For any business that wants to stay in operation, the most important thing they can do is understand their customers. American Express has invested substantial time and effort in their Customer 360 product to achieve that understanding. In this episode Purvi Shah, the VP of Enterprise Big Data Platforms at American Express, explains how they have invested in the cloud to power this visibility and the complex suite of integrations they have built and maintained across legacy and modern systems to make it possible.
The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA
A lot of the work that goes into data engineering is trying to make sense of the "data exhaust" from other applications and services. There is an undeniable amount of value and utility in that information, but it also introduces significant cost and time requirements. In this episode Nick King discusses how you can be intentional about data creation in your applications and services to reduce the friction and errors involved in building data products and ML applications. He also describes the considerations involved in bringing behavioral data into your systems, and the ways that he and the rest of the Snowplow team are working to make that an easy addition to your platforms.
7 November 2022 •
Despite the best efforts of data engineers, data is as messy as the real world. Entity resolution and fuzzy matching are powerful utilities for cleaning up data from disconnected sources, but it has typically required custom development and training machine learning models. Sonal Goyal created and open-sourced Zingg as a generalized tool for data mastering and entity resolution to reduce the effort involved in adopting those practices. In this episode she shares the story behind the project, the details of how it is implemented, and how you can use it for your own data projects.
7 November 2022 •
Business intelligence has grown beyond its initial manifestation as dashboards and reports. In its current incarnation it has become a ubiquitous need for analytics and opportunities to answer questions with data. In this episode Amir Orad discusses the Sisense platform and how it facilitates the embedding of analytics and data insights in every aspect of organizational and end-user experiences.
31 October 2022 •
One of the most impactful technologies for data analytics in recent years has been dbt. It's hard to have a conversation about data engineering or analysis without mentioning it. Despite its widespread adoption there are still rough edges in its workflow that cause friction for data analysts. To help simplify the adoption and management of dbt projects Nandam Karthik helped create Optimus. In this episode he shares his experiences working with organizations to adopt analytics engineering patterns and the ways that Optimus and dbt were combined to let data analysts deliver insights without the roadblocks of complex pipeline management.
30 October 2022 •
Agile methodologies have been adopted by a majority of teams for building software applications. Applying those same practices to data can prove challenging due to the number of systems that need to be included to implement a complete feature. In this episode Shane Gibson shares practical advice and insights from his years of experience as a consultant and engineer working in data about how to adopt agile principles in your data work so that you can move faster and provide more value to the business, while building systems that are maintainable and adaptable.
23 October 2022 •
The database market has seen unprecedented activity in recent years, with new options addressing a variety of needs being introduced on a nearly constant basis. Despite that, there are a handful of databases that continue to be adopted due to their proven reliability and robust features. MariaDB is one of those default options that has continued to grow and innovate while offering a familiar and stable experience. In this episode field CTO Manjot Singh shares his experiences as an early user of MySQL and MariaDB and explains how the suite of products being built on top of the open source foundation address the growing needs for advanced storage and analytical capabilities.
23 October 2022 •
Logistics and supply chains are under increased stress and scrutiny in recent years. In order to stay ahead of customer demands, businesses need to be able to react quickly and intelligently to changes, which requires fast and accurate insights into their operations. Pathway is a streaming database engine that embeds artificial intelligence into the storage, with functionality designed to support the spatiotemporal data that is crucial for shipping and logistics. In this episode Adrian Kosowski explains how the Pathway product got started, how its design simplifies the creation of data products that support supply chain operations, and how developers can help to build an ecosystem of applications that allow businesses to accelerate their time to insight.
16 October 2022 •
The "lakehouse" architecture balances the scalability and flexibility of data lakes with the ease of use and transaction support of data warehouses. Dremio is one of the companies leading the development of products and services that support the open lakehouse. In this episode Jason Hughes explains what it means for a lakehouse to be "open" and describes the different components that the Dremio team build and contribute to.
16 October 2022 •
The core of any data platform is the centralized storage and processing layer. For many that is a data warehouse, but in order to support a diverse and constantly changing set of uses and technologies the data lakehouse is a paradigm that offers a useful balance of scale and cost, with performance and ease of use. In order to make the data lakehouse available to a wider audience the team at Iomete built an all-in-one service that handles management and integration of the various technologies so that you can worry about answering important business questions. In this episode Vusal Dadalov explains how the platform is implemented, the motivation for a truly open architecture, and how they have invested in integrating with the broader ecosystem to make it easy for you to get started.
10 October 2022 •
The global economy is dependent on complex and dynamic networks of supply chains powered by sophisticated logistics. This requires a significant amount of data to track shipments and operational characteristics of materials and goods. Roambee is a platform that collects, integrates, and analyzes all of that information to provide companies with the critical insights that businesses need to stay running, especially in a time of such constant change. In this episode Roambee CEO, Sanjay Sharma, shares the types of questions that companies are asking about their logistics, the technical work that they do to provide ways to answer those questions, and how they approach the challenge of data quality in its many forms.
3 October 2022 •
Data lineage is something that has grown from a convenient feature to a critical need as data systems have grown in scale, complexity, and centrality to business. Alvin is a platform that aims to provide a low effort solution for data lineage capabilities focused on simplifying the work of data engineers. In this episode co-founder Martin Sahlen explains the impact that easy access to lineage information can have on the work of data engineers and analysts, and how he and his team have designed their platform to offer that information to engineers and stakeholders in the places that they interact with data.
3 October 2022 •
Regardless of how data is being used, it is critical that the information is trusted. The practice of data reliability engineering has gained momentum recently to address that question. To help support the efforts of data teams the folks at Soda Data created the Soda Checks Language and the corresponding Soda Core utility that acts on this new DSL. In this episode Tom Baeyens explains their reasons for creating a new syntax for expressing and validating checks for data assets and processes, as well as how to incorporate it into your own projects.
26 September 2022 •
Data integration from source systems to their downstream destinations is the foundational step for any data product. With the increasing expecation for information to be instantly accessible, it drives the need for reliable change data capture. The team at Fivetran have recently introduced that functionality to power real-time data products. In this episode Mark Van de Wiel explains how they integrated CDC functionality into their existing product, discusses the nuances of different approaches to change data capture from various sources.
26 September 2022 •
There is a constant tension in business data between growing siloes, and breaking them down. Even when a tool is designed to integrate information as a guard against data isolation, it can easily become a silo of its own, where you have to make a point of using it to seek out information. In order to help distribute critical context about data assets and their status into the locations where work is being done Nicholas Freund co-founded Workstream. In this episode he discusses the challenge of maintaining shared visibility and understanding of data work across the various stakeholders and his efforts to make it a seamless experience.
19 September 2022 •
In order to improve efficiency in any business you must first know what is contributing to wasted effort or missed opportunities. When your business operates across multiple locations it becomes even more challenging and important to gain insights into how work is being done. In this episode Tommy Yionoulis shares his experiences working in the service and hospitality industries and how that led him to found OpsAnalitica, a platform for collecting and analyzing metrics on multi location businesses and their operational practices. He discusses the challenges of making data collection purposeful and efficient without distracting employees from their primary duties and how business owners can use the provided analytics to support their staff in their duties.
19 September 2022 •
Data engineering systems are complex and interconnected with myriad and often opaque chains of dependencies. As they scale, the problems of visibility and dependency management can increase at an exponential rate. In order to turn this into a tractable problem one approach is to define and enforce contracts between producers and consumers of data. Ananth Packildurai created Schemata as a way to make the creation of schema contracts a lightweight process, allowing the dependency chains to be constructed and evolved iteratively and integrating validation of changes into standard delivery systems. In this episode he shares the design of the project and how it fits into your development practices.
12 September 2022 •
Any business that wants to understand their operations and customers through data requires some form of pipeline. Building reliable data pipelines is a complex and costly undertaking with many layered requirements. In order to reduce the amount of time and effort required to build pipelines that power critical insights Manish Jethani co-founded Hevo Data. In this episode he shares his journey from building a consumer product to launching a data pipeline service and how his frustrations as a product owner have informed his work at Hevo Data.
12 September 2022 •
The global climate impacts everyone, and the rate of change introduces many questions that businesses need to consider. Getting answers to those questions is challenging, because the climate is a multidimensional and constantly evolving system. Sust Global was created to provide curated data sets for organizations to be able to analyze climate information in the context of their business needs. In this episode Gopal Erinjippurath discusses the data engineering challenges of building and serving those data sets, and how they are distilling complex climate information into consumable facts so you don't have to be an expert to understand it.
5 September 2022 •
A Reflection On Data Observability As It Reaches Broader Adoption
5 September 2022 •
The dream of every engineer is to automate all of their tasks. For data engineers, this is a monumental undertaking. Orchestration engines are one step in that direction, but they are not a complete solution. In this episode Sean Knapp shares his views on what constitutes proper automation and the work that he and his team at Ascend are doing to help make it a reality.
29 August 2022 •
AirBnB pioneered a number of the organizational practices that have become the goal of modern data teams. Out of that culture a number of successful businesses were created to provide the tools and methods to a broader audience. In this episode several almuni of AirBnB's formative years who have gone on to found their own companies join the show to reflect on their shared successes, missed opportunities, and lessons learned.
28 August 2022 •
The position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) is relatively new in the business world and has not been universally adopted. As a result, not everyone understands what the responsibilities of the role are, when you need one, and how to hire for it. In this episode Tracy Daniels, CDO of Truist, shares her journey into the position, her responsibilities, and her relationship to the data professionals in her organization.
22 August 2022 •
Data has permeated every aspect of our lives and the products that we interact with. As a result, end users and customers have come to expect interactions and updates with services and analytics to be fast and up to date. In this episode Shruti Bhat gives her view on the state of the ecosystem for real-time data and the work that she and her team at Rockset is doing to make it easier for engineers to build those experiences.
22 August 2022 •
Data engineers have typically left the process of data labeling to data scientists or other roles because of its nature as a manual and process heavy undertaking, focusing instead on building automation and repeatable systems. Watchful is a platform to make labeling a repeatable and scalable process that relies on codifying domain expertise. In this episode founder Shayan Mohanty explains how he and his team are bringing software best practices and automation to the world of machine learning data preparation and how it allows data engineers to be involved in the process.
14 August 2022 •
Data is useless if it isn't being used, and you can't use it if you don't know where it is. Data catalogs were the first solution to this problem, but they are only helpful if you know what you are looking for. In this episode Shinji Kim discusses the challenges of data discovery and how to collect and preserve additional context about each piece of information so that you can find what you need when you don't even know what you're looking for yet.
14 August 2022 •
Data mesh is a frequent topic of conversation in the data community, with many debates about how and when to employ this architectural pattern. The team at AgileLab have first-hand experience helping large enterprise organizations evaluate and implement their own data mesh strategies. In this episode Paolo Platter shares the lessons they have learned in that process, the Data Mesh Boost platform that they have built to reduce some of the boilerplate required to make it successful, and some of the considerations to make when deciding if a data mesh is the right choice for you.
6 August 2022 •
The optimal format for storage and retrieval of data is dependent on how it is going to be used. For analytical systems there are decades of investment in data warehouses and various modeling techniques. For machine learning applications relational models require additional processing to be directly useful, which is why there has been a growth in the use of vector databases. These platforms store direct representations of the vector embeddings that machine learning models rely on for computing relevant predictions so that there is no additional processing required to go from input data to inference output. In this episode Frank Liu explains how the open source Milvus vector database is implemented to speed up machine learning development cycles, how to think about proper storage and scaling of these vectors, and how data engineering and machine learning teams can collaborate on the creation and maintenance of these data sets.
6 August 2022 •
Data lineage is the roadmap for your data platform, providing visibility into all of the dependencies for any report, machine learning model, or data warehouse table that you are working with. Because of its centrality to your data systems it is valuable for debugging, governance, understanding context, and myriad other purposes. This means that it is important to have an accurate and complete lineage graph so that you don't have to perform your own detective work when time is in short supply. In this episode Ernie Ostic shares the approach that he and his team at Manta are taking to build a complete view of data lineage across the various data systems in your organization and the useful applications of that information in the work of every data stakeholder.
31 July 2022 •
Exploratory data analysis works best when the feedback loop is fast and iterative. This is easy to achieve when you are working on small datasets, but as they scale up beyond what can fit on a single machine those short iterations quickly become long and tedious. The Arkouda project is a Python interface built on top of the Chapel compiler to bring back those interactive speeds for exploratory analysis on horizontally scalable compute that parallelizes operations on large volumes of data. In this episode David Bader explains how the framework operates, the algorithms that are built into it to support complex analyses, and how you can start using it today.
31 July 2022 •
Data engineering is a difficult job, requiring a large number of skills that often don't overlap. Any effort to understand how to start a career in the role has required stitching together information from a multitude of resources that might not all agree with each other. In order to provide a single reference for anyone tasked with data engineering responsibilities Joe Reis and Matt Housley took it upon themselves to write the book "Fundamentals of Data Engineering". In this episode they share their experiences researching and distilling the lessons that will be useful to data engineers now and into the future, without being tied to any specific technologies that may fade from fashion.
24 July 2022 •
The current stage of evolution in the data management ecosystem has resulted in domain and use case specific orchestration capabilities being incorporated into various tools. This complicates the work involved in making end-to-end workflows visible and integrated. Dagster has invested in bringing insights about external tools' dependency graphs into one place through its "software defined assets" functionality. In this episode Nick Schrock discusses the importance of orchestration and a central location for managing data systems, the road to Dagster's 1.0 release, and the new features coming with Dagster Cloud's general availability.
24 July 2022 •
There are extensive and valuable data sets that are available outside the bounds of your organization. Whether that data is public, paid, or scraped it requires investment and upkeep to acquire and integrate it with your systems. Crux was built to reduce the total cost of acquisition and ownership for integrating external data, offering a fully managed service for delivering those data assets in the manner that best suits your infrastructure. In this episode Crux CTO Mark Etherington discusses the different costs involved in managing external data, how to think about the total return on investment for your data, and how the Crux platform is architected to reduce the toil involved in managing third party data.
17 July 2022 •
Data engineering is a large and growing subject, with new technologies, specializations, and "best practices" emerging at an accelerating pace. This podcast does its best to explore this fractal ecosystem, and has been at it for the past 5+ years. In this episode Joe Reis, founder of Ternary Data and co-author of "Fundamentals of Data Engineering", turns the tables and interviews the host, Tobias Macey, about his journey into podcasting, how he runs the show behind the scenes, and the other things that occupy his time.
17 July 2022 •
Building a data platform is a journey, not a destination. Beyond the work of assembling a set of technologies and building integrations across them, there is also the work of growing and organizing a team that can support and benefit from that platform. In this episode Inbar Yogev and Lior Winner share the journey that they and their teams at Riskified have been on for their data platform. They also discuss how they have established a guild system for training and supporting data professionals in the organization.
