All You Need to Know About Data Engineering

January 8, 2024

Data engineering plays a pivotal and indispensable role in today's enterprises due to the exponential growth of data and the increasing reliance on data-driven decision-making. As businesses collect vast amounts of information from diverse sources, the need to transform raw data into valuable insights becomes paramount. 

This is where data engineering steps in, acting as the foundation upon which successful data analysis, business intelligence, and artificial intelligence applications are built.

Data engineers are crucial for gathering your organization’s data and constructing data pipelines to collect up-to-date, accurate data. However, without sophisticated data engineering tools, many organizations struggle to solve their current issues with data engineering. 

Poor data engineering could cause various issues for your organization as you move on to future efforts, making it even more essential to use effective data engineering frameworks to guide your organization’s pipelines. Here is an article with all you need to know about data engineering. 

What is Data Engineering?

what is data engineering

Data engineering is the process of designing and developing data systems to allow for collecting, storing, and analyzing data adequately at a large scale. It encompasses various fields of knowledge that require working with data, including technical skills such as coding and software development, data operations management, and understanding complex data warehouse architectures. 

Ultimately, the goal of a data engineer is to make data easily accessible. In their role, they enable raw-data analysis which helps in predicting short and long-term trends. Without data engineering, it would be tough to make sense of massive data amounts. It is a crucial aspect of a company’s growth and anticipating future trends. 

Above all data engineering employs complex methodologies for sourcing and authenticating data ranging from intricate data integration tools to artificial intelligence. To succinctly describe, data engineering includes gathering, transforming, and handling data from a wide variety of systems. 

Importance of Data Engineering

Enterprises collects data to understand market trends and enhance business processes. Data provides the foundation for measuring the efficacy of different strategies and solutions which in turn helps in driving growth more accurately and efficiently. 

The big data analytics market was valued at around USD 271.83 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach USD 745.15 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 13.5% during this period. The data reflects the importance and growing demand for data engineering across the globe. 

Data engineering supports the process of collecting data, making it easier for data analysts, executives, and scientists to reliably analyze the available data. Data engineering plays a vital role in: 

  • Bringing data to one place via different data integration tools
  • Enhancing information security 
  • Protecting enterprises from cyber attacks
  • Providing the best practices to enhance the overall product development cycle 

One of the primary reasons data engineering is critical is its responsibility for data pipelines and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes. Data engineers design, build, and maintain these pipelines, ensuring that data is collected, cleansed, transformed, and made available to data analysts, data scientists, and other stakeholders in a structured and reliable manner. This enables seamless access to data, empowering teams to derive meaningful insights and make informed decisions, driving business growth and efficiency.

In short, data engineering ensures that data is not only comprehensive but also consistent and coherent. 

Data Engineering for Data Quality and Integrity

Data engineering

Data engineering is also crucial in data quality management. Data engineers implement rigorous data governance practices, verifying the accuracy, consistency, and completeness of data. By adhering to best practices and ensuring data is properly curated, they help maintain a high level of data trustworthiness, enabling confident decision-making across the organization.

Moreover, data engineering is essential for scalability and performance. As the volume of data grows, enterprises require robust infrastructure and optimized data storage solutions to handle and process data efficiently. Data engineers build data architectures that can scale to accommodate growing data needs, guaranteeing smooth operations even in the face of significant data influx.

Furthermore, compliance and security are paramount concerns for businesses dealing with sensitive data. Data engineers are instrumental in implementing data security measures and ensuring compliance with industry regulations, safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of data.

In the era of advanced analytics and AI, data engineering is a critical enabler. Data engineers collaborate with data scientists to create data models and implement machine learning algorithms, turning data into predictive and prescriptive insights that drive innovation and competitive advantage.

In summary, data engineering is vital for today's enterprises as it forms the backbone of effective data management, quality assurance, scalability, security, and the integration of advanced technologies. Businesses that invest in robust data engineering capabilities position themselves to capitalize on their data assets, gain a competitive edge, and thrive in a data-centric world.

Data Engineering Vs. Data Science

Getting into the nitty gritty of your company’s data engineering requires knowledge of different facets of data management. One essential concept to familiarize yourself with is data engineering vs. data science.

There are various roles in a comprehensive and successful data team. While data scientists analyze your company’s data, gather insights, and help solve problems in your company, data engineers test data and protect your data pipelines. 

Data science engineering roles emphasize the importance of both aspects of data management to a successful organization. Additionally, individuals confused about different positions on a data team can find valuable resources with first hand experiences, including data engineering vs. data science Reddit forums.

If you aren’t sure whether to pursue data engineering or science, you will likely start by gathering information about a data scientist/engineer's salary. There is value in comparing data engineering vs. data science salary estimates to guarantee that you’re making the right choice, whether you’re applying for a position or hiring for one. 

