Designing the structure for your data warehouse is a complex and challenging process. As businesses deal with a growing number of sources and types of information that they need to integrate, they need a data modeling strategy that provides them with flexibility and speed. Data Vault is an approach that allows for evolving a data model in place without requiring destructive transformations and massive up front design to answer valuable questions. In this episode Kent Graziano shares his journey with data vault, explains how it allows for an agile approach to data warehousing, and explains the core principles of how to use it. If you're struggling with unwieldy dimensional models, slow moving projects, or challenges integrating new data sources then listen in on this conversation and then give data vault a try for yourself.
Every business collects data in some fashion, but sometimes the true value of the collected information only comes when it is combined with other data sources. Data trusts are a legal framework for allowing businesses to collaboratively pool their data. This allows the members of the trust to increase the value of their individual repositories and gain new insights which would otherwise require substantial effort in duplicating the data owned by their peers. In this episode Tom Plagge and Greg Mundy explain how the BrightHive platform serves to establish and maintain data trusts, the technical and organizational challenges they face, and the outcomes that they have witnessed. If you are curious about data sharing strategies or data collaboratives, then listen now to learn more!
Data pipelines are complicated and business critical pieces of technical infrastructure. Unfortunately they are also complex and difficult to test, leading to a significant amount of technical debt which contributes to slower iteration cycles. In this episode James Campbell describes how he helped create the Great Expectations framework to help you gain control and confidence in your data delivery workflows, the challenges of validating and monitoring the quality and accuracy of your data, and how you can use it in your own environments to improve your ability to move fast.
Building a reliable data platform is a neverending task. Even if you have a process that works for you and your business there can be unexpected events that require a change in your platform architecture. In this episode the head of data for Mayvenn shares their experience migrating an existing set of streaming workflows onto the Ascend platform after their previous vendor was acquired and changed their offering. This is an interesting discussion about the ongoing maintenance and decision making required to keep your business data up to date and accurate.
The modern era of software development is identified by ubiquitous access to elastic infrastructure for computation and easy automation of deployment. This has led to a class of applications that can quickly scale to serve users worldwide. This requires a new class of data storage which can accomodate that demand without having to rearchitect your system at each level of growth. YugabyteDB is an open source database designed to support planet scale workloads with high data density and full ACID compliance. In this episode Karthik Ranganathan explains how Yugabyte is architected, their motivations for being fully open source, and how they simplify the process of scaling your application from greenfield to global.
Databases are useful for inspecting the current state of your application, but inspecting the history of that data can get messy without a way to track changes as they happen. Debezium is an open source platform for reliable change data capture that you can use to build supplemental systems for everything from maintaining audit trails to real-time updates of your data warehouse. In this episode Gunnar Morling and Randall Hauch explain why it got started, how it works, and some of the myriad ways that you can use it. If you have ever struggled with implementing your own change data capture pipeline, or understanding when it would be useful then this episode is for you.
DataDog is one of the most successful companies in the space of metrics and monitoring for servers and cloud infrastructure. In order to support their customers, they need to capture, process, and analyze massive amounts of timeseries data with a high degree of uptime and reliability. Vadim Semenov works on their data engineering team and joins the podcast in this episode to discuss the challenges that he works through, the systems that DataDog has built to power their business, and how their teams are organized to allow for rapid growth and massive scale. Getting an inside look at the companies behind the services we use is always useful, and this conversation was no exception.
Transactional databases used in applications are optimized for fast reads and writes with relatively simple queries on a small number of records. Data warehouses are optimized for batched writes and complex analytical queries. Between those use cases there are varying levels of support for fast reads on quickly changing data. To address that need more completely the team at Materialize has created an engine that allows for building queryable views of your data as it is continually updated from the stream of changes being generated by your applications. In this episode Frank McSherry, chief scientist of Materialize, explains why it was created, what use cases it enables, and how it works to provide fast queries on continually updated data.
Building clean datasets with reliable and reproducible ingestion pipelines is completely useless if it's not possible to find them and understand their provenance. The solution to discoverability and tracking of data lineage is to incorporate a metadata repository into your data platform. The metadata repository serves as a data catalog and a means of reporting on the health and status of your datasets when it is properly integrated into the rest of your tools. At WeWork they needed a system that would provide visibility into their Airflow pipelines and the outputs produced. In this episode Julien Le Dem and Willy Lulciuc explain how they built Marquez to serve that need, how it is architected, and how it compares to other options that you might be considering. Even if you already have a metadata repository this is worth a listen to learn more about the value that visibility of your data can bring to your organization.
Data warehouses have gone through many transformations, from standard relational databases on powerful hardware, to column oriented storage engines, to the current generation of cloud-native analytical engines. SnowflakeDB has been leading the charge to take advantage of cloud services that simplify the separation of compute and storage. In this episode Kent Graziano, chief technical evangelist for SnowflakeDB, explains how it is differentiated from other managed platforms and traditional data warehouse engines, the features that allow you to scale your usage dynamically, and how it allows for a shift in your workflow from ETL to ELT. If you are evaluating your options for building or migrating a data platform, then this is definitely worth a listen.
The financial industry has long been driven by data, requiring a mature and robust capacity for discovering and integrating valuable sources of information. Citadel is no exception, and in this episode Michael Watson and Robert Krzyzanowski share their experiences managing and leading the data engineering teams that power the business. They shared helpful insights into some of the challenges associated with working in a regulated industry, organizing teams to deliver value rapidly and reliably, and how they approach career development for data engineers. This was a great conversation for an inside look at how to buld and maintain a data driven culture.
The team at Sentry has built a platform for anyone in the world to send software errors and events. As they scaled the volume of customers and data they began running into the limitations of their initial architecture. To address the needs of their business and continue to improve their capabilities they settled on Clickhouse as the new storage and query layer to power their business. In this episode James Cunningham and Ted Kaemming describe the process of rearchitecting a production system, what they learned in the process, and some useful tips for anyone else evaluating Clickhouse.
