You are currently viewing How Gilead used Amazon Redshift to shortly and cost-effectively load third-party medical claims information

How Gilead used Amazon Redshift to shortly and cost-effectively load third-party medical claims information

This put up was co-written with Rajiv Arora, Director of Information Science Platform at Gilead Life Sciences.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical firm dedicated to advancing revolutionary medicines to stop and deal with life-threatening illnesses, together with HIV, viral hepatitis, irritation, and most cancers. A pacesetter in virology, Gilead traditionally relied on these medication for progress however now by strategic investments, Gilead is increasing and rising their focus in oncology, having acquired Kite and Immunomedics to spice up their publicity to cell remedy and non-cell remedy, making it the first progress engine. As a result of Gilead is increasing into biologics and huge molecule therapies, and has an bold purpose of launching 10 revolutionary therapies by 2030, there’s heavy emphasis on utilizing information with AI and machine studying (ML) to speed up the drug discovery pipeline.

Amazon Redshift Serverless is a completely managed cloud information warehouse that lets you seamlessly create your information warehouse with no infrastructure administration required. You pay just for the compute sources and storage that you simply use. Redshift Serverless measures information warehouse capability in Redshift Processing Items (RPUs), that are a part of the compute sources. All the information saved in your warehouse, resembling tables, views, and customers, make up a namespace in Redshift Serverless.

One of many advantages of Redshift Serverless is that you simply don’t must measurement your information warehouse in your peak workload. The height workload contains loading periodic giant datasets in multi-terabyte vary. You possibly can set a base RPU from 8 as much as 512 and Redshift Serverless will mechanically scale the RPUs to satisfy your workload calls for. This makes it simple to handle your information warehouse in a cheap method.

On this put up, we share how Gilead collaborated with AWS to revamp their information ingestion course of. They used Redshift Serverless as their information producer to load third-party medical claims information in a quick and cost-effective manner, lowering load occasions from days to hours.

Gilead use case

Gilead hundreds a wide range of information from tons of of sources to their R&D information atmosphere. They just lately wanted to do a month-to-month load of 140 TB of uncompressed healthcare claims information in underneath 24 hours after receiving it to supply analysts and information scientists with up-to-date info on a affected person’s healthcare journey. This information quantity is predicted to extend month-to-month and is totally refreshed every month. The three-node RA3 16XL provisioned cluster that had beforehand been internet hosting their warehouse was taking round 12 hours to ingest this information to Amazon Redshift, and Gilead was seeking to optimize the information ingestion course of in a extra dynamic method. Working with Amazon Redshift specialists from AWS, Gilead selected Redshift Serverless as a method to cost-effectively load this information after which use Redshift information sharing to share the ultimate dataset to 2 further Redshift information warehouses for end-user queries.

Loading information is a key course of for any analytical system, together with Amazon Redshift. When loading very giant datasets, it’s essential to not solely load the information as shortly as potential but additionally in a manner that optimizes the consumption queries.

Gilead’s healthcare claims information took 40 hours to load, which meant delays in utilizing the information for downstream processes. The groups sought enhancements, concentrating on a most 24-hour SLA for the load. They achieved the load in 8 hours, an 80% discount in time to make information out there.

Answer overview

After collaborating, the Gilead and AWS groups selected a two-step course of to load the information to Amazon Redshift. First, the information was loaded with no distkey and sortkey, which let the load course of use the total parallel sources of the cluster. Then we used a deep copy to redistribute this information and add the specified distribution and kind traits.

The answer makes use of Redshift Serverless. The group needed to ingest information to satisfy the required SLA, and the next approaches had been benchmarked:

  • COPY command – The COPY command makes use of the Amazon Redshift massively parallel processing (MPP) structure to learn and cargo information in parallel from information on Amazon Easy Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  • Information lake analytics Amazon Redshift Spectrum is used to question information instantly from information on Amazon S3 by choosing a subset of columns and avoiding the intermediate step of copying information to staging desk

Preliminary Answer strategy: Single COPY command

The group decided it could be more practical to use the distribution and kind keys in a post-copy step. The information was loaded first utilizing automated distribution of information. This took roughly 12 hours to finish. The group created open and closed claims tables with outlined dist keys and with 20% of the columns to alleviate the necessity to question the bigger desk. With this success, we discovered that we are able to nonetheless enhance the large copy, as detailed within the following sections.

Proposed Answer strategy 1: Parallel COPY command

Primarily based on the preliminary resolution strategy above, the group examined yearly parallel copy instructions as illustrated within the following diagram.

Yearly Parallel Copy Commands

Under are the findings and learnings from this strategy:

  • Ingesting information for 4 years utilizing parallel copy confirmed a 25% efficiency enchancment over the only copy command.
  • In comparison with Preliminary resolution strategy, the place we had been taking 12 hours to ingest the information, we additional optimized this runtime by 67% by segregating the information ingestion into separate yearly staging tables and working parallel copy instructions.
  • After the information was loaded into staging yearly tables, we created the open and closed declare tables with an auto distkey with the subset of columns required for bigger reporting teams. It took an extra 1 hour to create.

