Chartio: We Made SQL Visual - Why and How

chartio.com

This product release from Chartio made the top of Hacker News this week. It's an interesting product, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the target user for it (likely nor are you). From the playing around that I've done it's certainly worth a look, although I did hit dead-ends that I personally couldn't' figure my way out of. YMMV.

The reason I think this is interesting is that it's a part of a larger trend. Products have been promising more business-user-level access to data for a long time (decades!), but none have ever really delivered. Fundamentally, this is because there has always been a complexity limitation inherent in these products and if you wanted to go deeper you had to move into code / gnarly data prep tools. I personally believe that over the next five years we'll start to see tiered strategies that let users of all skill levels operate on data at the level of cleanliness / curation that is appropriate for them, paired with an appropriate interface.

You, as a more technically sophisticated data user, should still care about this. It will dramatically change your role in your organization.

The other tool in this area that is doing interesting things is Sigma Computing. Their focus is writing SQL from a spreadsheet-style UI.

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