Data engineering is a collection of operations used to create mechanisms and interfaces that allow the flow of data and the way you access information.. Dedicated specialists called data engineers help maintain data so it can be available easily.
In other words, data engineers play a pivotal role in setting up the infrastructure and maintaining it. This is to ensure that the requisitedata is always available for analysts to complete their work.
What is data engineering?
Data engineering is the specialized discipline of designing and creating systems that allow people to gather and evaluate raw data from various sources and in multiple formats.
These structures enable people discover real-world applications of the data, which companies can use to make important decisions to aid their growth.
This is achieved through the use of industry-leading data engineering tools that allow for the organization and storage of large volumes of data, what is also knows as big data.
Principles and concepts of data engineering
Expecting that data will be of poor quality
Data will always be in the rawest of forms. You will have to team up with data scientists to clean, process, and store it.
Measuring the characteristics of the data
The data that will be processed needs to be accurate, complete, and reliable. It also needs to be relevant at all times. After that, you can develop a system for that data.
Maintain provenance of data
The provenance of data is related to questions like why the data was produced and how it was produced, where it was produced, when it was produced, and by whom it was produced. All this information helps in understanding the source of data.
Keep the data storage immutable
The data storage will always be completely static and unspoiled for eternity. Immutable storage stores specific data in a form that does not tamper, unmodify or remove.
Monitor information loss
Data engineering platforms should also be able to inspect the loss of data during delivery. They should know what data is not there and where it was lost. This happens when data is processed in an input file.
Data is static
Although extremely rare, it is easy to understand and manage static data. The solution for such data works forever. But it is just the ideal situation. In reality, data is never static. Assuming data to be static, data engineers build a system around it.
Data set is ELT and ETL
It is also known as the data pipeline. Maintaining a secure and reliable flow of data is what the data engineering job is all about. ETL is an extract-transform-load process. Here the data is extracted from the source, processed to get the necessary information, and then loaded into the storage system. ELT is an extract-load-transform process where the transformed dataset is loaded back to the database. Together they make up the data pipeline.
Data engineering is all about making predictions
Data engineering uses the power of prediction in various fields. But data engineering is behind all these operations, which helps in the computation of these predictions.
Data engineering focuses on Algorithms
Data engineering consists of a bunch of techniques based on algorithms. It is all about training computers to carry out specific tasks. Moreover, it helps to develop data processing platforms that train computers or systems to retrieve information through logical reasoning systems.
Data analysis vs. Data science vs. Data engineering
It examines numerical data that businesses use to make better decisions.
It involves the analysis and interpretation of complex data. In data science, data is wrangled and organized into big data.
It consists of designing and building storage systems for collecting, storing, and analyzing data at several scales.
Top data engineering tools that you must know
Amazon Redshift is a fully managed cloud warehouse. Amazon’s easily usable cloud warehouse powers many businesses. Redshift allows easy setup of a data warehouse, and scales as the size of the data grows.
Big Query is another completely administered data warehouse on the cloud. Companies who are familiar with Google Cloud Platform use Big Query. It also has built-in, powerful machine learning capabilities.
Tableau is one of the best data visualization tools. It gathers data and extracts it to store it in several places. Tableau also has a drag-drop interface for employing data across various departments. Data engineers create dashboards with this data.
It is BI software for the visualization of data. Looker is popular across engineering teams. Looker has incorporated a fabulous LookML layer that describes dimensions, calculations, aggregates, and data relationships, all in a SQL database. Spectacles tool allows teams to deploy their LookML layer with confidence. Data engineers can ease the usage of this data for non-technical employees.
It is an open-source unified analytics engine that aids the large-scale processing of data and is a commonly used in data engineering projects . Additionally, Apache Spark can quickly process large data sets and distribute these data processing assignments across various servers. This can be done by Apache Spark itself or in collaboration with other computing tools for distribution. This makes it a great tool for big data and machine learning, that can handle large amounts of data and consume low power.
Apache Airflow is another open-source management platform for authoring, scheduling, and monitoring workflows. It ensures that every task in a data orchestration pipeline is executed in the predetermined sequence and that each task receives adequate resources for said execution.
Apache Hive is a data warehousing software project. It is built over Apache Hadoop to provide data analysis and queries. Hive provides an interface similar to SQL. Hadoop helps in three ways – it summarizes data, analyses data, and performs data queries. The query language is called HiveQL, which Apache Hive itself constructed. HiveQL transforms SQL-like queries into MapReduce jobs for Hadoop deployment.
Skills needed for a Data Engineer job
Every data engineer must possess certain skills when working on any data engineering projects, which include:
As a Data Engineer, you are expected to know several coding languages. . But which ones should you go for? There are many programming languages, but you are not expected to know all. Every programming language has a specific purpose. For data engineering, you are expected to know SQL, NoSQL, Python, Java, R, and Scala.
Cloud storage and data warehousing
You should be aware of cloud storage and its capabilities. Cloud allows you to store big data. You should also know about AWS (Amazon web services) and Google cloud.
Knowledge of OS
You might know about Windows OS or macOS, but you also need to know about Linux operating systems as a data engineer. You should know all about the components of infrastructure and the architecture of your OS. Can you navigate various configurations on the local server? Do you know about Access control methods? Big Data Engineer jobs require a strong foundation in operating systems.
As a data engineer, you must ensure that you know about SQL databases, NoSQL databases, relational databases, and cloud databases. You should also know how to store big data on storage servers.
Analysis of data
A data engineer job also requires a thorough knowledge of various data analysis tools, such as Apache Spark, Power BI, Tableau, to name a few.
This is one of the primary requisites of becoming a data engineer. Without being able to think critically, the data engineer might not be able to chalk out a solution to a problem.
Understanding the basics of Machine Learning
A Data Engineer is also expected to know the foundational principles of machine learning. They need to understand these concepts to develop machine learning platforms.
For a data engineering job, you are required to work with several stakeholders, which warrants strong communication skills. You should be able to communicate your ideas effectively and clearly.
If big data interests you, you may consider data engineering as a career option. If you want to learn about data engineering online, you can enroll in the Certificate Program in Data Engineering from Hero Vired.