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Tracking Redshift

Logging your Redshift dataset operations with Databand


Databand allows you to log your dataset operations when using Python to call SQL commands on Redshift. Wrapping your Redshift cursor's execution with Databand's RedshiftTracker context manager will catch the cursor's result and extract Dataset Logging operations from it. Currently, only COPY queries are supported.


This guide assumes that your Redshift is configured to accept inbound connections. We will be using psycopg2 to connect to Redshift. Currently, DBND only supports psycopg2 connections as the connection parameter.

Make sure that the dbnd-redshift package is installed (via pip install databand[redshift], for example). See more info at Installing DBND.

Integrating RedshiftTracker

Assume the following code is what you are currently using to copy files into a Redshift table:

import psycopg2

FROM s3://path/to/some/file/file.csv
iam_role '<role>' csv;

with psycopg2.connect(
) as con:
    c = con.cursor()

To log the results of your query with Databand, wrap the execution of your cursor with the RedshiftTracker context manager:

from dbnd_redshift import RedshiftTracker, RedshiftTrackerConfig

with RedshiftTracker(
    conf=RedshiftTrackerConfig(with_preview=True, with_stats=True, with_schema=True)

The above will capture the results of the executed query. Only one query execution should be provided for each RedshiftTracker context.

Optional Parameters

By default, RedshiftTracker will capture the paths of your file and Redshift table, the column and row counts of the data being copied, and the schema of the data being copied. In addition to these metrics, additional metadata can be captured by passing the optional parameters below to RedshiftTrackerConfig as part of your RedshiftTracker integration:

  • with_preview=True: Display a sample of your data in Databand (approximately 10-20 records).
  • with_stats=True: Calculate the following column-level stats for the data being copied:
    • Null count and percentage
    • Non-null count
    • Distinct count
    • Mean
    • Standard deviation
    • Min and max
    • 25%/50%/75% quartiles
  • with_percentiles=False: This will disable calculation of the 25%/50%/75% quartiles when with_stats=True. This can help speed up the calculation of column-level statistics on large datasets.
  • with_partition=True: If your file path includes partitioning such as /date=20220415/, you can use this parameter to ignore partitions in the parsing of your dataset names. This will help ensure that datasets across runs that have different partitioning will still be evaluated as the same dataset for the sake of trends and alerts.


Resource Usage in Redshift

When using with_stats=True or with_preview=True, RedshiftTracker creates a temporal table in your database using the copied records, and this is used to extract stats and/or a preview of the data. This results in additional queries being sent to your Redshift cluster.

Our benchmarks for the additional overhead from using these parameters are as follows:

  • CPU usage is increased by approximately 2.5x when using with_stats=True
  • Total processing time is increased by approximately 2.5-3.5X when using with_stats=True

For example, a query copying 75 million records took 2m54s as a baseline, and that same query took 9m24s when using with_stats=True.

Additional considerations:

  • When using with_stats=True, execution of subsequent tasks will be blocked until the column-level stats have been calculated and extracted as RedshiftTracker's queries are executed synchronously with the COPY query.
  • The queries initiated by RedshiftTracker do not support queue prioritization, so they will be given the same priority as any other queries that may be queued.

Viewing Redshift Operations in Databand

Operations logged by RedshiftTracker will result in two datasets: the read from the file and the write to the Redshift table. Metrics related to these datasets such as the row counts, schemas, and column-level stats can be viewed on both the Data Interactions tab of your pipeline run as well as the Datasets page in your Databand environment.

Data Interactions Tab


Datasets Page



  • Nested queries are not supported by RedshiftTracker (e.g. COPY (SELECT * FROM TABLE) table FROM...).
  • As part of column-level stats collection, the mean value for a column is calculated using the DOUBLE PRECISION data type.

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