The average data science salary in the United States falls around $102,000 annually, according to Glassdoor. Data engineer vs. data scientist demand will likely depend on your education and location.

Furthermore, it’s essential to understand the differences between data engineer vs. data analyst positions. When discussing data engineering vs. data science vs. data analytics, the respective definitions for each subset of a data team get confusing. 

Data analytics describes individual studies of an organization’s datasets to analyze and garner insights into the company’s data objectives and system. Finally, you might come across information discussing the roles of a data engineer vs. data scientist vs. machine learning engineer. Machine learning engineers typically implement a company’s data to research and develop a framework for AI solutions.

Who is a Data Engineer?

A data engineer is a professional who specializes in data architecture design. They develop pipelines to manage the easy flow of data and transform it into readable formats making them useful for data analysts and scientists. This pipeline picks data from different sources and stores it at a single data warehouse, where it is presented comprehensively. 

A data engineer utilizes data tools to identify errors in your company’s data operations. If your organization hasn’t focused on improving its data quality management, you must begin by implementing helpful ETL tools for data engineer roles and tasks. Additionally, hiring trained data engineers or implementing helpful resources like data engineering 

Organizations can transform their data and manage sensitive business assets with suitable data leaders and engineering tools to guarantee that data remains private, secure, and accessible. Additionally, organizations require high-quality data engineering tools because these tools allow for accountability and responsibility within an organization to navigate data modeling and engineering processes efficiently. 

With the right tools and knowledge, your organization can transform its data and start benefiting from the various advantages of quality data engineering.

What are Key Skills and Tools for Data Engineers?

Data engineers use a specific set of skills and work on various tools to develop pipelines so that data can be flawlessly transformed from the source to the destination. Some of the popular data engineering tools include:

Structured Query Language (SQL)

It is a standard language used to communicate with and manipulate a database. It is designed to access, modify and extract data from databases. SQL is one of the most popular languages for managing data. 

Python 

It is another popular language used for data engineering. This programming language is easy-to-use and is highly flexible. It has built-in functions and mathematical libraries which allow easy data analysis. 

Postgre SQL

It is the most secure, high-performing, and reliable open-source relational database. Postgre SQL includes all the features required for data integrity and security. It is primarily utilized for data warehouse and data store. 

Julia 

It is another programming language. Julia is popularly used in data engineering projects for production and prototyping. It includes an extensive set of libraries that allows easy data analysis. 

Apart from the above-mentioned tools, other popular data engineering tools include Apache Hadoop, Apache Kafka, Mongo DB, Snowflake, Big Query, and many more. These tools allow to convert raw data into a format that is understandable and useful to stakeholders and analysts. 

Data engineering skills will significantly contribute to your company’s growth and transformation with digital transformation and data transfer. Without data engineering solutions, businesses struggle to navigate digitization and risk damaging or misplacing crucial data documents.

Roles and Responsibilities of Data Engineers

Data accessibility is the primary goal of data engineers, which enables enterprises to utilize data for business growth. The roles of data engineers depend on their tasks. Usually, data engineers are divided into three categories: 

Generalist: These data engineers usually work with data scientists and analysts. They are typically data-focused individuals who work on building and managing various data engineering tools ranging from configuring data sources to analytical tools. 

Database-Centric: These data engineers are someone who establish and populate analytics databases. They also deal with various tools like SQL, NSQL, and integration tools. They work with data pipelines, design schemas, and perform quick data analysis.

Pipeline Centric: These data engineers usually work on data integration tools used to connect data sources to the warehouse. Pipeline-centric engineers are accountable to manage different layers of the data ecosystem. 

Other responsibilities of data engineers include 

Data Collection: One of the primary tasks of data engineers is to collect data from the right sources and optimize it. 

Work on Data Architecture: Data engineers are responsible for managing data architectures while keeping them aligned with different business needs and requirements.

Automate Tasks: Data engineers also involve in automating tasks to reduce manual participation and enhance data accuracy.

Data Engineering Course

Investing in a data engineering course is wise if you are interested in becoming a data engineer or hiring a data engineer for your organization. Receiving your data engineer certification is simple if you seek the right platforms and educational resources to learn everything you should know about becoming a data engineer. Platforms like Coursera help find and attend data engineering courses online.

The best data engineering courses will combine various factors about the roles and responsibilities of a data engineer. If you are seeking data engineering courses, free or low-cost options might be at the top of your list. 

While these options are available online, guarantee that you are selecting a course suitable for you and that will genuinely benefit your long-term data engineering journey. There are numerous options to discover data engineering courses, and Reddit, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms could help you discover the best courses.

Furthermore, there are resources where you can access the best available data engineering courses. Udemy and Coursera offer suggestions on high-quality data engineering courses to prepare you for a prosperous future. Once you have your data engineering course syllabus, you take one step closer to a successful and fruitful career.

