An entity is an object that can be modeled and that has features associated with it. Examples include Customer, Transaction, Product, and Product Category.
In Tecton, every Feature is associated with one or more entities. For example:
- A customer's lifetime transaction count is associated with just one Entity: Customer.
- A lifetime transaction count of how many purchases a customer has made within a product category is associated with two entities: Customer and Product Category.
Entity vs. Entity Instance. Entity describes the entire business domain (for example Customer). Entity Instance describes a concrete instance, such as "Alice Smith with the internal userid of _abcd1234".
Entities provide a way to:
- Organize Features. An Entity can belong to any number of Features, and a Feature can be associated with any number of Entities. A Feature associated with a Customer Entity, for example, can be described as being a feature derived from or of a Customer.
- Prevent duplication. When creating an Entity, Feature Store users must agree on what to call it. For example, a commercial interaction with an e-commerce provider could be called a Transaction or a Purchase. Assume you decide on the term Transaction for this Entity. Once the Entity is created, all Features having to do with commercial interactions with an e-commerce provider must include the Transaction Entity.
- Join Features that are associated with the same Entity. In Tecton, Entities have regularized keys to relate Features that are based on the same Entities (described below). Tecton stores these keys as attributes of an Entity and enforces their integrity.
- Discover associated Features. Features that share Entities represent different information about that Entity. Use Tecton's Web UI to filter for Features of an Entity of interest.