What Is a Data Pipeline? What Are the Properties and Types of Data Pipeline Solutions

Read it in 11 Mins

Last updated on
31st May, 2022
06th Sep, 2019
What Is a Data Pipeline? What Are the Properties and Types of Data Pipeline Solutions

A data pipeline is a set of actions that extracts data from numerous sources. It is a computerized process where the system takes columns from the database and merges them with other columns from this API. It also combines subset rows and corresponding values, alternates NAs with the median and loads them in this other database. This is known as a “job”, and pipelines are made of many jobs. Generally, the endpoint for a data pipeline is a data lake, such as Hadoop, S3, or a relational database. An ideal data pipeline should have the following properties:

  • Low Occurrence Inactivity: Data scientists should have accessibility to the data. Users should be able to raise a query to recover the recent event data in the pipeline. Usually, this happens in minutes or seconds of the event being directed to the data collection endpoint. 
  • Scalability: A data pipeline should be able to gauge billions of data points, and product sales. 
  • Collaborative Querying: A highly operational data pipeline should support both long-running batch queries and minor interactive queries that allow data scientists to discover tables and comprehend the data scheme.
  • Versioning: You should be able to edit and customize your data pipeline and event definitions without damaging the framework 
  • Monitoring: Data tracking and monitoring are important to check if the data is dispatched properly. In case of a failure, immediate alerts should be generated through tools such as PagerDuty.
  • Testing: You should be able to test your data pipeline with test events that do not end up in your data lake or database, but that do test components in the pipeline.

Do You want to Get AWS Certified? Learn about various AWS Certification in detail

Data Pipeline- Usage

Here are a few things you can do with Data Pipeline.

  • Convert received data to a common format.
  • Prepare data for investigation and imagining.
  • Travel between databases.
  • Share data processing logic across web apps, batch jobs, and APIs.
  • Power your data ingestion and integration tools.
  • Input large XML, CSV, and fixed-width files.
  • Substitute batch jobs with real-time data

Note that the Data Pipeline does not levy a specific structure on your data. All the data flowing through your pipelines can follow the same plan or an alternative NoSQL approach. The NoSQL feature offers a diverse structure to the data that can be altered at any point in your pipeline.

What are the Types of Data

Types of Data in AWS Data Pipeline

Data is typically defined with the following labels:

  • Raw Data: This is on processed data stored in the message encoding format which is used to send tracking events, such as JSON. 
  • Processed Data: Processed data is raw data that has been deciphered into event-specific formats, with an applied plan.
  • Cooked Data: Processed data that has been amassed or abridged is referred to as cooked data.

The Evolution of Data Pipelines

Over the past two decades the framework for accumulating and analyzing data been drastically changed. Earlier users would store data locally through log files, today we have modern systems that can trace data activity and use machine learning for real-time solutions. There are four different approaches to pipelines:

  • Flat File Era: Data is saved locally on game servers
  • Database Era: Data is staged in flat files and then loaded into a database
  • Data Lake Era: Data is stored in Hadoop/S3 and then loaded into a DB
  • Serverless Era: Managed services are used for storage and querying

Each of the steps supports the grouping of greater data sets. But it ultimately depends on the goal of the company to decide how the data is to be utilized and distributed.

Application of Data Pipelines
Application of Data Pipelines in AWS

  • Metadata: Data Pipeline lets users connect metadata to each separate record or field.
  • Data processing: Dataflows when processed and broken into smaller units, are easier to work with. It also quickens the process and saves on memory.
  • Adapting to Apps: Data Pipeline adjusts to your applications and services. It occupies a small footprint of less than 20 MB on disk and in RAM. 
  • Flexible Data Components: Data Pipeline comes with readers and writers integrated to stream the inflow or outflow of data. There are also stream operators for controlling this data flow.

