Bring Order To The Chaos Of Your Unstructured Data Assets With Unstruk - Episode 196

Summary

Working with unstructured data has typically been a motivation for a data lake. The challenge is imposing enough order on the platform to make it useful. Kirk Marple has spent years working with data systems and the media industry, which inspired him to build a platform for automatically organizing your unstructured assets to make them more valuable. In this episode he shares the goals of the Unstruk Data Warehouse, how it is architected to extract asset metadata and build a searchable knowledge graph from the information, and the myriad ways that the system can be used. If you are wondering how to deal with all of the information that doesn’t fit in your databases or data warehouses, then this episode is for you.

Hightouch LogoHightouch is the leading Reverse ETL platform. Your data warehouse is your source of truth for customer data. Hightouch syncs this data to the tools that your business teams rely on. Hightouch has a catalog of flexible destinations including Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, NetSuite, and ad platforms like Facebook or Google. Hightouch is built for data engineers and is a natural extension to the modern data stack with out-of-the-box integrations with your favorite tools like dbt, Fivetran, Airflow, Slack, PagerDuty, and DataDog.

It’s simple — connect your data warehouse, paste a SQL query, and use our visual mapper to specify how data should appear in downstream tools. No scripts, just SQL. Get started for free at dataengineeringpodcast.com/hightouch


Atlan LogoHave you ever woken up to a crisis because a number on a dashboard is broken and no one knows why? Or sent out frustrating slack messages trying to find the right data set? Or tried to understand what a column name means?

Our friends at Atlan started out as a data team themselves and faced all this collaboration chaos themselves, and started building Atlan as an internal tool for themselves. Atlan is a collaborative workspace for data-driven teams, like Github for engineering or Figma for design teams. By acting as a virtual hub for data assets ranging from tables and dashboards to SQL snippets & code, Atlan enables teams to create a single source of truth for all their data assets, and collaborate across the modern data stack through deep integrations with tools like Snowflake, Slack, Looker and more.

Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/atlan and sign up for a free trial. If you’re a data engineering podcast listener, you get credits worth $3000 on an annual subscription.


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!
  • Are you bored with writing scripts to move data into SaaS tools like Salesforce, Marketo, or Facebook Ads? Hightouch is the easiest way to sync data into the platforms that your business teams rely on. The data you’re looking for is already in your data warehouse and BI tools. Connect your warehouse to Hightouch, paste a SQL query, and use their visual mapper to specify how data should appear in your SaaS systems. No more scripts, just SQL. Supercharge your business teams with customer data using Hightouch for Reverse ETL today. Get started for free at dataengineeringpodcast.com/hightouch.
  • Atlan is a collaborative workspace for data-driven teams, like Github for engineering or Figma for design teams. By acting as a virtual hub for data assets ranging from tables and dashboards to SQL snippets & code, Atlan enables teams to create a single source of truth for all their data assets, and collaborate across the modern data stack through deep integrations with tools like Snowflake, Slack, Looker and more. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/atlan today and sign up for a free trial. If you’re a data engineering podcast listener, you get credits worth $3000 on an annual subscription
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Kirk Marple about Unstruk Data, a company that is building a data warehouse for unstructured data that ofers automated data preparation via metadata enrichment, integrated compute, and graph-based search

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what Unstruk Data is and the story behind it?
  • What would you classify as "unstructured data"?
    • What are some examples of industries that rely on large or varied sets of unstructured data?
    • What are the challenges for analytics that are posed by the different categories of unstructured data?
  • What is the current state of the industry for working with unstructured data?
    • What are the unique capabilities that Unstruk provides and how does it integrate with the rest of the ecosystem?
    • Where does it sit in the overall landscape of data tools?
  • Can you describe how the Unstruk data warehouse is implemented?
    • What are the assumptions that you had at the start of this project that have been challenged as you started working through the technical implementation and customer trials?
    • How has the design and architecture evolved or changed since you began working on it?
  • How do you handle versioning of data, given the potential for individual files to be quite large?
  • What are some of the considerations that users should have in mind when modeling their data in the warehouse?
  • Can you talk through the workflow of ingesting and analyzing data with Unstruk?
    • How do you manage data enrichment/integration with structured data sources?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen the technology of Unstruk used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on and with the Unstruk platform?
  • When is Unstruk the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Unstruk?

Contact Info

Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Links

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

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