How to add impact analysis in GitHub

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If you have ever changed a dbt model only to find out later that it broke a downstream table or dashboard, Atlan provides a GitHub Action to help you out.

This action places Atlan's impact analysis right into your pull request. So, you can view the potential downstream impact of your changes before merging the pull request.


Before running the action, you will need to create an Atlan API token.

Configure the action

To set up the Atlan dbt action in GitHub:

  1. Create repository secrets in your repository:
    • ATLAN_INSTANCE_URL with the URL of your Atlan instance.
    • ATLAN_API_TOKEN with the value of the API token.
  2. Add the GitHub Action to your workflow:
    1. Create a workflow file in your repository — .github/workflows/atlan-dbt.yml.
    2. Add the following code to your workflow file:
      name: Atlan dbt action
          types: [opened, edited, synchronize, reopened, closed]
          name: Get Downstream Assets
          runs-on: ubuntu-latest
            - name: Run Action
              uses: atlanhq/dbt-action@v1
                GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN}}
                ATLAN_INSTANCE_URL: ${{secrets.ATLAN_INSTANCE_URL}}
                ATLAN_API_TOKEN: ${{secrets.ATLAN_API_TOKEN}}

Test the action

After you've completed the configuration above, create a pull request with a changed dbt model file to test the action. You should see the Atlan GitHub action running and then adding comments in your pull request:

  • The GitHub workflow will add and update a single comment for every file change.
  • The impacted assets in the comment will be displayed in a collapsible section and grouped by source and asset type.
  • The comment will include some metadata for your impacted assets — such as descriptions, owners, and linked glossary terms.
  • View the impacted assets in Atlan or open the source URL — for example, view an impacted Looker dashboard directly in Looker.


Name Description Required
GITHUB_TOKEN For writing comments on PRs to print downstream assets true
ATLAN_INSTANCE_URL For making API requests to the user's tenant true
ATLAN_API_TOKEN For authenticating API requests to the user's tenant true

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