Today there are a host of data-centric challenges that need more than a single technology to solve. Data platforms step in, blending different technologies to solve a common goal. ;But to compose such platforms we need an understanding of the tradeoffs of each constituent part: their sweet spots, how they complement one another and what sacrifices they make in return.;This talk is really a grand tour of these evolutionary forces. We’ll cover a lot of ground, building up from disk formats right through to fully distributed, streaming and batch driven architectures. In the end we should see how these various pieces come together to form a pleasant and useful whole.