DiscoverData Engineering Podcast
Data Engineering Podcast

Data Engineering Podcast

Author: Tobias Macey

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This show goes behind the scenes for the tools, techniques, and difficulties associated with the discipline of data engineering. Databases, workflows, automation, and data manipulation are just some of the topics that you will find here.
174 Episodes
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Comments (2)

Albert Bikeev

"Java is more readable and maintainable than Scala..." that's a good joke :)

Mar 7th
Reply

T L

It's very hard to follow your guest..

Sep 22nd
Reply
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