In today’s digital world, data is generated by a large number of disparate sources and growing at an exponential rate. Companies are faced with the daunting task of ingesting all this data, cleansing it, and using it to provide outstanding customer experience.

Typically, companies ingest data from multiple sources into their data lake to derive valuable insights from the data. These sources are often related but use different naming conventions, which will prolong cleansing, slowing down the data processing and analytics cycle. This problem particularly impacts companies trying to build accurate, unified customer 360 profiles. There are customer records in this data that are semantic duplicates, that is, they represent the same user entity, but have different labels or values. It’s commonly referred to as a data harmonization or deduplication problem. The underlying schemas were implemented independently and don’t adhere to common keys that can be used for joins to deduplicate records using deterministic techniques. This has led to so-called fuzzy deduplication techniques to address the problem. These techniques utilize various machine learning (ML) based approaches.

In this post, we look at how we can use AWS Glue and the AWS Lake Formation ML transform FindMatches to harmonize (deduplicate) customer data coming from different sources to get a complete customer profile to be able to provide better customer experience. We use Amazon Neptune to visualize the customer data before and after the merge and harmonization.

Overview of solution

In this post, we go through the various steps to apply ML-based fuzzy matching to harmonize customer data across two different datasets for auto and property insurance. These datasets are synthetically generated and represent a common problem for entity records stored in multiple, disparate data sources with their own lineage that appear similar and semantically represent the same entity but don’t have matching keys (or keys that work consistently) for deterministic, rule-based matching. The following diagram shows our solution architecture.

We use an AWS Glue job to transform the auto insurance and property insurance customer source data to create a merged dataset containing fields that are common to both datasets (identifiers) that a human expert (data steward) would use to determine semantic matches. The merged dataset is then used to deduplicate customer records using an AWS Glue ML transform to create a harmonized dataset. We use Neptune to visualize the customer data before and after the merge and harmonization to see how the transform FindMacthes can bring all related customer data together to get a complete customer 360 view.

To demonstrate the solution, we use two separate data sources: one for property insurance customers and another for auto insurance customers, as illustrated in the following diagram.

The data is stored in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket, labeled as Raw Property and Auto Insurance data in the following architecture diagram. The diagram also describes detailed steps to process the raw insurance data into harmonized insurance data to avoid duplicates and build logical relations with related property and auto insurance data for the same customer.

The workflow includes the following steps:

  1. Catalog the raw property and auto insurance data, using an AWS Glue crawler, as tables in the AWS Glue Data Catalog.
  2. Transform raw insurance data into CSV format acceptable to Neptune Bulk Loader, using an AWS Glue extract, transform, and load (ETL) job.
  3. When the data is in CSV format, use an Amazon SageMaker Jupyter notebook to run a PySpark script to load the raw data into Neptune and visualize it in a Jupyter notebook.
  4. Run an AWS Glue ETL job to merge the raw property and auto insurance data into one dataset and catalog the merged dataset. This dataset will have duplicates and no relations are built between the auto and property insurance data.
  5. Create and train an AWS Glue ML transform to harmonize the merged data to remove duplicates and build relations between the related data.
  6. Run the AWS Glue ML transform job. The job also catalogs the harmonized data in the Data Catalog and transforms the harmonized insurance data into CSV format acceptable to Neptune Bulk Loader.
  7. When the data is in CSV format, use a Jupyter notebook to run a PySpark script to load the harmonized data into Neptune and visualize it in a Jupyter notebook.

Prerequisites

To follow along with this walkthrough, you must have an AWS account. Your account should have permission to provision and run an AWS CloudFormation script to deploy the AWS services mentioned in the architecture diagram of the solution.

Provision required resources using AWS CloudFormation:

To launch the CloudFormation stack that configures the required resources for this solution in your AWS account, complete the following steps:

  1. Log in to your AWS account and choose Launch Stack:

  1. Follow the prompts on the AWS CloudFormation console to create the stack.
  2. When the launch is complete, navigate to the Outputs tab of the launched stack and note all the key-value pairs of the resources provisioned by the stack.

Verify the raw data and script files S3 bucket

On the CloudFormation stack’s Outputs tab, choose the value for S3BucketName. The S3 bucket name should be cloud360-s3bucketstack-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and should contain folders similar to the following screenshot.