The group used a manifest file to ensure that the COPY command hundreds the entire required information for the respective yr for ingesting.

Proposed Answer strategy 2: Information Lake analytics

The group used this strategy with Redshift Spectrum to load solely the required columns to Redshift Serverless, which prevented loading information into a number of yearly tables and on to a single desk. The next diagram illustrates this strategy.

Using Spectrum Approach

The workflow consists of the next steps:

  1. Crawl the information utilizing AWS Glue.
  2. Create a information lake exterior schema and desk in Redshift Serverless.
  3. Create two separate claims desk for open and closed claims as a result of open claims are most steadily consumed and are 20% of the columns and 100% of the information.
  4. Create open and closed tables with selective columns wanted for optimum efficiency optimization throughout consumption as an alternative of all columns within the unique third-party dataset. The information quantity distribution is as follows:
    • Whole variety of open claims data = 50 billion
    • Whole variety of closed claims data = 200 billion
    • General, complete variety of data = 250 billion
  5. Distribute open and closed tables with a customer-identified distkey.
  6. Configure information ingestion into open and closed claims tables mixed utilizing Redshift Serverless with 512 RPUs. This took 1.5 hours, which is additional improved by 70% in comparison with state of affairs 1. We selected 512 RPUs with a view to load information within the quickest manner potential.

On this methodology, information ingestion was streamlined by solely loading important fields from the medical claims dataset and by splitting the desk into open and closed claims. Open claims information is most steadily accessed and constitutes solely 20% of columns so by splitting the tables. The group not solely improved the ingestion efficiency but additionally consumption.

Amazon Redshift just lately launched automated mounting of AWS Glue Information Catalog, making it simpler to run information lake analytics with out manually creating exterior schemas. You possibly can question information lake tables instantly from Amazon Redshift Question Editor v2 or your favourite SQL editors.

Suggestions and finest practices

Contemplate the next suggestions when loading large-scale information in Amazon Redshift.

  • Use Redshift Serverless with most 512 RPUs to effectively and shortly load information
  • Relying on consumption use case and question sample, undertake both of the next approaches:
    • When consumption queries require solely chosen fields from the dataset and most steadily entry a subset of information, use information lake queries to load solely the related columns from Amazon S3 into Amazon Redshift
    • When consumption queries require all fields, use COPY instructions with a manifest file to ingest information in parallel into a number of logically separated tables and create a database view with UNION ALL of all tables
  • Keep away from utilizing varchar(max) whereas creating tables and create VARCHAR columns with the fitting measurement

Ultimate Structure

The next diagram exhibits the high-level closing structure that was carried out.

Final Architecture


With the scalability of Redshift Serverless, information sharing to decouple ingestion from consumption workloads, and information lake analytics to ingest information, Gilead made their 140 TB dataset out there to their analysts inside hours of it being delivered. The revolutionary structure of utilizing a serverless ingestion information warehouse, a serverless consumption information warehouse for energy customers, and their unique 3-node provisioned cluster for traditional queries provides Gilead isolation to make sure information hundreds don’t have an effect on their customers. The structure offers scalability to serve rare giant queries with their serverless client together with the good thing about a fixed-cost and fixed-performance possibility of their provisioned cluster for his or her commonplace person queries. As a result of month-to-month schedule of the information load and the variable want for giant queries by customers, Redshift Serverless proved to be a cheap possibility in comparison with merely rising the provisioned cluster to serve every of those use circumstances.

This break up producer/client mannequin of utilizing Redshift serverless can convey advantages to many workloads which have comparable efficiency traits to Gilead’s warehouse. Prospects commonly run giant information hundreds sometimes, and people processes compete with person queries. With this sample, you may depend on your queries to carry out constantly no matter whether or not new information is being loaded to the system. This strikes a stability between minimizing price whereas sustaining efficiency and frees the system directors to load information with out affecting customers.

Concerning the Authors

Rajiv Arora is a Director of Scientific Information Science at Gilead Sciences with over 20 years of expertise within the business. He’s accountable for the multi-modal information platform for the event group and helps all statistical and predictive analytical infrastructure for RWE and Superior Analytical capabilities.

Ritesh Kumar Sinha is an Analytics Specialist Options Architect based mostly out of San Francisco. He has helped prospects construct scalable information warehousing and massive information options for over 16 years. He likes to design and construct environment friendly end-to-end options on AWS. In his spare time, he loves studying, strolling, and doing yoga.

Raks KhareRaks Khare is an Analytics Specialist Options Architect at AWS based mostly out of Pennsylvania. He helps prospects architect information analytics options at scale on the AWS platform.

Brent Robust is a Senior Options Architect within the Healthcare and Life Sciences group at AWS. He has greater than 15 years of expertise within the business, specializing in information and analytics and DevOps. At AWS, he works carefully with giant Life Sciences prospects to assist them ship new and revolutionary remedies.

Phil Bates is a Senior Analytics Specialist Options Architect at AWS with over 25 years of information warehouse expertise.

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