What is a Data Pipeline in Python? Types, Uses & Considerations

What is a Data Pipeline in Python: A data pipeline is a series of interconnected systems and software used to move data between different sources, destinations, or platforms. The goal of a data pipeline is to help organizations speed up their data analysis and make better decisions. There are several different types of data pipelines that organizations can use to collect and analyze their data. Each type of data pipeline has different features, capabilities, and limitations that organizations need to be aware of before adopting it for their organization. Organizations may also combine multiple types of data pipelines in order to create a customized solution that is suitable for their unique requirements. In this post, we will explore the different components of a typical data pipeline and provide examples of each type of data pipeline to help you select the right solution for your organization.

What is the Big Data Pipeline?

Big data refers to the large volume of data that cannot be handled through traditional computing systems. The data is composed of structured as well as unstructured formats. These data are collected from a large variety of sources such as social media, mobile devices, transactional systems, and other sources. It can be either real-time or historical in nature. In order to process and analyze this data effectively, the organization needs to use specialized hardware and software systems that can handle a large amount of raw data efficiently. Big Data needs to be processed and analyzed in real time in order to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs. The process of analyzing big data is referred to as big data analytics. There are multiple approaches to conducting big data analytics such as batch processing, real-time analysis, stream processing, and hybrid approach. Most organizations utilize a combination of two or more of these approaches to obtain optimal results.

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How does the Data Pipeline Work?

The data pipeline consists of different components that enable the flow of data between the source and the final destination.

Data extraction Extracting data from various data sources is one of the fundamental steps of the data pipeline. Different types of data extraction methods are used by organizations depending on the type of data that needs to be extracted.

Data Transform – Transforming the data to make it suitable for further processing is one of the main tasks of the data pipeline. The data transformations may include aggregating data into different formats, adding and removing elements from the dataset, applying aggregation functions to the data, and so on.

Storage – Storing the transformed data in a repository for further processing is another important step of the data pipeline. In some cases, the data may need to be stored in a database or a data warehouse so that it can be analyzed in the future.

Processing – After the data is stored in a repository, it can be processed to extract useful information from it. For example, the data stored in a database can be queried to find trends that are hidden within the data. Organizations may also use data mining techniques to analyze the data stored in a data warehouse. Such techniques can be used to uncover patterns that are present within the data and predict future trends.

Analytics – The final step of the data pipeline is analyzing the data that has been extracted from the various data sources. This analysis helps companies to gain valuable insights into their operations and make strategic decisions to improve their performance. The Data Pipeline can also be used to automate repetitive tasks such as data cleansing, data processing, data transformation, and data storage

Data Pipeline vs ETL

The ETL methodology involves moving data from one system to another for processing and analyzing purposes. The process involves extracting data from the source system and loading it into the target system using a tool called an extractor. The tool then maps the data to the target schema based on the expected output from the target system. This process is repeated for each source system that needs to be integrated into the target system. Data extraction is followed by transformation and loading into a warehouse for data analysis. This methodology is used for traditional enterprise systems where the data is stored in multiple systems in the organization for reporting and analytics purposes. The ETL approach is most suitable for large organizations with a lot of legacy systems in place that needs to be integrated into the data warehouse. It is expensive to implement and maintain since it requires complex software systems and servers to run the whole process. It is also difficult to maintain because the organization needs to hire a lot of technical expertise to run this process. It also requires a lot of storage space to store the extracted data which further increases the costs involved.

The cloud has made it possible to access large-scale data storage without the need to invest in expensive hardware and infrastructure that is typically required for implementing a data pipeline. Cloud-based data analytics services provide a centralized storage platform that can be used for storing and processing data from multiple systems. The system offers massive processing power which makes it easier to analyze large data sets and perform complex calculations in seconds. The cloud service is ideal for organizations that need to analyze large volumes of data on a regular basis but cannot invest in complex and expensive infrastructure solutions.

Data Pipeline Types and Uses

* Job Scheduling System – this is a real-time scheduled system that executes the program at the scheduled time or periodically based on a predefined schedule. It can execute a single program or a series of programs to perform the required operations.