The following are some important folders:

  • auto_property_inputs – Contains raw auto and property data
  • merged_auto_property – Contains the merged data for auto and property insurance
  • output – Contains the delimited files (separate subdirectories)

Catalog the raw data

To help walk through the solution, the CloudFormation stack created and ran an AWS Glue crawler to catalog the property and auto insurance data. To learn more about creating and running AWS Glue crawlers, refer to Working with crawlers on the AWS Glue console. You should see the following tables created by the crawler in the c360_workshop_db AWS Glue database:

  • source_auto_address – Contains address data of customers with auto insurance
  • source_auto_customer – Contains auto insurance details of customers
  • source_auto_vehicles – Contains vehicle details of customers
  • source_property_addresses – Contains address data of customers with property insurance
  • source_property_customers – Contains property insurance details of customers

You can review the data using Amazon Athena. For more information about using Athena to query an AWS Glue table, refer to Running SQL queries using Amazon Athena. For example, you can run the following SQL query:

SELECT * FROM "c360_workshop_db"."source_auto_address" limit 10;

Convert the raw data into CSV files for Neptune

The CloudFormation stack created and ran the AWS Glue ETL job prep_neptune_data to convert the raw data into CSV format acceptable to Neptune Bulk Loader. To learn more about building an AWS Glue ETL job using AWS Glue Studio and to review the job created for this solution, refer to Creating ETL jobs with AWS Glue Studio.

Verify the completion of job run by navigating to the Runs tab and checking the status of most recent run.

Verify the CSV files created by the AWS Glue job in the S3 bucket under the output folder.

Load and visualize the raw data in Neptune

This section uses SageMaker Jupyter notebooks to load, query, explore, and visualize the raw property and auto insurance data in Neptune. Jupyter notebooks are web-based interactive platforms. We use Python scripts to analyze the data in a Jupyter notebook. A Jupyter notebook with the required Python scripts has already been provisioned by the CloudFormation stack.

  1. Start Jupyter Notebook.
  2. Choose the Neptune folder on the Files tab.

  1. Under the Customer360 folder, open the notebook explore_raw_insurance_data.ipynb.

  1. Run Steps 1–5 in the notebook to analyze and visualize the raw insurance data.

The rest of the instructions are inside the notebook itself. The following is a summary of the tasks for each step in the notebook:

  • Step 1: Retrieve Config – Run this cell to run the commands to connect to Neptune for Bulk Loader.
  • Step 2: Load Source Auto Data – Load the auto insurance data into Neptune as vertices and edges.
  • Step 3: Load Source Property Data – Load the property insurance data into Neptune as vertices and edges.
  • Step 4: UI Configuration – This block sets up the UI config and provides UI hints.
  • Step 5: Explore entire graph – The first block builds and displays a graph for all customers with more than four coverages of auto or property insurance policies. The second block displays the graph for four different records for a customer with the name James.

These are all records for the same customer, but because they’re not linked in any way, they appear as different customer records. The AWS Glue FindMatches ML transform job will identify these records as customer James, and the records provide complete visibility on all policies owned by James. The Neptune graph looks like the following example. The vertex covers represents the coverage of auto or property insurance by the owner (James in this case) and the vertex locatedAt represents the address of the property or vehicle that is covered by the owner’s insurance.

Merge the raw data and crawl the merged dataset

The CloudFormation stack created and ran the AWS Glue ETL job merge_auto_property to merge the raw property and auto insurance data into one dataset and catalog the resultant dataset in the Data Catalog. The AWS Glue ETL job does the following transforms on the raw data and merges the transformed data into one dataset:

  • Changes the following fields on the source table source_auto_customer:
    1. Changes policyid to id and data type to string
    2. Changes fname to first_name
    3. Changes lname to last_name
    4. Changes work to company
    5. Changes dob to date_of_birth
    6. Changes phone to home_phone
    7. Drops the fields birthdate, priority, policysince, and createddate
  • Changes the following fields on the source_property_customers:
    1. Changes customer_id to id and data type to string
    2. Changes social to ssn
    3. Drops the fields job, email, industry, city, state, zipcode, netnew, sales_rounded, sales_decimal, priority, and industry2
  • After converting the unique ID field in each table to string type and renaming it to id, the AWS Glue job appends the suffix -auto to all id fields in the source_auto_customer table and the suffix -property to all id fields in the source_propery_customer table before copying all the data from both tables into the merged_auto_property table.

