Our view of the structure and dynamics of our Galaxy has progressed, pushed by the acquisition of ever larger datasets that encompass wider perspectives. At the dawn of the Gaia era, we are about to enter a phase of unprecedented detail in our view of our Galaxy. This opens up the possibility of using new analysis tools, or the use of traditional tools at newer scales. However, to extract the most of the Gaia database, it is necessary to immerse our theoretical models within Gaia mock catalogues to derive proper inferences about the structure of our Galaxy. We will review several tools developed by our group to construct and analyze realistic Gaia mock catalogues and some of the lessons we have learnt from them.