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.
Building an ETL pipeline is a common need across businesses and industries. It’s easy to get one started but difficult to manage as new requirements are added and greater scalability becomes necessary. Rather than duplicating the efforts of other engineers it might be best to use a hosted service to handle the plumbing so that you can focus on the parts that actually matter for your business. In this episode CTO and co-founder of Alooma, Yair Weinberger, explains how the platform addresses the common needs of data collection, manipulation, and storage while allowing for flexible processing. He describes the motivation for starting the company, how their infrastructure is architected, and the challenges of supporting multi-tenancy and a wide variety of integrations.
The Open Data Science Conference brings together a variety of data professionals each year in Boston. This week’s episode consists of a pair of brief interviews conducted on-site at the conference. First up you’ll hear from Alan Anders, the CTO of Applecart about their challenges with getting Spark to scale for constructing an entity graph from multiple data sources. Next I spoke with Stepan Pushkarev, the CEO, CTO, and Co-Founder of Hydrosphere.io about the challenges of running machine learning models in production and how his team tracks key metrics and samples production data to re-train and re-deploy those models for better accuracy and more robust operation.
One of the critical components for modern data infrastructure is a scalable and reliable messaging system. Publish-subscribe systems have been popular for many years, and recently stream oriented systems such as Kafka have been rising in prominence. This week Rajan Dhabalia and Matteo Merli discuss the work they have done on Pulsar, which supports both options, in addition to being globally scalable and fast. They explain how Pulsar is architected, how to scale it, and how it fits into your existing infrastructure.
Data oriented applications that need to operate on large, fast-moving sterams of information can be difficult to build and scale due to the need to manage their state. In this episode Sean T. Allen, VP of engineering for Wallaroo Labs, explains how Wallaroo was designed and built to reduce the cognitive overhead of building this style of project. He explains the motivation for building Wallaroo, how it is implemented, and how you can start using it today.
To process your data you need to know what shape it has, which is why schemas are important. When you are processing that data in multiple systems it can be difficult to ensure that they all have an accurate representation of that schema, which is why Confluent has built a schema registry that plugs into Kafka. In this episode Ewen Cheslack-Postava explains what the schema registry is, how it can be used, and how they built it. He also discusses how it can be extended for other deployment targets and use cases, and additional features that are planned for future releases.
Buzzfeed needs to be able to understand how its users are interacting with the myriad articles, videos, etc. that they are posting. This lets them produce new content that will continue to be well-received. To surface the insights that they need to grow their business they need a robust data infrastructure to reliably capture all of those interactions. Walter Menendez is a data engineer on their infrastructure team and in this episode he describes how they manage data ingestion from a wide array of sources and create an interface for their data scientists to produce valuable conclusions.
There is a vast constellation of tools and platforms for processing and analyzing your data. In this episode Matthew Rocklin talks about how Dask fills the gap between a task oriented workflow tool and an in memory processing framework, and how it brings the power of Python to bear on the problem of big data.