Introduction

This article contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) relating to Astrato, and covers a range of general and technical topics.

General FAQ | Technical FAQ

General FAQ

Is Astrato different from other Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) tools?

Cloud underpins digital transformation. As organisations shift from a hybrid cloud model to a "cloud first" approach, tools built for on-premise architecture require retrofitting. Astrato is cloud native, never moves data and delivers performance, scale and elasticity.

Traditional BI can be very dashboard-focussed and offer limited data reporting functionality. Users of modern BI tools can also encounter limitations, such as

  • Lack of support for ad-hoc analysis, with data needing to be highly modelled before any analysis takes place.

  • Interfaces which require a high level of technical expertise for users.

  • On-premise components with limitations on scale, speed, dependencies on static or unreliable data, and significant maintenance requirements.

  • Exporting and converting data into spreadsheets before beginning any deeper analysis.

Astrato is a SaaS software solution sitting on top of Snowflake’s data cloud, using live data in real-time to “play the data where it lives” and includes these great features.

  • A workspace where you can build fully customizable dashboards - no coding required.

  • Modelling with the Data View Editor, adding any joins you need, again with no coding required.

  • Direct access to the cloud for constant data updates, supporting live analysis with synchronized security and governance, including Enterprise Authentication options.

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What is the difference between dashboards and analytics?

Dashboards primarily focus on showing historical data such as KPIs and high-level trends - showing the audience “what” happened.

With analytics, the focus is more on drilling down and iterating on the data to learn “why” something happened. Results in analytics are ad-hoc, and can generate new insights to understand and improve business performance, performing actions like joining data, running formulas and calculations, and making projections.

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Is Astrato Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or on-premise software?

Astrato is a SaaS solution accessed via a simple URL, which means you can take full advantage of cloud-based scale and efficiency savings. We are not “on-premise” and we have no plans to move there.

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How does Astrato help with user and team collaboration?

Astrato’s user permissions allow for real flexibility, you can invite users to your workspace and select from a variety of user roles to define the level of interaction you want them to have.

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Technical FAQ

Is Astrato affected by the Java Spring Framework vulnerability?

Astrato is not impacted by the Java Spring Framework vulnerability in any way because we don’t use the Java Spring Framework in Astrato.

We monitor all relevant vulnerability reports and are ready to fix any critical risks quickly.

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Will Astrato replace or complement our current BI tools?

As Astrato is designed as a no-code data visualization and analytics solution with live access to Snowflake’s data cloud, it can definitely be used as the single BI and analytics product in an organization, especially if there’s a requirement to build a modern data stack from scratch. But it can also be used to complement traditional BI tools in areas like ease-of-use, live data manipulation and collaboration between users and teams.

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Does Astrato store any table data from my Cloud Data Warehouse (CDW)?

No data is stored. With every data interaction in your visualization, the Astrato data engine generates an SQL query and the visualization displays the updated results instantly. This really is “playing the data where it lives”, running queries with greater accuracy, speed and minimizing the security / governance risks, as data is never extracted to a spreadsheet or held on a desktop.

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Does Astrato have any scale limitations?

As Astrato updates are driven by pushing SQL queries to Snowflake’s data cloud, we can leverage the cloud platform’s near unlimited scale and speed. If sized correctly, the CDW makes scale limitations a thing of the past, with none of the limits on performance or storage you can find with Excel or “on-premise” BI tools.

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How does Astrato compare to traditional spreadsheets like Excel?

Astrato does share some features with spreadsheets - business users can view and explore data, perform calculations and turn data into visualizations. Data is held in a single (multi-tabbed) document, and there’s no SQL or coding knowledge required.

But as Astrato connects directly to all your live data held in the CDW, there are no scaling limitations, you always query on accurate and live data, and you can enjoy enhanced access control (enforcing permissions from a single connection point) and easily share and re-use the results of your analysis.

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Does Astrato offer visualizations and dashboards?

Astrato workbooks offer a wide range of data objects - customizable visualizations and controls to visualize the results of our data analysis and share with other users.

Visualizations

Type

Table

Straight table

Number

Basic, Comparison, Indicator, Comparison & Indicator

Bar Chart

Column, Horizontal, Stacked Column, Stacked Horizontal Bar, Grouped Column, Grouped Horizontal Bar, Stacked 100%

Line Chart

Line Area, Stacked Line, Multi-line

Pie Chart

Pie, Donut, Radius Pie

Progress Chart

Gauge, Arc Gauge, Progress Gauge, Distribution Gauge

Scatter Chart

Scatter, Bubble Scatter

Combo Chart

Heatmap Chart

Heatmap Grid, Bubble Grid

Controls

Type

Filter

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How fast can I get to value with Astrato?

It could be within minutes. As Astrato is a SaaS product you can connect to your CDW tables in seconds, and data can be modelled in Astrato using the Data View editor. So within minutes you could see new customers running queries on live data. There are other factors, such as your use case requirements for analytics, or the quantity and quality of the data held in the CDW. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to hear them and help.

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How does Astrato control end-user access to data?

Astrato has a variety of permission levels to control access to your workspace, held in the People settings of the Administration module. User permissions are organized around CRUD functions (Create, Read, Update and Delete), and there’s also a Publish permission for workbooks. You can find a full list of permissions in our People article.

In terms of general access, users have to be invited to create an account, or log in using Google or LinkedIn. Organisations using an Identity provider (IdP) for centralized user management can take advantage of enterprise authentication integrations with Google Workspace, Open ID Connect and OKTA.

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