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Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric

In the world of data analysis and business intelligence, it's super important to know how data goes from where it starts to where it ends up. Imagine it's like following a treasure map! Well, that's where Microsoft Fabric's Lineage View comes in. It's like a magical map for your data.


Lineage View helps you see how data moves around. It's like having a GPS for your data, showing you where it comes from and where it goes, even if it travels through lots of different places. So, whether you're working on a fancy business project or doing some advanced number crunching, Lineage View makes it easy to see how all your data pieces fit together.


In this article, we'll explore Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric. We'll talk about what it can do and why it's so useful. You'll learn all about its cool features and how to make the most of them for your own data projects. So, let's dive in!


Table of Contents:

Highlighting the Lineage Item

Why it is important?

How to use Impact Analysis

Benefits


What is Lineage in Microsoft Fabric?

Lineage is the flow of data from its source to its destination. It can be used to track the movement of data and to understand how different data sets are related. Lineage can also be used to identify the impact of changes to data.


In Microsoft Fabric, lineage is used to track the flow of data through pipelines. Pipelines are a series of steps that are used to process data. Each step in a pipeline can take data from one or more sources and produce data that is used by one or more destinations.



Lineage can also be used to improve the quality, security, and governance of data in Microsoft Fabric.


Here are some examples of how lineage can be used in Microsoft Fabric:

  • To identify the source of a data quality issue.

  • To track the movement of sensitive data to ensure that it is only accessed by authorized users.

  • To understand the impact of changes to data on downstream systems.


How to Access Lineage in Microsoft Fabric?

There are three ways to open the lineage view:

  1. Workspace toolbar

  2. Item's option menu

  3. Menu Item

1. Open Lineage from the workspace toolbar

Click the Lineage icon in the workspace toolbar.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 1


2. Open Lineage in Microsoft Fabric from an item's option menu

Click the three dots next to an item and select Lineage.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric  2

3. Open Lineage from the menu items at the top of the item's details page

Click Lineage in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 3


Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric

In Microsoft Fabric, the Lineage view is a visual representation of the flow of data from its source to its destination. It shows all of the items in a workspace and how they are connected to each other, as well as data sources external to the workspace one step upstream.


To view the lineage view for a workspace, you need at least a Contributor role in the workspace.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 4

The above image is the lineage view of a Fabric workspace called "Contoso workspace". The lineage view shows all of the items in the workspace and how they are connected to each other.


The image shows the following items in the workspace:

  • Data sources: HR data, Sales data, Marketing data

  • Datasets: Segmentation Dataset, Finance Model

  • Reports: Finance Report, Marketing Report

  • Dashboard: Sales and Marketing Dashboard

The arrows in the image show the following flow of data:

  • The Segmentation Dataset dataset is created from the HR data and Sales data data sources.

  • The Finance Model dataset is created from the Segmentation Dataset dataset.

  • The Finance Report report is created from the Finance Model dataset.

  • The Marketing Report report is created from the Segmentation Dataset dataset.

  • The Sales and Marketing Dashboard dashboard is created from the Finance Report report and the Marketing Report report.

The lineage view also shows that the HR data data source is external to the Contoso workspace. This is indicated by the fact that the HR data data source card has a blue border.


Consider the below image:

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 5

The items in the workspace are represented by cards. Each card shows the item name, type, and workspace. The cards are connected by arrows, which show the flow of data between the items.


Highlighting the Lineage for items

To highlight the lineage for a specific item, select the arrow at the bottom right corner of the card. Fabric will highlight all of the items related to that item and dim the rest.


Consider the below image that shows all the items that are upstream and downstream of the Segmentation Dataset. The upstream items are the data sources that are used to create the dataset, and the downstream items are the reports and dashboards that use the dataset.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 6

The highlighting of the lineage makes it easy to see how the Segmentation Dataset dataset is used throughout the workspace. This information can be used to understand the impact of changes to the dataset and to troubleshoot problems.


For example, if you are planning to make changes to the Segmentation Dataset dataset, you can use the highlighted lineage to see which items will be affected by the changes. This can help you to plan your changes accordingly and to minimize the impact on other users.


Impact Analysis in Microsoft Fabric

Impact analysis is a process of identifying the potential impact of changes to data on downstream items that depend on that data. It can be used to assess the impact of changes to data sources, datasets, data pipelines, reports, and dashboards.


Why is impact analysis important?

Impact analysis is important because it can help you to avoid problems when you make changes to data. For example, if you change a data source, you need to make sure that all of the downstream items that use that data source are updated accordingly. Otherwise, the downstream items may produce inaccurate results.


Impact analysis can also help you to communicate with other users about changes you are making to data. For example, if you are planning to make changes to a data source that is used by other users, you can use impact analysis to identify the users who will be affected by the changes. You can then communicate with those users about the changes and how they will impact them.


How does impact analysis work in Fabric?

Impact analysis in Fabric works by analyzing the lineage of data. Lineage is the flow of data from its source to its destination. Impact analysis uses lineage to identify all of the downstream items that depend on a particular item.


To perform impact analysis on an item, you need to have at least a Contributor role in the workspace that contains the item.


To open the impact analysis pane for an item, you can open the item's card in lineage view and click the Impact analysis icon. (Explained in the above Lineage card diagram)


The impact analysis pane shows you the following information:

  • The workspaces and Fabric items that might be affected by your change.

  • The number of items and workspaces affected, either by type or by workspace.

  • For data sources, the connection string used to connect to the data source.


Here is an example of how to use impact analysis:

STEP 1: Open the impact analysis pane for the item that you want to make changes to.


STEP 2: Review the list of affected items and workspaces.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 7

STEP 3: Use the Filter button to filter the list of affected items (See the above image).


STEP 4: If you want to notify the relevant people about the change, click the Notify contacts button and create a message about the change.

Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric 8

STEP 5: Click Send to send the message to the contact lists of the affected workspaces.


Benefits of using impact analysis

Impact analysis provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Improved data quality: Impact analysis can help you to identify and troubleshoot data quality issues. For example, if you are having problems with a report, you can use impact analysis to identify the data sources and datasets that are used to generate the report. This can help you to identify the source of the data quality issue.

  • Improved security: Impact analysis can help you to identify and mitigate security risks. For example, you can use impact analysis to identify all of the items that use a particular data source. This can help you to identify any unauthorized access to the data source.

  • Improved governance: Impact analysis can help you to improve the governance of your data. For example, you can use impact analysis to see how data is used throughout your organization. This can help you to ensure that data is being used in accordance with your policies and procedures.

Impact analysis is a powerful tool that can help you to improve the management of data in Fabric. By using impact analysis, you can assess the potential impact of changes to data before you make the changes, and you can communicate with other users about changes you are making to data.


Conclusion

The Lineage View in Microsoft Fabric is a powerful tool that provides a comprehensive understanding of data flow within your projects. It allows you to trace the lineage of data items, understand their interdependencies, and conduct impact analysis with ease. By knowing how to access and utilize this feature, you can significantly enhance your data management and decision-making processes. The impact analysis further adds to its value, enabling you to foresee the potential effects of changes in your data sources.


Thus, the Lineage View stands as a testament to Microsoft Fabric’s commitment to making data analysis more efficient and user-friendly.

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