10 July 2022 •
Building and maintaining reliable data assets is the prime directive for data engineers. While it is easy to say, it is endlessly complex to implement, requiring data professionals to be experts in a wide range of disparate topics while designing and implementing complex topologies of information workflows. In order to make this a tractable problem it is essential that engineers embrace automation at every opportunity. In this episode Chris Riccomini shares his experiences building and scaling data operations at WePay and LinkedIn, as well as the lessons he has learned working with other teams as they automated their own systems.
10 July 2022 •
The ecosystem for data tools has been going through rapid and constant evolution over the past several years. These technological shifts have brought about corresponding changes in data and platform architectures for managing data and analytical workflows. In this episode Colleen Tartow shares her insights into the motivating factors and benefits of the most prominent patterns that are in the popular narrative; data mesh and the modern data stack. She also discusses her views on the role of the data lakehouse as a building block for these architectures and the ongoing influence that it will have as the technology matures.
3 July 2022 •
The perennial challenge of data engineers is ensuring that information is integrated reliably. While it is straightforward to know whether a synchronization process succeeded, it is not always clear whether every record was copied correctly. In order to quickly identify if and how two data systems are out of sync Gleb Mezhanskiy and Simon Eskildsen partnered to create the open source data-diff utility. In this episode they explain how the utility is implemented to run quickly and how you can start using it in your own data workflows to ensure that your data warehouse isn't missing any records from your source systems.
3 July 2022 •
The proliferation of sensors and GPS devices has dramatically increased the number of applications for geospatial technologies, and the need to analyze and understand related datasets. In order to reduce the friction involved in aggregating disparate data sets that share geographic similarities the Unfolded team built a platform that supports working across raster, vector, and tabular data in a single system. In this episode Isaac Brodsky explains how the Unfolded platform is architected, their experience joining the team at Foursquare, and how you can start using it for analyzing your spatial data today.
27 June 2022 •
The most complicated part of data engineering is the effort involved in making the raw data fit into the narrative of the business. Master Data Management (MDM) is the process of building consensus around what the information actually means in the context of the business and then shaping the data to match those semantics. In this episode Malcolm Hawker shares his years of experience working in this domain to explore the combination of technical and social skills that are necessary to make an MDM project successful both at the outset and over the long term.
27 June 2022 •
Data analysis is a valuable exercise that is often out of reach of non-technical users as a result of the complexity of data systems. In order to lower the barrier to entry Ryan Buick created the Canvas application with a spreadsheet oriented workflow that is understandable to a wide audience. In this episode Ryan explains how he and his team have designed their platform to bring everyone onto a level playing field and the benefits that it provides to the organization.
19 June 2022 •
Metadata is the lifeblood of your data platform, providing information about what is happening in your systems. A variety of platforms have been developed to capture and analyze that information to great effect, but they are inherently limited in their utility due to their nature as storage systems. In order to level up their value a new trend of active metadata is being implemented, allowing use cases like keeping BI reports up to date, auto-scaling your warehouses, and automated data governance. In this episode Prukalpa Sankar joins the show to talk about the work she and her team at Atlan are doing to push this capability into the mainstream.
19 June 2022 •
Building a well rounded and effective data team is an iterative process, and the first hire can set the stage for future success or failure. Trupti Natu has been the first data hire multiple times and gone through the process of building teams across the different stages of growth. In this episode she shares her thoughts and insights on how to be intentional about establishing your own data team.
13 June 2022 •
Unstructured data takes many forms in an organization. From a data engineering perspective that often means things like JSON files, audio or video recordings, images, etc. Another category of unstructured data that every business deals with is PDFs, Word documents, workstation backups, and countless other types of information. Aparavi was created to tame the sprawl of information across machines, datacenters, and clouds so that you can reduce the amount of duplicate data and save time and money on managing your data assets. In this episode Rod Christensen shares the story behind Aparavi and how you can use it to cut costs and gain value for the long tail of your unstructured data.
13 June 2022 •
The best way to make sure that you don't leak sensitive data is to never have it in the first place. The team at Skyflow decided that the second best way is to build a storage system dedicated to securely managing your sensitive information and making it easy to integrate with your applications and data systems. In this episode Sean Falconer explains the idea of a data privacy vault and how this new architectural element can drastically reduce the potential for making a mistake with how you manage regulated or personally identifiable information.
6 June 2022 •
Cloud services have made highly scalable and performant data platforms economical and manageable for data teams. However, they are still challenging to work with and manage for anyone who isn't in a technical role. Hung Dang understood the need to make data more accessible to the entire organization and created Y42 as a better user experience on top of the "modern data stack". In this episode he shares how he designed the platform to support the full spectrum of technical expertise in an organization and the interesting engineering challenges involved.
6 June 2022 •
A large fraction of data engineering work involves moving data from one storage location to another in order to support different access and query patterns. Singlestore aims to cut down on the number of database engines that you need to run so that you can reduce the amount of copying that is required. By supporting fast, in-memory row-based queries and columnar on-disk representation, it lets your transactional and analytical workloads run in the same database. In this episode SVP of engineering Shireesh Thota describes the impact on your overall system architecture that Singlestore can have and the benefits of using a cloud-native database engine for your next application.
30 May 2022 •
The latest generation of data warehouse platforms have brought unprecedented operational simplicity and effectively infinite scale. Along with those benefits, they have also introduced a new consumption model that can lead to incredibly expensive bills at the end of the month. In order to ensure that you can explore and analyze your data without spending money on inefficient queries Mingsheng Hong and Zheng Shao created Bluesky Data. In this episode they explain how their platform optimizes your Snowflake warehouses to reduce cost, as well as identifying improvements that you can make in your queries to reduce their contribution to your bill.
30 May 2022 •
The interfaces and design cues that a tool offers can have a massive impact on who is able to use it and the tasks that they are able to perform. With an eye to making data workflows more accessible to everyone in an organization Raj Bains and his team at Prophecy designed a powerful and extensible low-code platform that lets technical and non-technical users scale data flows without forcing everyone into the same layers of abstraction. In this episode he explores the tension between code-first and no-code utilities and how he is working to balance the strengths without falling prey to their shortcomings.
23 May 2022 •
Machine learning has become a meaningful target for data applications, bringing with it an increase in the complexity of orchestrating the entire data flow. Flyte is a project that was started at Lyft to address their internal needs for machine learning and integrated closely with Kubernetes as the execution manager. In this episode Ketan Umare and Haytham Abuelfutuh share the story of the Flyte project and how their work at Union is focused on supporting and scaling the code and community that has made Flyte successful.
23 May 2022 •
Industrial applications are one of the primary adopters of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with business critical operations being informed by data collected across a fleet of sensors. Vopak is a business that manages storage and distribution of a variety of liquids that are critical to the modern world, and they have recently launched a new platform to gain more utility from their industrial sensors. In this episode Mário Pereira shares the system design that he and his team have developed for collecting and managing the collection and analysis of sensor data, and how they have split the data processing and business logic responsibilities between physical terminals and edge locations, and centralized storage and compute.
16 May 2022 •
Designing a data platform is a complex and iterative undertaking which requires accounting for many conflicting needs. Designing a platform that relies on a data lake as its central architectural tenet adds additional layers of difficulty. Srivatsan Sridharan has had the opportunity to design, build, and run data lake platforms for both Yelp and Robinhood, with many valuable lessons learned from each experience. In this episode he shares his insights and advice on how to approach such an undertaking in your own organization.
16 May 2022 •
Dan Delorey helped to build the core technologies of Google's cloud data services for many years before embarking on his latest adventure as the VP of Data at SoFi. From being an early engineer on the Dremel project, to helping launch and manage BigQuery, on to helping enterprises adopt Google's data products he learned all of the critical details of how to run services used by data platform teams. Now he is the consumer of many of the tools that his work inspired. In this episode he takes a trip down memory lane to weave an interesting and informative narrative about the broader themes throughout his work and their echoes in the modern data ecosystem.
9 May 2022 •
Many of the events, ideas, and objects that we try to represent through data have a high degree of connectivity in the real world. These connections are best represented and analyzed as graphs to provide efficient and accurate analysis of their relationships. TigerGraph is a leading database that offers a highly scalable and performant native graph engine for powering graph analytics and machine learning. In this episode Jon Herke shares how TigerGraph customers are taking advantage of those capabilities to achieve meaningful discoveries in their fields, the utilities that it provides for modeling and managing your connected data, and some of his own experiences working with the platform before joining the company.
9 May 2022 •
The predominant pattern for data integration in the cloud has become extract, load, and then transform or ELT. Matillion was an early innovator of that approach and in this episode CTO Ed Thompson explains how they have evolved the platform to keep pace with the rapidly changing ecosystem. He describes how the platform is architected, the challenges related to selling cloud technologies into enterprise organizations, and how you can adopt Matillion for your own workflows to reduce the maintenance burden of data integration workflows.
2 May 2022 •
Building a data platform is an iterative and evolutionary process that requires collaboration with internal stakeholders to ensure that their needs are being met. Yotpo has been on a journey to evolve and scale their data platform to continue serving the needs of their organization as it increases the scale and sophistication of data usage. In this episode Doron Porat and Liran Yogev explain how they arrived at their current architecture, the capabilities that they are optimizing for, and the complex process of identifying and evaluating new components to integrate into their systems. This is an excellent exploration of the decisions and tradeoffs that need to be made while building such a complex system.
2 May 2022 •
A huge amount of effort goes into modeling and shaping data to make it available for analytical purposes. This is often due to the need to simplify the final queries so that they are performant for visualization or limited exploration. In order to cut down the level of effort involved in making data usable, Matthew Halliday and his co-founders created Incorta as an end-to-end, in-memory analytical engine that removes barriers to insights on your data. In this episode he explains how the system works, the use cases that it empowers, and how you can start using it for your own analytics today.
24 April 2022 •
There are very few tools which are equally useful for data engineers, data scientists, and machine learning engineers. WhyLogs is a powerful library for flexibly instrumenting all of your data systems to understand the entire lifecycle of your data from source to productionized model. In this episode Andy Dang explains why the project was created, how you can apply it to your existing data systems, and how it functions to provide detailed context for being able to gain insight into all of your data processes.
24 April 2022 •
The next paradigm shift in computing is coming in the form of quantum technologies. Quantum procesors have gained significant attention for their speed and computational power. The next frontier is in quantum networking for highly secure communications and the ability to distribute across quantum processing units without costly translation between quantum and classical systems. In this episode Prineha Narang, co-founder and CTO of Aliro, explains how these systems work, the capabilities that they can offer, and how you can start preparing for a post-quantum future for your data systems.
18 April 2022 •
Putting machine learning models into production and keeping them there requires investing in well-managed systems to manage the full lifecycle of data cleaning, training, deployment and monitoring. This requires a repeatable and evolvable set of processes to keep it functional. The term MLOps has been coined to encapsulate all of these principles and the broader data community is working to establish a set of best practices and useful guidelines for streamlining adoption. In this episode Demetrios Brinkmann and David Aponte share their perspectives on this rapidly changing space and what they have learned from their work building the MLOps community through blog posts, podcasts, and discussion forums.
16 April 2022 •
Data engineering is a practice that is multi-faceted and requires integration with a large number of systems. This often means working across multiple tools to get the job done which can introduce significant cost to productivity due to the number of context switches. Rivery is a platform designed to reduce this incidental complexity and provide a single system for working across the different stages of the data lifecycle. In this episode CEO and founder Itamar Ben hemo explains how his experiences in the industry led to his vision for the Rivery platform as a single place to build end-to-end analytical workflows, including how it is architected and how you can start using it today for your own work.
11 April 2022 •
Any time that you are storing data about people there are a number of privacy and security considerations that come with it. Privacy engineering is a growing field in data management that focuses on how to protect attributes of personal data so that the containing datasets can be shared safely. In this episode Gretel co-founder and CTO John Myers explains how they are building tools for data engineers and analysts to incorporate privacy engineering techniques into their workflows and validate the safety of their data against re-identification attacks.
10 April 2022 •
The flexibility of software oriented data workflows is useful for fulfilling complex requirements, but for simple and repetitious use cases it adds significant complexity. Coalesce is a platform designed to reduce repetitive work for common workflows by adopting a visual pipeline builder to support your data warehouse transformations. In this episode Satish Jayanthi explains how he is building a framework to allow enterprises to move quickly while maintaining guardrails for data workflows. This allows everyone in the business to participate in data analysis in a sustainable manner.
3 April 2022 •
Building a data platform for your organization is a challenging undertaking. Building multiple data platforms for other organizations as a service without burning out is another thing entirely. In this episode Brandon Beidel from Red Ventures shares his experiences as a data product manager in charge of helping his customers build scalable analytics systems that fit their needs. He explains the common patterns that have been useful across multiple use cases, as well as when and how to build customized solutions.
3 April 2022 •
At the foundational layer many databases and data processing engines rely on key/value storage for managing the layout of information on the disk. RocksDB is one of the most popular choices for this component and has been incorporated into popular systems such as ksqlDB. As these systems are scaled to larger volumes of data and higher throughputs the RocksDB engine can become a bottleneck for performance. In this episode Adi Gelvan shares the work that he and his team at SpeeDB have put into building a drop-in replacement for RocksDB that eliminates that bottleneck. He explains how they redesigned the core algorithms and storage management features to deliver ten times faster throughput, how the lower latencies work to reduce the burden on platform engineers, and how they are working toward an open source offering so that you can try it yourself with no friction.
27 March 2022 •
Data governance is a practice that requires a high degree of flexibility and collaboration at the organizational and technical levels. The growing prominence of cloud and hybrid environments in data management adds additional stress to an already complex endeavor. Privacera is an enterprise grade solution for cloud and hybrid data governance built on top of the robust and battle tested Apache Ranger project. In this episode Balaji Ganesan shares how his experiences building and maintaining Ranger in previous roles helped him understand the needs of organizations and engineers as they define and evolve their data governance policies and practices.
27 March 2022 •
Data assets and the pipelines that create them have become critical production infrastructure for companies. This adds a requirement for reliability and management of up-time similar to application infrastructure. In this episode Francisco Alberini and Mei Tao share their insights on what incident management looks like for data platforms and the teams that support them.
20 March 2022 •
Data and analytics are permeating every system, including customer-facing applications. The introduction of embedded analytics to an end-user product creates a significant shift in requirements for your data layer. The Pinot OLAP datastore was created for this purpose, optimizing for low latency queries on rapidly updating datasets with highly concurrent queries. In this episode Kishore Gopalakrishna and Xiang Fu explain how it is able to achieve those characteristics, their work at StarTree to make it more easily available, and how you can start using it for your own high throughput data workloads today.
20 March 2022 •
Data observability is a term that has been co-opted by numerous vendors with varying ideas of what it should mean. At Acceldata, they view it as a holistic approach to understanding the computational and logical elements that power your analytical capabilities. In this episode Tristan Spaulding, head of product at Acceldata, explains the multi-dimensional nature of gaining visibility into your running data platform and how they have architected their platform to assist in that endeavor.