Verify the new table created by the job in the Data Catalog and review the merged dataset using Athena using below Athena SQL query:

SELECT * FROM "c360_workshop_db"."merged_auto_property" limit 10

For more information about how to review the data in the merged_auto_property table, refer to Running SQL queries using Amazon Athena.

Create, teach, and tune the Lake Formation ML transform

The merged AWS Glue job created a Data Catalog called merged_auto_property. Preview the table in Athena Query Editor and download the dataset as a CSV from the Athena console. You can open the CSV file for quick comparison of duplicates.

The rows with IDs 11376-property and 11377-property are mostly same except for the last two digits of their SSN, but these are mostly human errors. The fuzzy matches are easy to spot by a human expert or data steward with domain knowledge of how this data was generated, cleansed, and processed in the various source systems. Although a human expert can identify those duplicates on a small dataset, it becomes tedious when dealing with thousands of records. The AWS Glue ML transform builds on this intuition and provides an easy-to-use ML-based algorithm to automatically apply this approach to large datasets efficiently.

Create the FindMatches ML transform

  1. On the AWS Glue console, expand Data Integration and ETL in the navigation pane.
  2. Under Data classification tools, choose Record Matching.

This will open the ML transforms page.

  1. Choose Create transform.
  2. For Name, enter c360-ml-transform.
  3. For Existing IAM role, choose GlueServiceRoleLab.
  4. For Worker type, choose G.2X (Recommended).
  5. For Number of workers, enter 10.
  6. For Glue version, choose as Spark 2.4 (Glue Version 2.0).
  7. Keep the other values as default and choose Next.

  1. For Database, choose c360_workshop_db.
  2. For Table, choose merged_auto_property.
  3. For Primary key, select id.
  4. Choose Next.

  1. In the Choose tuning options section, you can tune performance and cost metrics available for the ML transform. We stay with the default trade-offs for a balanced approach.

We have specified these values to achieve balanced results. If needed, you can adjust these values later by selecting the transform and using the Tune menu.

  1. Review the values and choose Create ML transform.

The ML transform is now created with the status Needs training.

Teach the transform to identify the duplicates

In this step, we teach the transform by providing labeled examples of matching and non-matching records. You can create your labeling set yourself or allow AWS Glue to generate the labeling set based on heuristics. AWS Glue extracts records from your source data and suggests potential matching records. The file will contain approximately 100 data samples for you to work with.

  1. On the AWS Glue console, navigate to the ML transforms page.
  2. Select the transform c360-ml-transform and choose Train model.

  1. Select I have labels and choose Browse S3 to upload labels from Amazon S3.


Two labeled files have been created for this example. We upload these files to teach the ML transform.

  1. Navigate to the folder label in your S3 bucket, select the labeled file (Label-1-iteration.csv), and choose Choose. And Click “Upload labeling file from S3”.
  2. A green banner appears for successful uploads.
  3. Upload another label file (Label-2-iteration.csv) and select Append to my existing labels.
  4. Wait for the successful upload, then choose Next.

  1. Review the details in the Estimate quality metrics section and choose Close.

Verify that the ML transform status is Ready for use. Note that the label count is 200 because we successfully uploaded two labeled files to teach the transform. Now we can use it in an AWS Glue ETL job for fuzzy matching of the full dataset.

Before proceeding to the next steps, note the transform ID (tfm-xxxxxxx) for the created ML transform.

Harmonize the data, catalog the harmonized data, and convert the data into CSV files for Neptune

In this step, we run an AWS Glue ML transform job to find matches in the merged data. The job also catalogs the harmonized dataset in the Data Catalog and converts the merged [A1] dataset into CSV files for Neptune to show the relations in the matched records.

  1. On the AWS Glue console, choose Jobs in the navigation pane.
  2. Choose the job perform_ml_dedup.

  1. On the job details page, expand Additional properties.
  2. Under Job parameters, enter the transform ID you saved earlier and save the settings.