With the constant evolution of technology for data management it can seem impossible to make an informed decision about whether to build a data warehouse, or a data lake, or just leave your data wherever it currently rests. What's worse is that any time you have to migrate to a new architecture, all of your analytical code has to change too. Thankfully it's possible to add an abstraction layer to eliminate the churn in your client code, allowing you to evolve your data platform without disrupting your downstream data users. In this episode AtScale co-founder and CTO Matthew Baird describes how the data virtualization and data engineering automation capabilities that are built into the platform free up your engineers to focus on your business needs without having to waste cycles on premature optimization. This was a great conversation about the power of abstractions and appreciating the value of increasing the efficiency of your data team.
The practice of data management is one that requires technical acumen, but there are also many policy and regulatory issues that inform and influence the design of our systems. With the introduction of legal frameworks such as the EU GDPR and California's CCPA it is necessary to consider how to implement data protectino and data privacy principles in the technical and policy controls that govern our data platforms. In this episode Karen Heaton and Mark Sherwood-Edwards share their experience and expertise in helping organizations achieve compliance. Even if you aren't subject to specific rules regarding data protection it is definitely worth listening to get an overview of what you should be thinking about while building and running data pipelines.
As data engineers the health of our pipelines is our highest priority. Unfortunately, there are countless ways that our dataflows can break or degrade that have nothing to do with the business logic or data transformations that we write and maintain. Sean Knapp founded Ascend to address the operational challenges of running a production grade and scalable Spark infrastructure, allowing data engineers to focus on the problems that power their business. In this episode he explains the technical implementation of the Ascend platform, the challenges that he has faced in the process, and how you can use it to simplify your dataflow automation. This is a great conversation to get an understanding of all of the incidental engineering that is necessary to make your data reliable.
Despite the fact that businesses have relied on useful and accurate data to succeed for decades now, the state of the art for obtaining and maintaining that information still leaves much to be desired. In an effort to create a better abstraction for building data applications Nick Schrock created Dagster. In this episode he explains his motivation for creating a product for data management, how the programming model simplifies the work of building testable and maintainable pipelines, and his vision for the future of data programming. If you are building dataflows then Dagster is definitely worth exploring.
The scale and complexity of the systems that we build to satisfy business requirements is increasing as the available tools become more sophisticated. In order to bridge the gap between legacy infrastructure and evolving use cases it is necessary to create a unifying set of components. In this episode Dipti Borkar explains how the emerging category of data orchestration tools fills this need, some of the existing projects that fit in this space, and some of the ways that they can work together to simplify projects such as cloud migration and hybrid cloud environments. It is always useful to get a broad view of new trends in the industry and this was a helpful perspective on the need to provide mechanisms to decouple physical storage from computing capacity.
Managing a data warehouse can be challenging, especially when trying to maintain a common set of patterns. Dataform is a platform that helps you apply engineering principles to your data transformations and table definitions, including unit testing SQL scripts, defining repeatable pipelines, and adding metadata to your warehouse to improve your team's communication. In this episode CTO and co-founder of Dataform Lewis Hemens joins the show to explain his motivation for creating the platform and company, how it works under the covers, and how you can start using it today to get your data warehouse under control.
The process of exposing your data through a SQL interface has many possible pathways, each with their own complications and tradeoffs. One of the recent options is Rockset, a serverless platform for fast SQL analytics on semi-structured and structured data. In this episode CEO Venkat Venkataramani and SVP of Product Shruti Bhat explain the origins of Rockset, how it is architected to allow for fast and flexible SQL analytics on your data, and how their serverless platform can save you the time and effort of implementing portions of your own infrastructure.
Building an end-to-end pipeline for your machine learning projects is a complex task, made more difficult by the variety of ways that you can structure it. Kedro is a framework that provides an opinionated workflow that lets you focus on the parts that matter, so that you don't waste time on gluing the steps together. In this episode Tom Goldenberg explains how it works, how it is being used at Quantum Black for customer projects, and how it can help you structure your own. Definitely worth a listen to gain more understanding of the benefits that a standardized process can provide.
Object storage is quickly becoming the unifying layer for data intensive applications and analytics. Modern, cloud oriented data warehouses and data lakes both rely on the durability and ease of use that it provides. S3 from Amazon has quickly become the de-facto API for interacting with this service, so the team at MinIO have built a production grade, easy to manage storage engine that replicates that interface. In this episode Anand Babu Periasamy shares the origin story for the MinIO platform, the myriad use cases that it supports, and the challenges that they have faced in replicating the functionality of S3. He also explains the technical implementation, innovative design, and broad vision for the project.
The conventional approach to analytics involves collecting large amounts of data that can be cleaned, followed by a separate step for analysis and interpretation. Unfortunately this strategy is not viable for handling real-time, real-world use cases such as traffic management or supply chain logistics. In this episode Simon Crosby, CTO of Swim Inc., explains how the SwimOS kernel and the enterprise data fabric built on top of it enable brand new use cases for instant insights. This was an eye opening conversation about how stateful computation of data streams from edge devices can reduce cost and complexity as compared to batch oriented workflows.
The first stage in every data project is collecting information and routing it to a storage system for later analysis. For operational data this typically means collecting log messages and system metrics. Often a different tool is used for each class of data, increasing the overall complexity and number of moving parts. The engineers at Timber.io decided to build a new tool in the form of Vector that allows for processing both of these data types in a single framework that is reliable and performant. In this episode Ben Johnson and Luke Steensen explain how the project got started, how it compares to other tools in this space, and how you can get involved in making it even better.
Data professionals are working in a domain that is rapidly evolving. In order to stay current we need access to deeply technical presentations that aren't burdened by extraneous marketing. To fulfill that need Pete Soderling and his team have been running the Data Council series of conferences and meetups around the world. In this episode Pete discusses his motivation for starting these events, how they serve to bring the data community together, and the observations that he has made about the direction that we are moving. He also shares his experiences as an investor in developer oriented startups and his views on the importance of empowering engineers to launch their own companies.
Data engineers are responsible for building tools and platforms to power the workflows of other members of the business. Each group of users has their own set of requirements for the way that they access and interact with those platforms depending on the insights they are trying to gather. Benn Stancil is the chief analyst at Mode Analytics and in this episode he explains the set of considerations and requirements that data analysts need in their tools and. He also explains useful patterns for collaboration between data engineers and data analysts, and what they can learn from each other.