14 March 2022 •
The modern data stack is a constantly moving target which makes it difficult to adopt without prior experience. In order to accelerate the time to deliver useful insights at organizations of all sizes that are looking to take advantage of these new and evolving architectures Tarush Aggarwal founded 5X Data. In this episode he explains how he works with these companies to deploy the technology stack and pairs them with an experienced engineer who assists with the implementation and training to let them realize the benefits of this architecture. He also shares his thoughts on the current state of the ecosystem for modern data vendors and trends to watch as we move into the future.
14 March 2022 •
When you think about selecting a database engine for your project you typically consider options focused on serving multiple concurrent users. Sometimes what you really need is an embedded database that is blazing fast for single user workloads. DuckDB is an in-process database engine optimized for OLAP applications to speed up your analytical queries that meets you where you are, whether that's Python, R, Java, even the web. In this episode, Hannes Mühleisen, co-creator and CEO of DuckDB Labs, shares the motivations for creating the project, the myriad ways that it can be used to speed up your data projects, and the detailed engineering efforts that go into making it adaptable to any environment. This is a fascinating and humorous exploration of a truly useful piece of technology.
5 March 2022 •
Databases are an important component of application architectures, but they are often difficult to work with. HarperDB was created with the core goal of being a developer friendly database engine. In the process they ended up creating a scalable distributed engine that works across edge and datacenter environments to support a variety of novel use cases. In this episode co-founder and CEO Stephen Goldberg shares the history of the project, how it is architected to achieve their goals, and how you can start using it today.
5 March 2022 •
Building a data platform is a complex journey that requires a significant amount of planning to do well. It requires knowledge of the available technologies, the requirements of the operating environment, and the expectations of the stakeholders. In this episode Tobias Macey, the host of the show, reflects on his plans for building a data platform and what he has learned from running the podcast that is influencing his choices.
28 February 2022 •
There are a wealth of options for managing structured and textual data, but unstructured binary data assets are not as well supported across the ecosystem. As organizations start to adopt cloud technologies they need a way to manage the distribution, discovery, and collaboration of data across their operating environments. To help solve this complicated challenge Krishna Subramanian and her co-founders at Komprise built a system that allows you to treat use and secure your data wherever it lives, and track copies across environments without requiring manual intervention. In this episode she explains the difficulties that everyone faces as they scale beyond a single operating environment, and how the Komprise platform reduces the burden of managing large and heterogeneous collections of unstructured files.
28 February 2022 •
Python has grown to be one of the top languages used for all aspects of data, from collection and cleaning, to analysis and machine learning. Along with that growth has come an explosion of tools and engines that help power these workflows, which introduces a great deal of complexity when scaling from single machines and exploratory development to massively parallel distributed computation. In answer to that challenge the Fugue project offers an interface to automatically translate across Pandas, Spark, and Dask execution environments without having to modify your logic. In this episode core contributor Kevin Kho explains how the slight differences in the underlying engines can lead to big problems, how Fugue works to hide those differences from the developer, and how you can start using it in your own work today.
21 February 2022 •
The life sciences as an industry has seen incredible growth in scale and sophistication, along with the advances in data technology that make it possible to analyze massive amounts of genomic information. In this episode Guy Yachdav, director of software engineering for ImmunAI, shares the complexities that are inherent to managing data workflows for bioinformatics. He also explains how he has architected the systems that ingest, process, and distribute the data that he is responsible for and the requirements that are introduced when collaborating with researchers, domain experts, and machine learning developers.
21 February 2022 •
Streaming data sources are becoming more widely available as tools to handle their storage and distribution mature. However it is still a challenge to analyze this data as it arrives, while supporting integration with static data in a unified syntax. Deephaven is a project that was designed from the ground up to offer an intuitive way for you to bring your code to your data, whether it is streaming or static without having to know which is which. In this episode Pete Goddard, founder and CEO of Deephaven shares his journey with the technology that powers the platform, how he and his team are pouring their energy into the community edition of the technology so that you can use it freely in your own work.
14 February 2022 •
Collecting, integrating, and activating data are all challenging activities. When that data pertains to your customers it can become even more complex. To simplify the work of managing the full flow of your customer data and keep you in full control the team at Rudderstack created their eponymous open source platform that allows you to work with first and third party data, as well as build and manage reverse ETL workflows. In this episode CEO and founder Soumyadeb Mitra explains how Rudderstack compares to the various other tools and platforms that share some overlap, how to set it up for your own data needs, and how it is architected to scale to meet demand.
14 February 2022 •
Along with globalization of our societies comes the need to analyze the geospatial and geotemporal data that is needed to manage the growth in commerce, communications, and other activities. In order to make geospatial analytics more maintainable and scalable there has been an increase in the number of database engines that provide extensions to their SQL syntax that supports manipulation of spatial data. In this episode Matthew Forrest shares his experiences of working in the domain of geospatial analytics and the application of SQL dialects to his analysis.
7 February 2022 •
There are many dimensions to the work of protecting the privacy of users in our data. When you need to share a data set with other teams, departments, or businesses then it is of utmost importance that you eliminate or obfuscate personal information. In this episode Will Thompson explores the many ways that sensitive data can be leaked, re-identified, or otherwise be at risk, as well as the different strategies that can be employed to mitigate those attack vectors. He also explains how he and his team at Privacy Dynamics are working to make those strategies more accessible to organizations so that you can focus on all of the other tasks required of you.
6 February 2022 •
The Data Engineering Podcast has been going for five years now and has included conversations and interviews with a huge number of guests, covering a broad range of topics. In addition to that, the host curated the essays contained in the book "97 Things Every Data Engineer Should Know", using the knowledge and context gained from running the show to inform the selection process. In this episode he shares some reflections on producing the podcast, compiling the book, and relevant trends in the ecosystem of data engineering. He also provides some advice for those who are early in their career of data engineering and looking to advance in their roles.
31 January 2022 •
Pandas is a powerful tool for cleaning, transforming, manipulating, or enriching data, among many other potential uses. As a result it has become a standard tool for data engineers for a wide range of applications. Matt Harrison is a Python expert with a long history of working with data who now spends his time on consulting and training. He recently wrote a book on effective patterns for Pandas code, and in this episode he shares advice on how to write efficient data processing routines that will scale with your data volumes, while being understandable and maintainable.
31 January 2022 •
Data platforms are exemplified by a complex set of connections that are subject to a set of constantly evolving requirements. In order to make this a tractable problem it is necessary to define boundaries for communication between concerns, which brings with it the need to establish interface contracts for communicating across those boundaries. The recent move toward the data mesh as a formalized architecture that builds on this design provides the language that data teams need to make this a more organized effort. In this episode Abhi Sivasailam shares his experience designing and implementing a data mesh solution with his team at Flexport, and the importance of defining and enforcing data contracts that are implemented at those domain boundaries.
23 January 2022 •
Data engineering is a relatively young and rapidly expanding field, with practitioners having a wide array of experiences as they navigate their careers. Ashish Mrig currently leads the data analytics platform for Wayfair, as well as running a local data engineering meetup. In this episode he shares his career journey, the challenges related to management of data professionals, and the platform design that he and his team have built to power analytics at a large company. He also provides some excellent insights into the factors that play into the build vs. buy decision at different organizational sizes.
23 January 2022 •
Data quality control is a requirement for being able to trust the various reports and machine learning models that are relying on the information that you curate. Rules based systems are useful for validating known requirements, but with the scale and complexity of data in modern organizations it is impractical, and often impossible, to manually create rules for all potential errors. The team at Anomalo are building a machine learning powered platform for identifying and alerting on anomalous and invalid changes in your data so that you aren't flying blind. In this episode founders Elliot Shmukler and Jeremy Stanley explain how they have architected the system to work with your data warehouse and let you know about the critical issues hiding in your data without overwhelming you with alerts.
15 January 2022 •
Applications of data have grown well beyond the venerable business intelligence dashboards that organizations have relied on for decades. Now it is being used to power consumer facing services, influence organizational behaviors, and build sophisticated machine learning systems. Given this increased level of importance it has become necessary for everyone in the business to treat data as a product in the same way that software applications have driven the early 2000s. In this episode Brian McMillan shares his work on the book "Building Data Products" and how he is working to educate business users and data professionals about the combination of technical, economical, and business considerations that need to be blended for these projects to succeed.
15 January 2022 •
Reverse ETL is a product category that evolved from the landscape of customer data platforms with a number of companies offering their own implementation of it. While struggling with the work of automating data integration workflows with marketing, sales, and support tools Brian Leonard accidentally discovered this need himself and turned it into the open source framework Grouparoo. In this episode he explains why he decided to turn these efforts into an open core business, how the platform is implemented, and the benefits of having an open source contender in the landscape of operational analytics products.
8 January 2022 •
Data observability is a set of technical and organizational capabilities related to understanding how your data is being processed and used so that you can proactively identify and fix errors in your workflows. In this episode Metaplane founder Kevin Hu shares his working definition of the term and explains the work that he and his team are doing to cut down on the time to adoption for this new set of practices. He discusses the factors that influenced his decision to start with the data warehouse, the potential shortcomings of that approach, and where he plans to go from there. This is a great exploration of what it means to treat your data platform as a living system and apply state of the art engineering to it.
8 January 2022 •
Communication and shared context are the hardest part of any data system. In recent years the focus has been on data catalogs as the means for documenting data assets, but those introduce a secondary system of record in order to find the necessary information. In this episode Emily Riederer shares her work to create a controlled vocabulary for managing the semantic elements of the data managed by her team and encoding it in the schema definitions in her data warehouse. She also explains how she created the dbtplyr package to simplify the work of creating and enforcing your own controlled vocabularies.
2 January 2022 •
This has been an active year for the data ecosystem, with a number of new product categories and substantial growth in existing areas. In an attempt to capture the zeitgeist Maura Church, David Wallace, Benn Stancil, and Gleb Mezhanskiy join the show to reflect on the past year and share their thought son the year to come.
2 January 2022 •
The data mesh is a thesis that was presented to address the technical and organizational challenges that businesses face in managing their analytical workflows at scale. Zhamak Dehghani introduced the concepts behind this architectural patterns in 2019, and since then it has been gaining popularity with many companies adopting some version of it in their systems. In this episode Zhamak re-joins the show to discuss the real world benefits that have been seen, the lessons that she has learned while working with her clients and the community, and her vision for the future of the data mesh.
27 December 2021 •
Data Engineering is still a relatively new field that is going through a continued evolution as new technologies are introduced and new requirements are understood. In this episode Maxime Beauchemin returns to revisit what it means to be a data engineer and how the role has changed over the past 5 years.
27 December 2021 •
One of the perennial challenges of data analytics is having a consistent set of definitions, along with a flexible and performant API endpoint for querying them. In this episode Artom Keydunov and Pavel Tiunov share their work on Cube.js and the various ways that it is being used in the open source community.
21 December 2021 •
Building a well managed data ecosystem for your organization requires a holistic view of all of the producers, consumers, and processors of information. The team at Metaphor are building a fully connected metadata layer to provide both technical and social intelligence about your data. In this episode Pardhu Gunnam and Mars Lan explain how they have designed the architecture and user experience to allow everyone to collaborate on the data lifecycle and provide opportunities for automation and extensible workflows.
20 December 2021 •
Spark is a powerful and battle tested framework for building highly scalable data pipelines. Because of its proven ability to handle large volumes of data Capital One has invested in it for their business needs. In this episode Gokul Prabagaren shares his use for it in calculating your rewards points, including the auditing requirements and how he designed his pipeline to maintain all of the necessary information through a pattern of data enrichment.
13 December 2021 •
The core to providing your users with excellent service is to understand them and provide a personalized experience. Unfortunately many sites and applications take that to the extreme and collect too much information. In order to make it easier for developers to build customer profiles in a way that respects their privacy Serge Huber helped to create the Apache Unomi framework as an open source customer data platform. In this episode he explains how it can be used to build rich and useful profiles of your users, the system architecture that powers it, and some of the ways that it is being integrated into an organization's broader data ecosystem.
12 December 2021 •
A/B testing and experimentation are the most reliable way to determine whether a change to your product will have the desired effect on your business. Unfortunately, being able to design, deploy, and validate experiments is a complex process that requires a mix of technical capacity and organizational involvement which is hard to come by. Chetan Sharma founded Eppo to provide a system that organizations of every scale can use to reduce the burden of managing experiments so that you can focus on improving your business. In this episode he digs into the technical, statistical, and design requirements for running effective experiments and how he has architected the Eppo platform to make the process more accessible to business and data professionals.
4 December 2021 •
Hiring data professionals is challenging for a multitude of reasons, and as with every interview process there is a potential for bias to creep in. Tim Freestone founded Alooba to provide a more stable reference point for evaluating candidates to ensure that you can make more informed comparisons based on their actual knowledge. In this episode he explains how Alooba got started, how it is being used in the interview process for data oriented roles, and how it can also provide visibility into your organizations overall data literacy. The whole process of hiring is an important organizational skill to cultivate and this is an interesting exploration of the specific challenges involved in finding data professionals.
4 December 2021 •
The modern data stack has been gaining a lot of attention recently with a rapidly growing set of managed services for different stages of the data lifecycle. With all of the available options it is possible to run a scalable, production grade data platform with a small team, but there are still sharp edges and integration challenges to work through. Peter Fishman and Dan Silberman experienced these difficulties firsthand and created Mozart Data to provide a single, easy to use option for getting started with the modern data stack. In this episode they explain how they designed a user experience to make working with data more accessibly by organizations without a data team, while allowing for more advanced users to build out more complex workflows. They also share their thoughts on the modern data ecosystem and how it improves the availability of analytics for companies of all sizes.
27 November 2021 •
The data that you have access to affects the questions that you can answer. By using external data sources you can drastically increase the range of analysis that is available to your organization. The challenge comes in all of the operational aspects of finding, accessing, organizing, and serving that data. In this episode Mark Hookey discusses how he and his team at Demyst do all of the DataOps for external data sources so that you don't have to, including the systems necessary to organize and catalog the various collections that they host, the various serving layers to provide query interfaces that match your platform, and the utility of having a single place to access a multitude of information. If you are having trouble answering questions for your business with the data that you generate and collect internally, then it is definitely worthwhile to explore the information available from external sources.
27 November 2021 •
One of the perennial challenges posed by data lakes is how to keep them up to date as new data is collected. With the improvements in streaming engines it is now possible to perform all of your data integration in near real time, but it can be challenging to understand the proper processing patterns to make that performant. In this episode Ori Rafael shares his experiences from Upsolver and building scalable stream processing for integrating and analyzing data, and what the tradeoffs are when coming from a batch oriented mindset.
