What this is about
Starting 05 Jan 2021, Holistics will be opening up access of our data modelling to all our existing customers (on version 2.0 and version 2.5). Most of these customers would have subscribed to Holistics before Feb 2020.
Holistics customers who sign up after Feb 2020 would have been using Holistics 3.0.
What's wrong with my current version of Holistics?
Holistics started off as a software that helps our customers convert SQL to charts. This simplicity is great for SQL analysts looking for a quick and easy way to extract, visualize, and share data. However as time passes, the following issues occur:
- Because you need to know SQL to build your own reports, non-technical users finds it hard to build their own reports and need to ask data teams for help for minor revisions in the choice of data fields on a report
- Because reports are written in an ad-hoc nature, it ended up that the same metrics in different reports may contradict each other.
- Because SQL queries are not reusable and composable, data teams spend administrative time rewriting the same queries repeatedly for multiple reports. We also often get requests from analysts who wants to find the list of reports who query specific database table(s).
That version of Holistics (SQL -> Charts) which a number of our customers are using is what we call Holistics 2.0.
Another issue we are solving is the merging of the roadmaps for all our customers. Otherwise, the roadmap plans for Holistics 2.0 will get increasingly limited.
How is Holistics 3.0 different from 2.0?
While Holistics 2.0 reports are built using reports from disparate SQL queries (each report contains their own SQL query), Holistics 3.0 reports are built from datasets. And datasets are built from data models. See below diagram
Some additional benefits that Holistics 3.0 has over 2.0 as below:
- Datasets allows non-technical users to build their own charts and reports from scratch without the need to know SQL
- As datasets are virtual (no additional physical storage) and their definitions are maintained centrally through data models, companies can build any number of datasets without the ongoing maintenance (disparate definitions) and infrastructure (physical storage) overheads.
If Holistics is already on Holistics 3.0, why am I being moved to Holistics 2.7?
So that you need not recreate the reports that you have created previously, or reinvite your users (set permissions from scratch).
Holistics 2.7 merges the capabilities between the legacy version (2.0 and 2.5) and 3.0 in that it supports the coexistence of reports from both
- Reports and filters built off parameterized SQL queries (Holistics 2.0 and 2.5)
- Reports and filters built off SQL-based data models (Holistics 3.0)
What happens to my existing reports and definitions after the move to Holistics 2.7?
Your existing reports will remain with you. You don't need to recreate them. That was why we created a specific version for our existing customers.
But I still prefer to write reports with adhoc SQL queries. Can I still keep it that way?
Yes. Holistics 2.7 will allow you to create reports from both stand-alone SQL queries (current approach), or reports from data models (new approach).
What do I need to watch out for during this upgrade from Holistics 2.0 to Holistics 2.7?
The most important setup is organization of your existing 2.0 reports as Holistics 2.0 (standalone SQL) reports and dashboards are not compatible with the new (Holistics 3.0) modelling/datasets-based reports.
What we recommend for a start is as below:
- Create a dashboard folder to hold all your existing (2.0) reports, the ones that's built through standalone SQL reports.
- Create a dashboard folder to build new reports that's built with data models
Besides the report creation approach, what other known issues/gaps I need to be mindful of when building reports thorough data models?
There are some features for Holistics 2.0 reports that are not yet available in Holistics 3.0, and we are porting them over to 3.0 gradually. The list of differences can be found here.
Do we really have to move to 2.7 or 3.0? Can we just remain in our current version?
The move to Holistics 2.7 will not cause you to lose any functionality. If self-service reporting and data exploration is not your core use-case, you can just remain using Holistics 2.7 the same way you did for Holistics 2.0.
Is Holistics 2.7 really superior to Holistics 3.0, ie no downsides relative to 3.0?
Yes and no. Yes in that Holistics 2.7 gives you the flexibility of SQL queries, while also giving you the option to setup reusable data components for self-service analytics (3.0).
The downside is that there's 2 separate learning curve (building the reports with both versions). That may be easy for existing data teams (since you only need to learn the new approach), but new-joiners (especially for the data teams) will need more guidance. Our team is always happy to help there!
I don't think I want to use Holistics 2.7. Can you move me to Holistics 3.0 directly?
Technically you can do so, and we considered that option for our customers too. However, doing so will require you to do the following:
- Sign up for a new Holistics account (inform us first).
- Rename the email addresses of your existing users in the old Holistics account to a different name, say "[email protected]". Our current system don't allow duplicate email accounts across different tenants.
- Recreate your existing reports and re-invite your users in the new version.
As you can imagine, that's a fair bit of work on your side. We have tried this with some customers and the migration process for them internally is quite difficult unless they make the migration a priority.
Existing customers who are suitable to move over to 3.0 are either those who currently have little reports/dashboards in Holistics.
Holistics 2.7 will reduce the effort you need to make significantly for the migration.
Can I get 2 sets of accounts instead for my existing Holistics version and the new Holistics?
We thought about that, but the billing and admin might be more complicated. We can provide some time (up to a month) for a concurrent run of both accounts for you to do the migration if you are really committed to make the move to Holistics 3.0. We hope to get your understanding on this.
How will my pricing be impacted?
Holistics 3.0 is priced based on the number of objects, and the pricing details are published on our website now. This should be familiar for most of you, except that the objects count and definitions may vary depending on the time you signed up for Holistics. We find the new pricing model better refined to address specific concerns.
For our customers on users + addon based pricing plan (ie legacy). The long term plan is to move over to the objects-based pricing plan (with some exceptions if it does not make sense) .
Feel free to contact us to let us know and we will be happy to provide you with a price-impact analysis and work out what works best for you. We believe for most customers, it will be better for them to go on our new pricing plan.
Ok, so what's next? How do I get onboard Holistics 2.7?
You don't need to do anything. Starting 5th Jan 2021, all Holistics 2.7 will be enabled for all our customers.
Can you open up Holistics 2.7 to me earlier (before Jan 2021)?
Yes we will be happy to provide you early access.
Can I get a demo to understand how Holistics 3.0 work?
Yes you can contact Janice or any of our team members to setup an intro call. We are also gathering interest on either a webinar (or recorded video) soon to share the key differences between Holistics 2.0 and 3.0.
How is Holistics 3.0 different from <name of BI vendor> ?
Happy to share more details with you over a call, but in general - Holistics focus a lot on analytics workflows to make self-service analytics successful. Getting charts is easy, but answering data requests and organizing data components take a lot of effort. Feel free to let us know if you like to know more information!
I have more questions. Who can I contact?
Feel free to email Janice Lee (most of you should know her email) for your questions, or email our support team (if you don't have Janice's contacts). Janice will help to link you up with the right person in our team to answer your questions.