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Enhancing Pipeline Stability with Downstream Notifications

Przemek Kuczyński
May 15, 2024

Data pipelines are critical infrastructure in any data-driven organization, but their complexity can often lead to disruptions that affect downstream processes. At Select Star, we understand the challenges you face with maintaining pipeline integrity and ensuring effective communication across your data teams.

In our ongoing conversations with numerous organizations, including many of our customers, we consistently hear about the need to stabilize data pipelines and enhance collaboration and visibility between teams. These discussions have been instrumental in shaping our solutions, leading to the development of our Downstream Notifications feature.

From our research and customer feedback, we identified key requirements for an effective notification system as following:

  1. Efficient Communication: Data owners require an efficient method to notify stakeholders about critical changes to core data assets.
  2. Awareness of Changes: Users of tables and dashboards need to be informed about significant upstream changes that could impact their data environment.
  3. Relevant Notifications: Alerts should be meaningful and curated to avoid overwhelming users.
  4. Accessibility for Non-Account Holders: It's crucial to extend notifications to stakeholders who do not have an account on our platform, using email as a primary communication channel.

Our Solution: A Simple Yet Extensible Notification System

Select Star’s notification system is designed to be both simple and adaptable, allowing one to quickly reach any set of users, whether they are individual stakeholders, entire teams, or downstream asset users, based on data lineage. They don’t even need to be registered in Select Star, because Select Star will memorialize all user information coming from different data sources.

With Select Star’s Downstream Notification feature, you can send personalized communication to only the downstream data owners and active users of the asset.

This notification system is complemented by our Schema Change Detection, which provides automatic alerts when changes are detected in your data, helping you stay proactive and prepared.

Select Star keeps track of all metadata updates and automatically notifies data owners when schema changes are detected.

Behind the Scenes with Our Engineering Team

Developing the Downstream Notifications feature was not just about delivering information; it was about doing so in a way that accommodates the diverse workflows of our users. Here's a closer look at our approach:

  • Customizable User Lists: We created customizable user lists to offer flexibility, enabling teams to tailor notifications for specific groups such as downstream dashboard users, database table users or data asset owners.
  • Multi-Channel Notifications: Recognizing the shift towards dynamic communication platforms, we integrated multiple channels into our system, including in-app, Slack, and email notifications.
  • Inclusivity for Non-Account Holders: We made sure to include stakeholders without a Select Star account by utilizing the email addresses associated with the asset users, enhancing transparency and collaboration.

Notifications in Action

As we begin to see our customers adopt and utilize the Downstream Notifications feature, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve and iterate on our service. 

Data management is a complex field that requires not just tools, but also a collaborative effort among all stakeholders involved. If you have faced challenges with data pipeline stability and stakeholder communication, we’re happy to discuss the different implementation approaches we’re seeing in the market. Continue the conversation and schedule a demo.

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