Managing big data projects at scale is a perennial problem, with a wide variety of solutions that have evolved over the past 20 years. One of the early entrants that predates Hadoop and has since been open sourced is the HPCC (High Performance Computing Cluster) system. Designed as a fully integrated platform to meet the needs of enterprise grade analytics it provides a solution for the full lifecycle of data at massive scale. In this episode Flavio Villanustre, VP of infrastructure and products at HPCC Systems, shares the history of the platform, how it is architected for scale and speed, and the unique solutions that it provides for enterprise grade data analytics. He also discusses the motivations for open sourcing the platform, the detailed workflow that it enables, and how you can try it for your own projects. This was an interesting view of how a well engineered product can survive massive evolutionary shifts in the industry while remaining relevant and useful.
The extract and load pattern of data replication is the most commonly needed process in data engineering workflows. Because of the myriad sources and destinations that are available, it is also among the most difficult tasks that we encounter. Fivetran is a platform that does the hard work for you and replicates information from your source systems into whichever data warehouse you use. In this episode CEO and co-founder George Fraser explains how it is built, how it got started, and the challenges that creep in at the edges when dealing with so many disparate systems that need to be made to work together. This is a great conversation to listen to for a better understanding of the challenges inherent in synchronizing your data.
Data is only valuable if you use it for something, and the first step is knowing that it is available. As organizations grow and data sources proliferate it becomes difficult to keep track of everything, particularly for analysts and data scientists who are not involved with the collection and management of that information. Lyft has build the Amundsen platform to address the problem of data discovery and in this episode Tao Feng and Mark Grover explain how it works, why they built it, and how it has impacted the workflow of data professionals in their organization. If you are struggling to realize the value of your information because you don't know what you have or where it is then give this a listen and then try out Amundsen for yourself.
The ETL pattern that has become commonplace for integrating data from multiple sources has proven useful, but complex to maintain. For a small number of sources it is a tractable problem, but as the overall complexity of the data ecosystem continues to expand it may be time to identify new ways to tame the deluge of information. In this episode Tim Ward, CEO of CluedIn, explains the idea of eventual connectivity as a new paradigm for data integration. Rather than manually defining all of the mappings ahead of time, we can rely on the power of graph databases and some strategic metadata to allow connections to occur as the data becomes available. If you are struggling to maintain a tangle of data pipelines then you might find some new ideas for reducing your workload.
The current trend in data management is to centralize the responsibilities of storing and curating the organization's information to a data engineering team. This organizational pattern is reinforced by the architectural pattern of data lakes as a solution for managing storage and access. In this episode Zhamak Dehghani shares an alternative approach in the form of a data mesh. Rather than connecting all of your data flows to one destination, empower your individual business units to create data products that can be consumed by other teams. This was an interesting exploration of a different way to think about the relationship between how your data is produced, how it is used, and how to build a technical platform that supports the organizational needs of your business.
Successful machine learning and artificial intelligence projects require large volumes of data that is properly labelled. The challenge is that most data is not clean and well annotated, requiring a scalable data labeling process. Ideally this process can be done using the tools and systems that already power your analytics, rather than sending data into a black box. In this episode Mark Sears, CEO of CloudFactory, explains how he and his team built a platform that provides valuable service to businesses and meaningful work to developing nations. He shares the lessons learned in the early years of growing the business, the strategies that have allowed them to scale and train their workforce, and the benefits of working within their customer's existing platforms. He also shares some valuable insights into the current state of the art for machine learning in the real world.
The market for data warehouse platforms is large and varied, with options for every use case. ClickHouse is an open source, column-oriented database engine built for interactive analytics with linear scalability. In this episode Robert Hodges and Alexander Zaitsev explain how it is architected to provide these features, the various unique capabilities that it provides, and how to run it in production. It was interesting to learn about some of the custom data types and performance optimizations that are included.
Anomaly detection is a capability that is useful in a variety of problem domains, including finance, internet of things, and systems monitoring. Scaling the volume of events that can be processed in real-time can be challenging, so Paul Brebner from Instaclustr set out to see how far he could push Kafka and Cassandra for this use case. In this interview he explains the system design that he tested, his findings for how these tools were able to work together, and how they behaved at different orders of scale. It was an interesting conversation about how he stress tested the Instaclustr managed service for benchmarking an application that has real-world utility.
Building a data platform that works equally well for data engineering and data science is a task that requires familiarity with the needs of both roles. Data engineering platforms have a strong focus on stateful execution and tasks that are strictly ordered based on dependency graphs. Data science platforms provide an environment that is conducive to rapid experimentation and iteration, with data flowing directly between stages. Jeremiah Lowin has gained experience in both styles of working, leading him to be frustrated with all of the available tools. In this episode he explains his motivation for creating a new workflow engine that marries the needs of data engineers and data scientists, how it helps to smooth the handoffs between teams working on data projects, and how the design lets you focus on what you care about while it handles the failure cases for you. It is exciting to see a new generation of workflow engine that is learning from the benefits and failures of previous tools for processing your data pipelines.
Building and maintaining a data lake is a choose your own adventure of tools, services, and evolving best practices. The flexibility and freedom that data lakes provide allows for generating significant value, but it can also lead to anti-patterns and inconsistent quality in your analytics. Delta Lake is an open source, opinionated framework built on top of Spark for interacting with and maintaining data lake platforms that incorporates the lessons learned at DataBricks from countless customer use cases. In this episode Michael Armbrust, the lead architect of Delta Lake, explains how the project is designed, how you can use it for building a maintainable data lake, and some useful patterns for progressively refining the data in your lake. This conversation was useful for getting a better idea of the challenges that exist in large scale data analytics, and the current state of the tradeoffs between data lakes and data warehouses in the cloud.
Building a machine learning model can be difficult, but that is only half of the battle. Having a perfect model is only useful if you are able to get it into production. In this episode Stepan Pushkarev, founder of Hydrosphere, explains why deploying and maintaining machine learning projects in production is different from regular software projects and the challenges that they bring. He also describes the Hydrosphere platform, and how the different components work together to manage the full lifecycle of model deployment and retraining. This was a useful conversation to get a better understanding of the unique difficulties that exist for machine learning projects.
