Git-based version control
Git-based version control is a way of helping to ensure that you never lose the right copy of your business data.
Some version control software is very basic and works automatically, like Google Docs’ built-in version history feature. Git is a powerful version control software that was designed for software developers to version code, not only historically, but by feature, bug, and more - meaning non-linear versions of essentially the same file can all exist at once.
For use in business intelligence applications, this can mean versioning codified models of your data from centralized databases, but having specific model inclusions or views for separate business use cases such as HR or sales.
Git’s power and extensible feature set make it the perfect fit for Business Intelligence applications. Here are its most relevant benefits for use in BI:
Basic versioning revolves around one editable file and creating time-based versions of it. While this works well for many applications, repurposing that file for another use means making a whole new file with its version history. If the original file changes, then the second file has no knowledge of it, leading to unwanted differences in the now-divergent shared data.
Using Git, there is one central repository, potentially with multiple branches with their unique additions. Changes to the central repository are reflected in all branches; however, each branch can maintain its own unique feature set. Within the context of BI, this is extremely useful when databases with commonly used data items change their structure. It also saves time as data analysts can reuse code, review history, and edit files for SQL queries.
Data analysts can spend a lot of time and effort creating company data views. It’s not just the raw data that’s important to a business, after all, it’s what is done with it.
Git, when used correctly, is a highly fault-proof tool. Accidental file deletion is almost impossible, and any incorrect changes are easy to roll back so long as you have remembered to create versions of a file along the way.
Git is the industry standard for version control across the web. While it can take some time to conceptualize the basics and even more time to fully embrace its sprawling feature-set, most data analysts will find it to be an invaluable tool. They’ll quickly find that tracking changes and collaborative data model development increases their productivity and significantly reduces time to generate reports.
Each bipp project connects to a Git repository, and each developer branch correlates to a Git branch to encapsulate changes. So instead of working in a separate editor and saving versions locally, all of your projects integrate with Git to provide source control features such as:
- Multiple branches
- Save/committing code to its own branch
- Automatically merging changes from the browser; and
- Push/pull from the master branch
These features make bipp a good choice for technical teams collaborating on analytics projects, as it allows them to share queries with other team members.
bipp’s Git-based version control brings developer best-practice to BI. Want to learn more?
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