Leave Your Data Where It Is And Automate Feature Extraction With Molecula - Episode 175

Summary

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.

RudderStack LogoRudderStack is the smart customer data pipeline. It takes the toil out of building data pipelines that connect your whole customer data stack. Its easy-to-use SDKs and source integrations, Cloud Extract integrations, transformations, and expansive library of destination and warehouse integrations makes building customer data pipelines for both event streaming and cloud-to-warehouse ELT simple. RudderStack’s warehouse-first approach and Warehouse Actions functionality makes your customer data stack smarter by enabling analysis and modeling in your data warehouse to trigger enrichment and activation in all of your customer tools. Start building smarter customer data pipelines today with RudderStack. Visit dataengineeringpodcast.com/rudder to learn more and sign-up for our no credit card required, no time limit free tier.


DDatafold Logoatafold gives you visibility and confidence in the quality of your analytical data with fast dataset diffing, profiling, column-level lineage, and intelligent anomaly detection. Datafold integrates with all major data warehouses as well as frameworks such as Airflow & dbt and seamlessly plugs into CI, so in a few minutes you can get from 0 to automated testing of your analytical code. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/datafold to start a 30-day trial of Datafold. Once you sign up and create an alert in Datafold for your company data, they will send you a cool water flask.


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!
  • Modern Data teams are dealing with a lot of complexity in their data pipelines and analytical code. Monitoring data quality, tracing incidents, and testing changes can be daunting and often takes hours to days. Datafold helps Data teams gain visibility and confidence in the quality of their analytical data through data profiling, column-level lineage and intelligent anomaly detection. Datafold also helps automate regression testing of ETL code with its Data Diff feature that instantly shows how a change in ETL or BI code affects the produced data, both on a statistical level and down to individual rows and values. Datafold integrates with all major data warehouses as well as frameworks such as Airflow & dbt and seamlessly plugs into CI workflows. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/datafold today to start a 30-day trial of Datafold. Once you sign up and create an alert in Datafold for your company data, they will send you a cool water flask.
  • RudderStack’s smart customer data pipeline is warehouse-first. It builds your customer data warehouse and your identity graph on your data warehouse, with support for Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and more. Their SDKs and plugins make event streaming easy, and their integrations with cloud applications like Salesforce and ZenDesk help you go beyond event streaming. With RudderStack you can use all of your customer data to answer more difficult questions and then send those insights to your whole customer data stack. Sign up free at dataengineeringpodcast.com/rudder today.
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing H.O. Maycotte about Molecula, a cloud based feature store based on the open source Pilosa project

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by giving an overview of what you are building at Molecula and the story behind it?
    • What are the additional capabilities that Molecula offers on top of the open source Pilosa project?
  • What are the problems/use cases that Molecula solves for?
  • What are some of the technologies or architectural patterns that Molecula might replace in a companies data platform?
  • One of the use cases that is mentioned on the Molecula site is as a feature store for ML and AI. This is a category that has been seeing a lot of growth recently. Can you provide some context how Molecula fits in that market and how it compares to options such as Tecton, Iguazio, Feast, etc.?
    • What are the benefits of using a bitmap index for identifying and computing features?
  • Can you describe how the Molecula platform is architected?
    • How has the design and goal of Molecula changed or evolved since you first began working on it?
  • For someone who is using Molecula, can you describe the process of integrating it with their existing data sources?
  • Can you describe the internal data model of Pilosa/Molecula?
    • How should users think about data modeling and architecture as they are loading information into the platform?
  • Once a user has data in Pilosa, what are the available mechanisms for performing analyses or feature engineering?
  • What are some of the most underutilized or misunderstood capabilities of Molecula?
  • What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or innovative ways that you have seen the Molecula platform used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned from building and scaling Molecula?
  • When is Molecula the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the platform and business?

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
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at dataengineeringpodcast.com/chat

Links

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

Liked it? Take a second to support the Data Engineering Podcast on Patreon!