In 2020, most of the businesses are data-driven. Customer, retail, healthcare, finance, construction… take any industry you want to name, and it is now data-centric. All decisions across the board are taken through metrics. Metrics include numbers and these numbers are data points.
In short, data is the lifeblood of any business today. Since all businesses are using digital medium in one way or another, so data has become crucial for almost everyone.
Key points covered in this article:
- What is an ETL tool? Why is it important?
- Types of ETL Tools
- How to Choose the Best ETL Tool?
When we talk about data, we are talking about data integration which includes refining, cleansing, extracting, transforming, and loading – in short ETL process.
Whether companies want to migrate data in bulk from on-premise or legacy systems to the cloud, or need real-time streaming, they need an ETL tool to get the job done.
What is an ETL Tools?
An ETL tool is used to perform Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) operations. It can extract data from disparate sources, add relevant transformations to this data to make it compatible with the destination format, and then loads this data into the destination storage unit.
The complete process of ETL is used for data integration tasks. Businesses have units working on different data formats, each data format needs to be combined into a single data warehouse for business insights and visualizations at the end of the business period. This gives business managers and all C-level executives a holistic view of their data.
How to Choose the right ETL Tool for Business?
Choosing an ETL tool is always a difficult decision to make. Companies have different requirements and one ETL tool can’t fit all scenarios. That’s where customized ETL solutions come in.
Most companies like Astera offer data integrations with multiple connectors that allow the companies to use the connector of their choice to migrate data.
Let’s assume that you have data in a legacy infrastructure, in a cloud drive, and an on-premise database. You will need three different connectors to extract all this data. Now if we add a few more sources such as EDI software, ERP application, BI data, you have around eight data sources to extract data from.
This is where a data integration solution like Astera comes in. It allows users to extract data from over 40 sources, all using a single software.
Most ETL tools offer data mapping that allows you to create data flows for each data migration task. Once the data is mapped, you just have to run the data flow to make it work.
Here is how a simple dataflow looks like in AsteraCenterprise Data integrator, one of the best ETL tools available in the market.
If you look closely, the data flow includes a data map of an extraction from a database into an excel file by applying relevant transformations to the data. This is done to make the data compatible with the destination file format.
Types of ETL Tools
There are multiple ETL tools available in the market, each serving a different purpose. Let’s discuss each one of them.
Batch ETL Tools
These tools are used to extract bulk data from one or more data sources and then load them to a database. The data is loaded in batches because these tools are not made for real-time data processing. However, they can apply transformations and filters to the data all in a single go.
Real-Time ETL Tools
Most data-centric companies use real-time data extraction ETL tools. These type of ETL tools offer two ways to transfer data, ETL and ELT. In the first case, data is transformed and then loaded to the destination system. In the second case, data is loaded to the destination system and then transformed.
These tools are a lot faster than batch processing ETL tools. Financial companies use these ETL tools because a slight delay in financial digits can cause loss of billions in the financial market.
On-Premise ETL Tools
A large number of companies operate legacy systems that have both the data and the repository configured on-premise. The main reason behind such an implementation is data security. That’s why, companies prefer having an ETL tool that can be deployed on-site.
Cloud ETL Tools
Various cloud-based applications form an essential part of enterprise architecture. To manage data transfer from these apps, companies opt for ETL tools deployed in the cloud. These tools let them leverage the flexibility and agility that the cloud arrangement provides.
Which ETL Tool to choose for your business?
The best way to figure out which ETL tool will work best for your business is to ascertain your business requirements. You can then make a correct estimate about whether you need a cloud ETl tool or an on-premise ETL tool, or one that has both these features.
AsteraCenterprise is one such tool that offers both batch and real-time processing and has the capability to work on on-premise systems and on the cloud. Download a free trial of this tool and see it in action.