quick and easy way to map from a SQL query through intermediate exploration to customer-ready visualization
No way to save the complete project as code, which can be edited, version-controlled, ported, etc
Two month review
So far, I have loved it. For a month of experience, I feel very empowered to create the reports necessary to drive the business.
Love the simplicity of creating reoccurring reports and setting them up for automated delivery.
Some of the more complex formulas can be difficult to create, however the support has helped immensely. Only other con would be some of the output formats. one of the largest issues I still have is to output to a format that includes the entire list of (pick a column)
Sigma is a powerful tool
I have been able to expand my personal skillset with sigma and work towards better data insights.
Sigma offers a great way for me to explore tables in our database and visualize those insights. Building worksheets and converting those sheets into dashboards have been very valuable for me.
There is a learning curve here. It may take a while to get completely comfortable using the product. Once you do, the possibilities for data analytics expand.
Excellent! I use it on the daily.
It's easy to use and straight forward. I'm not not only handling reports for my team but for multiple departments as well.
I'm still learning the depths but it's one of the best programs that I've had the opportunity to use. I would say the only thing that can be annoying, is the load speed. Sometimes my tables and dashboards time out.
A useful tool for specific problems
Monthly compliance reporting handoff to non-technical individuals.
For someone who is not particularly tech savvy, Sigma is a great way to take SQL queries written by someone who is, and then be able to modify the data in real time using the sort of functionality we're all used to via Excel.
Sigma also is easy to export data from, and the scheduling functionality is quite useful for recurring reports.
Because Sigma has to re-pull data every time you open a sheet, it is incredibly slow. Certain reports can take multiple minutes to load, and once any filters are applies, it has to re-pull the report, causing those minutes to be lost again.
Because of this, it's often easier to just download all the data and then do the filtering/etc in excel/google sheets.
Simple Yet Powerful
Sigma presents data in a format users already understand... a spreadsheet. The result is a BI tool that is much less intimidating than alternatives because it doesn't force users to learn a new query language.
While the basic functionality is actually pretty easy to use, some of the features are hard to find, or not that intuitive especially around formulas or more advanced features.
Ease of use and visibility is great! Love the data that we are able to pull and how easy the interface is to use.
There are a few features that I would love to see added. Mainly that when you are working with large data sets, it can be hard on the system and lead to slow processing time.