20 November 2021 •
The technology for scaling storage and processing of data has gone through massive evolution over the past decade, leaving us with the ability to work with massive datasets at the cost of massive complexity. Nick Schrock created the Dagster framework to help tame that complexity and scale the organizational capacity for working with data. In this episode he shares the journey that he and his team at Elementl have taken to understand the state of the ecosystem and how they can provide a foundational layer for a holistic data platform.
20 November 2021 •
The most important gauge of success for a data platform is the level of trust in the accuracy of the information that it provides. In order to build and maintain that trust it is necessary to invest in defining, monitoring, and enforcing data quality metrics. In this episode Michael Harper advocates for proactive data quality and starting with the source, rather than being reactive and having to work backwards from when a problem is found.
14 November 2021 •
A significant source of friction and wasted effort in building and integrating data management systems is the fragmentation of metadata across various tools. After experiencing the impacts of fragmented metadata and previous attempts at building a solution Suresh Srinivas and Sriharsha Chintalapani created the OpenMetadata project. In this episode they share the lessons that they have learned through their previous attempts and the positive impact that a unified metadata layer had during their time at Uber. They also explain how the OpenMetadat project is aiming to be a common standard for defining and storing metadata for every use case in data platforms and the ways that they are architecting the reference implementation to simplify its adoption. This is an ambitious and exciting project, so listen and try it out today.
10 November 2021 •
Business intelligence is often equated with a collection of dashboards that show various charts and graphs representing data for an organization. What is overlooked in that characterization is the level of complexity and effort that are required to collect and present that information, and the opportunities for providing those insights in other contexts. In this episode Telmo Silva explains how he co-founded ClicData to bring full featured business intelligence and reporting to every organization without having to build and maintain that capability on their own. This is a great conversation about the technical and organizational operations involved in building a comprehensive business intelligence system and the current state of the market.
6 November 2021 •
The precursor to widespread adoption of cloud data warehouses was the creation of customer data platforms. Acting as a centralized repository of information about how your customers interact with your organization they drove a wave of analytics about how to improve products based on actual usage data. A natural outgrowth of that capability is the more recent growth of reverse ETL systems that use those analytics to feed back into the operational systems used to engage with the customer. In this episode Tejas Manohar and Rachel Bradley-Haas share the story of their own careers and experiences coinciding with these trends. They also discuss the current state of the market for these technological patterns and how to take advantage of them in your own work.
5 November 2021 •
The perennial question of data warehousing is how to model the information that you are storing. This has given rise to methods as varied as star and snowflake schemas, data vault modeling, and wide tables. The challenge with many of those approaches is that they are optimized for answering known questions but brittle and cumbersome when exploring unknowns. In this episode Ahmed Elsamadisi shares his journey to find a more flexible and universal data model in the form of the "activity schema" that is powering the Narrator platform, and how it has allowed his customers to perform self-service exploration of their business domains without being blocked by schema evolution in the data warehouse. This is a fascinating exploration of what can be done when you challenge your assumptions about what is possible.
29 October 2021 •
Streaming data systems have been growing more capable and flexible over the past few years. Despite this, it is still challenging to build reliable pipelines for stream processing. In this episode Eric Sammer discusses the shortcomings of the current set of streaming engines and how they force engineers to work at an extremely low level of abstraction. He also explains why he started Decodable to address that limitation and the work that he and his team have done to let data engineers build streaming pipelines entirely in SQL.
29 October 2021 •
The market for business intelligence has been going through an evolutionary shift in recent years. One of the driving forces for that change has been the rise of analytics engineering powered by dbt. Lightdash has fully embraced that shift by building an entire open source business intelligence framework that is powered by dbt models. In this episode Oliver Laslett describes why dashboards aren't sufficient for business analytics, how Lightdash promotes the work that you are already doing in your data warehouse modeling with dbt, and how they are focusing on bridging the divide between data teams and business teams and the requirements that they have for data workflows.
23 October 2021 •
The focus of the past few years has been to consolidate all of the organization's data into a cloud data warehouse. As a result there have been a number of trends in data that take advantage of the warehouse as a single focal point. Among those trends is the advent of operational analytics, which completes the cycle of data from collection, through analysis, to driving further action. In this episode Boris Jabes, CEO of Census, explains how the work of synchronizing cleaned and consolidated data about your customers back into the systems that you use to interact with those customers allows for a powerful feedback loop that has been missing in data systems until now. He also discusses how Census makes that synchronization easy to manage, how it fits with the growth of data quality tooling, and how you can start using it today.
21 October 2021 •
The binding element of all data work is the metadata graph that is generated by all of the workflows that produce the assets used by teams across the organization. The DataHub project was created as a way to bring order to the scale of LinkedIn's data needs. It was also designed to be able to work for small scale systems that are just starting to develop in complexity. In order to support the project and make it even easier to use for organizations of every size Shirshanka Das and Swaroop Jagadish founded Acryl Data. In this episode they discuss the recent work that has been done by the community, how their work is building on top of that foundation, and how you can get started with DataHub for your own work to manage data discovery today. They also share their ambitions for the near future of adding data observability and data quality management features.
16 October 2021 •
Organizations of all sizes are striving to become data driven, starting in earnest with the rise of big data a decade ago. With the never-ending growth in data sources and methods for aggregating and analyzing them, the use of data to direct the business has become a requirement. Randy Bean has been helping enterprise organizations define and execute their data strategies since before the age of big data. In this episode he discusses his experiences and how he approached the work of distilling them for his book "Fail Fast, Learn Faster". This is an entertaining and enlightening exploration of the business side of data with an industry veteran.
14 October 2021 •
The key to making data valuable to business users is the ability to calculate meaningful metrics and explore them along useful dimensions. Business intelligence tools have provided this capability for years, but they don't offer a means of exposing those metrics to other systems. Metriql is an open source project that provides a headless BI system where you can define your metrics and share them with all of your other processes. In this episode Burak Kabakcı shares the story behind the project, how you can use it to create your metrics definitions, and the benefits of treating the semantic layer as a dedicated component of your platform.
8 October 2021 •
Transactions are a necessary feature for ensuring that a set of actions are all performed as a single unit of work. In streaming systems this is necessary to ensure that a set of messages or transformations are all executed together across different queues. In this episode Denis Rystsov explains how he added support for transactions to the Redpanda streaming engine. He discusses the use cases for transactions, the different strategies, semantics, and guarantees that they might need to support, and how his implementation ended up improving the performance of bulk write operations. This is an interesting deep dive into the internals of a high performance streaming engine and the details that are involved in building distributed systems.
6 October 2021 •
Aerospike is a database engine that is designed to provide millisecond response times for queries across terabytes or petabytes. In this episode Chief Strategy Officer, Lenley Hensarling, explains how the ability to process these large volumes of information in real-time allows businesses to unlock entirely new capabilities. He also discusses the technical implementation that allows for such extreme performance and how the data model contributes to the scalability of the system. If you need to deal with massive data, at high velocities, in milliseconds, then Aerospike is definitely worth learning about.
2 October 2021 •
The promise of online services is that they will make your life easier in exchange for collecting data about you. The reality is that they use more information than you realize for purposes that are not what you intended. There have been many attempts to harness all of the data that you generate for gaining useful insights about yourself, but they are generally difficult to set up and manage or require software development experience. The team at Prifina have built a platform that allows users to create their own personal data cloud and install applications built by developers that power useful experiences while keeping you in full control. In this episode Markus Lampinen shares the goals and vision of the company, the technical aspects of making it a reality, and the future vision for how services can be designed to respect user's privacy while still providing compelling experiences.
30 September 2021 •
The accuracy and availability of data has become critically important to the day-to-day operation of businesses. Similar to the practice of site reliability engineering as a means of ensuring consistent uptime of web services, there has been a new trend of building data reliability engineering practices in companies that rely heavily on their data. In this episode Egor Gryaznov explains how this practice manifests from a technical and organizational perspective and how you can start adopting it in your own teams.
26 September 2021 •
Python has beome the de facto language for working with data. That has brought with it a number of challenges having to do with the speed and scalability of working with large volumes of information.There have been many projects and strategies for overcoming these challenges, each with their own set of tradeoffs. In this episode Ehsan Totoni explains how he built the Bodo project to bring the speed and processing power of HPC techniques to the Python data ecosystem without requiring any re-work.
25 September 2021 •
Building, scaling, and maintaining the operational components of a machine learning workflow are all hard problems. Add the work of creating the model itself, and it's not surprising that a majority of companies that could greatly benefit from machine learning have yet to either put it into production or see the value. Tristan Zajonc recognized the complexity that acts as a barrier to adoption and created the Continual platform in response. In this episode he shares his perspective on the benefits of declarative machine learning workflows as a means of accelerating adoption in businesses that don't have the time, money, or ambition to build everything from scratch. He also discusses the technical underpinnings of what he is building and how using the data warehouse as a shared resource drastically shortens the time required to see value. This is a fascinating episode and Tristan's work at Continual is likely to be the catalyst for a new stage in the machine learning community.
19 September 2021 •
Biology has been gaining a lot of attention in recent years, even before the pandemic. As an outgrowth of that popularity, a new field has grown up that pairs statistics and compuational analysis with scientific research, namely bioinformatics. This brings with it a unique set of challenges for data collection, data management, and analytical capabilities. In this episode Jillian Rowe shares her experience of working in the field and supporting teams of scientists and analysts with the data infrastructure that they need to get their work done. This is a fascinating exploration of the collaboration between data professionals and scientists.
19 September 2021 •
The Cassandra database is one of the first open source options for globally scalable storage systems. Since its introduction in 2008 it has been powering systems at every scale. The community recently released a new major version that marks a milestone in its maturity and stability as a project and database. In this episode Ben Bromhead, CTO of Instaclustr, shares the challenges that the community has worked through, the work that went into the release, and how the stability and testing improvements are setting the stage for the future of the project.
12 September 2021 •
Gartner analysts are tasked with identifying promising companies each year that are making an impact in their respective categories. For businesses that are working in the data management and analytics space they recognized the efforts of Timbr.ai, Soda Data, Nexla, and Tada. In this episode the founders and leaders of each of these organizations share their perspective on the current state of the market, and the challenges facing businesses and data professionals today.
9 September 2021 •
The term "data platform" gets thrown around a lot, but have you stopped to think about what it actually means for you and your organization? In this episode Lior Gavish, Lior Solomon, and Atul Gupte share their view of what it means to have a data platform, discuss their experiences building them at various companies, and provide advice on how to treat them like a software product. This is a valuable conversation about how to approach the work of selecting the tools that you use to power your data systems and considerations for how they can be woven together for a unified experience across your various stakeholders.
4 September 2021 •
The Presto project has become the de facto option for building scalable open source analytics in SQL for the data lake. In recent months the community has focused their efforts on making it the fastest possible option for running your analytics in the cloud. In this episode Dipti Borkar discusses the work that she and her team are doing at Ahana to simplify the work of running your own PrestoDB environment in the cloud. She explains how they are optimizin the runtime to reduce latency and increase query throughput, the ways that they are contributing back to the open source community, and the exciting improvements that are in the works to make Presto an even more powerful option for all of your analytics.
2 September 2021 •
The reason that so much time and energy is spent on data integration is because of how our applications are designed. By making the software be the owner of the data that it generates, we have to go through the trouble of extracting the information to then be used elsewhere. The team at Cinchy are working to bring about a new paradigm of software architecture that puts the data as the central element. In this episode Dan DeMers, Cinchy's CEO, explains how their concept of a "Dataware" platform eliminates the need for costly and error prone integration processes and the benefits that it can provide for transactional and analytical application design. This is a fascinating and unconventional approach to working with data, so definitely give this a listen to expand your thinking about how to build your systems.
28 August 2021 •
The technological and social ecosystem of data engineering and data management has been reaching a stage of maturity recently. As part of this stage in our collective journey the focus has been shifting toward operation and automation of the infrastructure and workflows that power our analytical workloads. It is an encouraging sign for the industry, but it is still a complex and challenging undertaking. In order to make this world of DataOps more accessible and manageable the team at Nexla has built a platform that decouples the logical unit of data from the underlying mechanisms so that you can focus on the problems that really matter to your business. In this episode Saket Saurabh (CEO) and Avinash Shahdadpuri (CTO) share the story behind the Nexla platform, discuss the technical underpinnings, and describe how their concept of a Nexset simplifies the work of building data products for sharing within and between organizations.
25 August 2021 •
Data lakes have been gaining popularity alongside an increase in their sophistication and usability. Despite improvements in performance and data architecture they still require significant knowledge and experience to deploy and manage. In this episode Vikrant Dubey discusses his work on the Cuelake project which allows data analysts to build a lakehouse with SQL queries. By building on top of Zeppelin, Spark, and Iceberg he and his team at Cuebook have built an autoscaled cloud native system that abstracts the underlying complexity.
21 August 2021 •
A major concern that comes up when selecting a vendor or technology for storing and managing your data is vendor lock-in. What happens if the vendor fails? What if the technology can't do what I need it to? Compilerworks set out to reduce the pain and complexity of migrating between platforms, and in the process added an advanced lineage tracking capability. In this episode Shevek, CTO of Compilerworks, takes us on an interesting journey through the many technical and social complexities that are involved in evolving your data platform and the system that they have built to make it a manageable task.
18 August 2021 •
The vast majority of data tools and platforms that you hear about are designed for working with structured, text-based data. What do you do when you need to manage unstructured information, or build a computer vision model? Activeloop was created for exactly that purpose. In this episode Davit Buniatyan, founder and CEO of Activeloop, explains why he is spending his time and energy on building a platform to simplify the work of getting your unstructured data ready for machine learning. He discusses the inefficiencies that teams run into from having to reprocess data multiple times, his work on the open source Hub library to solve this problem for everyone, and his thoughts on the vast potential that exists for using computer vision to solve hard and meaningful problems.
15 August 2021 •
All of the fancy data platform tools and shiny dashboards that you use are pointless if the consumers of your analysis don't have trust in the answers. Stemma helps you establish and maintain that trust by giving visibility into who is using what data, annotating the reports with useful context, and understanding who is responsible for keeping it up to date. In this episode Mark Grover explains what he is building at Stemma, how it expands on the success of the Amundsen project, and why trust is the most important asset for data teams.
10 August 2021 •
Every organization needs to be able to use data to answer questions about their business. The trouble is that the data is usually spread across a wide and shifting array of systems, from databases to dashboards. The other challenge is that even if you do find the information you are seeking, there might not be enough context available to determine how to use it or what it means. Castor is building a data discovery platform aimed at solving this problem, allowing you to search for and document details about everything from a database column to a business intelligence dashboard. In this episode CTO Amaury Dumoulin shares his perspective on the complexity of letting everyone in the company find answers to their questions and how Castor is designed to help.
