dbt compile generates executable SQL from source model, test, and analysis files. You can find these compiled SQL files in the target/ directory of your dbt project.

The compile command is useful for:

  1. Visually inspecting the compiled output of model files. This is useful for validating complex jinja logic or macro usage.
  2. Manually running compiled SQL. While debugging a model or schema test, it's often useful to execute the underlying select statement to find the source of the bug.
  3. Compiling analysis files. Read more about analysis files here.