The Beginner’s Guide to DATAVIEW Obsidian Plugin — 10 areas where things can go wrong and how to fix them

Obsidian Beginner’s Series: Plugins > Dataview

Denise Todd
19 min readJun 13, 2022

Don’t let DATAVIEW scare you. Beginners can benefit from it too. It is a powerful and versatile plugin for Obsidian that enables you to see your notes in a report format.

Dataview Report Screenshot | by Denise Todd

The official documentation states: “Dataview is a live index and query engine over your knowledge base. You can associate data (like tags, dates, snippets, numbers, and so on) with your markdown pages, and then query (like filter, sort, transform) this data.”

Got that? Yeah, me neither.

Let’s simplify it for us beginners. Think of data view as a report generator. It can produce a list/report of things like:

  • books you’re reading, or want to read
  • people you know, or need to follow up with
  • work contacts and with their phone numbers
  • software you own and associated renewal dates and amounts
  • upcoming expenses, when they are due, with the amount due

Basically, Dataview reads your Obsidian vault and selects and spits out the information you tell it to in a table/report/list format.



Denise Todd

Author/Speaker writing about supporting other writers, critical thinking, knowledge management, story structure, and other things that matter.