Unlocking AI’s Potential with Spark 3.3 and Jupyter Notebooks

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February 26, 2024 by Updated April 16th, 2024

In this blog, we will take a closer look at the powerful synergy between Apache Spark 3.3 and Jupyter Notebooks, both available on Qubole.

Read it to:

  • Discover Cutting-Edge Data Processing: Learn how Apache Spark 3.3 and Jupyter Notebooks integration revolutionize data analysis, offering faster, more efficient insights with enhanced performance features and expanded API coverage.
  • Unlock the Power of Collaborative Data Science: Explore the collaborative potential of Jupyter Notebooks and the scalability of Spark 3.3 to drive innovative data solutions and support a wide range of data workloads from batch processing to machine learning.
  • Empower Your Data Journey: Gain insights into how the combination of Spark 3.3’s advanced analytics capabilities and Jupyter Notebooks’ interactive environment can modernize your data platforms, streamline workflows, and unlock new opportunities in AI and machine learning.

The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text. Jupyter Notebook is used for various operations such as data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.

The key benefit of Notebooks is the ability to include commentary with your code, therefore helping you to avoid the error-prone process of copying and pasting analysis results into a separate report.

Apache Spark 3.3

Apache Spark version 3.3.0 improves join query performance via Bloom filters, increases the Pandas API coverage with the support of popular Pandas features such as datetime.timedelta and merge_asof, simplifies the migration from traditional data warehouses by improving ANSI compliance, and supports dozens of new built-in functions, boosts development productivity with better error handling, autocompletion, performance, and profiling.

Spark 3.3 New Features

  • ANSI Compliance & Migration Potential: Increased ANSI SQL compliance, along with support for new interval data types and implicit casting in ANSI mode.
  • Support for New Built-in Functions: A new range of functions includes: linear regression, statistical/string processing, and encryption functions.
  • Enhanced API Coverage for Pandas: Expanded functionalities and compatibility with date time and other types, along with new API features and parameters.
  • Bloom Filter Joins: Bloom filters greatly improve join query performance, by reducing data shuffle and computation needs.
  • Query Execution Enhancements: Adaptive query execution improvements, such as optimizing one-row query plans and eliminating limits.
  • Parquet Complex Data Types Support: There is a range of performance improvements in reading complex data types e.g. structs, arrays, and maps.

The Benefits of the Apache Spark 3.3 and Jupyter Notebooks Integration

The integration of Apache Spark 3.3 and Jupyter Notebooks offers organizations and data professionals faster, more efficient, and more collaborative data analysis.

Let’s look at some of the benefits:

  1. Enhanced Performance and Efficiency: With various improvements in Apache Spark 3.3, data processing has become faster and more efficient.
  2. Unified Analytics Platform: Apache Spark supports various workloads such as batch processing, interactive queries, streaming, and machine learning, thus making it an ideal unified analytics engine
  3. Improved SQL Capabilities: Spark makes it easier for data professionals to query and analyze data using SQL commands.
  4. Faster Data Querying and Analysis: For faster querying and analysis of large datasets, data professionals can leverage Spark’s in-memory processing and caching capabilities.
  5. Data Visualization and Exploration: Data professionals can create dynamic and visually appealing reports, dashboards, and plots directly within the notebook.
  6. Collaboration and Documentation: Jupyter Notebooks offers a collaborative environment where data scientists and analysts can document their analyses step-by-step.
  7. Modernizing Data Platforms: Organizations can leverage big data technologies and advanced analytics to process and analyze large volumes of data efficiently.
  8. Scalability: Apache Spark is designed for horizontal scalability. This allows organizations to scale their data processing capabilities by adding more resources and increasing analytical workloads.
  9. Machine Learning Integration: Spark’s built-in libraries for machine learning (MLlib) can be seamlessly integrated with Jupyter Notebooks, enabling data professionals to perform end-to-end data analysis within a single environment.
  10. Open Source Ecosystem: Both Apache Spark and Jupyter Notebooks belong to the open-source ecosystem, helping organizations benefit from a wide range of community-contributed libraries, extensions, and integrations that enhance the capabilities of these tools.

Case Study: How a Renowned Oil Company Innovates with Energy Solutions for a Cleaner World

  • Company Profile: A recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of the world’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers, and petrochemical manufacturers.
  • Use Case: With its huge inventory, the company stocks over 3,000 different spare parts to maintain production across its global facilities. Ensuring that the right parts are available at the right time to avoid outages and overstocking, can be cost-prohibitive.
  • Solution and Benefits: A cloud-native unified analytics platform helps the company improve its inventory and supply chain management.

