Transform v2

Transform v2 features custom transformation logic, an expanded library of detectable and fake-able entities, PII and custom entity detections, and enhanced performance

Transform v2 is a complete rewrite of Transform, building on Pandas DataFrames, Jinja templates, semantic classification, and native Faker support, to offer fully flexible data transformation conditions and templates.

What can I do with Transform v2?

Transform v2 is a general-purpose programmatic dataset editing tool. Most commonly, Gretel customers use it to:

  • De-identify datasets, for example by detecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and replacing it with fake PII of the same type.

  • Pre-process datasets before using them to train a synthetic data model, for example to remove low quality records such as records containing too many blank values, or columns containing UUIDs or hashes which are not relevant for synthetic data models since they contain no discernible correlations or distributions for the model to learn.

  • Post-process synthetic data generated from a synthetic data model, for example to validate that the generated records respect business-specific rules, and drop or fix any records that don't.

Anatomy of a Transform v2 configuration

As with other Gretel models, you can configure Transform v2 using YAML. Transform v2 config files consist of two sections:

  • globals which contains default parameter values (such as the locale and seed used to generate fake values) and user-defined variables applicable throughout the config.

  • steps which lists transformation steps applied sequentially. Transformation steps can define variables (vars), and manipulate columns (add, drop, and rename) and rows (drop and update). In practice most Transform v2 configs contain a single step, but more steps can be useful if for example the value of column B depends on the original (non-transformed) value of column A, but column A must also be eventually transformed. In that case the first step could set the new value of column B, leaving column A unchanged, before ultimately setting the new value of column A in the second step.

Below is an example config which shows this config structure in action:

schema_version: "1.0"
  - transform_v2:
        locales: [en_CA, fr_CA]
        - columns:
              - name: row_index   
              - condition: row.user_id is none
              - name: row_index
                value: index
              - type: phone_number
                value: fake.phone_number()
        - columns:
              - name: user_id
              - name: phone_number_1
                value: cell_phone
              - name: phone_number_2
                value: home_phone    

The config above:

  1. Sets the default locale for fake values to Canada (English) and Canada (French). When multiple locales are provided, a random one is chosen from the list for each fake value.

  2. Adds a new column named row_index initially containing only blank values.

  3. Drops invalid rows, which we define here as rows containing blank user_id values. condition is a Jinja template expression, which allows for custom validation logic.

  4. Sets the value of the new row_index column to the index of the record in the original dataset (this can be helpful for use cases where the ability to "reverse" transformations or maintain a mapping between the original and transformed values is important).

  5. Replaces all values within columns detected as containing phone numbers (including phone_number_1 and phone_number_2) with fake phone numbers having area codes in Canada, since the default locale is set to en_CA and fr_CA in the globals section. fake is a Faker object supporting all standard Faker providers.

  6. Drops the sensitive user_id column. Note that this is done in the second step, since that column is needed in the first step to drop invalid rows.

  7. Renames the phone_number_1 and phone_number_2 columns respectively to cell_phone and home_phone.

Getting started with Transform v2

To get started with building your own Transform v2 config for de-identification or pre/post processing datasets, see the Examples page for starter configs for several use cases, and the Reference page for the full list of supported transformation steps, template expression syntax, and detectable entities.

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