The Data Planet - Vol. 01

February 8, 2021
March 10, 2021

Every two weeks, the Data Planet brings you the latest and most fascinating news to watch in Data Analytics and BI, offering up quick snackable summaries so you can skip straight to the point.

This week’s edition of the Data Planet includes:

  • Updates to Azure Cost Management and Billing
  • Hot Takes on Baumol's Cost Disease in Healthcare
  • Software Spotlights: Database Build Tool (DBT) and Apache Superset

Updates to Azure Cost Management and Billing

Microsoft has released some new features and articles around the topic of cost management.

Our key takeaways:

  • The importance of cost management scales with cloud adoption – you can save a lot of money by moving to the cloud, but you can also waste a lot of money.
  • Working with cloud experts can give organizations a head start on effective cost optimization with rapid and tangible ROI.

The latest improvements and updates to Azure Cost Management based on user feedback:

  • New cost view for resource groups
  • Remember last-used scope in Cost Management
  • What's new in Cost Management Labs
  • Defining roles and responsibilities for cloud cost optimization
  • 5 ways to save costs by running .NET apps on Azure
  • New ways to save money with Azure
  • New videos and learning opportunities
  • Documentation updates


Learn more about the new resources here

Hot Takes on Baumol's Cost Disease in Healthcare

A16Z co-founder Marc Andreessen and A16Z Bio General Partner Vijay Pande discuss why healthcare has been resistant to technology induced productivity gains, asking how is it that flat screen TVs get cheaper every year, but healthcare keeps getting more expensive?


Our key takeaways:

  • Sectors like consumer technology are experiencing high rates of productivity growth – an explosion in wages and jobs while prices reduce.
  • Healthcare and education are industries with low productivity growth, but to compete in the market for professionals they have to match wages with faster-growing industries.
  • This creates an explosion in price, with products and services becoming more expensive while not necessarily improving – known as Baumol’s Cost Disease.
  • AI is becoming one way of combating the explosions in pricing that these industries are seeing.


Listen to the podcast here

Software Spotlight: Database Build Tool (DBT)

The open-source tool DBT has exploded in popularity over the last few years, alongside significant improvements.


Our key takeaways:

  • DBT uses standard software engineering techniques to build database objects so users can transform data after it has been loaded the data warehouse.
  • This follows the trend of modern data warehouses making it so easy to transform data post-load that ELT is replacing ETL.
  • The company maintaining DBT has recently been infused with fresh venture capital, so we’re excited to see even more big improvements in the future.


Powerful things you can do with DBT:

  • Union together two tables with differing schemas.
  • Analyze a table and re-compress it with optimal encoding.
  • Automatically build BigQuery date-partitioned tables.


Read more about DBT here

Software Spotlight: Apache Superset

Apache Superset recently hit general availability with version 1.0. Superset is an open-source competitor to Power BI and Tableau.


Our key takeaways:

  • Superset is a new player to keep an eye on as it adds new features and continues to mature.


Pros and Cons of Superset:

  • Pro: No license fees.
  • Pro: It is used in production at some large companies so it obviously has a lot to offer.
  • Con: Fewer features than its commercial competitors.
  • Con: Sparse documentation and smaller community.


Read the announcement and learn about all the latest updates to Superset here

Knowledge is power, and you want that power at your fingertips.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the Data Planet.

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