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I can now chat with my database!

Build a virtual assistant that can talk with you data and share insights.

By Anant JainPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
I can now chat with my database!
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash


In today’s data-driven world, the ability to quickly and efficiently query databases is crucial. Traditional methods often require expertise in SQL, making it challenging for non-specialists to access the insights they need. Enter Vanna AI - a groundbreaking tool that leverages artificial intelligence to bridge this gap, enabling users to interact with their databases through natural language queries. This story will explore the significance of Vanna AI, its core features, and practical applications.

Why Use AI to Chat with Your Database?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way we interact with databases. Here are some key reasons why using AI to chat with your database is a game-changer:

  • Benefits of AI Over Traditional Querying Methods: Traditional querying methods require users to have a strong understanding of SQL. This can be a barrier for many professionals who need insights from the database but lack SQL expertise. By using AI, users can converse with their databases in natural language, bypassing the need for complex SQL knowledge. This democratizes data access, allowing more stakeholders within an organization to derive value from the database.
  • Streamlining Data Insights for Non-Experts: Non-experts often struggle with forming accurate SQL queries, leading to delays and potential errors. With Vanna AI, users can simply ask their questions in plain English, and the AI will generate the appropriate SQL query. This streamlining of data insights empowers employees across various departments, from marketing to finance, to make data-driven decisions without requiring constant support from the IT team.
  • Efficiency Improvements for SQL Experts: Even for those well-versed in SQL, AI offers significant efficiency improvements. Instead of spending time writing detailed queries, experts can use Vanna AI to quickly generate the queries they need. This allows them to focus more on analyzing the results and deriving actionable insights, rather than getting bogged down in query syntax.

Understanding Vanna AI

How Vanna AI Works

At its core, Vanna AI is designed to transform natural language queries into SQL commands. This is made possible through its retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) framework, which leverages large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT to interpret and translate user inputs into SQL.

Architecture of Vanna AI - Courtsey: Romina Mendez

Key Features of Vanna AI

  • Model Training: One of the standout features of Vanna AI is its ability to allow users to train the RAG model on their own data sources. This includes feeding it Data Definition Language (DDL) statements, existing documentation, and SQL queries. This customization ensures that the AI is well-tailored to the specific needs and nuances of your database, leading to more accurate and relevant query generation.
  • User Query Handling: Vanna AI excels in handling user queries by allowing them to pose questions in natural language. Whether you’re asking for sales data, customer information, or inventory levels, Vanna AI can interpret your query and generate the corresponding SQL command. This simplifies the process of data retrieval and reduces the dependency on technical knowledge.
  • Comprehensive Documentation and Community Support: For those new to Vanna AI, there’s an extensive array of documentation available to help you get started. Additionally, there’s a vibrant support community on Discord, where you can connect with other users, share insights, and get troubleshooting assistance. This combination of resources ensures that you’re never left in the dark when using Vanna AI.
  • Database Connections: Vanna AI supports connections to multiple databases, making it versatile for various business needs. Whether you’re using PostgreSQL, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, or Amazon Athena, Vanna AI can seamlessly integrate and help you retrieve and execute SQL queries.

Setting Up Vanna AI

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Getting started with Vanna AI is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide as explained by Romina Mendez

Install vanna-ai

!pip install vanna

API Key Retrieval: First, you’ll need to register at Vanna AI to acquire an API key. Use your registered email to obtain this key, which will be essential for interacting with the Vanna API.

Setting the API Key and Model: Once you have your API key, you’ll need to configure it along with the specific model you wish to use. For example, you might choose the “chinook” model for initial testing.

Connecting to the Database: Next, establish a connection with your database. This can be done using an SQLite file available at Chinook, or other databases you might be using in your projects.

Question in Natural Language: Finally, you’re ready to start querying! Simply pose a natural language question to Vanna AI, and it will generate the corresponding SQL query, execute it, and return the results in a readable format, such as a pandas DataFrame or a Plotly chart.

Step to install and using Vanna AI - Courtesy : Romina Mendez

SQL Query

How the natural query converted to SQL - Courtesy : Romina Mendez

Chart Output

Chatview - Courtesy : Romina Mendez

New Questions

Next set of questions based on the original query - Courtesy : Romina Mendez


Vanna AI offers an innovative solution for querying databases through natural language, democratizing data access and streamlining workflows for both non-experts and SQL-savvy users. Its robust features, extensive support, and ease of use make it a valuable tool for any organization looking to enhance their data querying capabilities. At Creole Studios, we understand the potential of NL to SQL to NL process and Vanna AI makes the whole experience fluid. We would be happy to help you visualise your data.

product reviewartificial intelligence

About the Creator

Anant Jain

I am Anant Jain, CEO @ Creole Studios. I envision a future where data, empowered by Generative AI, transforms the way we interact with information. We are moving towards an era without traditional dashboards or reports.

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    Anant JainWritten by Anant Jain

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