Using Predictive analytics, the company can witness massive performance gains with the Apache Spark cluster on Qubole, resulting in cost savings. 

AI and Machine Learning Trends

  • Generative AI: Given its mass popularity and user-friendly nature, Generative AI is used in mainstream applications for generating text, videos, images, and speech mimicking humans. Besides, it also provides quantitative and qualitative growth to businesses.
  • Multimodal AI: Offering better user interaction through applications such as virtual assistants and combining text, visual, and speech inputs, enhances the performance of applications.
  • Edge Computing: Edge computing allows real-time local processing of data whose effective contribution is seen to reduce the bandwidth and latency.
  • Deep Learning: Deep Learning is gaining popularity exponentially due to the presence of multiple processing layers that contribute to the accuracy of the model.
  • Explainable AI: Explainable AI bridges the gap between humans and AI by providing methods or processes to reach a specific conclusion.
  • No-code Machine Learning: The no-code machine learning programs allow the use of a simple drag-and-drop interface, offering speed and flexibility.
  • N shot learning: These are enhanced techniques that allow obtaining output with minimum quantity and quality of inputs, thus eliminating access to databases or lengthy prompts.
  • Metaverses: Metaverses are capable of performing multiple tasks simultaneously, such as conducting business, establishing virtual lives, and generating income.
  • Quantum Computing: It is among the current trends in AI that offer solutions and breakthroughs to machine learning algorithms and optimization problems.
  • Digital Twins: Digital Twins refers to digital copies of assets present in the real world. It can provide real-time insights while providing the ability to monitor and subsequently optimize the performance of their business.

Why Qubole?

Qubole enables you to harness the power of many data engines, all from one platform.

It is the cost-efficient platform that empowers you to dive deeper into your data, while ensuring you have full control over keeping costs in check.

Ideal for a wide range of use-cases, including machine learning, streaming and ad hoc analytics.

NEW! Spark 3.3 is now available on Qubole. Qubole’s multi-engine data lake fuses ease of use with cost-savings. Now powered by Spark 3.3, it’s faster and more scalable than ever.

Data Analysis with Spark for Data Scientists

Qubole’s latest Notebook service combines the power of the JupyterLab interface, which is the next-generation enhanced User Interface for Jupyter Notebooks, with enhanced Apache Spark capabilities. Let’s deep dive into how Qubole Notebooks make it easy for data scientists, analysts, and business users to crunch big data and derive actionable insights.

Data Lake Machine Learning and Analytics

  1. Spark Application Status: With Qubole, you can get the status of the Spark application under a single interface.
  2. Spark Job Progress: Qubole provides a detailed view of running Spark jobs, including a progress bar of Spark applications, as well as links to the corresponding Spark application’s User Interface.
  3. Integrated Package Manager: The Qubole Package Manager comes integrated with Jupyterlab, so you can manage all your Python and R dependencies through an interface.
  4. Shared and Isolated interpreter modes: On Qubole, you have the flexibility to choose between different interpreter modes.
  5. Visualization with QViz: Qviz is a Jupyter frontend extension that takes in a data frame serialized as JSON from SparkMagic and uses it to render different charts in the UI.


More than 200 organizations worldwide use Qubole to process over an exabyte of data per month for AI, ML, and analytics. Qubole’s cloud-native platform delivers:

  • Fastest time to value from AI, ML, and analytics: Qubole automates the management of the entire cluster lifecycle so that data teams can redirect their time to other important tasks.
  • End-to-end data processing on a single, shared platform: Through Qubole’s shared infrastructure, data users can conduct any type of big data workload leveraging Apache Spark, Hadoop/Hive, Trino, Airflow, and TensorFlow.
  • Self-service capabilities to support 10 times more users and data per administrator: Qubole customers have saved up to 50 percent on CapEx and OpEx by using built-in features.
  • 42 percent lower cloud data processing costs than alternatives: Qubole also provides financial governance policies and built-in workload optimization to help you save on average 42 percent on costs*.

Instead of spending hours (or days) combing through massive ML, AI, and analytics data sets in search of the most valuable information, a cloud-native platform like Qubole optimizes the performance of these tasks.

Want to know more about AI use cases with Qubole’s Data Lakehouse? Read this whitepaper detailing how Qubole can help you ignite Spark with Jupyter Notebooks here:  https://www.qubole.com/resources/white-papers/unlock-ai-use-cases-with-apache-spark-jupyter-notebooks

*Source: Qubole’s Business Value Engineering Team Research, comparisons against Databricks & AWS EMR.

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