Building an ETL pipeline can be a significant undertaking, and sometimes it needs to be rebuilt when a better option becomes available. In this episode Aaron Gibralter, director of engineering at Greenhouse, joins Raghu Murthy, founder and CEO of DataCoral, to discuss the journey that he and his team took from an in-house ETL pipeline built out of open source components onto a paid service. He explains how their original implementation was built, why they decided to migrate to a paid service, and how they made that transition. He also discusses how the abstractions provided by DataCoral allows his data scientists to remain productive without requiring dedicated data engineers. If you are either considering how to build a data pipeline or debating whether to migrate your existing ETL to a service this is definitely worth listening to for some perspective.
Some problems in data are well defined and benefit from a ready-made set of tools. For everything else, there's Pachyderm, the platform for data science that is built to scale. In this episode Joe Doliner, CEO and co-founder, explains how Pachyderm started as an attempt to make data provenance easier to track, how the platform is architected and used today, and examples of how the underlying principles manifest in the workflows of data engineers and data scientists as they collaborate on data projects. In addition to all of that he also shares his thoughts on their recent round of fund-raising and where the future will take them. If you are looking for a set of tools for building your data science workflows then Pachyderm is a solid choice, featuring data versioning, first class tracking of data lineage, and language agnostic data pipelines.
In recent years the traditional approach to building data warehouses has shifted from transforming records before loading, to transforming them afterwards. As a result, the tooling for those transformations needs to be reimagined. The data build tool (dbt) is designed to bring battle tested engineering practices to your analytics pipelines. By providing an opinionated set of best practices it simplifies collaboration and boosts confidence in your data teams. In this episode Drew Banin, creator of dbt, explains how it got started, how it is designed, and how you can start using it today to create reliable and well-tested reports in your favorite data warehouse.
The database market continues to expand, offering systems that are suited to virtually every use case. But what happens if you need something customized to your application? FoundationDB is a distributed key-value store that provides the primitives that you need to build a custom database platform. In this episode Ryan Worl explains how it is architected, how to use it for your applications, and provides examples of system design patterns that can be built on top of it. If you need a foundation for your distributed systems, then FoundationDB is definitely worth a closer look.
Kubernetes is a driving force in the renaissance around deploying and running applications. However, managing the database layer is still a separate concern. The KubeDB project was created as a way of providing a simple mechanism for running your storage system in the same platform as your application. In this episode Tamal Saha explains how the KubeDB project got started, why you might want to run your database with Kubernetes, and how to get started. He also covers some of the challenges of managing stateful services in Kubernetes and how the fast pace of the community has contributed to the evolution of KubeDB. If you are at any stage of a Kubernetes implementation, or just thinking about it, this is definitely worth a listen to get some perspective on how to leverage it for your entire application stack.
One of the biggest challenges for any business trying to grow and reach customers globally is how to scale their data storage. FaunaDB is a cloud native database built by the engineers behind Twitter's infrastructure and designed to serve the needs of modern systems. Evan Weaver is the co-founder and CEO of Fauna and in this episode he explains the unique capabilities of Fauna, compares the consensus and transaction algorithm to that used in other NewSQL systems, and describes the ways that it allows for new application design patterns. One of the unique aspects of Fauna that is worth drawing attention to is the first class support for temporality that simplifies querying of historical states of the data. It is definitely worth a good look for anyone building a platform that needs a simple to manage data layer that will scale with your business.
Database indexes are critical to ensure fast lookups of your data, but they are inherently tied to the database engine. Pilosa is rewriting that equation by providing a flexible, scalable, performant engine for building an index of your data to enable high-speed aggregate analysis. In this episode Seebs explains how Pilosa fits in the broader data landscape, how it is architected, and how you can start using it for your own analysis. This was an interesting exploration of a different way to look at what a database can be.
How much time do you spend maintaining your data pipeline? How much end user value does that provide? Raghu Murthy founded DataCoral as a way to abstract the low level details of ETL so that you can focus on the actual problem that you are trying to solve. In this episode he explains his motivation for building the DataCoral platform, how it is leveraging serverless computing, the challenges of delivering software as a service to customer environments, and the architecture that he has designed to make batch data management easier to work with. This was a fascinating conversation with someone who has spent his entire career working on simplifying complex data problems.
Analytics projects fail all the time, resulting in lost opportunities and wasted resources. There are a number of factors that contribute to that failure and not all of them are under our control. However, many of them are and as data engineers we can help to keep our projects on the path to success. Eugene Khazin is the CEO of PrimeTSR where he is tasked with rescuing floundering analytics efforts and ensuring that they provide value to the business. In this episode he reflects on the ways that data projects can be structured to provide a higher probability of success and utility, how data engineers can get throughout the project lifecycle, and how to salvage a failed project so that some value can be gained from the effort.
Data integration is one of the most challenging aspects of any data platform, especially as the variety of data sources and formats grow. Enterprise organizations feel this acutely due to the silos that occur naturally across business units. The CluedIn team experienced this issue first-hand in their previous roles, leading them to build a business aimed at building a managed data fabric for the enterprise. In this episode Tim Ward, CEO of CluedIn, joins me to explain how their platform is architected, how they manage the task of integrating with third-party platforms, automating entity extraction and master data management, and the work of providing multiple views of the same data for different use cases. I highly recommend listening closely to his explanation of how they manage consistency of the data that they process across different storage backends.
Delivering a data analytics project on time and with accurate information is critical to the success of any business. DataOps is a set of practices to increase the probability of success by creating value early and often, and using feedback loops to keep your project on course. In this episode Chris Bergh, head chef of Data Kitchen, explains how DataOps differs from DevOps, how the industry has begun adopting DataOps, and how to adopt an agile approach to building your data platform.
Customer analytics is a problem domain that has given rise to its own industry. In order to gain a full understanding of what your users are doing and how best to serve them you may need to send data to multiple services, each with their own tracking code or APIs. To simplify this process and allow your non-engineering employees to gain access to the information they need to do their jobs Segment provides a single interface for capturing data and routing it to all of the places that you need it. In this interview Segment CTO and co-founder Calvin French-Owen explains how the company got started, how it manages to multiplex data streams from multiple sources to multiple destinations, and how it can simplify your work of gaining visibility into how your customers are engaging with your business.
