Save yourself a few hours a week, use Sigma instead of command line DB queries.
September 19, 2019

Save yourself a few hours a week, use Sigma instead of command line DB queries.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Sigma Computing

We use Sigma Computing as one of a set of data tools for analyzing customer behavior. I maintain it as a marketing tool, but also build our dashboards for other departments, such as product developers, and biz dev.

The big win for me with Sigma Computing, is that it allows me to take a set of queries that I would normally run by hand once a week, or once a month, and lets me view the data almost instantly without having to pull and manipulate it. I set up my queries one time, perform any translation or added layers I need (which Sigma is great at, stuff I can't do in Excel or anywhere else automatically) and then push them to a dashboard that I can load each morning.
  • Allows a quick look at important data that moves every day.
  • Frees up a lot of my time from manually running, downloading, loading, and translating data.
  • Allows me to easily share my findings with a quick link.
  • I would love to see some additional visualizations added. I find myself using the same 2 or 3 on all of my dashboards, which is functional, but I would like some choices to make things a little more visually appealing.
  • I would like to adjust the timeout options I have when querying the data. It would be nice to force a longer timeout for some of the tables I have that are larger and take a while to get data from.
  • Scheduling dashboards to send snapshots to Slack fail more often than they work. It is a feature I do not use much, because I cannot rely on it.
  • The ability to set the screen size of the VM that takes the snapshots would be useful. I have a high resolution screen that I set my dashboards up to be visible on, and when I get a report emailed to me, it is always cut off because the resolution on the VM that takes the snapshot is much lower.
  • Sigma saves me at least an hour a day on my normal daily upkeep reporting, and at least 6 hours on my monthly reports. It easily pays for itself in the time I am not spent doing manual repetitive tasks that I used to do.
Sigma is great, and it has a lot of terrific features, and ways to manipulate the data after you have it loaded, but it can be tough remembering exactly what you needed to do to get a chart to look like it did when you built it out before, and want to replicate it. Did you have to put certain things into certain levels in a specific order? Did you need to make multiple copies of some rows that you summed up and put them in multiple levels (probably) which makes it look really great, and lets you do things like reporting easily on the min/max/median/average of a cohort, as long as you can remember the magic sauce.
Customer support has been top tier. I have never had to wait long, and have never gotten anyone who wasn't super familiar with the product, and very willing to help me out. Everyone always has great ideas for how to get me to the result that I was looking for, even if I have trouble articulating what I wanted.
I started out taking most of my SQL queries that I was already running, and copying them into Sigma to get my started with my reporting. That got me pretty far, and is great for the kind of repeatable questions I need to answer weekly and monthly. The visualization breakout has been much more helpful for answering Ad Hock questions that my co-workers have come up with.
It took a while for me to get buy in from other groups in the company, but once I showed them how I could build out dashboards for them, I started getting a lot of requests. I have dashboards built out now for Marketing, the PMs, and the DevOps team so they can all watch the things that are important to them.
This works well on many of our tables that are of reasonable size. It was much faster actually than I thought it would be. As long as your tables are indexed well, and you understand how to search for data, you probably wont have a problem. We have a few tables though with a few hundred million rows that are not well indexed, and we cannot get data out of before they time out.
This pricing model was very important to us. As a company we are constantly monitoring what we are spending on tools. Having something that just myself can pay for, and yet can help many other groups was a huge selling point for us. If the cost had been much higher, I would not have gotten sign off.
In truth, we use all of these other tools, as they provide different ways of looking at the data. The big think that Sigma allows me to do is to not spend so much time with my head inside a SQL terminal, poking around in the dark looking for answers, or trying to remember how my hundreds of DBs relate to each other. I find that it is a complimentary tool to most others that we use.
The product really shines when you have multiple databases with information that you find yourself joining often. To have it automatically pull your data and keep it up to date is a real time saver.

One problem area is if you have any super massive DBs. Since Sigma isn't storing data, it has to pull it every time for you. If your DB is huge, or poorly indexed, it can take a long time, or time out.

Sigma Feature Ratings

Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Not Rated
Pixel Perfect reports
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Delivery Scheduling