Dashboarding and Query Latency with Tom O’Neill

A dashboard is a data visualization that aggregates metrics in a way that we can quickly understand. In a modern software company, everyone uses dashboards–from salespeople to DevOps to HR.

Each dashboard represents a query that must be updated frequently, so that anyone looking at it is getting up-to-date information. The data set being queried might be getting updated quickly in the case of time series or log data. Some queries require joins between disparate data sources.

How do you keep dashboards accurate? How do you keep query latency down?

Tom O’Neill is the CTO of Periscope Data, a company that makes popular dashboarding tools. In this episode, Tom explains the data engineering that underlies Periscope data. We explore topics such as caching, columnar data, and Redshift.

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Square is a complete omnichannel payments ecosystem where developers can create a powerful commerce solution. You’ve seen Square around at your favorite coffee shops and retailers, and it is trusted by millions of businesses for its simplicity and reliability. But as a developer, you can unlock the potential of a full payments and business management platform with Square’s APIs at softwareengineeringdaily.com/square. There are APIs for online payments, taking in-person payments with Square hardware through a custom app you build, and even inventory and employee management and sales reporting. Businesses of all sizes use Square’s APIs to take payments securely online, in store, and on the go with a single solution, and integrate with back-end systems they already use. Check out Square’s developer portal for all the tools you need to get started today. Take Square’s commerce solutions beyond the coffee shop and power payments for any type of business by going to softwareengineeringdaily.com/square.

Amazon Redshift powers the analytics of your business–and Intermix.io powers the analytics of your Redshift. Intermix.io gives you the tools you need to analyze your Amazon Redshift performance and improve the toolchain of everyone downstream from your data warehouse. The team at Intermix has seen so many Redshift clusters, they are confident they can solve whatever performance issues you are having. Go to intermix.io/sedaily to get a free 30-day trial. Intermix collects all your Redshift logs and makes it easy to figure out what’s wrong so you can take action. All in a nice, intuitive dashboard. Go to intermix.io/sedaily to start your free 30-day trial.

Who do you use for log management? I want to tell you about Scalyr, the first purpose built log management tool on the market. Most tools on the market utilize text indexing search, which is great… for indexing a book. But if you want to search logs, at scale, fast… it breaks down. Scalyr built their own database from scratch: the system is fast. Most searches take less than 1 second. In fact, 99% of their queries execute in <1 second.  Companies like OKCupid, Giphy and CareerBuilder use Scalyr. It was built by one of the founders of Writely (aka Google Docs). Scalyr has consumer grade UI, that scales infinitely. You can monitor key metrics, trigger alerts, and integrate with PagerDuty. It’s easy to use and did we mention: lightning fast. Give it a try today. It’s free for 90 days at softwareengineeringdaily.com/scalyr.

Thanks to Symphono for sponsoring Software Engineering Daily. Symphono is a custom engineering shop where senior engineers tackle big tech challenges while learning from each other. Check it out at symphono.com/sedaily. Thanks to Symphono for being a sponsor of Software Engineering Daily for almost a year now. Your continued support allows us to deliver content to the listeners on a regular basis.


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