Deep learning is the latest class of technology that is gaining widespread interest. As data engineers we are responsible for building and managing the platforms that power these models. To help us understand what is involved, we are joined this week by Thomas Henson. In this episode he shares his experiences experimenting with deep learning, what data engineers need to know about the infrastructure and data requirements to power the models that your team is building, and how it can be used to supercharge our ETL pipelines.
Distributed storage systems are the foundational layer of any big data stack. There are a variety of implementations which support different specialized use cases and come with associated tradeoffs. Alluxio is a distributed virtual filesystem which integrates with multiple persistent storage systems to provide a scalable, in-memory storage layer for scaling computational workloads independent of the size of your data. In this episode Bin Fan explains how he got involved with the project, how it is implemented, and the use cases that it is particularly well suited for. If your storage and compute layers are too tightly coupled and you want to scale them independently then Alluxio is the tool for the job.
Machine learning is a class of technologies that promise to revolutionize business. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify and execute on ways that it can be used in large companies. Kevin Dewalt founded Prolego to help Fortune 500 companies build, launch, and maintain their first machine learning projects so that they can remain competitive in our landscape of constant change. In this episode he discusses why machine learning projects require a new set of capabilities, how to build a team from internal and external candidates, and how an example project progressed through each phase of maturity. This was a great conversation for anyone who wants to understand the benefits and tradeoffs of machine learning for their own projects and how to put it into practice.
Archaeologists collect and create a variety of data as part of their research and exploration. Open Context is a platform for cleaning, curating, and sharing this data. In this episode Eric Kansa describes how they process, clean, and normalize the data that they host, the challenges that they face with scaling ETL processes which require domain specific knowledge, and how the information contained in connections that they expose is being used for interesting projects.
Controlling access to a database is a solved problem... right? It can be straightforward for small teams and a small number of storage engines, but once either or both of those start to scale then things quickly become complex and difficult to manage. After years of running across the same issues in numerous companies and even more projects Justin McCarthy built strongDM to solve database access management for everyone. In this episode he explains how the strongDM proxy works to grant and audit access to storage systems and the benefits that it provides to engineers and team leads.
Building internal expertise around big data in a large organization is a major competitive advantage. However, it can be a difficult process due to compliance needs and the need to scale globally on day one. In this episode Jesper Søgaard and Keld Antonsen share the story of starting and growing the big data group at LEGO. They discuss the challenges of being at global scale from the start, hiring and training talented engineers, prototyping and deploying new systems in the cloud, and what they have learned in the process. This is a useful conversation for engineers, managers, and leadership who are interested in building enterprise big data systems.
The past year has been an active one for the timeseries market. New products have been launched, more businesses have moved to streaming analytics, and the team at Timescale has been keeping busy. In this episode the TimescaleDB CEO Ajay Kulkarni and CTO Michael Freedman stop by to talk about their 1.0 release, how the use cases for timeseries data have proliferated, and how they are continuing to simplify the task of processing your time oriented events.
The Hadoop platform is purpose built for processing large, slow moving data in long-running batch jobs. As the ecosystem around it has grown, so has the need for fast data analytics on fast moving data. To fill this need the Kudu project was created with a column oriented table format that was tuned for high volumes of writes and rapid query execution across those tables. For a perfect pairing, they made it easy to connect to the Impala SQL engine. In this episode Brock Noland and Jordan Birdsell from PhData explain how Kudu is architected, how it compares to other storage systems in the Hadoop orbit, and how to start integrating it into you analytics pipeline.
As more companies and organizations are working to gain a real-time view of their business, they are increasingly turning to stream processing technologies to fullfill that need. However, the storage requirements for continuous, unbounded streams of data are markedly different than that of batch oriented workloads. To address this shortcoming the team at Dell EMC has created the open source Pravega project. In this episode Tom Kaitchuk explains how Pravega simplifies storage and processing of data streams, how it integrates with processing engines such as Flink, and the unique capabilities that it provides in the area of exactly once processing and transactions. And if you listen at approximately the half-way mark, you can hear as the hosts mind is blown by the possibilities of treating everything, including schema information, as a stream.
Processing high velocity time-series data in real-time is a complex challenge. The team at PipelineDB has built a continuous query engine that simplifies the task of computing aggregates across incoming streams of events. In this episode Derek Nelson and Usman Masood explain how it is architected, strategies for designing your data flows, how to scale it up and out, and edge cases to be aware of.
Every business needs a pipeline for their critical data, even if it is just pasting into a spreadsheet. As the organization grows and gains more customers, the requirements for that pipeline will change. In this episode Christian Heinzmann, Head of Data Warehousing at Grubhub, discusses the various requirements for data pipelines and how the overall system architecture evolves as more data is being processed. He also covers the changes in how the output of the pipelines are used, how that impacts the expectations for accuracy and availability, and some useful advice on build vs. buy for the components of a data platform.
Apache Spark is a popular and widely used tool for a variety of data oriented projects. With the large array of capabilities, and the complexity of the underlying system, it can be difficult to understand how to get started using it. Jean George Perrin has been so impressed by the versatility of Spark that he is writing a book for data engineers to hit the ground running. In this episode he helps to make sense of what Spark is, how it works, and the various ways that you can use it. He also discusses what you need to know to get it deployed and keep it running in a production environment and how it fits into the overall data ecosystem.
Distributed systems are complex to build and operate, and there are certain primitives that are common to a majority of them. Rather then re-implement the same capabilities every time, many projects build on top of Apache Zookeeper. In this episode Patrick Hunt explains how the Apache Zookeeper project was started, how it functions, and how it is used as a building block for other distributed systems. He also explains the operational considerations for running your own cluster, how it compares to more recent entrants such as Consul and EtcD, and what is in store for the future.
