Dune Analytics is a web-based platform that allows users to have a unique experience. We may, for example, see and follow blockchain data analytics and engage with this data source directly. We can also use SQL to query data, create a chart, and construct our own dashboard.

So, what exactly is Dune? What were the goals behind its creation? What is the mechanism behind it? What method does it use to arrange data? This article will answer these questions and provide readers with profound insight into Dune Analytics. Moreover, there is also a little tutorial on building a simple dashboard and sharing it with others.

What is Dune Analytics?

"Dune Analytics," according to Dune Analytics' definition, is a strong tool for blockchain research. Dune provides users with all the tools they need to query, extract, and display massive volumes of blockchain data. Dune is democratizing public blockchain data by making it available to anyone."

Despite that the data in the blockchain is public and accessible, not everyone can use it, given that the collection and processing of this data source are complicated. To interact with blocks we want to exact, we have to run scripts and use accompanying services (e.g., archive node or full node,v.v.). This process is both time-consuming and challenging to reuse.

Dune Analytics solves that problem by allowing users to access and use blockchain data more efficiently. It is a web-based platform for querying blockchain data saved in a pre-populated database. Instead of writing complex scripts, we only need to use simple SQL queries to get data. In addition, Dune provides valuable tools to process, calculate and visualize this data. With Dune, we can create our own dashboards and scientifically organize graphic charts and tables.

How Dune works

Dune converts difficult-to-access data into human-readable tables. This platform aggregates blockchain data and saves them in SQL databases. By that, we can use SQL queries to access data easily and then visualize data with methods provided by Dune. Finally, Dune helps us organize our analysis charts and tables as well as create a customized dashboard. This magical platform is a little social media site where we may promote our dashboards and also follow others.

Each dashboard is categorized by the reason for which it was designed. In Dune, there are three different sorts of dashboards:

  • Project dashboard
  • Sector dashboard
  • Ecosystem dashboard

Data in Dune Analytics

Data of Dune Analytics is organized in SQL tables and saved in PostgreSQL databases. The data schema is described as follows [2]:

  • Low-level data (raw transaction data) provides detailed records of all activities on the blockchain.
  • Decoded Data tables use the Application binary interface of the respective smart contract to turn the encoded data into decoded data.
  • Abstractions are higher-level created tables that return aggregated/standardized data on sectors/topics.

In fact, the data is not real-time but is continuously updated with the latest 5 or 6 hours from the current time.

We can get how to find the desired data in the link below:

https://docs.dune.xyz/data-tables/data-tables#how-do-i-find-the-data-i-need

The detailed structure and information of SQL tables:

  • nft.trade: an effort to make NFT trading data readily available to everyone.
  • Raw data types: Ethereum data, xDai data, Solana Data.
  • Decoded data: Dunes decodes smart contract activity into human-readable tables.
  • Token standards: These tables make it easy to keep track of ERC20 tokens and the status of NFTs, which flow in and out of contracts and wallets. They are widely used across the dune.
  • ERC-20 balance: The tables allow for easy tracking, wallet balances, token allocations, and token supply over time or in a snapshot format.
  • Abstractions: the custom tables that team Dune and their community maintain.
  • User Generated: users' data tables.
  • Prices: The Price is the volume-weighted price based on real-time market data, translated to USD. This table supports a range of erc20.tokens.
  • Labels: Address labels are a Dune feature where users can add, update, and query labels for any address.

Elements in a Dune App

There are four main features in Dune App, including query, visualizations, dashboards, adding new contract:

  • Query: Dune provides a query editor where users can query their data.
  • Visualizations: Query results are visualized to effectively communicate users' findings to their audience.
  • Dashboards: A layout page to present all visualizations.
  • Adding a new contract.

Create a simple Dune App

Follow these steps to create your Dune App:

Folk query

Firstly, create your query by fork query from someone else or write it yourself. Then, you can search the dashboard or query on the homepage with content you are interested in.

Figure 1. DUNE home page

After choosing a dashboard, you will see all visualizations of that dashboard. If you select a query, the query editor will appear, and you can fork it.

Figure 2. The example dashboard

In the next step, once clicking on the visualization, you will see a query of that visualization, which you can fork and save to your query.

Figure 3. Fork query

Write a new query

Dune app provides a query editor that allows you to query data and share it with everyone

Figure 4. Query editor

Create a dashboard

After building a query and visualizing query results, you can create a new dashboard. In this dashboard, you are able to add query results and visualizations in your collection or others. You can also design a layout for your dashboard.

Conclusion

Dune allows us to develop our view about blockchain data,  share it with everyone, and see other people's perspectives. This platform has a massive quantity of data, including some that we can not discover anywhere else. Nonetheless, Dune is not perfect. We found some defects in it, such as being hard to use for people with no experience with SQL or coding, not allowing chart editing, or Poor user interface design [3]. (According to "Dune Analytics Review and Best Alternatives.”). Thus, it still has a long way to go and develop in the near future.

Reference

[1] “Introduction to Dune Analytics.” Introduction to Dune Analytics, Accessed 2 March 2022.

[2] “Data tables.” Dune Analytics, Accessed 2 March 2022.

[3] “Dune Analytics Review and Best Alternatives.” Crypto Listy, 3 November 2021, Accessed 2 March 2022.