The Fifth Elephant 2015

A conference on data, machine learning, and distributed and parallel computing

Pranav Agarwal


Exploratory data analysis using Apache Lens and Apache Zeppelin

Submitted Jun 15, 2015

Apache lens is an analytics platform that aims to cut the Data Analytics silos by providing a single view of data across multiple tiered data stores and optimal execution environment for the analytical query. It seamlessly integrates Hadoop with traditional data warehouses to appear like one. Zeppelin is a web based notebook that enables interactive data analytics.

This talk is on how both these projects help perform exploratory data analysis in Flipkart


Flipkart has multiple data stores catering to diverse requirements around flexible questions and response times. At Flipkart, we use Apache Lens for multi-dimensional queries in a unified way over datasets. These datasets are stored in multiple warehouses. Apache Lens aims to ease analytical querying by providing an unified SQL like interface to query across Realtime and historical datasets which could be spanning in across multiple stores. Conceiving data as a cube with hierarchical dimensions leads to conceptually straightforward operations to facilitate analysis. Integrating Apache Hive with traditional warehouses and other realtime stores provides the opportunity to optimize on the query execution cost while maintaining the latency SLAs.

Exploratory data analysis is the key ingredient behind deriving insights from data. Usually this process requires that multiple people with complementary expertise work together. While most of the query systems provide an interactive shell for data exploration they do not solve for collaboration between multiple people. Apache Zeppelin fills this gap.

In this talk we showcase how Zeppelin and Lens can be used for collaborative and exploratory data analysis.

Speaker bio

Bala Nathan is an Architect at Flipkart’s Central Data platform. He is responsible for flipkart’s next generation query and analytics platform that will help Analysis and Systems make decisions in realtime. He has more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He spent his early days in the industry in a couple of startups before he moved on to Oracle and subsequently to Yahoo! where he worked on large scale structured and unstructured data ingestion and enrichment platforms. He also does consulting & tech bootstrapping for startups in his spare-time.

Pranav Agarwal is an SDE3 at Flipkart’s Data platform. At flipkart, he works on the next generation machine learning platform that uses Apache Zeppelin and Lens for exploratory Data analysis. He has more than 15 years of industry experience. Prior to Flipkart, he spent more than decade at Oracle working on Oracle Database Search technology that powers Unstructured Text retrieval on RDBMS, Semantic Search & Content Similarity. He holds a few patents on term selection, document similarity and score boosting.



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