Dbt descriptions in metabase


I have a data warehouse in BigQuery and use dbt for generating my data models for Metabase.

All my dbt models have descriptions, including all columns. These descriptions do show up in BigQuery, but unfortunately not in Metabase!

I found a Python script on Github that offers model synchronization from dbt to Metabase (GitHub - gouline/dbt-metabase: Model synchronization from dbt to Metabase). However it is not that easy to setup when using dbt cloud.

Anyway I really feel that Metabase should be able to pull these descriptions when it syncs with the database. Is there a feature that I am missing or a good workaround that I am unaware of?



Hi @sebastian
Currently descriptions cannot be retrieved automatically for BigQuery:
https://github.com/metabase/metabase/issues/18872 - upvote by clicking :+1: on the first post

Alternatively you could either use the API (https://www.metabase.com/docs/latest/api-documentation PUT /api/table/:id and PUT /api/field/:id) to update the description or update the application database directly (look in the tables metabase_table and metabase_field).
Or use the hidden metadata feature, have a look in Sync semantic type from Postgres?

1 Like

Thank you @flamber,

I have upvoted the issue on github and will have a look at both options you presented.

Hi @flamber

I tried to use the hidden metadata feature, by generating a _metabase_metadata table with keypath and value columns,as described here https://github.com/metabase/metabase/blob/master/src/metabase/sync/sync_metadata/metabase_metadata.clj#L59-L73, and added it to my BigQuery dataset.

I have re-scanned and synced my database but still do not get any descriptions of my columns. Is it possible that this feature only works with H2 and not with BigQuery or am I missing something?



@sebastian It should be available on all database types, it's a general function called during sync.
But then use the API or direct writes.

I see,

thanks for your help.