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2024 Product Forum Recap

Rya Sciban
June 17, 2024

Select Star Product Forum is an annual user event to share Select Star’s recent product releases and future product roadmap directions. It was exciting to see so many of our users attending at our two sessions on May 16, 2024.

The main areas we covered this year included the following:

  1. Overall market themes we’re hearing in the market
  2. Major releases
    • Change Management
    • AI Assistant
    • Lineage

6 Themes We've Been Hearing from the Market

Main themes we've been hearing from the market
Main themes we’ve been hearing from the market

We've been on the road a lot in the first half of 2024 with a lot more to come! With all the conferences, meetups, and new folks we meet, we’ve distilled that to a few main themes that data teams and organizations are focused on:

  1. Data Governance - Today’s data governance isn’t just about access control or data privacy, but about enabling everyone to be able to use data correctly.
  2. GenAI - Directing LLM technologies with the right input and prompt. This is directly driving the increased need for data governance.
  3. Dashboard Management - Companies with hundreds or thousands of dashboards and reports need some way to understand true usage, trustworthiness and some certification process.
  4. Semantic Models - Your most important measures and dimensions that help drive the business forward. This is an incredibly valuable resource for GenAI and general data enablement.
  5. Operationalizing Data Quality - Defining data quality frameworks, setting and monitoring SLAs, and defining proper data change management processes.
  6. Cloud Cost Optimization - Many companies are going through data reorganizations and analyzing how to manage and optimize cloud costs is a big part of the conversation.

Moving from Analysis to Recommendations

Given the trends in the industry, and the technologies available to support addressing the challenges of data discovery and data governance today, Select Star is focused on moving from analysis and insights to tangible recommendations. This means

  • Understanding usage, and its business value
  • Prioritizing work based on impact
  • Planning and making changes based on business value

Major Releases

Change Management

How Select Star improves the data change management process

Data changes all of the time, whether that is raw 3rd party data, changing data models to improve operational efficiency, supporting data migrations, or enhancing existing models to support additional business needs.

At Select Star, we know that managing those changes is time consuming and painful. This is why we want to do the heavy lifting for you to detect those breaking changes, and provide the metadata context to help enable decisions. Data practitioners have the right context to make decisions and processes to handle these changes.

We’ve released a number of features in the last 6-12 months to help make change management a lot easier to manage

  1. Schema Change Detection - detecting and alerting on changes to your schema
  2. dbt Impact Report - generating an impact report of downstream data assets to models changed in your PR
  3. Downstream Notifications - allow you to bulk notify downstream owners, top table users, top dashboard users, along with users and teams of live or pending changes

AI Assistant

Example of Select Star AI answering data questions to find dashboards for data consumers
Example of Select Star answering data questions to find dashboards for data consumers

GenAI is being built into many of the tools we use today, and at Select Star, it helps drive a lot of value. Today GenAI delivers value to Technical teams by populating data documentation and answering data questions, however, there are opportunities for business teams and businesses to also get more value, through business process documentation and by providing metadata for custom AI products. At Select Star, we believe that GenAI is best used (in our context) to help facilitate communication with users, including the creation of technical and business documentation.

Select Star has a distinct advantage over generic LLM solutions in that your metadata is already available as context, and prompts have been specifically engineered to tackle data questions.

Check out our latest releases that help you save time and answer data questions more quickly

  1. AI Generated Documentation - helps write table, column and dashboard documentation in Select Star based on your metadata and SQL
  2. Ask AI (AI Chatbot in Select Star) - help answer data questions directly in Select Star
  3. Ask AI powered Slackbot - help answer data questions for all your Slack users directly in the Slack channel of your choice.

Some of the top question categories that we’ve seen from customer usage are:

  • Recommending data
  • Learning more about specific data
  • Answering business questions
  • Generating queries

Lineage

Example of Select Star's lineage, one of the most used features.

Lineage is one of the most used features in Select Star for good reason - it’s the backbone to many tasks that data analysts, data engineers, data scientists and even data consumers do. It can help with general data onboarding and understanding: getting a good sense of where certain data is coming from, how it’s being calculated, whether you can trust that data, and can help specifically with impact analysis, investigating data issues and root cause analysis.

However, so many of our customers have 10,000s+ data assets and lineages get large and complicated. We’re very excited to announce the open beta of our New Lineage UI and UX that improves the readability and scalability of understanding and navigating lineage for small and large sets of data alike. Key highlights include:

  • Automatic grouping by database and schema and BI object type
  • Collapsing groups when there’s overwhelming data assets in the shown lineage
  • Easy Expand all downstream / upstream buttons to easily navigate the tree
  • Expanded and editable information in the left side bar
  • Cleaner UI, including updated visuals for data assets and lineage edges

You can try it out today in your Select Star account!

Wrap Up

We’re excited to have brought so many new capabilities to our users, and have much more planned. In addition to continued development in Change Management, the Select Star AI Assistant and Lineage, we are also planning updates around permissions, data operations, and additional integrations.

Looking forward to seeing you there next year!

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