Updated June 26, 2023
Introduction to Data Engineer Role
A data Engineer can be defined as an engineering role inside a data science team that embraces various fields of facts associated with operating with data or some data-associated project which needs making and handling the technological structure of a data platform. Talking about the role of a data engineer, its role is as multipurpose as the project needs them to remain. Moreover, it will connect with the global complication of a data platform. Since data science and data scientists, specifically, are anxious about discovering data, resulting intuitions in it, and constructing machine learning algorithms, and now the data engineering maintenances about creating these algorithms effort on a creation infrastructure and making data pipelines in broad-spectrum.
Data Engineer Role Skills
Skills possessed by any expert associated with the responsibilities they are in control of like team size, platform size, and project complexity, including the superiority level of an engineer. Here, the skill established would differ since there is a varied choice of things that the data engineers could ensure. Three core regions can warehouse their tasks: data science, engineering, and warehouses/databases.
1. Engineering Skills
Utmost tools and systems implemented for data analysis or big data are programmed in Java (like Apache Hive, Hadoop) and Scala (like Apache Spark and Kafka). Python and Rlang are broadly applied in data projects according to their acceptance and syntactical simplicity. However, high-performant languages such as C#/C and Golang are too prevalent among data engineers, particularly for training and executing ML models. Thus, the skills consist of software architecture, background, Scala, Java, R, Python, Golang, and C/C#.
2. Data Associated Proficiency or Data Science Skills
Data engineers would nearly operate with data scientists. Working through the data platforms requires a robust understanding of data modeling, algorithms, and data transformation methods. Data engineers will be in control of constructing ETL, i.e., Data Extraction, Transformation, Loading, Storing, and Analytical implements. Thus, knowledge of the prevailing ETL and BI solutions is a necessity.
Further precise proficiency is needed to share in big data assignments that operate committed mechanisms such as Hadoop or Kafka. If the project is associated with machine learning and artificial intelligence, the data engineers should know having ML libraries and frameworks like Spark, mlpack, TensorFlow, and PyTorch. The skills consist of robust knowledge of data science ideas, proficiency in data analysis, Big Data technologies like Kafka and Hadoop, and hands-on experience with ETL tools and BI tools experience.
3. Data Warehouse / Databases
In the best cases, the data engineers implement precise tools for designing and constructing data storage. To consider or plug into a committed analytical interface, these storages will function for storing structured or unstructured data. Also, in utmost situations, these are relational databases; thus, SQL is the chief thing each data engineer must know for queries/DB. Few other tools such as Redshift, Talend, or Informatica are prevalent resolutions for developing big distributed data storages, i.e., NoSQL, cloud warehouses, or executing data into succeeded data platforms. Therefore, the main tools are SQL/NoSQL, Panoply, Amazon Redshift, Oracle, Informatica, Apache Hive, and Talend.
Data Engineer Role Main Functions
Data Engineering is a complex activity of creating raw data operational to data scientists and collections within an organization resulting in designing, scheduling, and enhancing the flow of facts throughout the organization.
We have three main functions which aid in processing the data through data infrastructure architectural principles:
1. Extracting Data
Initially, we need to extract the information or facts that may be elsewhere. Regarding business data info, the source may be a few databases, an internal CRM/ERP system, a website’s user interactions, etc. Sensors positioned on an aircraft body or public sources present online can serve as the data source.
2. Data Storing / Alteration
The chief architectural point found in any data pipeline is storage. We have to store extracted data information someplace. In data engineering, the perception of a data warehouse symbolizes definitive storage for all data assembled for analytical dedications.
Since analyzing the data facts in a raw form will be difficult, it may not create much logic for the end operators. Thus, transformations target cleaning, organizing, and configuring the data sets to create data usable to process or study. In this structure, it can be used for additional handling or asked from the reporting level.
The standard architecture of a data pipeline turns nearby its central point, known as a warehouse. But, combined storage might not be compulsory since specialists may apply other occurrences for storage/transformation purposes or even practice no storage at all. Therefore, the sum of events between the data access tools and the sources states the data pipeline architecture.
The responsibilities of a data engineer can agree to the entire system at one time or every one of its parts individually:
A data engineer created on a lesser team of data specialists would be responsible for each stage of data flow. Thus, beginning from constructed data sources to assimilation analytical tools; altogether, these systems will be architected, constructed, and accomplished by a general-role data engineer.
Traditionally, the data engineer included a role responsible for consuming SQL databases to build data storage. However, warehouse-centric data engineers might also cover several kinds of storage (SQL or NoSQL), integration tools to relate sources or other databases, and the tools to function with Big Data (Kafka, Hadoop).
In this role, data engineers pay attention to data integration tools associated with a data warehouse that can provide either load info from one place to further or transfer more precise responsibilities. It would emphasize a pipeline-centric data engineer while handling this ecosystem layer.
Data Engineer Role Responsibilities
A data engineer is typically a technical spot who syndicates knowledge and abilities of computer science, engineering, and database that comprises of following responsibilities:
- Architecture design of a data platform.
- Improvement of data-connected instances or instruments using the programming skills to create, customize and manage databases, integration tools, analytical systems, and warehouses.
- Testing/Maintenance of Data pipeline for their consistency and performance.
- Setting out of Machine Learning algorithm models planned by the data scientists into the production environments.
- Handle data and meta-data stored in the warehouse in a structured or unstructured form through database management systems.
- Deliver data access tools to observe data, produce reports and make visuals.
- Track steadiness and performance of pipeline to monitor and update as data requirements/models may modify.
There are various scenarios/tasks available when you might want a data engineer:
- To Scale the Data Science Team: A data engineer is a good choice for the data science team at a point to handle the technical infrastructure.
- Processing Big Data Projects: Data engineers include projects that aim to execute big data, organize data lakes, and construct spacious data integration pipelines for NoSQL storage.
- Necessity of Custom Data Flows: Even medium-type businesses need ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) principles to automate BI platforms for leveraging various storages and processes for several data kinds.
This is a guide to Data Engineer Role. Here we discuss the introduction, data engineer role skills, main functions, parts individually, and responsibilities. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –