An Introduction To Data And Analytics Engineering For Non-Programmers - Episode 255

Summary

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.

Today’s episode is Sponsored by Prophecy.io – the low-code data engineering platform for the cloud. Prophecy provides an easy-to-use visual interface to design & deploy data pipelines on Apache Spark & Apache Airflow. Now all the data users can use software engineering best practices – git, tests and continuous deployment with a simple to use visual designer.

How does it work? – You visually design the pipelines, and Prophecy generates clean Spark code with tests on git; then you visually schedule these pipelines on Airflow. You can observe your pipelines with built in metadata search and column level lineage.

Finally, if you have existing workflows in AbInitio, Informatica or other ETL formats that you want to move to the cloud, you can import them automatically into Prophecy making them run productively on Spark.

Sign up for a free account today at dataengineeringpodcast.com/prophecy


At StreamSets, our mission is to make data engineering teams wildly successful. The StreamSets DataOps Platform is a modern, end-to-end data integration platform to build, run, monitor and manage data pipelines, and embraces the DataOps philosophy of continuous data. Only StreamSets provides a single design experience for all design patterns to enable 10x greater developer productivity; smart data pipelines that are resilient to change to reduce breakages by 80%; and a single pane of glass for managing and monitoring all pipelines across hybrid and cloud architectures to eliminate blind spots and control gaps. With StreamSets, you can deliver continuous data for modern analytics, despite constant change.

Visit dataengineeringpodcast.com/streamsets to learn more and try for free. The first 10 listeners of the podcast that subscribe to StreamSets’ Professional Tier, receive 2 months free after their first month.


Your data platform needs to be scalable, fault tolerant, and performant, which means that you need the same from your cloud provider. Linode has been powering production systems for over 17 years, and now they’ve launched a fully managed Kubernetes platform. With the combined power of the Kubernetes engine for flexible and scalable deployments, and features like dedicated CPU instances, GPU instances, and object storage you’ve got everything you need to build a bulletproof data pipeline. If you go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today you’ll even get a $100 credit to use on building your own cluster, or object storage, or reliable backups, or… And while you’re there don’t forget to thank them for being a long-time supporter of the Data Engineering Podcast!


Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to the Data Engineering Podcast, the show about modern data management
  • When you’re ready to build your next pipeline, or want to test out the projects you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so check out our friends at Linode. With their managed Kubernetes platform it’s now even easier to deploy and scale your workflows, or try out the latest Helm charts from tools like Pulsar and Pachyderm. With simple pricing, fast networking, object storage, and worldwide data centers, you’ve got everything you need to run a bulletproof data platform. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today and get a $100 credit to try out a Kubernetes cluster of your own. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Today’s episode is Sponsored by Prophecy.io – the low-code data engineering platform for the cloud. Prophecy provides an easy-to-use visual interface to design & deploy data pipelines on Apache Spark & Apache Airflow. Now all the data users can use software engineering best practices – git, tests and continuous deployment with a simple to use visual designer. How does it work? – You visually design the pipelines, and Prophecy generates clean Spark code with tests on git; then you visually schedule these pipelines on Airflow. You can observe your pipelines with built in metadata search and column level lineage. Finally, if you have existing workflows in AbInitio, Informatica or other ETL formats that you want to move to the cloud, you can import them automatically into Prophecy making them run productively on Spark. Create your free account today at dataengineeringpodcast.com/prophecy.
  • StreamSets DataOps Platform is the world’s first single platform for building smart data pipelines across hybrid and multi-cloud architectures. Build, run, monitor and manage data pipelines confidently with an end-to-end data integration platform that’s built for constant change. Amp up your productivity with an easy-to-navigate interface and 100s of pre-built connectors. And, get pipelines and new hires up and running quickly with powerful, reusable components that work across batch and streaming. Once you’re up and running, your smart data pipelines are resilient to data drift. Those ongoing and unexpected changes in schema, semantics, and infrastructure. Finally, one single pane of glass for operating and monitoring all your data pipelines. The full transparency and control you desire for your data operations. Get started building pipelines in minutes for free at dataengineeringpodcast.com/streamsets. The first 10 listeners of the podcast that subscribe to StreamSets’ Professional Tier, receive 2 months free after their first month.
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Brian McMillan about building data products and his book to introduce the work of data analysts and engineers to non-programmers

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what motivated you to write a book about the work of building data products?
    • Who is your target audience?
    • What are the main goals that you are trying to achieve through the book?
  • What was your approach for determining the structure and contents of the book?
  • What are the core principles of data engineering that have remained from the original wave of ETL tools and rigid data warehouses?
    • What are some of the new foundational elements of data products that need to be codified for the next generation of organizations and data professionals?
  • There is a lot of activity and conversation happening in and around data which can make it difficult to understand which parts are signal and which are noise. What, if anything, do you see as being truly new and/or innovative?
    • Are there any core lessons or principles that you consider to be at risk of getting drowned out in the current frenzy of activity?
  • How do the practices for building products with small teams differ from those employed by larger groups?
    • What do you see as the threshold beyond which a team can no longer be considered "small"?
  • What are the roles/skills/titles that you view as necessary for building data products in the current phase of maturity for the ecosystem?
  • What do you see as the biggest risks to engineering and data teams?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen the principles in the book used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on the book?

Contact Info

Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, Podcast.__init__ to learn about the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the mailing list, and read the show notes.
  • If you’ve learned something or tried out a project from the show then tell us about it! Email hosts@dataengineeringpodcast.com) with your story.
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers

Links

The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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