Engineering Data Processing Workflows

Diomidis Spinellis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Effective data processing workflows are crucial in data science, business analytics, and machine learning. Domain-specific tools can be invaluable, but often custom workflows are needed. Key to their success is splitting data and tasks into manageable chunks to enhance reliability, troubleshooting, and parallelization. Avoid monolithic programs; instead, favor modular designs that simplify data management and processing. Utilizing tools like xargs and GNU parallel can leverage multiple cores or hosts efficiently. Logging and documenting your workflow are essential for monitoring progress and understanding the process. Handling data subsets allows for quicker feedback and testing. Prepare for invalid data and system failures by designing processes that can gracefully manage exceptions and ensure results are reproducible and incremental, avoiding over-engineering. Simplify where possible, leveraging powerful, mature Unix tools and focusing optimization efforts on parts of the code responsible for the bulk of runtime costs. Adhere to software engineering practices to maintain the quality and integrity of your workflow, ensuring it remains a reliable asset to your organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Software
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering Data Processing Workflows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this