Intro to data models (Beta)


This is a public beta feature that’s subject to quick, iterative changes. As a result, the latest product version may differ from the contents of this document.

A data model is a type of Sigma document that provides the framework for creating and managing a collection of reusable elements. Reusable elements allow you to curate consumable, focused views of data from your data platform, which can be used as sources in workbooks and other data models.

Each data model consists of two pages for ease of use: an overview page and a workbook page. The overview page provides reusable element previews, metadata, and key insights into data model usage across your organization, while the workbook page allows you to create and transform reusable elements.

This document introduces data model concepts and explains the overview page and workbook page. For information about using data models, see Create and manage data models.


Data models and reusable elements are designed to replace the existing dataset functionality. However, Sigma will continue to support datasets until data models are fully developed and can facilitate a seamless transition. For information about datasets, see Intro to the dataset worksheet.

Understanding data models

Data models offer a comprehensive, dynamic platform to consolidate, transform, and share related data that your organization members can reuse in workbooks and other data models. A single data model serves as a container for a collection of reusable elements that can offer different subsets, perspectives, or evaluations of the data model’s broader data context. This cumulative data representation facilitates a convenient, structured foundation for building relevant, detailed workbook analyses.

Additional benefits of data models:

  • Centralized permissions: Grant permissions at the data model level for consistent, streamlined access control.

  • Efficient data handling: Enhance reusable elements with controls to easily filter and refine data segments.

  • Flexible reusability: Quickly enable or disable elements for reuse as data sources.

The following sections explain the two main components of a data model: the overview page and the workbook page.

Data model overview page

The overview page provides details of each reusable element in the data model for improved data visibility and management. It also features metadata about the model itself and each reusable element it contains, revealing insights into how and where the reusable data is used across the organization.


Data model detailsDisplays the data model description and identifies the model owner, location, relative time stamp of the last update, and number of reusable elements the model contains.


Expanded element overviewDisplays the reusable element’s connection, relative time stamp of the last materialization, top three documents referencing it as a data source, top three organization members utilizing it, and the published state of the element’s data table.


Collapsed element overviewsDisplays the reusable element’s title, number of documents referencing it as a data source, and number of rows and columns in its data table.


View details button

Opens a modal containing column and lineage details.

  • The Columns tab displays details for each column in the reusable element, including data type, description, top values, and statistics.
  • The Lineage tab displays details about the reusable element’s data sources and downstream documents referencing it as a data source.


Explore buttonOpens the reusable element in a new exploration.


Edit buttonOpens the data model workbook page.

Data model workbook page

The workbook view allows you to create and manage multiple tables and input tables as reusable elements within a single data model. This format brings the ease and flexibility of workbooks to data model development. Consolidate and transform your data as you would in a workbook analysis, and control which elements are reusable as data sources across your organization.


Add element buttonOpens the Add new element panel and allows you to add a new table, input table, text, or control element.


Control element

Filters the data in one or more elements.

When a reusable element is filtered, documents that reference it can only access data included in the published filtered state. For more information about using controls, see Intro to control elements.


Reusable elementAvailable as a data source (indicated by the icon).


Disabled elementNot available as a data source (indicated by the icon).


Publish button

Saves edits applied to the data model.

Documents that reference the data model reflect the published state of its reusable elements. Drafted edits don't apply.

Frequently asked questions

Do data models and reusable elements support the same functionality as datasets?

Data models currently support the following functionality available to datasets:

Additional functionality support will continue to roll out during the beta development phase.

Will the current dataset document type be deprecated?

Data models and reusable elements are designed to replace the existing dataset functionality. Sigma will eventually deprecate datasets but will continue to support them until data models are fully developed and can facilitate a seamless transition. Prior to this deprecation, Sigma will notify all customers and implement an automated migration path to convert all datasets to data models.