7 August 2021 •
Data lake architectures have largely been biased toward batch processing workflows due to the volume of data that they are designed for. With more real-time requirements and the increasing use of streaming data there has been a struggle to merge fast, incremental updates with large, historical analysis. Vinoth Chandar helped to create the Hudi project while at Uber to address this challenge. By adding support for small, incremental inserts into large table structures, and building support for arbitrary update and delete operations the Hudi project brings the best of both worlds together. In this episode Vinoth shares the history of the project, how its architecture allows for building more frequently updated analytical queries, and the work being done to add a more polished experience to the data lake paradigm.
3 August 2021 •
Companies of all sizes and industries are trying to use the data that they and their customers generate to survive and thrive in the modern economy. As a result, they are relying on a constantly growing number of data sources being accessed by an increasingly varied set of users. In order to help data consumers find and understand the data is available, and help the data producers understand how to prioritize their work, SelectStar has built a data discovery platform that brings everyone together. In this episode Shinji Kim shares her experience as a data professional struggling to collaborate with her colleagues and how that led her to founding a company to address that problem. She also discusses the combination of technical and social challenges that need to be solved for everyone to gain context and comprehension around their most valuable asset.
31 July 2021 •
Everyone expects data to be transmitted, processed, and updated instantly as more and more products integrate streaming data. The technology to make that possible has been around for a number of years, but the barriers to adoption have still been high due to the level of technical understanding and operational capacity that have been required to run at scale. Datastax has recently introduced a new managed offering for Pulsar workloads in the form of Astra Streaming that lowers those barriers and make stremaing workloads accessible to a wider audience. In this episode Prabhat Jha and Jonathan Ellis share the work that they have been doing to integrate streaming data into their managed Cassandra service. They explain how Pulsar is being used by their customers, the work that they have done to scale the administrative workload for multi-tenant environments, and the challenges of operating such a data intensive service at large scale. This is a fascinating conversation with a lot of useful lessons for anyone who wants to understand the operational aspects of Pulsar and the benefits that it can provide to data workloads.
28 July 2021 •
Collecting and cleaning data is only useful if someone can make sense of it afterward. The latest evolution in the data ecosystem is the introduction of a dedicated metrics layer to help address the challenge of adding context and semantics to raw information. In this episode Nick Handel shares the story behind Transform, a new platform that provides a managed metrics layer for your data platform. He explains the challenges that occur when metrics are maintained across a variety of systems, the benefits of unifying them in a common access layer, and the potential that it unlocks for everyone in the business to confidently answer questions with data.
23 July 2021 •
Data quality is a concern that has been gaining attention alongside the rising importance of analytics for business success. Many solutions rely on hand-coded rules for catching known bugs, or statistical analysis of records to detect anomalies retroactively. While those are useful tools, it is far better to prevent data errors before they become an outsized issue. In this episode Gleb Mezhanskiy shares some strategies for adding quality checks at every stage of your development and deployment workflow to identify and fix problematic changes to your data before they get to production.
20 July 2021 •
There is a wealth of tools and systems available for processing data, but the user experience of integrating them and building workflows is still lacking. This is particularly important in large and complex organizations where domain knowledge and context is paramount and there may not be access to engineers for codifying that expertise. Raj Bains founded Prophecy to address this need by creating a UI first platform for building and executing data engineering workflows that orchestrates Airflow and Spark. Rather than locking your business logic into a proprietary storage layer and only exposing it through a drag-and-drop editor Prophecy synchronizes all of your jobs with source control, allowing an easy bi-directional interaction between code first and no-code experiences. In this episode he shares his motivations for creating Prophecy, how he is leveraging the magic of compilers to translate between UI and code oriented representations of logic, and the organizational benefits of having a cohesive experience designed to bring business users and domain experts into the same platform as data engineers and analysts.
16 July 2021 •
We have been building platforms and workflows to store, process, and analyze data since the earliest days of computing. Over that time there have been countless architectures, patterns, and "best practices" to make that task manageable. With the growing popularity of cloud services a new pattern has emerged and been dubbed the "Modern Data Stack". In this episode members of the GoDataDriven team, Guillermo Sanchez, Bram Ochsendorf, and Juan Perafan, explain the combinations of services that comprise this architecture, share their experiences working with clients to employ the stack, and the benefits of bringing engineers and business users together with data.
13 July 2021 •
Every data project, whether it's analytics, machine learning, or AI, starts with the work of data cleaning. This is a critical step and benefits from being accessible to the domain experts. Trifacta is a platform for managing your data engineering workflow to make curating, cleaning, and preparing your information more approachable for everyone in the business. In this episode CEO Adam Wilson shares the story behind the business, discusses the myriad ways that data wrangling is performed across the business, and how the platform is architected to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of data management tools. This is a great conversation about how deliberate user experience and platform design can make a drastic difference in the amount of value that a business can provide to their customers.
9 July 2021 •
At the core of every data workflow is an orchestration engine (or several). Deploying, managing, and scaling that orchestration can consume a large fraction of a data team's energy so it is important to pick something that provides the power and flexibility that you need. SaaSGlue is a managed service that lets you connect all of your systems, across clouds and physical infrastructure, and spanning all of your programming languages. In this episode Bart and Rich Wood explain how SaaSGlue is architected to allow for a high degree of flexibility in usage and deployment, their experience building a business with family, and how you can get started using it today. This is a fascinating platform with an endless set of use cases and a great team of people behind it.
5 July 2021 •
Data integration in the form of extract and load is the critical first step of every data project. There are a large number of commercial and open source projects that offer that capability but it is still far from being a solved problem. One of the most promising community efforts is that of the Singer ecosystem, but it has been plagued by inconsistent quality and design of plugins. In this episode the members of the Meltano project share the work they are doing to improve the discovery, quality, and capabilities of Singer taps and targets. They explain their work on the Meltano Hub and the Singer SDK and their long term goals for the Singer community.
3 July 2021 •
While the overall concept of timeseries data is uniform, its usage and applications are far from it. One of the most demanding applications of timeseries data is for application and server monitoring due to the problem of high cardinality. In his quest to build a generalized platform for managing timeseries Paul Dix keeps getting pulled back into the monitoring arena. In this episode he shares the history of the InfluxDB project, the business that he has helped to build around it, and the architectural aspects of the engine that allow for its flexibility in managing various forms of timeseries data. This is a fascinating exploration of the technical and organizational evolution of the Influx Data platform, with some promising glimpses of where they are headed in the near future.
29 June 2021 •
Data Engineering is a broad and constantly evolving topic, which makes it difficult to teach in a concise and effective manner. Despite that, Daniel Molnar and Peter Fabian started the Pipeline Academy to do exactly that. In this episode they reflect on the lessons that they learned while teaching the first cohort of their bootcamp how to be effective data engineers. By focusing on the fundamentals, and making everyone write code, they were able to build confidence and impart the importance of context for their students.
26 June 2021 •
The database is the core of any system because it holds the data that drives your entire experience. We spend countless hours designing the data model, updating engine versions, and tuning performance. But how confident are you that you have configured it to be as performant as possible, given the dozens of parameters and how they interact with each other? Andy Pavlo researches autonomous database systems, and out of that research he created OtterTune to find the optimal set of parameters to use for your specific workload. In this episode he explains how the system works, the challenge of scaling it to work across different database engines, and his hopes for the future of database systems.
23 June 2021 •
Working with unstructured data has typically been a motivation for a data lake. The challenge is imposing enough order on the platform to make it useful. Kirk Marple has spent years working with data systems and the media industry, which inspired him to build a platform for automatically organizing your unstructured assets to make them more valuable. In this episode he shares the goals of the Unstruk Data Warehouse, how it is architected to extract asset metadata and build a searchable knowledge graph from the information, and the myriad ways that the system can be used. If you are wondering how to deal with all of the information that doesn't fit in your databases or data warehouses, then this episode is for you.
18 June 2021 •
When you build a machine learning model, the first step is always to load your data. Typically this means downloading files from object storage, or querying a database. To speed up the process, why not build the model inside the database so that you don't have to move the information? In this episode Paige Roberts explains the benefits of pushing the machine learning processing into the database layer and the approach that Vertica has taken for their implementation. If you are looking for a way to speed up your experimentation, or an easy way to apply AutoML then this conversation is for you.
15 June 2021 •
Google pioneered an impressive number of the architectural underpinnings of the broader big data ecosystem. Now they offer the technologies that they run internally to external users of their cloud platform. In this episode Lak Lakshmanan enumerates the variety of services that are available for building your various data processing and analytical systems. He shares some of the common patterns for building pipelines to power business intelligence dashboards, machine learning applications, and data warehouses. If you've ever been overwhelmed or confused by the array of services available in the Google Cloud Platform then this episode is for you.
12 June 2021 •
The way to build maintainable software and systems is through composition of individual pieces. By making those pieces high quality and flexible they can be used in surprising ways that the original creators couldn't have imagined. One such component that has gone above and beyond its originally envisioned use case is BookKeeper, a distributed storage system that is optimized for durability and speed. In this episode Matteo Merli shares the story behind the creation of BookKeeper, the various ways that it is being used today, and the architectural aspects that make it such a strong building block for projects such as Pulsar. He also shares some of the other interesting systems that have been built on top of it and an amusing war story of running it at scale in its early years.
9 June 2021 •
SQL is the most widely used language for working with data, and yet the tools available for writing and collaborating on it are still clunky and inefficient. Frustrated with the lack of a modern IDE and collaborative workflow for managing the SQL queries and analysis of their big data environments, the team at Pinterest created Querybook. In this episode Justin Mejorada-Pier and Charlie Gu share the story of how the initial prototype for a data catalog ended up as one of their most widely used interfaces to their analytical data. They also discuss the unique combination of features that it offers, how it is implemented, and the path to releasing it as open source. Querybook is an impressive and unique piece of technology that is well worth exploring, so listen and try it out today.
3 June 2021 •
Every part of the business relies on data, yet only a small team has the context and expertise to build workflows and pipelines to transform, clean, and integrate it. In order for the true value of your data to be realized without burning out your engineers you need a way for everyone to get access to the information they care about. To help make that a more tractable problem Blake Burch co-founded Shipyard. In this episode he explains the utility of a low code solution that lets non engineers create their own self-serve pipelines, how the Shipyard platform is designed to make that possible, and how it allows engineers to create reusable tasks to satisfy the specific needs of the business. This is an interesting conversation about how to make data more accessible and more useful by improving the user experience of the tools that we create.
2 June 2021 •
The data warehouse has become the focal point of the modern data platform. With increased usage of data across businesses, and a diversity of locations and environments where data needs to be managed, the warehouse engine needs to be fast and easy to manage. Yellowbrick is a data warehouse platform that was built from the ground up for speed, and can work across clouds and all the way to the edge. In this episode CTO Mark Cusack explains how the engine is architected, the benefits that speed and predictable pricing has for the organization, and how you can simplify your platform by putting the warehouse close to the data, instead of the other way around.
28 May 2021 •
Machine learning models use vectors as the natural mechanism for representing their internal state. The problem is that in order for the models to integrate with external systems their internal state has to be translated into a lower dimension. To eliminate this impedance mismatch Edo Liberty founded Pinecone to build database that works natively with vectors. In this episode he explains how this technology will allow teams to accelerate the speed of innovation, how vectors make it possible to build more advanced search functionality, and how Pinecone is architected. This is an interesting conversation about how reconsidering the architecture of your systems can unlock impressive new capabilities.
25 May 2021 •
Data governance is a phrase that means many different things to many different people. This is because it is actually a concept that encompasses the entire lifecycle of data, across all of the people in an organization who interact with it. Stijn Christiaens co-founded Collibra with the goal of addressing the wide variety of technological aspects that are necessary to realize such an important and expansive process. In this episode he shares his thoughts on the balance between human and technological processes that are necessary for a well-managed data governance strategy, how Collibra is designed to aid in that endeavor, and his experiences using the platform that his company is building to help power the company. This is an excellent conversation that spans the engineering and philosophical complexities of an important and ever-present aspect of working with data.
21 May 2021 •
Data lineage is the common thread that ties together all of your data pipelines, workflows, and systems. In order to get a holistic understanding of your data quality, where errors are occurring, or how a report was constructed you need to track the lineage of the data from beginning to end. The complicating factor is that every framework, platform, and product has its own concepts of how to store, represent, and expose that information. In order to eliminate the wasted effort of building custom integrations every time you want to combine lineage information across systems Julien Le Dem introduced the OpenLineage specification. In this episode he explains his motivations for starting the effort, the far-reaching benefits that it can provide to the industry, and how you can start integrating it into your data platform today. This is an excellent conversation about how competing companies can still find mutual benefit in co-operating on open standards.
18 May 2021 •
There is a lot of attention on the database market and cloud data warehouses. While they provide a measure of convenience, they also require you to sacrifice a certain amount of control over your data. If you want to build a warehouse that gives you both control and flexibility then you might consider building on top of the venerable PostgreSQL project. In this episode Thomas Richter and Joshua Drake share their advice on how to build a production ready data warehouse with Postgres.
14 May 2021 •
Building an API for real-time data is a challenging project. Making it robust, scalable, and fast is a full time job. The team at Tinybird wants to make it easy to turn a continuous stream of data into a production ready API or data product. In this episode CEO Jorge Sancha explains how they have architected their system to handle high data throughput and fast response times, and why they have invested heavily in Clickhouse as the core of their platform. This is a great conversation about the challenges of building a maintainable business from a technical and product perspective.
11 May 2021 •
Spark is one of the most well-known frameworks for data processing, whether for batch or streaming, ETL or ML, and at any scale. Because of its popularity it has been deployed on every kind of platform you can think of. In this episode Jean-Yves Stephan shares the work that he is doing at Data Mechanics to make it sing on Kubernetes. He explains how operating in a cloud-native context simplifies some aspects of running the system while complicating others, how it simplifies the development and experimentation cycle, and how you can get a head start using their pre-built Spark container. This is a great conversation for understanding how new ways of operating systems can have broader impacts on how they are being used.
7 May 2021 •
The Data industry is changing rapidly, and one of the most active areas of growth is automation of data workflows. Taking cues from the DevOps movement of the past decade data professionals are orienting around the concept of DataOps. More than just a collection of tools, there are a number of organizational and conceptual changes that a proper DataOps approach depends on. In this episode Kevin Stumpf, CTO of Tecton, Maxime Beauchemin, CEO of Preset, and Lior Gavish, CTO of Monte Carlo, discuss the grand vision and present realities of DataOps. They explain how to think about your data systems in a holistic and maintainable fashion, the security challenges that threaten to derail your efforts, and the power of using metadata as the foundation of everything that you do. If you are wondering how to get control of your data platforms and bring all of your stakeholders onto the same page then this conversation is for you.