Data Engineering Syllabus

If you choose to pursue data engineering courses, you might be curious about what to expect when you receive the syllabus. Data science and engineering courses are designed to help you develop your data engineering skills in various workplace situations.

An introduction to data engineering Coursera class might allow you to gain insights into a qualified data engineer's different functions and skills. Different courses will provide you with a unique data engineering syllabus. However, specific data engineering skills you might encounter in your studies include skills for stream processing, navigating data lake technologies, data transformation frameworks, and orchestration of pipeline technology.

Additionally, you can follow a data engineering roadmap as you navigate your journey toward becoming a qualified data engineer. Various resources are available online to help you craft a comprehensive data engineering roadmap. These resources include a data engineering Tutorialspoint lesson, an introduction to data engineering Coursera quiz answers and study guides, and an introduction to data-engineering Coursera GitHub resources. 

If you are looking to start with basic knowledge of data engineering to determine if it could be a suitable fit for your skill set, consider an online introduction to data engineering PDF to give you a basic overview of everything to know about the job.

Data Engineering Certification

Getting your data engineering certification is possible and straightforward when you know the right places to look. The best data engineer certification will depend on your unique circumstances, expectations, location, and other factors. 

No matter which route you choose to receive your data engineering certification, a comprehensive syllabus, and reputable data engineering courses can help advance your career quickly. 

As you seek options for data engineer certification, free and paid courses will present themselves as options. Ensure that you find courses suitable to your specific needs and desires for data engineering.

There are endless ways to find sources for data engineering certification. Google, LinkedIn, and other platforms are hubs of information to find for future data engineering certification. Reddit is another asset to consider as you seek high-quality courses that fit your schedule and expectations. 

Additionally, consider different data engineering certifications before selecting a course. Data engineering certification AWS courses are essential for big data employees looking to operate with AWS technology. An IBM data engineering professional certificate is ideal if you are more comfortable with IBM technology.

No matter what avenue you pursue moving forward into a career as a data engineer, Acceldata has various resources to help you navigate the process and learn more about different functions of data observability.

Data Engineering Jobs

The global market size for Big Data and Data Engineering Services is anticipated to grow from USD 34.47 billion in 2018 to USD 77.37 billion in 2023. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.6% during this period. The data reflects the growing demand for data engineering jobs in the market. 

As you navigate the stressful job-hunting process, you should consider seeking open positions for data engineering jobs. Data engineer entry-level jobs are often flexible and accessible options to get you started in a data-driven career. Because of the massive demand for data engineers in the current job market, it’s one of the best times to consider a position in data engineering.

Once you come across a data engineering job description, research the position and determine if it’s a suitable fit for you and your skill set. Data engineering jobs are accessible and can fit your schedule and location in various ways, such as data engineering jobs/remote opportunities.

While the average data engineering job salary varies depending on your location, education, and experience, there are ways to boost your skill set and knowledge to prepare yourself for a prosperous career.

For instance, a data engineer internship can guide you along the necessary steps toward becoming a qualified and certified data engineer. Furthermore, advanced data engineering courses can teach you the ins and outs of data engineering to help you receive certification and get hired by the best companies. No matter your situation, a job as a data engineer is rewarding, flexible, and accessible with some education.

Data Engineering Salary

Hiring a data engineer is a growing demand for many organizations struggling to manage and implement their data. Now is a fantastic time for individuals applying for data engineer jobs because digitization has caused more and more companies to seek qualified professionals. However, you might be hesitant about pursuing data engineering positions without knowing the typical data engineering salary.

While individual salaries depend on various factors, including your qualifications and location, a big data engineer salary often lands at over $110,000 annually. According to Coursera, a senior data engineer salary in the U.S. is an average of $152,569 annually, making data engineering positions a valuable long-term prospect for your career. 

However, when discussing your possible data engineer salary, entry-level positions could make a difference in your annual income. According to Glassdoor, entry-level data engineers make a respectable and worthwhile income, averaging around $73,000 annually. If you are starting in the big data world and want to pursue your passion for data engineering, an entry-level position will still pay you well as you work your way up to mid and senior-level positions. 

Regardless of your seniority level, a job as a data engineer is sure to look good on your resume and offer your valuable knowledge and learning experiences for managing an organization’s data.

Final Words

The demand for data engineer roles has increased rapidly in the past few years. Enterprises are looking for data engineers to address their data requirements. Data engineering is all about making data optimized and useful. Therefore, it is essential for data engineers to update their skills and learn new tools frequently. If you are interested in handling large-scale data, then data engineering is definitely the right path for you. 

Given the overflow of data many companies struggle with as they shift to digital processes, more organizations are turning to data engineering tools. Providers in 2023, like Acceldata, are viable, high-quality options for organizations seeking a data observability and engineering platform to simplify their data processes. Data observability platforms help to maximize data reliability while eliminating operational blindspots and reducing spend. 

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