How to improve workbook performance

When it comes to data analytics, a slow dashboard can be a nightmare! Waiting endlessly for visualizations and queries to load can frustrate users and hinder productivity. This blog post uncovers the culprits that can slow down your Sigma dashboard and provide actionable tips to keep it running smoothly. Avoid these common pitfalls to ensure your team has a lightning-fast and responsive analytics experience.

Tip #1: Denormalize Often and Early

Data structure matters! If your data is unoptimized, redundant, or overly complex, it can cause significant performance issues downstream. Denormalizing your data frequently and early on to avoid sluggish query execution. It won’t be the answer for all cases so be sure to analyze how data flows from the warehouse and understand its intended usage to see where you can consolidate to help identify opportunities for improvement. Don’t let denormalization woes haunt your dashboard performance!

Tip #2: Lessen the weight of Joins

Joins, though essential, can be computationally expensive and contribute to prolonged query times. A dashboard littered with numerous joins can quickly become a performance nightmare. Building on the denormalization approach mentioned earlier, consider flattening joins using materializations. You can minimize join operations by materializing intermediate results and supercharging your query speed. Escape the clutches of join-induced sluggishness!

Tip #3: Consolidate Repeated Logic

Repeating logic across different parts of your workbook is a lurking danger. This redundancy not only creates confusion but also impacts performance. As we emphasized earlier, denormalization plays a crucial role here. By consolidating calculations and logic into a central location, you eliminate repetitive calculations and optimize query performance. Keep your dashboard free from the grip of redundant logic!

Tip #4: Break the Curse of Unused Data

Summoning excessive unused data can cast a dark shadow over your dashboard’s performance. Filtering out irrelevant information can work wonders if your data source already contains many rows and columns. Create a lean and mean dataset that includes only the necessary data. This streamlining not only boosts performance but also ensures efficient resource utilization. Banish the curse of unused data from your dashboard!


  • Remove or hide unneeded columns
  • Put elements that are not necessary to use the workbook onto a separate page
  • Collapse groupings on tables when you don’t need to see the underlying rows

Tip #5: Beware of Filter Overload

Though helpful for slicing and dicing data, filters can become a performance nightmare when overused. A dashboard inundated with numerous filters can result in sluggish response times. Instead of filtering through the entire dataset for each visualization, consider extracting those filters into a separate dataset. Pre-filtering the data once and reusing it for multiple visualizations can unlock a faster and smoother analytics experience. Stay vigilant against filter overload!

Tip 6: Clustering/Indexes

Queries that have to scan entire tables become increasingly expensive as the table grows. If your workbook initially performs well but becomes slower over time, consider reviewing the clustering or indexing of the tables involved. Ensure that your data warehouse can optimize queries properly and explore the need for query or table configuration changes.

Tip #7: Avoid unnecessary queries

Sigma can leverage cached values to display workbooks faster. However, if the data becomes older than the configured “cache duration,” Sigma will refresh the data with additional queries. To avoid needless queries to the warehouse, tune the cache duration appropriately, preventing unnecessary data refreshes.

Tip #8: Structure your workbooks for materialization

To optimize materializations in your workbook, place them upstream from any filters or controls that users will be setting. This ensures that materializations are used effectively. Consider separating the fixed and interactive portions of your workbook using an intermediate table. This allows for efficient data processing and improves overall performance.

In conclusion, a slow Sigma dashboard can give any data analyst or business user nightmares. However, armed with the knowledge of what can slow down your dashboard and how to tackle these issues, you can banish the performance demons. Remember to denormalize often and early, minimize joins, eliminate redundant logic, filter unused data, optimize filters, and leverage Snowflake’s capabilities. By heeding these warnings and implementing best practices, you can transform your Sigma dashboard into a speedy and efficient tool, unlocking the full potential of your data analysis.


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