When your data lives in multiple locations, belonging to at least as many applications, it is exceedingly difficult to ask complex questions of it. The default way to manage this situation is by crafting pipelines that will extract the data from source systems and load it into a data lake or data warehouse. In order to make this situation more manageable and allow everyone in the business to gain value from the data the folks at Dremio built a self service data platform. In this episode Tomer Shiran, CEO and co-founder of Dremio, explains how it fits into the modern data landscape, how it works under the hood, and how you can start using it today to make your life easier.
Modern applications and data platforms aspire to process events and data in real time at scale and with low latency. Apache Flink is a true stream processing engine with an impressive set of capabilities for stateful computation at scale. In this episode Fabian Hueske, one of the original authors, explains how Flink is architected, how it is being used to power some of the world's largest businesses, where it sits in the lanscape of stream processing tools, and how you can start using it today.
A data lake can be a highly valuable resource, as long as it is well built and well managed. Unfortunately, that can be a complex and time-consuming effort, requiring specialized knowledge and diverting resources from your primary business. In this episode Yoni Iny, CTO of Upsolver, discusses the various components that are necessary for a successful data lake project, how the Upsolver platform is architected, and how modern data lakes can benefit your organization.
Business intelligence is a necessity for any organization that wants to be able to make informed decisions based on the data that they collect. Unfortunately, it is common for different portions of the business to build their reports with different assumptions, leading to conflicting views and poor choices. Looker is a modern tool for building and sharing reports that makes it easy to get everyone on the same page. In this episode Daniel Mintz explains how the product is architected, the features that make it easy for any business user to access and explore their reports, and how you can use it for your organization today.
Jupyter notebooks have gained popularity among data scientists as an easy way to do exploratory analysis and build interactive reports. However, this can cause difficulties when trying to move the work of the data scientist into a more standard production environment, due to the translation efforts that are necessary. At Netflix they had the crazy idea that perhaps that last step isn't necessary, and the production workflows can just run the notebooks directly. Matthew Seal is one of the primary engineers who has been tasked with building the tools and practices that allow the various data oriented roles to unify their work around notebooks. In this episode he explains the rationale for the effort, the challenges that it has posed, the development that has been done to make it work, and the benefits that it provides to the Netflix data platform teams.
As data science becomes more widespread and has a bigger impact on the lives of people, it is important that those projects and products are built with a conscious consideration of ethics. Keeping ethical principles in mind throughout the lifecycle of a data project helps to reduce the overall effort of preventing negative outcomes from the use of the final product. Emily Miller and Peter Bull of Driven Data have created Deon to improve the communication and conversation around ethics among and between data teams. It is a Python project that generates a checklist of common concerns for data oriented projects at the various stages of the lifecycle where they should be considered. In this episode they discuss their motivation for creating the project, the challenges and benefits of maintaining such a checklist, and how you can start using it today.
With the growth of the Hadoop ecosystem came a proliferation of implementations for the Hive table format. Unfortunately, with no formal specification, each project works slightly different which increases the difficulty of integration across systems. The Hive format is also built with the assumptions of a local filesystem which results in painful edge cases when leveraging cloud object storage for a data lake. In this episode Ryan Blue explains how his work on the Iceberg table format specification and reference implementation has allowed Netflix to improve the performance and simplify operations for their S3 data lake. This is a highly detailed and technical exploration of how a well-engineered metadata layer can improve the speed, accuracy, and utility of large scale, multi-tenant, cloud-native data platforms.
One of the most complex aspects of managing data for analytical workloads is moving it from a transactional database into the data warehouse. What if you didn't have to do that at all? MemSQL is a distributed database built to support concurrent use by transactional, application oriented, and analytical, high volume, workloads on the same hardware. In this episode the CEO of MemSQL describes how the company and database got started, how it is architected for scale and speed, and how it is being used in production. This was a deep dive on how to build a successful company around a powerful platform, and how that platform simplifies operations for enterprise grade data management.
There are countless sources of data that are publicly available for use. Unfortunately, combining those sources and making them useful in aggregate is a time consuming and challenging process. The team at Enigma builds a knowledge graph for use in your own data projects. In this episode Chris Groskopf explains the platform they have built to consume large varieties and volumes of public data for constructing a graph for serving to their customers. He discusses the challenges they are facing to scale the platform and engineering processes, as well as the workflow that they have established to enable testing of their ETL jobs. This is a great episode to listen to for ideas on how to organize a data engineering organization.
As your data needs scale across an organization the need for a carefully considered approach to collection, storage, organization, and access becomes increasingly critical. In this episode Todd Walter shares his considerable experience in data curation to clarify the many aspects that are necessary for a successful platform for your business. Using the metaphor of a museum curator carefully managing the precious resources on display and in the vaults, he discusses the various layers of an enterprise data strategy. This includes modeling the lifecycle of your information as a pipeline from the raw, messy, loosely structured records in your data lake, through a series of transformations and ultimately to your data warehouse. He also explains which layers are useful for the different members of the business, and which pitfalls to look out for along the path to a mature and flexible data platform.
Every business with a website needs some way to keep track of how much traffic they are getting, where it is coming from, and which actions are being taken. The default in most cases is Google Analytics, but this can be limiting when you wish to perform detailed analysis of the captured data. To address this problem, Alex Dean co-founded Snowplow Analytics to build an open source platform that gives you total control of your website traffic data. In this episode he explains how the project and company got started, how the platform is architected, and how you can start using it today to get a clearer view of how your customers are interacting with your web and mobile applications.
Elasticsearch is a powerful tool for storing and analyzing data, but when using it for logs and other time oriented information it can become problematic to keep all of your history. Chaos Search was started to make it easy for you to keep all of your data and make it usable in S3, so that you can have the best of both worlds. In this episode the CTO, Thomas Hazel, and VP of Product, Pete Cheslock, describe how they have built a platform to let you keep all of your history, save money, and reduce your operational overhead. They also explain some of the types of data that you can use with Chaos Search, how to load it into S3, and when you might want to choose it over Amazon Athena for our serverless data analysis.
With the proliferation of data sources to give a more comprehensive view of the information critical to your business it is even more important to have a canonical view of the entities that you care about. Is customer number 342 in your ERP the same as Bob Smith on Twitter? Building a master data set helps you answer these questions reliably and simplify the process of building your business intelligence reports. In this episode the head of product at Tamr, Mark Marinelli, discusses the challenges of building a master data set, why you should have one, and some of the techniques that modern platforms and systems provide for maintaining it.
