Self Service Data Exploration And Dashboarding With Superset - Episode 182

Summary

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.

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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 Max Beauchemin about Superset, an open source platform for data exploration, dashboards, and business intelligence

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by describing what Superset is?
  • Superset is becoming part of the reference architecture for a modern data stack. What are the factors that have contributed to its popularity over other tools such as Redash, Metabase, Looker, etc.?
  • Where do dashboarding and exploration tools like Superset fit in the responsibilities and workflow of a data engineer?
  • What are some of the challenges that Superset faces in being performant when working with large data sources?
    • Which data sources have you found to be the most challenging to work with?
  • What are some anti-patterns that users of Superset might run into when building out a dashboard?
  • What are some of the ways that users can surface data quality indicators (e.g. freshness, lineage, check results, etc.) in a Superset dashboard?
  • Another trend in analytics and dashboard tools is providing actionable insights. How can Superset support those use cases where a business user or analyst wants to perform an action based on the data that they are being shown?
  • How can Superset factor into a data governance strategy for the business?
  • What are some of the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Superset used?
  • dogfooding
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned from working on Superset and founding Preset?
  • When is Superset the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Superset and Preset?

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.
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Links

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

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