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When it comes to documentation, dbt brings together both column and model level descriptions that you can provide as well as details from your Snowflake information schema in a static site for consumption by other data team members and stakeholders.

We are going to revisit 2 areas of our project to understand our documentation:

  • file
  • dbt_project.yml file

To start, let’s look back at our file. We can see that we provided multi-line descriptions for the models in our intermediate models using docs blocks. Then we reference these docs blocks in our .yml file. Building descriptions with doc blocks in Markdown files gives you the ability to format your descriptions with Markdown and are particularly helpful when building long descriptions, either at the column or model level. In our dbt_project.yml, we added node_colors at folder levels.

  1. To see all these pieces come together, execute this in the command bar:

    dbt docs generate

    This will generate the documentation for your project. Click the book button, as shown in the screenshot below to access the docs.

    dbt docs book icondbt docs book icon
  2. Go to our project area and view int_results. View the description that we created in our doc block.

    Docblock description within docs siteDocblock description within docs site
  3. View the mini-lineage that looks at the model we are currently selected on (int_results in this case).

    Mini lineage view on docs siteMini lineage view on docs site
  4. In our dbt_project.yml, we configured node_colors depending on the file directory. Starting in dbt v1.3, we can see how our lineage in our docs looks. By color coding your project, it can help you cluster together similar models or steps and more easily troubleshoot.

    Full project DAG on docs siteFull project DAG on docs site