4 May 2021 •
The reason for collecting, cleaning, and organizing data is to make it usable by the organization. One of the most common and widely used methods of access is through a business intelligence dashboard. Superset is an open source option that has been gaining popularity due to its flexibility and extensible feature set. In this episode Maxime Beauchemin discusses how data engineers can use Superset to provide self service access to data and deliver analytics. He digs into how it integrates with your data stack, how you can extend it to fit your use case, and why open source systems are a good choice for your business intelligence. If you haven't already tried out Superset then this conversation is well worth your time. Give it a listen and then take it for a test drive today.
27 April 2021 •
Most of the time when you think about a data pipeline or ETL job what comes to mind is a purely mechanistic progression of functions that move data from point A to point B. Sometimes, however, one of those transformations is actually a full-fledged machine learning project in its own right. In this episode Tal Galfsky explains how he and the team at Cherre tackled the problem of messy data for Addresses by building a natural language processing and entity resolution system that is served as an API to the rest of their pipelines. He discusses the myriad ways that addresses are incomplete, poorly formed, and just plain wrong, why it was a big enough pain point to invest in building an industrial strength solution for it, and how it actually works under the hood. After listening to this you'll look at your data pipelines in a new light and start to wonder how you can bring more advanced strategies into the cleaning and transformation process.
20 April 2021 •
"Business as usual" is changing, with more companies investing in data as a first class concern. As a result, the data team is growing and introducing more specialized roles. In this episode Josh Benamram, CEO and co-founder of Databand, describes the motivations for these emerging roles, how these positions affect the team dynamics, and the types of visibility that they need into the data platform to do their jobs effectively. He also talks about how his experience working with these teams informs his work at Databand. If you are wondering how to apply your talents and interests to working with data then this episode is a must listen.
13 April 2021 •
One of the biggest obstacles to success in delivering data products is cross-team collaboration. Part of the problem is the difference in the information that each role requires to do their job and where they expect to find it. This introduces a barrier to communication that is difficult to overcome, particularly in teams that have not reached a significant level of maturity in their data journey. In this episode Prukalpa Sankar shares her experiences across multiple attempts at building a system that brings everyone onto the same page, ultimately bringing her to found Atlan. She explains how the design of the platform is informed by the needs of managing data projects for large and small teams across her previous roles, how it integrates with your existing systems, and how it can work to bring everyone onto the same page.
6 April 2021 •
Data quality is on the top of everyone's mind recently, but getting it right is as challenging as ever. One of the contributing factors is the number of people who are involved in the process and the potential impact on the business if something goes wrong. In this episode Maarten Masschelein and Tom Baeyens share the work they are doing at Soda to bring everyone on board to make your data clean and reliable. They explain how they started down the path of building a solution for managing data quality, their philosophy of how to empower data engineers with well engineered open source tools that integrate with the rest of the platform, and how to bring all of the stakeholders onto the same page to make your data great. There are many aspects of data quality management and it's always a treat to learn from people who are dedicating their time and energy to solving it for everyone.
30 March 2021 •
The world of business is becoming increasingly dependent on information that is accurate up to the minute. For analytical systems, the only way to provide this reliably is by implementing change data capture (CDC). Unfortunately, this is a non-trivial undertaking, particularly for teams that don't have extensive experience working with streaming data and complex distributed systems. In this episode Raghu Murthy, founder and CEO of Datacoral, does a deep dive on how he and his team manage change data capture pipelines in production.
23 March 2021 •
The team at DoorDash has a complex set of optimization challenges to deal with using data that they collect from a multi-sided marketplace. In order to handle the volume and variety of information that they use to run and improve the business the data team has to build a platform that analysts and data scientists can use in a self-service manner. In this episode the head of data platform for DoorDash, Sudhir Tonse, discusses the technologies that they are using, the approach that they take to adding new systems, and how they think about priorities for what to support for the whole company vs what to leave as a specialized concern for a single team. This is a valuable look at how to manage a large and growing data platform with that supports a variety of teams with varied and evolving needs.
16 March 2021 •
A majority of the time spent in data engineering is copying data between systems to make the information available for different purposes. This introduces challenges such as keeping information synchronized, managing schema evolution, building transformations to match the expectations of the destination systems. H.O. Maycotte was faced with these same challenges but at a massive scale, leading him to question if there is a better way. After tasking some of his top engineers to consider the problem in a new light they created the Pilosa engine. In this episode H.O. explains how using Pilosa as the core he built the Molecula platform to eliminate the need to copy data between systems in able to make it accessible for analytical and machine learning purposes. He also discusses the challenges that he faces in helping potential users and customers understand the shift in thinking that this creates, and how the system is architected to make it possible. This is a fascinating conversation about what the future looks like when you revisit your assumptions about how systems are designed.
9 March 2021 •
The process of building and deploying machine learning projects requires a staggering number of systems and stakeholders to work in concert. In this episode Yaron Haviv, co-founder of Iguazio, discusses the complexities inherent to the process, as well as how he has worked to democratize the technologies necessary to make machine learning operations maintainable.
2 March 2021 •
Data integration is a critical piece of every data pipeline, yet it is still far from being a solved problem. There are a number of managed platforms available, but the list of options for an open source system that supports a large variety of sources and destinations is still embarrasingly short. The team at Airbyte is adding a new entry to that list with the goal of making robust and easy to use data integration more accessible to teams who want or need to maintain full control of their data. In this episode co-founders John Lafleur and Michel Tricot share the story of how and why they created Airbyte, discuss the project's design and architecture, and explain their vision of what an open soure data integration platform should offer. If you are struggling to maintain your extract and load pipelines or spending time on integrating with a new system when you would prefer to be working on other projects then this is definitely a conversation worth listening to.
23 February 2021 •
Every business aims to be data driven, but not all of them succeed in that effort. In order to be able to truly derive insights from the data that an organization collects, there are certain foundational capabilities that they need to have capacity for. In order to help more businesses build those foundations, Tarush Aggarwal created 5xData, offering collaborative workshops to assist in setting up the technical and organizational systems that are necessary to succeed. In this episode he shares his thoughts on the core elements that are necessary for every business to be data driven, how he is helping companies incorporate those capabilities into their structure, and the ongoing support that he is providing through a network of mastermind groups. This is a great conversation about the initial steps that every group should be thinking of as they start down the road to making data informed decisions.
16 February 2021 •
With all of the tools and services available for building a data platform it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise. One of the best ways to get a true understanding of how a technology works in practice is to hear from people who are running it in production. In this episode Zeeshan Qureshi and Michelle Ark share their experiences using DBT to manage the data warehouse for Shopify. They explain how the structured the project to allow for multiple teams to collaborate in a scalable manner, the additional tooling that they added to address the edge cases that they have run into, and the optimizations that they baked into their continuous integration process to provide fast feedback and reduce costs. This is a great conversation about the lessons learned from real world use of a specific technology and how well it lives up to its promises.
9 February 2021 •
Collecting and processing metrics for monitoring use cases is an interesting data problem. It is eminently possible to generate millions or billions of data points per second, the information needs to be propagated to a central location, processed, and analyzed in timeframes on the order of milliseconds or single-digit seconds, and the consumers of the data need to be able to query the information quickly and flexibly. As the systems that we build continue to grow in scale and complexity the need for reliable and manageable monitoring platforms increases proportionately. In this episode Rob Skillington, CTO of Chronosphere, shares his experiences building metrics systems that provide observability to companies that are operating at extreme scale. He describes how the M3DB storage engine is designed to manage the pressures of a critical system component, the inherent complexities of working with telemetry data, and the motivating factors that are contributing to the growing need for flexibility in querying the collected metrics. This is a fascinating conversation about an area of data management that is often taken for granted.
2 February 2021 •
Businesses often need to be able to ingest data from their customers in order to power the services that they provide. For each new source that they need to integrate with it is another custom set of ETL tasks that they need to maintain. In order to reduce the friction involved in supporting new data transformations David Molot and Hassan Syyid built the Hotlue platform. In this episode they describe the data integration challenges facing many B2B companies, how their work on the Hotglue platform simplifies their efforts, and how they have designed the platform to make these ETL workloads embeddable and self service for end users.
26 January 2021 •
The data warehouse has become the central component of the modern data stack. Building on this pattern, the team at Hightouch have created a platform that synchronizes information about your customers out to third party systems for use by marketing and sales teams. In this episode Tejas Manohar explains the benefits of sourcing customer data from one location for all of your organization to use, the technical challenges of synchronizing the data to external systems with varying APIs, and the workflow for enabling self-service access to your customer data by your marketing teams. This is an interesting conversation about the importance of the data warehouse and how it can be used beyond just internal analytics.
19 January 2021 •
As data professionals we have a number of tools available for storing, processing, and analyzing data. We also have tools for collaborating on software and analysis, but collaborating on data is still an underserved capability. Gavin Mendel-Gleason encountered this problem first hand while working on the Sesshat databank, leading him to create TerminusDB and TerminusHub. In this episode he explains how the TerminusDB system is architected to provide a versioned graph storage engine that allows for branching and merging of data sets, how that opens up new possibilities for individuals and teams to work together on building new data repositories. This is a fascinating conversation on the technical challenges involved, the opportunities that such as system provides, and the complexities inherent to building a successful business on open source.
11 January 2021 •
As more organizations are gaining experience with data management and incorporating analytics into their decision making, their next move is to adopt machine learning. In order to make those efforts sustainable, the core capability they need is for data scientists and analysts to be able to build and deploy features in a self service manner. As a result the feature store is becoming a required piece of the data platform. To fill that need Kevin Stumpf and the team at Tecton are building an enterprise feature store as a service. In this episode he explains how his experience building the Michelanagelo platform at Uber has informed the design and architecture of Tecton, how it integrates with your existing data systems, and the elements that are required for well engineered feature store.
5 January 2021 •
One of the core responsibilities of data engineers is to manage the security of the information that they process. The team at Satori has a background in cybersecurity and they are using the lessons that they learned in that field to address the challenge of access control and auditing for data governance. In this episode co-founder and CTO Yoav Cohen explains how the Satori platform provides a proxy layer for your data, the challenges of managing security across disparate storage systems, and their approach to building a dynamic data catalog based on the records that your organization is actually using. This is an interesting conversation about the intersection of data and security and the lessons that can be learned in each direction.
28 December 2020 •
Data governance is a term that encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, both technical and process oriented. One of the more complex aspects is that of access control to the data assets that an organization is responsible for managing. The team at Immuta has built a platform that aims to tackle that problem in a flexible and maintainable fashion so that data teams can easily integrate authorization, data masking, and privacy enhancing technologies into their data infrastructure. In this episode Steve Touw and Stephen Bailey share what they have built at Immuta, how it is implemented, and how it streamlines the workflow for everyone involved in working with sensitive data. If you are starting down the path of implementing a data governance strategy then this episode will provide a great overview of what is involved.
21 December 2020 •
As a data engineer you're familiar with the process of collecting data from databases, customer data platforms, APIs, etc. At YipitData they rely on a variety of alternative data sources to inform investment decisions by hedge funds and businesses. In this episode Andrew Gross, Bobby Muldoon, and Anup Segu describe the self service data platform that they have built to allow data analysts to own the end-to-end delivery of data projects and how that has allowed them to scale their output. They share the journey that they went through to build a scalable and maintainable system for web scraping, how to make it reliable and resilient to errors, and the lessons that they learned in the process. This was a great conversation about real world experiences in building a successful data-oriented business.
15 December 2020 •
Building data products are complicated by the fact that there are so many different stakeholders with competing goals and priorities. It is also challenging because of the number of roles and capabilities that are necessary to go from idea to delivery. Different organizations have tried a multitude of organizational strategies to improve the success rate of these data teams with varying levels of success. In this episode Jesse Anderson shares the lessons that he has learned while working with dozens of businesses across industries to determine the team structures and communication styles that have generated the best results. If you are struggling to deliver value from big data, or just starting down the path of building the organizational capacity to turn raw information into valuable products then this is a conversation that you don't want to miss.
7 December 2020 •
The first stage of every good pipeline is to perform data integration. With the increasing pace of change and the need for up to date analytics the need to integrate that data in near real time is growing. With the improvements and increased variety of options for streaming data engines and improved tools for change data capture it is possible for data teams to make that goal a reality. However, despite all of the tools and managed distributions of those streaming engines it is still a challenge to build a robust and reliable pipeline for streaming data integration, especially if you need to expose those capabilities to non-engineers. In this episode Ido Friedman, CTO of Equalum, explains how they have built a no-code platform to make integration of streaming data and change data capture feeds easier to manage. He discusses the challenges that are inherent in the current state of CDC technologies, how they have architected their system to integrate well with existing data platforms, and how to build an appropriate level of abstraction for such a complex problem domain. If you are struggling with streaming data integration and change data capture then this interview is definitely worth a listen.
30 November 2020 •
One of the oldest aphorisms about data is "garbage in, garbage out", which is why the current boom in data quality solutions is no surprise. With the growth in projects, platforms, and services that aim to help you establish and maintain control of the health and reliability of your data pipelines it can be overwhelming to stay up to date with how they all compare. In this episode Egor Gryaznov, CTO of Bigeye, joins the show to explore the landscape of data quality companies, the general strategies that they are using, and what problems they solve. He also shares how his own product is designed and the challenges that are involved in building a system to help data engineers manage the complexity of a data platform. If you are wondering how to get better control of your own pipelines and the traps to avoid then this episode is definitely worth a listen.
23 November 2020 •
The core mission of data engineers is to provide the business with a way to ask and answer questions of their data. This often takes the form of business intelligence dashboards, machine learning models, or APIs on top of a cleaned and curated data set. Despite the rapid progression of impressive tools and products built to fulfill this mission, it is still an uphill battle to tie everything together into a cohesive and reliable platform. At Isima they decided to reimagine the entire ecosystem from the ground up and built a single unified platform to allow end-to-end self service workflows from data ingestion through to analysis. In this episode CEO and co-founder of Isima Darshan Rawal explains how the biOS platform is architected to enable ease of use, the challenges that were involved in building an entirely new system from scratch, and how it can integrate with the rest of your data platform to allow for incremental adoption. This was an interesting and contrarian take on the current state of the data management industry and is worth a listen to gain some additional perspective.
17 November 2020 •
A data catalog is a critical piece of infrastructure for any organization who wants to build analytics products, whether internal or external. While there are a number of platforms available for building that catalog, many of them are either difficult to deploy and integrate, or expensive to use at scale. In this episode Grant Seward explains how he built Tree Schema to be an easy to use and cost effective option for organizations to build their data catalogs. He also shares the internal architecture, how he approached the design to make it accessible and easy to use, and how it autodiscovers the schemas and metadata for your source systems.
10 November 2020 •
Data lakes are gaining popularity due to their flexibility and reduced cost of storage. Along with the benefits there are some additional complexities to consider, including how to safely integrate new data sources or test out changes to existing pipelines. In order to address these challenges the team at Treeverse created LakeFS to introduce version control capabilities to your storage layer. In this episode Einat Orr and Oz Katz explain how they implemented branching and merging capabilities for object storage, best practices for how to use versioning primitives to introduce changes to your data lake, how LakeFS is architected, and how you can start using it for your own data platform.