    1. Choose Run and monitor the job status for completion.

  1. Run the following query in Athena to review the data in the new table ml_matched_auto_property, created and cataloged by the AWS Glue job, and observe the results:
SELECT * FROM c360_workshop_db.ml_matched_auto_property WHERE first_name like 'Jam%' and last_name like 'Sanchez%';

The job has added a new column called match_id. If multiple records follow the match criteria, then all matching records have the same match_id.

Match IDs play a crucial role in data harmonization using Lake Formation FindMatches. Each row is assigned a unique integer match ID based on matching criteria such as first_name, last_name, SSN, or date_of_birth, as defined in the uploaded label file. For instance, match ID 25769803941 is assigned to all records that meet the match criteria, such as row 1, 2, 4, and 5 which share the same last_name, SSN, and date_of_birth. Consequently, the properties with ID 19801-property, 29801-auto, 19800-property, and 29800-auto all share the same match ID. It’s important to take note of the match ID because it will be utilized for Neptune Gremlin queries.

The output of the AWS Glue job also has created two files, master_vertex.csv and master_edge.csv, in the S3 bucket output/master_data. We use these files to load data into the Neptune database to find the relationship among different entities.

Load and visualize the harmonized data in Neptune

This section uses Jupyter notebooks to load, query, explore, and visualize the ML matched auto and property insurance data in Neptune. Complete the following steps:

  1. Start Jupyter Notebook.
  2. Choose the Neptune folder on the Files tab.
  3. Under the Customer360 folder, choose the notebook. explore_harmonized_insurance_data.ipynb.
  4. Run Steps 1–5 in the notebook to analyze and visualize the raw insurance data.

The rest of the instructions are inside the notebook itself. The following is a summary of the tasks for each step in the notebook:

  • Step 1. Retrieve Config – Run this cell to run the commands to connect to Neptune for Bulk Loader.
  • Step 2. Load Harmonized Customer Data – Load the final vertex and edge files into Neptune.
  • Step 3. Initialize Neptune node traversals – This block sets up the UI config and provides UI hints.
  • Step 4. Exploring Customer 360 graph – Replace the Match_id 25769803941 copied from the previous step into g.V('REPLACE_ME')( If its not replaced already ) and run the cell.

This displays the graph for four different records for a customer with first_name, and James and JamE are is now connected with the SameAs vertex. The Neptune graph helps connect different entities with match criteria; the AWS Glue FindMatches ML transform job has identified these records as customer James and the records show the Match_id is the same for them. The following diagram shows an example of the Neptune graph. The vertex covers represents the coverage of auto or property insurance by the owner (James in this case) and the vertex locatedAt represents the address of the property or vehicle that is covered by the owner’s insurance.

Clean up

To avoid incurring additional charges to your account, on the AWS CloudFormation console, select the stack that you provisioned as part of this post and delete it.

Conclusion

In this post, we showed how to use the AWS Lake Formation FindMatch transform for fuzzy matching data on a data lake to link records if there are no join keys and group records with similar match IDs. You can use Amazon Neptune to establish the relationship between records and visualize the connect graph for deriving insights.

We encourage you to explore our range of services and see how they can help you achieve your goals. For more data and analytics blog posts, check out AWS Blogs.


About the Authors

Nishchai JM is an Analytics Specialist Solutions Architect at Amazon Web services. He specializes in building Big-data applications and help customer to modernize their applications on Cloud. He thinks Data is new oil and spends most of his time in deriving insights out of the Data.

Varad Ram is Senior Solutions Architect in Amazon Web Services. He likes to help customers adopt to cloud technologies and is particularly interested in artificial intelligence. He believes deep learning will power future technology growth. In his spare time, he like to be outdoor with his daughter and son.

Narendra Gupta is a Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS, helping customers on their cloud journey with a focus on AWS analytics services. Outside of work, Narendra enjoys learning new technologies, watching movies, and visiting new places

Arun A K is a Big Data Solutions Architect with AWS. He works with customers to provide architectural guidance for running analytics solutions on the cloud. In his free time, Arun loves to enjoy quality time with his family

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/harmonize-data-using-aws-glue-and-aws-lake-formation-findmatches-ml-to-build-a-customer-360-view/