With the proliferation of data sources to give a more comprehensive view of the information critical to your business it is even more important to have a canonical view of the entities that you care about. Is customer number 342 in your ERP the same as Bob Smith on Twitter? Building a master data set helps you answer these questions reliably and simplify the process of building your business intelligence reports. In this episode the head of product at Tamr, Mark Marinelli, discusses the challenges of building a master data set, why you should have one, and some of the techniques that modern platforms and systems provide for maintaining it.
There are myriad reasons why data should be protected, and just as many ways to enforce it in tranist or at rest. Unfortunately, there is still a weak point where attackers can gain access to your unencrypted information. In this episode Ellison Anny Williams, CEO of Enveil, describes how her company uses homomorphic encryption to ensure that your analytical queries can be executed without ever having to decrypt your data.
The way that you store your data can have a huge impact on the ways that it can be practically used. For a substantial number of use cases, the optimal format for storing and querying that information is as a graph, however databases architected around that use case have historically been difficult to use at scale or for serving fast, distributed queries. In this episode Manish Jain explains how DGraph is overcoming those limitations, how the project got started, and how you can start using it today. He also discusses the various cases where a graph storage layer is beneficial, and when you would be better off using something else. In addition he talks about the challenges of building a distributed, consistent database and the tradeoffs that were made to make DGraph a reality.
The theory behind how a tool is supposed to work and the realities of putting it into practice are often at odds with each other. Learning the pitfalls and best practices from someone who has gained that knowledge the hard way can save you from wasted time and frustration. In this episode James Meickle discusses his recent experience building a new installation of Airflow. He points out the strengths, design flaws, and areas of improvement for the framework. He also describes the design patterns and workflows that his team has built to allow them to use Airflow as the basis of their data science platform.
One of the longest running and most popular open source database projects is PostgreSQL. Because of its extensibility and a community focus on stability it has stayed relevant as the ecosystem of development environments and data requirements have changed and evolved over its lifetime. It is difficult to capture any single facet of this database in a single conversation, let alone the entire surface area, but in this episode Jonathan Katz does an admirable job of it. He explains how Postgres started and how it has grown over the years, highlights the fundamental features that make it such a popular choice for application developers, and the ongoing efforts to add the complex features needed by the demanding workloads of today’s data layer. To cap it off he reviews some of the exciting features that the community is working on building into future releases.
With the attention being paid to the systems that power large volumes of high velocity data it is easy to forget about the value of data collection at human scales. Ona is a company that is building technologies to support mobile data collection, analysis of the aggregated information, and user-friendly presentations. In this episode CTO Peter Lubell-Doughtie describes the architecture of the platform, the types of environments and use cases where it is being employed, and the value of small data.
When working with large volumes of data that you need to access in parallel across multiple instances you need a distributed filesystem that will scale with your workload. Even better is when that same system provides multiple paradigms for interacting with the underlying storage. Ceph is a highly available, highly scalable, and performant system that has support for object storage, block storage, and native filesystem access. In this episode Sage Weil, the creator and lead maintainer of the project, discusses how it got started, how it works, and how you can start using it on your infrastructure today. He also explains where it fits in the current landscape of distributed storage and the plans for future improvements.
Data integration and routing is a constantly evolving problem and one that is fraught with edge cases and complicated requirements. The Apache NiFi project models this problem as a collection of data flows that are created through a self-service graphical interface. This framework provides a flexible platform for building a wide variety of integrations that can be managed and scaled easily to fit your particular needs. In this episode project members Kevin Doran and Andy LoPresto discuss the ways that NiFi can be used, how to start using it in your environment, and plans for future development. They also explained how it fits in the broad landscape of data tools, the interesting and challenging aspects of the project, and how to build new extensions.
Data is often messy or incomplete, requiring human intervention to make sense of it before being usable as input to machine learning projects. This is problematic when the volume scales beyond a handful of records. In this episode Dr. Cheryl Martin, Chief Data Scientist for Alegion, discusses the importance of properly labeled information for machine learning and artificial intelligence projects, the systems that they have built to scale the process of incorporating human intelligence in the data preparation process, and the challenges inherent to such an endeavor.
Collaboration, distribution, and installation of software projects is largely a solved problem, but the same cannot be said of data. Every data team has a bespoke means of sharing data sets, versioning them, tracking related metadata and changes, and publishing them for use in the software systems that rely on them. The CEO and founder of Quilt Data, Kevin Moore, was sufficiently frustrated by this problem to create a platform that attempts to be the means by which data can be as collaborative and easy to work with as GitHub and your favorite programming language. In this episode he explains how the project came to be, how it works, and the many ways that you can start using it today.