3 November 2020 •
One of the most challenging aspects of building a data platform has nothing to do with pipelines and transformations. If you are putting your workflows into production, then you need to consider how you are going to implement data security, including access controls and auditing. Different databases and storage systems all have their own method of restricting access, and they are not all compatible with each other. In order to simplify the process of securing your data in the Cloud Manav Mital created Cyral to provide a way of enforcing security as code. In this episode he explains how the system is architected, how it can help you enforce compliance, and what is involved in getting it integrated with your existing systems. This was a good conversation about an aspect of data management that is too often left as an afterthought.
26 October 2020 •
In order for analytics and machine learning projects to be useful, they require a high degree of data quality. To ensure that your pipelines are healthy you need a way to make them observable. In this episode Barr Moses and Lior Gavish, co-founders of Monte Carlo, share the leading causes of what they refer to as data downtime and how it manifests. They also discuss methods for gaining visibility into the flow of data through your infrastructure, how to diagnose and prevent potential problems, and what they are building at Monte Carlo to help you maintain your data's uptime.
19 October 2020 •
Business intelligence efforts are only as useful as the outcomes that they inform. Power BI aims to reduce the time and effort required to go from information to action by providing an interface that encourages rapid iteration. In this episode Rob Collie shares his enthusiasm for the Power BI platform and how it stands out from other options. He explains how he helped to build the platform during his time at Microsoft, and how he continues to support users through his work at Power Pivot Pro. Rob shares some useful insights gained through his consulting work, and why he considers Power BI to be the best option on the market today for business analytics.
12 October 2020 •
Analytical workloads require a well engineered and well maintained data integration process to ensure that your information is reliable and up to date. Building a real-time pipeline for your data lakes and data warehouses is a non-trivial effort, requiring a substantial investment of time and energy. Meroxa is a new platform that aims to automate the heavy lifting of change data capture, monitoring, and data loading. In this episode founders DeVaris Brown and Ali Hamidi explain how their tenure at Heroku informed their approach to making data integration self service, how the platform is architected, and how they have designed their system to adapt to the continued evolution of the data ecosystem.
5 October 2020 •
Kafka has become a de facto standard interface for building decoupled systems and working with streaming data. Despite its widespread popularity, there are numerous accounts of the difficulty that operators face in keeping it reliable and performant, or trying to scale an installation. To make the benefits of the Kafka ecosystem more accessible and reduce the operational burden, Alexander Gallego and his team at Vectorized created the Red Panda engine. In this episode he explains how they engineered a drop-in replacement for Kafka, replicating the numerous APIs, that can scale more easily and deliver consistently low latencies with a much lower hardware footprint. He also shares some of the areas of innovation that they have found to help foster the next wave of streaming applications while working within the constraints of the existing Kafka interfaces. This was a fascinating conversation with an energetic and enthusiastic engineer and founder about the challenges and opportunities in the realm of streaming data.
29 September 2020 •
Data engineering is a constantly growing and evolving discipline. There are always new tools, systems, and design patterns to learn, which leads to a great deal of confusion for newcomers. Daniel Molnar has dedicated his time to helping data professionals get back to basics through presentations at conferences and meetups, and with his most recent endeavor of building the Pipeline Data Engineering Academy. In this episode he shares advice on how to cut through the noise, which principles are foundational to building a successful career as a data engineer, and his approach to educating the next generation of data practitioners. This was a useful conversation for anyone working with data who has found themselves spending too much time chasing the latest trends and wishes to develop a more focused approach to their work.
22 September 2020 •
In memory computing provides significant performance benefits, but brings along challenges for managing failures and scaling up. Hazelcast is a platform for managing stateful in-memory storage and computation across a distributed cluster of commodity hardware. On top of this foundation, the Hazelcast team has also built a streaming platform for reliable high throughput data transmission. In this episode Dale Kim shares how Hazelcast is implemented, the use cases that it enables, and how it complements on-disk data management systems.
15 September 2020 •
Databases are limited in scope to the information that they directly contain. For analytical use cases you often want to combine data across multiple sources and storage locations. This frequently requires cumbersome and time-consuming data integration. To address this problem Martin Traverso and his colleagues at Facebook built the Presto distributed query engine. In this episode he explains how it is designed to allow for querying and combining data where it resides, the use cases that such an architecture unlocks, and the innovative ways that it is being employed at companies across the world. If you need to work with data in your cloud data lake, your on-premise database, or a collection of flat files, then give this episode a listen and then try out Presto today.
7 September 2020 •
Data warehouse technology has been around for decades and has gone through several generational shifts in that time. The current trends in data warehousing are oriented around cloud native architectures that take advantage of dynamic scaling and the separation of compute and storage. Firebolt is taking that a step further with a core focus on speed and interactivity. In this episode CEO and founder Eldad Farkash explains how the Firebolt platform is architected for high throughput, their simple and transparent pricing model to encourage widespread use, and the use cases that it unlocks through interactive query speeds.
1 September 2020 •
In order to scale the use of data across an organization there are a number of challenges related to discovery, governance, and integration that need to be solved. The key to those solutions is a robust and flexible metadata management system. LinkedIn has gone through several iterations on the most maintainable and scalable approach to metadata, leading them to their current work on DataHub. In this episode Mars Lan and Pardhu Gunnam explain how they designed the platform, how it integrates into their data platforms, and how it is being used to power data discovery and analytics at LinkedIn.
25 August 2020 •
Most databases are designed to work with textual data, with some special purpose engines that support domain specific formats. TileDB is a data engine that was built to support every type of data by using multi-dimensional arrays as the foundational primitive. In this episode the creator and founder of TileDB shares how he first started working on the underlying technology and the benefits of using a single engine for efficiently storing and querying any form of data. He also discusses the shifts in database architectures from vertically integrated monoliths to separately deployed layers, and the approach he is taking with TileDB cloud to embed the authorization into the storage engine, while providing a flexible interface for compute. This was a great conversation about a different approach to database architecture and how that enables a more flexible way to store and interact with data to power better data sharing and new opportunities for blending specialized domains.
17 August 2020 •
Event based data is a rich source of information for analytics, unless none of the event structures are consistent. The team at Iteratively are building a platform to manage the end to end flow of collaboration around what events are needed, how to structure the attributes, and how they are captured. In this episode founders Patrick Thompson and Ondrej Hrebicek discuss the problems that they have experienced as a result of inconsistent event schemas, how the Iteratively platform integrates the definition, development, and delivery of event data, and the benefits of elevating the visibility of event data collection for improving the effectiveness of the resulting analytics. If you are struggling with inconsistent implementations of event data capture, lack of clarity on what attributes are needed, and how it is being used then this is definitely a conversation worth following.
10 August 2020 •
Finding connections between data and the entities that they represent is a complex problem. Graph data models and the applications built on top of them are perfect for representing relationships and finding emergent structures in your information. In this episode Denise Gosnell and Matthias Broecheler discuss their recent book, the Practitioner's Guide To Graph Data, including the fundamental principles that you need to know about graph structures, the current state of graph support in database engines, tooling, and query languages, as well as useful tips on potential pitfalls when putting them into production. This was an informative and enlightening conversation with two experts on graph data applications that will help you start on the right track in your own projects.
4 August 2020 •
A majority of the scalable data processing platforms that we rely on are built as distributed systems. This brings with it a vast number of subtle ways that errors can creep in. Kyle Kingsbury created the Jepsen framework for testing the guarantees of distributed data processing systems and identifying when and why they break. In this episode he shares his approach to testing complex systems, the common challenges that are faced by engineers who build them, and why it is important to understand their limitations. This was a great look at some of the underlying principles that power your mission critical workloads.
28 July 2020 •
Wind energy is an important component of an ecologically friendly power system, but there are a number of variables that can affect the overall efficiency of the turbines. Michael Tegtmeier founded Turbit Systems to help operators of wind farms identify and correct problems that contribute to suboptimal power outputs. In this episode he shares the story of how he got started working with wind energy, the system that he has built to collect data from the individual turbines, and how he is using machine learning to provide valuable insights to produce higher energy outputs. This was a great conversation about using data to improve the way the world works.
21 July 2020 •
The first stage of every data pipeline is extracting the information from source systems. There are a number of platforms for managing data integration, but there is a notable lack of a robust and easy to use open source option. The Meltano project is aiming to provide a solution to that situation. In this episode, project lead Douwe Maan shares the history of how Meltano got started, the motivation for the recent shift in focus, and how it is implemented. The Singer ecosystem has laid the groundwork for a great option to empower teams of all sizes to unlock the value of their Data and Meltano is building the reamining structure to make it a fully featured contender for proprietary systems.
13 July 2020 •
There are an increasing number of use cases for real time data, and the systems to power them are becoming more mature. Once you have a streaming platform up and running you need a way to keep an eye on it, including observability, discovery, and governance of your data. That's what the Lenses.io DataOps platform is built for. In this episode CTO Andrew Stevenson discusses the challenges that arise from building decoupled systems, the benefits of using SQL as the common interface for your data, and the metrics that need to be tracked to keep the overall system healthy. Observability and governance of streaming data requires a different approach than batch oriented workflows, and this episode does an excellent job of outlining the complexities involved and how to address them.
6 July 2020 •
We have machines that can listen to and process human speech in a variety of languages, but dealing with unstructured sounds in our environment is a much greater challenge. The team at Audio Analytic are working to impart a sense of hearing to our myriad devices with their sound recognition technology. In this episode Dr. Chris Mitchell and Dr. Thomas le Cornu describe the challenges that they are faced with in the collection and labelling of high quality data to make this possible, including the lack of a publicly available collection of audio samples to work from, the need for custom metadata throughout the processing pipeline, and the need for customized data processing tools for working with sound data. This was a great conversation about the complexities of working in a niche domain of data analysis and how to build a pipeline of high quality data from collection to analysis.
30 June 2020 •
The majority of analytics platforms are focused on use internal to an organization by business stakeholders. As the availability of data increases and overall literacy in how to interpret it and take action improves there is a growing need to bring business intelligence use cases to a broader audience. GoodData is a platform focused on simplifying the work of bringing data to employees and end users. In this episode Sheila Jung and Philip Farr discuss how the GoodData platform is being used, how it is architected to provide scalable and performant analytics, and how it integrates into customer's data platforms. This was an interesting conversation about a different approach to business intelligence and the importance of expanded access to data.
23 June 2020 •
Machine learning is a process driven by iteration and experimentation which requires fast and easy access to relevant features of the data being processed. In order to reduce friction in the process of developing and delivering models there has been a recent trend toward building a dedicated feature. In this episode Simba Khadder discusses his work at StreamSQL building a feature store to make creation, discovery, and monitoring of features fast and easy to manage. He describes the architecture of the system, the benefits of streaming data for machine learning, and how a feature store provides a useful interface between data engineers and machine learning engineers to reduce communication overhead.
15 June 2020 •
The landscape of data management and processing is rapidly changing and evolving. There are certain foundational elements that have remained steady, but as the industry matures new trends emerge and gain prominence. In this episode Astasia Myers of Redpoint Ventures shares her perspective as an investor on which categories she is paying particular attention to for the near to medium term. She discusses the work being done to address challenges in the areas of data quality, observability, discovery, and streaming. This is a useful conversation to gain a macro perspective on where businesses are looking to improve their capabilities to work with data.
8 June 2020 •
Data lakes offer a great deal of flexibility and the potential for reduced cost for your analytics, but they also introduce a great deal of complexity. What used to be entirely managed by the database engine is now a composition of multiple systems that need to be properly configured to work in concert. In order to bring the DBA into the new era of data management the team at Upsolver added a SQL interface to their data lake platform. In this episode Upsolver CEO Ori Rafael and CTO Yoni Iny describe how they have grown their platform deliberately to allow for layering SQL on top of a robust foundation for creating and operating a data lake, how to bring more people on board to work with the data being collected, and the unique benefits that a data lake provides. This was an interesting look at the impact that the interface to your data can have on who is empowered to work with it.
2 June 2020 •
Gaining a complete view of the customer journey is especially difficult in B2B companies. This is due to the number of different individuals involved and the myriad ways that they interface with the business. Dreamdata integrates data from the multitude of platforms that are used by these organizations so that they can get a comprehensive view of their customer lifecycle. In this episode Ole Dallerup explains how Dreamdata was started, how their platform is architected, and the challenges inherent to data management in the B2B space. This conversation is a useful look into how data engineering and analytics can have a direct impact on the success of the business.
25 May 2020 •
The PostgreSQL database is massively popular due to its flexibility and extensive ecosystem of extensions, but it is still not the first choice for high performance analytics. Swarm64 aims to change that by adding support for advanced hardware capabilities like FPGAs and optimized usage of modern SSDs. In this episode CEO and co-founder Thomas Richter discusses his motivation for creating an extension to optimize Postgres hardware usage, the benefits of running your analytics on the same platform as your application, and how it works under the hood. If you are trying to get more performance out of your database then this episode is for you!
18 May 2020 •
There have been several generations of platforms for managing streaming data, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and different areas of focus. Pulsar is one of the recent entrants which has quickly gained adoption and an impressive set of capabilities. In this episode Sijie Guo discusses his motivations for spending so much of his time and energy on contributing to the project and growing the community. His most recent endeavor at StreamNative is focused on combining the capabilities of Pulsar with the cloud native movement to make it easier to build and scale real time messaging systems with built in event processing capabilities. This was a great conversation about the strengths of the Pulsar project, how it has evolved in recent years, and some of the innovative ways that it is being used. Pulsar is a well engineered and robust platform for building the core of any system that relies on durable access to easily scalable streams of data.
11 May 2020 •
Data management is hard at any scale, but working in the context of an enterprise organization adds even greater complexity. Infoworks is a platform built to provide a unified set of tooling for managing the full lifecycle of data in large businesses. By reducing the barrier to entry with a graphical interface for defining data transformations and analysis, it makes it easier to bring the domain experts into the process. In this interview co-founder and CTO of Infoworks Amar Arikere explains the unique challenges faced by enterprise organizations, how the platform is architected to provide the needed flexibility and scale, and how a unified platform for data improves the outcomes of the organizations using it.
4 May 2020 •
Data is a critical element to every role in an organization, which is also what makes managing it so challenging. With so many different opinions about which pieces of information are most important, how it needs to be accessed, and what to do with it, many data projects are doomed to failure. In this episode Chris Bergh explains how taking an agile approach to delivering value can drive down the complexity that grows out of the varied needs of the business. Building a DataOps workflow that incorporates fast delivery of well defined projects, continuous testing, and open lines of communication is a proven path to success.