* Continuous Processing System – this is a real-time processing system that continuously performs the processing and ignores user requests. This system is capable of running the program without user intervention.

* Batch Processing System – this system can handle large volumes of data at a time and carries out the processing in batches depending on the load on the system. It may run jobs in different time intervals based on the system resources and the system performance.

* Data Distribution System – this system is responsible for retrieving the data from the source and delivering it to the destination as specified by the user. It is used to distribute the data from various sources to the desired location. This system interacts with the other system to ensure the timely delivery of the data.

* Reporting System – This is used to collect, process, and analyze the data and generate meaningful reports. It is used to generate reports from raw data.

Data Pipeline Considerations

Understanding the business requirements is one of the key elements of a data pipeline implementation project. The business needs should be clearly defined in order to streamline the implementation of the solution. For example, if the company intends to generate sales reports at the end of every month, the system should have the capabilities to process real-time data and distribute it to all the required users in a timely manner. In addition, it should be capable of storing the generated reports and generating new reports based on the latest data. These factors should be taken into consideration while designing the system to ensure that the solution is able to meet all the business requirements.

Designing an efficient data pipeline architecture is one of the most important aspects of the implementation project. The architecture should ensure efficient data transfer between the different components of the system. It also provides an easy way to deploy the system at different sites and support future growth requirements. There are several options available for designing a data pipeline architecture such as conventional star topology, centralized data warehouses, Hadoop clusters, etc. Based on these options, the system design should be made to meet all the requirements of the business.

Architecture Examples

Data distribution management can be efficiently managed using centralized services. Such solutions have high performance and scalability since they involve less network traffic. They also minimize network-related risks by eliminating replication of data across multiple systems and providing a single point of access for all the users of the system. However, these systems have limited flexibility since they provide limited options for schema changes and custom reports. These systems are also expensive to implement and maintain. On the other hand, distributed systems are less expensive to deploy and maintain but lack the performance and flexibility of centralized systems. The system can be easily scaled to accommodate larger amounts of data but is not suitable for businesses that require real-time access to large data sets. In conclusion, the most appropriate architecture depends on the size and complexity of the business and the data available.

for example, a batch-based data pipeline that is controlled entirely from within a programming language like Java could issue queries in a batch format against a database like a Cassandra database or Oracle (Oracle DB) while not having to worry about queries running indefinitely with unpredictable latency times which might be a problem for an end user. By contrast, if the data pipeline was a streaming pipeline where you might write software in Python or some other language that would stream out records based on a SQL/NoSQL data source without any form of delay or timing predictability then you would get some extremely high throughput out of the same hardware. This would make the data stream both very small and fast so that while the data processing was very fast the batches were not so big that end users lost patience waiting for results.

Another example of data pipeline architecture could be lambda architecture for microservices where we separate out the data storage and other core tasks from the decision-making functionality. When a consumer sends a request we pass the request into a core which will do any necessary processing on the data and either return a response with the requested data or pass the request to one or more service functions that may need to do their own processing or even direct the request to other services. This can make the entire system more fault tolerant and even allow the system to scale more easily since the services can be replicated to handle the increased load if necessary.

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Summing up!

From the above blog post, it can be concluded that there are various types of pipelines that can be adopted by an organization based on its requirements. The complexity of these pipelines varies depending on the type of data and their source. An organization needs to evaluate the different options available and select the right one to suit its business requirements.

With the traditional data pipeline approach, the data passes through the various stages of data cleansing, aggregation, and transformation before reaching the business users for analysis and reporting purposes.

Asmita Kar

I am a Senior Content Writer working with Pickl.AI. I am a passionate writer, an ardent learner and a dedicated individual. With around 3years of experience in writing, I have developed the knack of using words with a creative flow. Writing motivates me to conduct research and inspires me to intertwine words that are able to lure my audience in reading my work. My biggest motivation in life is my mother who constantly pushes me to do better in life. Apart from writing, Indian Mythology is my area of passion about which I am constantly on the path of learning more.