There are myriad reasons why data should be protected, and just as many ways to enforce it in tranist or at rest. Unfortunately, there is still a weak point where attackers can gain access to your unencrypted information. In this episode Ellison Anny Williams, CEO of Enveil, describes how her company uses homomorphic encryption to ensure that your analytical queries can be executed without ever having to decrypt your data.
The way that you store your data can have a huge impact on the ways that it can be practically used. For a substantial number of use cases, the optimal format for storing and querying that information is as a graph, however databases architected around that use case have historically been difficult to use at scale or for serving fast, distributed queries. In this episode Manish Jain explains how DGraph is overcoming those limitations, how the project got started, and how you can start using it today. He also discusses the various cases where a graph storage layer is beneficial, and when you would be better off using something else. In addition he talks about the challenges of building a distributed, consistent database and the tradeoffs that were made to make DGraph a reality.
The theory behind how a tool is supposed to work and the realities of putting it into practice are often at odds with each other. Learning the pitfalls and best practices from someone who has gained that knowledge the hard way can save you from wasted time and frustration. In this episode James Meickle discusses his recent experience building a new installation of Airflow. He points out the strengths, design flaws, and areas of improvement for the framework. He also describes the design patterns and workflows that his team has built to allow them to use Airflow as the basis of their data science platform.
One of the longest running and most popular open source database projects is PostgreSQL. Because of its extensibility and a community focus on stability it has stayed relevant as the ecosystem of development environments and data requirements have changed and evolved over its lifetime. It is difficult to capture any single facet of this database in a single conversation, let alone the entire surface area, but in this episode Jonathan Katz does an admirable job of it. He explains how Postgres started and how it has grown over the years, highlights the fundamental features that make it such a popular choice for application developers, and the ongoing efforts to add the complex features needed by the demanding workloads of today's data layer. To cap it off he reviews some of the exciting features that the community is working on building into future releases.
With the attention being paid to the systems that power large volumes of high velocity data it is easy to forget about the value of data collection at human scales. Ona is a company that is building technologies to support mobile data collection, analysis of the aggregated information, and user-friendly presentations. In this episode CTO Peter Lubell-Doughtie describes the architecture of the platform, the types of environments and use cases where it is being employed, and the value of small data.
When working with large volumes of data that you need to access in parallel across multiple instances you need a distributed filesystem that will scale with your workload. Even better is when that same system provides multiple paradigms for interacting with the underlying storage. Ceph is a highly available, highly scalable, and performant system that has support for object storage, block storage, and native filesystem access. In this episode Sage Weil, the creator and lead maintainer of the project, discusses how it got started, how it works, and how you can start using it on your infrastructure today. He also explains where it fits in the current landscape of distributed storage and the plans for future improvements.
Data integration and routing is a constantly evolving problem and one that is fraught with edge cases and complicated requirements. The Apache NiFi project models this problem as a collection of data flows that are created through a self-service graphical interface. This framework provides a flexible platform for building a wide variety of integrations that can be managed and scaled easily to fit your particular needs. In this episode project members Kevin Doran and Andy LoPresto discuss the ways that NiFi can be used, how to start using it in your environment, and plans for future development. They also explained how it fits in the broad landscape of data tools, the interesting and challenging aspects of the project, and how to build new extensions.
Data is often messy or incomplete, requiring human intervention to make sense of it before being usable as input to machine learning projects. This is problematic when the volume scales beyond a handful of records. In this episode Dr. Cheryl Martin, Chief Data Scientist for Alegion, discusses the importance of properly labeled information for machine learning and artificial intelligence projects, the systems that they have built to scale the process of incorporating human intelligence in the data preparation process, and the challenges inherent to such an endeavor.
Collaboration, distribution, and installation of software projects is largely a solved problem, but the same cannot be said of data. Every data team has a bespoke means of sharing data sets, versioning them, tracking related metadata and changes, and publishing them for use in the software systems that rely on them. The CEO and founder of Quilt Data, Kevin Moore, was sufficiently frustrated by this problem to create a platform that attempts to be the means by which data can be as collaborative and easy to work with as GitHub and your favorite programming language. In this episode he explains how the project came to be, how it works, and the many ways that you can start using it today.
Web and mobile analytics are an important part of any business, and difficult to get right. The most frustrating part is when you realize that you haven't been tracking a key interaction, having to write custom logic to add that event, and then waiting to collect data. Heap is a platform that automatically tracks every event so that you can retroactively decide which actions are important to your business and easily build reports with or without SQL. In this episode Dan Robinson, CTO of Heap, describes how they have architected their data infrastructure, how they build their tracking agents, and the data virtualization layer that enables users to define their own labels.
With the increased ease of gaining access to servers in data centers across the world has come the need for supporting globally distributed data storage. With the first wave of cloud era databases the ability to replicate information geographically came at the expense of transactions and familiar query languages. To address these shortcomings the engineers at Cockroach Labs have built a globally distributed SQL database with full ACID semantics in Cockroach DB. In this episode Peter Mattis, the co-founder and VP of Engineering at Cockroach Labs, describes the architecture that underlies the database, the challenges they have faced along the way, and the ways that you can use it in your own environments today.
Using a multi-model database in your applications can greatly reduce the amount of infrastructure and complexity required. ArangoDB is a storage engine that supports documents, dey/value, and graph data formats, as well as being fast and scalable. In this episode Jan Steeman and Jan Stücke explain where Arango fits in the crowded database market, how it works under the hood, and how you can start working with it today.
Building an ETL pipeline is a common need across businesses and industries. It's easy to get one started but difficult to manage as new requirements are added and greater scalability becomes necessary. Rather than duplicating the efforts of other engineers it might be best to use a hosted service to handle the plumbing so that you can focus on the parts that actually matter for your business. In this episode CTO and co-founder of Alooma, Yair Weinberger, explains how the platform addresses the common needs of data collection, manipulation, and storage while allowing for flexible processing. He describes the motivation for starting the company, how their infrastructure is architected, and the challenges of supporting multi-tenancy and a wide variety of integrations.