28 April 2020 •
Modern applications frequently require access to real-time data, but building and maintaining the systems that make that possible is a complex and time consuming endeavor. Eventador is a managed platform designed to let you focus on using the data that you collect, without worrying about how to make it reliable. In this episode Eventador Founder and CEO Kenny Gorman describes how the platform is architected, the challenges inherent to managing reliable streams of data, the simplicity offered by a SQL interface, and the interesting projects that his customers have built on top of it. This was an interesting inside look at building a business on top of open source stream processing frameworks and how to reduce the burden on end users.
20 April 2020 •
The software applications that we build for our businesses are a rich source of data, but accessing and extracting that data is often a slow and error-prone process. Rookout has built a platform to separate the data collection process from the lifecycle of your code. In this episode, CTO Liran Haimovitch discusses the benefits of shortening the iteration cycle and bringing non-engineers into the process of identifying useful data. This was a great conversation about the importance of democratizing the work of data collection.
14 April 2020 •
Knowledge graphs are a data resource that can answer questions beyond the scope of traditional data analytics. By organizing and storing data to emphasize the relationship between entities, we can discover the complex connections between multiple sources of information. In this episode John Maiden talks about how Cherre builds knowledge graphs that provide powerful insights for their customers and the engineering challenges of building a scalable graph. If you’re wondering how to extract additional business value from existing data, this episode will provide a way to expand your data resources.
7 April 2020 •
Building and maintaining a system that integrates and analyzes all of the data for your organization is a complex endeavor. Operating on a shoe-string budget makes it even more challenging. In this episode Tyler Colby shares his experiences working as a data professional in the non-profit sector. From managing Salesforce data models to wrangling a multitude of data sources and compliance challenges, he describes the biggest challenges that he is facing.
30 March 2020 •
There are a number of platforms available for object storage, including self-managed open source projects. But what goes on behind the scenes of the companies that run these systems at scale so you don't have to? In this episode Will Smith shares the journey that he and his team at Linode recently completed to bring a fast and reliable S3 compatible object storage to production for your benefit. He discusses the challenges of running object storage for public usage, some of the interesting ways that it was stress tested internally, and the lessons that he learned along the way.
23 March 2020 •
CouchDB is a distributed document database built for scale and ease of operation. With a built-in synchronization protocol and a HTTP interface it has become popular as a backend for web and mobile applications. Created 15 years ago, it has accrued some technical debt which is being addressed with a refactored architecture based on FoundationDB. In this episode Adam Kocoloski shares the history of the project, how it works under the hood, and how the new design will improve the project for our new era of computation. This was an interesting conversation about the challenges of maintaining a large and mission critical project and the work being done to evolve it.
17 March 2020 •
Data governance is a complex endeavor, but scaling it to meet the needs of a complex or globally distributed organization requires a well considered and coherent strategy. In this episode Tim Ward describes an architecture that he has used successfully with multiple organizations to scale compliance. By treating it as a graph problem, where each hub in the network has localized control with inheritance of higher level controls it reduces overhead and provides greater flexibility. Tim provides useful examples for understanding how to adopt this approach in your own organization, including some technology recommendations for making it maintainable and scalable. If you are struggling to scale data quality controls and governance requirements then this interview will provide some useful ideas to incorporate into your roadmap.
9 March 2020 •
Building applications on top of unbounded event streams is a complex endeavor, requiring careful integration of multiple disparate systems that were engineered in isolation. The ksqlDB project was created to address this state of affairs by building a unified layer on top of the Kafka ecosystem for stream processing. Developers can work with the SQL constructs that they are familiar with while automatically getting the durability and reliability that Kafka offers. In this episode Michael Drogalis, product manager for ksqlDB at Confluent, explains how the system is implemented, how you can use it for building your own stream processing applications, and how it fits into the lifecycle of your data infrastructure. If you have been struggling with building services on low level streaming interfaces then give this episode a listen and try it out for yourself.
2 March 2020 •
Misaligned priorities across business units can lead to tensions that drive members of the organization to build data and analytics projects without the guidance or support of engineering or IT staff. The availability of cloud platforms and managed services makes this a viable option, but can lead to downstream challenges. In this episode Sean Knapp and Charlie Crocker share their experiences of working in and with companies that have dealt with shadow IT projects and the importance of enabling and empowering the use and exploration of data and analytics. If you have ever been frustrated by seemingly draconian policies or struggled to align everyone on your supported platform, then this episode will help you gain some perspective and set you on a path to productive collaboration.
25 February 2020 •
One of the biggest challenges in building reliable platforms for processing event pipelines is managing the underlying infrastructure. At Snowplow Analytics the complexity is compounded by the need to manage multiple instances of their platform across customer environments. In this episode Josh Beemster, the technical operations lead at Snowplow, explains how they manage automation, deployment, monitoring, scaling, and maintenance of their streaming analytics pipeline for event data. He also shares the challenges they face in supporting multiple cloud environments and the need to integrate with existing customer systems. If you are daunted by the needs of your data infrastructure then it's worth listening to how Josh and his team are approaching the problem.
18 February 2020 •
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.
9 February 2020 •
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!
3 February 2020 •
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.
27 January 2020 •
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.
20 January 2020 •
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.
13 January 2020 •
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.
6 January 2020 •
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.
30 December 2019 •
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.
23 December 2019 •
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.
16 December 2019 •
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.
9 December 2019 •
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 build and maintain a data driven culture.
3 December 2019 •
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.
26 November 2019 •
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.
18 November 2019 •
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.
11 November 2019 •
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.
4 November 2019 •
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.
28 October 2019 •
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.
22 October 2019 •
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.
15 October 2019 •
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.
8 October 2019 •
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.
1 October 2019 •
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.
23 September 2019 •
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.
18 September 2019 •
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.
10 September 2019 •
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.
2 September 2019 •
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.
26 August 2019 •
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.
19 August 2019 •
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.
12 August 2019 •
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.
5 August 2019 •
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.
29 July 2019 •
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.
22 July 2019 •
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.
15 July 2019 •
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.
8 July 2019 •
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.
2 July 2019 •
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.
25 June 2019 •
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.
17 June 2019 •
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.
10 June 2019 •
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.
4 June 2019 •
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.
27 May 2019 •
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.
20 May 2019 •
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.
7 May 2019 •
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.
29 April 2019 •
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.
22 April 2019 •
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.
15 April 2019 •
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.
8 April 2019 •
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.
1 April 2019 •
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.
25 March 2019 •
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.
18 March 2019 •
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.
4 March 2019 •
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.
25 February 2019 •
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.
19 February 2019 •
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.
11 February 2019 •
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.
4 February 2019 •
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.
29 January 2019 •
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.
21 January 2019 •
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.
14 January 2019 •
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.
7 January 2019 •
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.
31 December 2018 •
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.
24 December 2018 •
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.
17 December 2018 •
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.
10 December 2018 •
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.
3 December 2018 •
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.
26 November 2018 •
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.
19 November 2018 •
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.
11 November 2018 •
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.
5 November 2018 •
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.
29 October 2018 •
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.
22 October 2018 •
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.
15 October 2018 •
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.
9 October 2018 •
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.
1 October 2018 •
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.
24 September 2018 •
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.
17 September 2018 •
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.
10 September 2018 •
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.
3 September 2018 •
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.
27 August 2018 •
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.
20 August 2018 •
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.
13 August 2018 •
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.
6 August 2018 •
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.
30 July 2018 •
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.
16 July 2018 •
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.
8 July 2018 •
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.
2 July 2018 •
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.
25 June 2018 •
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.
17 June 2018 •
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.
11 June 2018 •
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.
4 June 2018 •
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.
28 May 2018 •
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.
21 May 2018 •
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.
14 May 2018 •
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.
7 May 2018 •
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.
30 April 2018 •
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.
23 April 2018 •
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.
15 April 2018 •
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.
8 April 2018 •
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.
1 April 2018 •
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.
25 March 2018 •
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.
19 March 2018 •
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.
12 March 2018 •
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.
5 March 2018 •
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.
26 February 2018 •
The responsibilities of a data scientist and a data engineer often overlap and occasionally come to cross purposes. Despite these challenges it is possible for the two roles to work together effectively and produce valuable business outcomes. In this episode Will McGinnis discusses the opinions that he has gained from experience on how data teams can play to their strengths to the benefit of all.
19 February 2018 •
As communications between machines become more commonplace the need to store the generated data in a time-oriented manner increases. The market for timeseries data stores has many contenders, but they are not all built to solve the same problems or to scale in the same manner. In this episode the founders of TimescaleDB, Ajay Kulkarni and Mike Freedman, discuss how Timescale was started, the problems that it solves, and how it works under the covers. They also explain how you can start using it in your infrastructure and their plans for the future.
11 February 2018 •
One of the critical components for modern data infrastructure is a scalable and reliable messaging system. Publish-subscribe systems have been popular for many years, and recently stream oriented systems such as Kafka have been rising in prominence. This week Rajan Dhabalia and Matteo Merli discuss the work they have done on Pulsar, which supports both options, in addition to being globally scalable and fast. They explain how Pulsar is architected, how to scale it, and how it fits into your existing infrastructure.
4 February 2018 •
Sharing data across multiple computers, particularly when it is large and changing, is a difficult problem to solve. In order to provide a simpler way to distribute and version data sets among collaborators the Dat Project was created. In this episode Danielle Robinson and Joe Hand explain how the project got started, how it functions, and some of the many ways that it can be used. They also explain the plans that the team has for upcoming features and uses that you can watch out for in future releases.
29 January 2018 •
The majority of the conversation around machine learning and big data pertains to well-structured and cleaned data sets. Unfortunately, that is just a small percentage of the information that is available, so the rest of the sources of knowledge in a company are housed in so-called "Dark Data" sets. In this episode Alex Ratner explains how the work that he and his fellow researchers are doing on Snorkel can be used to extract value by leveraging labeling functions written by domain experts to generate training sets for machine learning models. He also explains how this approach can be used to democratize machine learning by making it feasible for organizations with smaller data sets than those required by most tooling.
22 January 2018 •
As we scale our systems to handle larger volumes of data, geographically distributed users, and varied data sources the requirement to distribute the computational resources for managing that information becomes more pronounced. In order to ensure that all of the distributed nodes in our systems agree with each other we need to build mechanisms to properly handle replication of data and conflict resolution. In this episode Christopher Meiklejohn discusses the research he is doing with Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs) and how they fit in with existing methods for sharing and sharding data. He also shares resources for systems that leverage CRDTs, how you can incorporate them into your systems, and when they might not be the right solution. It is a fascinating and informative treatment of a topic that is becoming increasingly relevant in a data driven world.
15 January 2018 •
PostGreSQL has become one of the most popular and widely used databases, and for good reason. The level of extensibility that it supports has allowed it to be used in virtually every environment. At Citus Data they have built an extension to support running it in a distributed fashion across large volumes of data with parallelized queries for improved performance. In this episode Ozgun Erdogan, the CTO of Citus, and Craig Kerstiens, Citus Product Manager, discuss how the company got started, the work that they are doing to scale out PostGreSQL, and how you can start using it in your environment.
8 January 2018 •
Data oriented applications that need to operate on large, fast-moving sterams of information can be difficult to build and scale due to the need to manage their state. In this episode Sean T. Allen, VP of engineering for Wallaroo Labs, explains how Wallaroo was designed and built to reduce the cognitive overhead of building this style of project. He explains the motivation for building Wallaroo, how it is implemented, and how you can start using it today.
25 December 2017 •
Time series databases have long been the cornerstone of a robust metrics system, but the existing options are often difficult to manage in production. In this episode Jeroen van der Heijden explains his motivation for writing a new database, SiriDB, the challenges that he faced in doing so, and how it works under the hood.
18 December 2017 •
To process your data you need to know what shape it has, which is why schemas are important. When you are processing that data in multiple systems it can be difficult to ensure that they all have an accurate representation of that schema, which is why Confluent has built a schema registry that plugs into Kafka. In this episode Ewen Cheslack-Postava explains what the schema registry is, how it can be used, and how they built it. He also discusses how it can be extended for other deployment targets and use cases, and additional features that are planned for future releases.
10 December 2017 •
We have tools and platforms for collaborating on software projects and linking them together, wouldn't it be nice to have the same capabilities for data? The team at data.world are working on building a platform to host and share data sets for public and private use that can be linked together to build a semantic web of information. The CTO, Bryon Jacob, discusses how the company got started, their mission, and how they have built and evolved their technical infrastructure.
3 December 2017 •
With the wealth of formats for sending and storing data it can be difficult to determine which one to use. In this episode Doug Cutting, creator of Avro, and Julien Le Dem, creator of Parquet, dig into the different classes of serialization formats, what their strengths are, and how to choose one for your workload. They also discuss the role of Arrow as a mechanism for in-memory data sharing and how hardware evolution will influence the state of the art for data formats.
22 November 2017 •
Buzzfeed needs to be able to understand how its users are interacting with the myriad articles, videos, etc. that they are posting. This lets them produce new content that will continue to be well-received. To surface the insights that they need to grow their business they need a robust data infrastructure to reliably capture all of those interactions. Walter Menendez is a data engineer on their infrastructure team and in this episode he describes how they manage data ingestion from a wide array of sources and create an interface for their data scientists to produce valuable conclusions.
14 November 2017 •
Building a data pipeline that is reliable and flexible is a difficult task, especially when you have a small team. Astronomer is a platform that lets you skip straight to processing your valuable business data. Ry Walker, the CEO of Astronomer, explains how the company got started, how the platform works, and their commitment to open source.
6 August 2017 •
Yelp needs to be able to consume and process all of the user interactions that happen in their platform in as close to real-time as possible. To achieve that goal they embarked on a journey to refactor their monolithic architecture to be more modular and modern, and then they open sourced it! In this episode Justin Cunningham joins me to discuss the decisions they made and the lessons they learned in the process, including what worked, what didn't, and what he would do differently if he was starting over today.
18 June 2017 •
If you like the features of Cassandra DB but wish it ran faster with fewer resources then ScyllaDB is the answer you have been looking for. In this episode Eyal Gutkind explains how Scylla was created and how it differentiates itself in the crowded database market.
18 March 2017 •
What exactly is data engineering? How has it evolved in recent years and where is it going? How do you get started in the field? In this episode, Maxime Beauchemin joins me to discuss these questions and more.
5 March 2017 •
There is a vast constellation of tools and platforms for processing and analyzing your data. In this episode Matthew Rocklin talks about how Dask fills the gap between a task oriented workflow tool and an in memory processing framework, and how it brings the power of Python to bear on the problem of big data.
22 January 2017 •
Do you wish that you could track the changes in your data the same way that you track the changes in your code? Pachyderm is a platform for building a data lake with a versioned file system. It also lets you use whatever languages you want to run your analysis with its container based task graph. This week Daniel Whitenack shares the story of how the project got started, how it works under the covers, and how you can get started using it today!
14 January 2017 •
Are you looking for a podcast that discusses the tools, techniques, and culture of data engineering? Then you've come to the right spot!
8 January 2017 •
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