Apache® Spark™ News

Strategies for Modernizing Investment Data Platforms

The appetite for investment was at a historic high in 2020 for both individual and institutional investors. One study showed that “retail traders make up nearly 25% of the stock market following COVID-driven volatility”. Moreover, institutional investors have piled on investments in cryptocurrency, with 36% invested in cryptocurrency, as outlined in Business Insider . As investors gain access to and trade alternative assets such as cryptocurrency, trading volumes have skyrocketed and created new data challenges. Moreover, cutting edge research is no longer restricted to institutional investors on Wall Street — today’s world of investing extends to digital exchanges in Silicon Valley, data-centric market makers, and retail brokers that are investing increasingly in AI-powered tools for investors. Data lakes have become standard for building financial data products and research, but they come with a unique set of challenges:

Burning Through Electronic Health Records in Real Time With Smolder

In previous blogs, we looked at two separate workflows for working with patient data coming out of an electronic health record (EHR). In those workflows, we focused on a historical batch extract of EHR data. However, in the real world, data is continuously inputted into an EHR. For many of the important predictive healthcare analytics use cases, like sepsis prediction or ER overcrowding, we need to work with the clinical data as it flows through the EHR.

How to Manage Python Dependencies in PySpark

Controlling the environment of an application is often challenging in a distributed computing environment – it is difficult to ensure all nodes have the desired environment to execute, it may be tricky to know where the user’s code is actually running, and so on.

Natively Query Your Delta Lake With Scala, Java, and Python

Today, we’re happy to announce that you can natively query your Delta Lake with Scala and Java (via the Delta Standalone Reader) and Python (via the Delta Rust API). Delta Lake is an open-source storage layer that brings reliability to data lakes. Delta Lake provides ACID transactions, scalable metadata handling, and unifies streaming and batch data processing. Delta Lake runs on top of your existing data lake and is fully compatible with Apache Spark™ APIs. The project has been deployed at thousands of organizations and processes more exabytes of data each week, becoming an indispensable pillar in data and AI architectures. More than 75% of the data scanned on the Databricks Platform is on Delta Lake!

How to Train XGBoost With Spark

XGBoost is currently one of the most popular machine learning libraries and distributed training is becoming more frequently required to accommodate the rapidly increasing size of datasets. To utilize distributed training on a Spark cluster, the XGBoost4J-Spark package can be used in Scala pipelines but presents issues with Python pipelines. This article will go over best practices about integrating XGBoost4J-Spark with Python and how to avoid common problems.

Improving the Spark Exclusion Mechanism in Databricks

Ed Note: This article contains references to the term blacklist, a term that the Spark community is actively working to remove from Spark. The feature name will be changed in the upcoming Spark 3.1 release to be more inclusive, and we look forward to this new release.

Faster SQL: Adaptive Query Execution in Databricks

Earlier this year, Databricks wrote a blog on the whole new Adaptive Query Execution framework in Spark 3.0 and Databricks Runtime 7.0. The blog has sparked a great amount of interest and discussions from tech enthusiasts. Today, we are happy to announce that Adaptive Query Execution (AQE) has been enabled by default in our latest release of Databricks Runtime, DBR 7.3.

Analyzing Algorand Blockchain Data with Databricks Delta

Algorand is a public, decentralized blockchain system that uses a proof of stake consensus protocol. It is fast and energy-efficient, with a transaction commit time under 5 seconds and throughput of one thousand transactions per second. The Algorand system is composed of a network of distributed nodes that work collaboratively to process transactions and add blocks to its distributed ledger.

Diving Into Delta Lake: DML Internals (Update, Delete, Merge)

In previous blogs Diving Into Delta Lake: Unpacking The Transaction Log and Diving Into Delta Lake: Schema Enforcement & Evolution, we described how the Delta Lake transaction log works and the internals of schema enforcement and evolution.  Delta Lake supports DML (data manipulation language) commands including DELETE, UPDATE, and MERGE. These commands simplify change data capture (CDC), audit and governance, and GDPR/CCPA workflows, among others. In this post, we will demonstrate how to use each of these DML commands, describe what Delta Lake is doing behind the scenes when you run one, and offer some performance tuning tips for each one.  More specifically:

It’s an ESG World and We’re Just Living in it

The future of finance goes hand in hand with socially responsible investing, environmental stewardship, and corporate ethics. In order to stay competitive, Financial Services Institutions (FSI) are increasingly disclosing more information about their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) performance. Hence the increasing importance of ESG ratings and ESG scores to investment managers and institutional investors. In fact, the value of data-driven ESG global assets has increased to $40.5 trillion in 2020.