Data Pipeline Technologies

Some examples of products used in building data pipelines. These tools are used by engineers to find competent results and enhance the system’s performance and reach; 

  • Data warehouses
  • ETL tools
  • Data Prep tools
  • Luigi: a workflow timetable that can be used to manage jobs and processes in Hadoop and similar systems.
  • Python / Java / Ruby: programming languages used to transcribe processes in many of these systems.
  • AWS Data Pipelines: another workflow management service that charts and implements data movement and processes
  • Kafka: a real-time streaming platform that allows you to move data between systems and applications, can also transform or react to these data streams.

Types of data pipeline solutions

The following list shows the most popular types of pipelines available:

  • Batch: Batch processing is most valuable of all as it lets you move huge volumes of data at a steady interval.
  • Real-time: These tools are improved to develop data in real time. 
  • Cloud native: These tools are optimized to work with cloud-based data, such as data from AWS buckets. These tools are hosted in the cloud, and are a cost effective and quick technique to enhance the infrastructure.
  • Open source: These tools are a cheaper alternative to a vendor. Open source tools are often inexpensive but require technical know-how on the part of the user. The platform is open for all to optimise and edit any way they want. 

AWS Data Pipeline

AWS Data Pipeline is a web service that supports dependable process and transfer data between a diverse range of AWS services, as well as on-premises data sources. With the AWS Data Pipeline, you can frequently keep in contact with the data and back where it’s deposited. Developers can also customize the data, convert and modify it at scale, and resourcefully allocate the results to other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon EMR.

AWS Data Pipeline aids you in creating an intricate data processing network. It takes care of all the data monitoring, tracking and optimization tasks. AWS Data Pipeline also allows you to change the data that was previously protected in the on-site data storage facility.

Decoding Data Pipelines 

Let’s look into the process of assigning, transferring, altering and storing data via pipelines; 

Sources: First and foremost, we decide where we get the data from. Data can be accessed from different sources and in different formats. RDBMS, Application APIs, Hadoop, NoSQL, cloud sources, are a few primary sources. After the data is retrieved, it has to pass through the security controls and follow set protocols. next, the data schema and statistics are gathered about the source to simplify pipeline design.

List of common terms related to data science 

  • Joins: It is common for data to be shared from different sources as part of a data pipeline.
  • Extraction: Some separate data elements may be implanted in bigger fields. In some cases numerous values are clustered together. Or, distinct values may need to be removed- data pipelines allow all that. 
  • Standardization: Data needs to be consistent. It should follow a unit of measure, dates, attributes such as color or size, and codes related to industry standards.
  • Correction: Data, especially raw data can contain a lot of errors. Some common errors are- invalid fields that are not present or abbreviations that need to be extended. There may also be corrupt records that need to be detached or studied in an isolated process.
  • Loads: Once the data is ready, it needs to be loaded into a system for scrutiny. The endpoint is generally an RDBMS, a data warehouse, or Hadoop. Each destination has its own set of regulations and restrictions that need to be followed. 
  • Automation: Data pipelines are usually completed many times, and characteristically set on a schedule. This simplifies the error detection process and aids monitoring by sending regular reports to the system.

Moving Data Pipelines 

Many corporations have hundreds or thousands of data pipelines. Companies shape each pipeline with one or more technologies, and each pipeline might follow a different approach. Datasets often start with an establishment’s customer base. But there are cases where they will also initiate with their assumed departments within the organization itself. Thinking of data as events simplifies the process. Events are logged in, integrated and then transmuted across the pipeline. The data is then changed and altered to suit the systems that they are moved to. 

Moving data from place to place means that different end users can use it more methodically and accurately. Users can now access the data from one place rather than refer to multiple sources. Good data pipeline architecture will be able to provide justification for all sources of events. It would also have an explanation or reason to support the setups and schemes caring for these datasets. 

Event frameworks help you get hold of events from your applications a lot faster. This is achieved by making an event log that can then be processed for use.


A career in data science is a very profitable decision considering the revolutionary discoveries made in the field each day. We hope that this information was useful in helping the reader understand all about data pipelines and why they are important.


Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.