As your data needs scale across an organization the need for a carefully considered approach to collection, storage, organization, and access becomes increasingly critical. In this episode Todd Walter shares his considerable experience in data curation to clarify the many aspects that are necessary for a successful platform for your business. Using the metaphor of a museum curator carefully managing the precious resources on display and in the vaults, he discusses the various layers of an enterprise data strategy. This includes modeling the lifecycle of your information as a pipeline from the raw, messy, loosely structured records in your data lake, through a series of transformations and ultimately to your data warehouse. He also explains which layers are useful for the different members of the business, and which pitfalls to look out for along the path to a mature and flexible data platform.
Every business with a website needs some way to keep track of how much traffic they are getting, where it is coming from, and which actions are being taken. The default in most cases is Google Analytics, but this can be limiting when you wish to perform detailed analysis of the captured data. To address this problem, Alex Dean co-founded Snowplow Analytics to build an open source platform that gives you total control of your website traffic data. In this episode he explains how the project and company got started, how the platform is architected, and how you can start using it today to get a clearer view of how your customers are interacting with your web and mobile applications.
Elasticsearch is a powerful tool for storing and analyzing data, but when using it for logs and other time oriented information it can become problematic to keep all of your history. Chaos Search was started to make it easy for you to keep all of your data and make it usable in S3, so that you can have the best of both worlds. In this episode the CTO, Thomas Hazel, and VP of Product, Pete Cheslock, describe how they have built a platform to let you keep all of your history, save money, and reduce your operational overhead. They also explain some of the types of data that you can use with Chaos Search, how to load it into S3, and when you might want to choose it over Amazon Athena for our serverless data analysis.
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.
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.
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.
Web and mobile analytics are an important part of any business, and difficult to get right. The most frustrating part is when you realize that you haven’t been tracking a key interaction, having to write custom logic to add that event, and then waiting to collect data. Heap is a platform that automatically tracks every event so that you can retroactively decide which actions are important to your business and easily build reports with or without SQL. In this episode Dan Robinson, CTO of Heap, describes how they have architected their data infrastructure, how they build their tracking agents, and the data virtualization layer that enables users to define their own labels.