This is a new article in the “data visualisation series”;

  • Metabase is a data visualiser 1 2 article lists most important features 3 4. The website talks about compliance to various meta data handling laws.
  • Metabase has good documentation for timeseries data 5 6. It has enough work on this to have a page on TZ when dealing with multiple data-sources 7.
  • Public stats say that metabase has a smaller customer base than PowerBI or Kibana 8 9. It is not the cheapest tool, aside from on-prem freemium 10 (typical: $6K for 10users per annum). There is a website that claims to have a current client list 11.
  • Metabase does support plugins 12, but has no listed widgets. Example plugin to support OracleDB? 13. The source code is available 14, it seems to be written in Clojure. Metabase propose putting normal scale data into a separate reporting database 15. Metabase has the traditional problems of no-code systems; in that they remove all the professional tools that developers use 16.
  • Metabase has an API 17, which the documentation suggests should be used for automation.
  • Metabase supports fourteen database connectors 18 “inhouse”; I assume there are some unofficial ones. It supports some GIS visualisation 19, but not as far as I can tell GIS data features.
  • Metabase supports SQL joins 20 21, and SQL Views 22, Aggregation 23, and it can run Storproc if the underlying db and db user allow it, but there is no custom UI for it 24. It supports a range of basic maths functions, just like Excel 25.
  • The metadata and SQL of a report is stored initially in a H2 database 26, which seems similar to an SQLite database file. This can be copied but isn't a very polished process. Some visual things can be adjusted (I assume also stored in the H2) 27. Unless you have the expensive version, Metabase doesn't do “copy to another metabase node” very well; a solution can be fairly easily built using the API 28.
  • Alerts can be made via the API 29, or in a more friendly fashion 30. Metabase does not support scripting inside itself 31, although script using the API can be written. As is typical in these tools, graphs/charts can be visually tweaked 32 (and similar changes for other graph types).

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