dbt Cloud: What You Need to Know

When it comes to starting a business and setting up your data team, there are a lot of exciting options to consider. Data has become one of the most valuable commodities in the world of modern business. The digital sphere has already become ubiquitous with modern commerce, and online options have greatly expanded retail and small business opportunities in meaningful ways.

While there are so many advantages that have been brought about by advancements in technology and communication, there has also been the challenge of utilizing data. As more and more data is accumulated, it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to harness the power of that data. This is where a data team becomes necessary, however for small to medium-sized businesses the challenge then becomes how to handle and process data with a small team.

The modern data stack brings a lot of benefits to small businesses, and in a lot of ways is a necessity of the digital landscape; however, if you have a small data team available, you want to find ways of leveraging their limited resources for success. Thankfully, dbt cloud, which stands for data build tool, is one part of your stack you won’t want to operate without.

If you have been wanting to find ways of taking your small data team to the next level, this is everything you need to know about dbt Cloud and why it should be non-negotiable.

What is dbt Cloud?

Dbt Cloud, at its heart, is a production environment tool that helps bring software engineering best practices to the world of data. What this means, is that it’s a tool that is specifically built to help small teams leverage their time by utilizing certain key features. One of the most important parts of the data analytics process is data integration. Without data integration, there couldn’t be any kind of analytics because data would continue to just exist in a silo.

While the data silo problem has been solved for quite some time, it’s been a bit of a bumpy road. When on-premise options that predated the modern data stack were prominent, it limited the number of companies that were able to practice analytics to only the most wealthy. The process was so difficult, that only large, expensive teams could handle it.

A Tool For the ‘T’ in ETL

With the move to the modern data stack with cloud-based data warehouse options, analytics became a lot more possible. This is mostly due to the fact that moving the data stack more into the cloud allowed programmers to create methods of data integration to fill that warehouse with valuable, usable data.

ETL has been a solution for data integration for decades, however, even with the modern data stack, the process of actually integrating data into a warehouse can be extensive. While it’s much more available, it can still be limited for smaller data teams that can get caught up in tedious pipeline creation and management.

Powerful Tools Like a Dedicated IDE

Dbt Cloud focuses on helping to alleviate part of this process by focusing on the ‘T’ in ETL in meaningful ways. By giving data teams a more streamlined approach that is geared to help leverage their time with tools like a dedicated IDE. This dedicated IDE is designed to help teams write dbt code accurately and quickly and it allows you to send queries to your data warehouse, and view results all from the convenience of the same tab. This helps focus on making complex aggregations, something of the past by running live queries with little to no friction.

Helps Orchestrate Productivity

Orchestration tools are a necessity in the world of data and there are a lot of great tools out there. Without orchestration, data teams would never be able to make progress because they would constantly be handling meticulous, and tedious details that orchestration allows to be automated with a schedule. Dbt Cloud has open-source benefits that allow you to use the right orchestration tools that you need while still being able to use dbt’s unique features.

While dbt Cloud’s orchestration features could be perfect for a smaller data team, as your needs grow, integrating other more robust orchestration tools is possible. Using tools like Prefect, Dagster, or Airflow is all possible with dbt Cloud.

Slim CI

Another valuable tool that dbt Cloud brings to small data teams, is the ability to practice continuous integration in a meaningful way. Slim CI feature builds and tests parts of your dbt project as you go. This means that you can constantly ensure that you have confidence in your models in a way that leverages your team’s time for success.


Building your modern data stack is a crucial part of your business’s success. There are a lot of challenges that come with running a business and having the right tools in your stack like dbt Cloud can make all the difference.