Most businesses end up with data in a myriad of places with varying levels of structure. This makes it difficult to gain insights from across departments, projects, or people. Presto is a distributed SQL engine that allows you to tie all of your information together without having to first aggregate it all into a data warehouse. Kamil Bajda-Pawlikowski co-founded Starburst Data to provide support and tooling for Presto, as well as contributing advanced features back to the project. In this episode he describes how Presto is architected, how you can use it for your analytics, and the work that he is doing at Starburst Data.
The Open Data Science Conference brings together a variety of data professionals each year in Boston. This week's episode consists of a pair of brief interviews conducted on-site at the conference. First up you'll hear from Andy Eschbacher of Carto. He dscribes some of the complexities inherent to working with geospatial data, how they are handling it, and some of the interesting use cases that they enable for their customers. Next is Todd Blaschka, COO of TigerGraph. He explains how graph databases differ from relational engines, where graph algorithms are useful, and how TigerGraph is built to alow for fast and scalable operation.
The Open Data Science Conference brings together a variety of data professionals each year in Boston. This week's episode consists of a pair of brief interviews conducted on-site at the conference. First up you'll hear from Alan Anders, the CTO of Applecart about their challenges with getting Spark to scale for constructing an entity graph from multiple data sources. Next I spoke with Stepan Pushkarev, the CEO, CTO, and Co-Founder of Hydrosphere.io about the challenges of running machine learning models in production and how his team tracks key metrics and samples production data to re-train and re-deploy those models for better accuracy and more robust operation.
Business Intelligence software is often cumbersome and requires specialized knowledge of the tools and data to be able to ask and answer questions about the state of the organization. Metabase is a tool built with the goal of making the act of discovering information and asking questions of an organizations data easy and self-service for non-technical users. In this episode the CEO of Metabase, Sameer Al-Sakran, discusses how and why the project got started, the ways that it can be used to build and share useful reports, some of the useful features planned for future releases, and how to get it set up to start using it in your environment.
The information about how data is acquired and processed is often as important as the data itself. For this reason metadata management systems are built to track the journey of your business data to aid in analysis, presentation, and compliance. These systems are frequently cumbersome and difficult to maintain, so Octopai was founded to alleviate that burden. In this episode Amnon Drori, CEO and co-founder of Octopai, discusses the business problems he witnessed that led him to starting the company, how their systems are able to provide valuable tools and insights, and the direction that their product will be taking in the future.
The rate of change in the data engineering industry is alternately exciting and exhausting. Joe Crobak found his way into the work of data management by accident as so many of us do. After being engrossed with researching the details of distributed systems and big data management for his work he began sharing his findings with friends. This led to his creation of the Hadoop Weekly newsletter, which he recently rebranded as the Data Engineering Weekly newsletter. In this episode he discusses his experiences working as a data engineer in industry and at the USDS, his motivations and methods for creating a newsleteter, and the insights that he has gleaned from it.
Managing an analytics project can be difficult due to the number of systems involved and the need to ensure that new information can be delivered quickly and reliably. That challenge can be met by adopting practices and principles from lean manufacturing and agile software development, and the cross-functional collaboration, feedback loops, and focus on automation in the DevOps movement. In this episode Christopher Bergh discusses ways that you can start adding reliability and speed to your workflow to deliver results with confidence and consistency.
Cloud computing and ubiquitous virtualization have changed the ways that our applications are built and deployed. This new environment requires a new way of tracking and addressing the security of our systems. ThreatStack is a platform that collects all of the data that your servers generate and monitors for unexpected anomalies in behavior that would indicate a breach and notifies you in near-realtime. In this episode ThreatStack's director of operations, Pete Cheslock, and senior infrastructure security engineer, Patrick Cable, discuss the data infrastructure that supports their platform, how they capture and process the data from client systems, and how that information can be used to keep your systems safe from attackers.
The data that is used in financial markets is time oriented and multidimensional, which makes it difficult to manage in either relational or timeseries databases. To make this information more manageable the team at Alapaca built a new data store specifically for retrieving and analyzing data generated by trading markets. In this episode Hitoshi Harada, the CTO of Alapaca, and Christopher Ryan, their lead software engineer, explain their motivation for building MarketStore, how it operates, and how it has helped to simplify their development workflows.
Search is a common requirement for applications of all varieties. Elasticsearch was built to make it easy to include search functionality in projects built in any language. From that foundation, the rest of the Elastic Stack has been built, expanding to many more use cases in the proces. In this episode Philipp Krenn describes the various pieces of the stack, how they fit together, and how you can use them in your infrastructure to store, search, and analyze your data.
As software lifecycles move faster, the database needs to be able to keep up. Practices such as version controlled migration scripts and iterative schema evolution provide the necessary mechanisms to ensure that your data layer is as agile as your application. Pramod Sadalage saw the need for these capabilities during the early days of the introduction of modern development practices and co-authored a book to codify a large number of patterns to aid practitioners, and in this episode he reflects on the current state of affairs and how things have changed over the past 12 years.
Data is an increasingly sought after raw material for business in the modern economy. One of the factors driving this trend is the increase in applications for machine learning and AI which require large quantities of information to work from. As the demand for data becomes more widespread the market for providing it will begin transform the ways that information is collected and shared among and between organizations. With his experience as a chair for the O'Reilly AI conference and an investor for data driven businesses Roger Chen is well versed in the challenges and solutions being facing us. In this episode he shares his perspective on the ways that businesses can work together to create shared data resources that will allow them to reduce the redundancy of their foundational data and improve their overall effectiveness in collecting useful training sets for their particular products.
One of the sources of data that often gets overlooked is the systems that we use to run our businesses. This data is not used to directly provide value to customers or understand the functioning of the business, but it is still a critical component of a successful system. Sam Stokes is an engineer at Honeycomb where he helps to build a platform that is able to capture all of the events and context that occur in our production environments and use them to answer all of your questions about what is happening in your system right now. In this episode he discusses the challenges inherent in capturing and analyzing event data, the tools that his team is using to make it possible, and how this type of knowledge can be used to improve your critical infrastructure.