Why do we need Git for data?


Git is essential for managing data due to several key functionalities that address common data handling challenges, especially in environments requiring collaborative development and complex revisions. Here are the reasons illustrated by trusted experts:

  1. Collaboration and Version Control: Git supports advanced collaboration functionalities, such as push, pull, and merge, which are crucial for maintaining concurrent developments in datasets 1.

  2. Provenance and Auditing: It allows tracking of changes over time, providing a clear audit trail. This helps in knowing historical changes, which is critical for debug and understanding data evolution 2.

  3. Scalability: Git can handle various scales of data. Tools like Git Large File Storage (LFS) augment Git's capabilities, enabling it to manage large datasets often seen in ML operations 3.

    Git for Data

    Gavin discusses the need for a Git-like system for data, highlighting the importance of discoverability, schema, and scalability. He also emphasizes the challenges of merging and the significance of end-to-end encryption in data collaboration.


    'Git for Data' - Who, What, How and Why? // Luke Feeney - Gavin Mendel-Gleason // MLOps Meetup #52
  4. End-to-End Security: Features like end-to-end encryption ensure that data remains secure, especially when multiple users access and modify datasets across different regions 1.

  5. Flexibility in Data Handling: Unlike traditional file systems, Git provides tools that help resolve merge conflicts in complex data types such as structured data, enhancing data integration workflows 1.

Together, these capabilities make Git an indispensable tool for modern, data-intensive environments where control, collaboration, and accurate historical tracking are paramount.