It is crucial for a data-driven organization to have a centralized source for all of its information, or else it is difficult to make informed predictions. Many companies turn to ETL to provide context for their data.
ETL, which stands for “extract, transform, load,” is a standard model that companies can use to integrate data from multiple sources into a single centralized data repository. When it comes to ETL tools, they are software specifically designed to support ETL processes like extracting data from disparate sources, scrubbing and cleaning data to achieve higher quality, and consolidating all of it into data warehouses. You can use ETL tools to simplify data management strategies and improve data quality through a standardized approach.
There are many benefits to ETL tools, such as:
- Higher Quality: ETL tools improve data quality by transforming data from different databases, applications, and systems so they meet certain internal and external compliance requirements. They also provide context for relevant data, which makes it better in decision making processes.
- Better Consistency: With ETL tools, you can simplify analysis by transforming data to follow universal standards. Calculations and predictions become more accurate when all of the data is brought together and made searchable.
- Faster: By removing the need to query multiple data sources, the speed of decision making can be increased.
There are many great ETL tools on the market, so let’s take a look at some of the best:
Integrate.io is widely considered to be one of the best ETL tools on the market. It is a cloud-based ETL data integration platform that makes it easy to unite multiple data sources. The platform has a simple, intuitive interface that enables the building of data pipelines between a large number of sources and destinations.
The platform is also highly scalable with any data volume or use case, and it enables you to seamlessly aggregate data to warehouses, databases, operational systems, and data stores.
There are over 100 popular data stores and SaaS applications packages with Integrate.io including MongoDB, MySQL, Amazon Redshift, Google Cloud Platform, and Facebook.
Besides being highly scalable and secure, the platform offers a variety of features. One such feature is Field Level Encryption, which allows you to encrypt and decrypt data fields using their own encryption key.
Here are some of the main benefits of Integrate.io:
- Highly scalable and secure
- Cloud-based ETL platform
- Easily unite multiple data sources
- Simple, intuitive interface
Another great ETL tool is Talend Data Integration, which is an open-source ETL data integration solution that is compatible with data sources both on-premises and in the cloud. The platform includes hundreds of pre-built integrations.
Besides the open-source version, Talend also offers a paid Data Management Platform that includes additional tools and features for productivity, design, management, monitoring, and data governance.
Talend was designated as a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data integration Tools report.
Here are some of the main benefits of Talend:
- Open-source and paid versions
- Tools for design, productivity, data governance, and more
- Compatible with data sources on-premises and in the cloud
- All-purpose data integration tool
IBM DataStage is an excellent data integration tool that is focused on a client-server design. It extracts, transforms, and loads data from a source to a target. These sources can include files, archives, business apps, and more.
Businesses use DataStage to aid in business analysis by providing quality data. It acts as a link between many different systems and can handle data extraction, translation, and loading, which is why it is preferred by many in the baking industry.
DataStage can be refreshed and synchronized as much as needed, and it is reliable and flexible. It offers an easy integration and a single interface to integrate heterogeneous sources. The tool also optimizes hardware utilization, supports collection and integration, and offers a powerful and effective way to build, deploy, update, and manage your data integration.
Here are some of the main benefits of IBM’s DataStage:
- Client-server design
- Extracts, transforms, and loads data from a source to a target
- Improves business analysis
- Links many different systems together
A comprehensive data integration solution, Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is part of Oracle’s data management ecosystem. It is a great choice for those already using other Oracle applications like Hyperion Financial Management or Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS).
Oracle Data Integrator offers both on-premises and cloud versions. One of the more unique aspects of ODI is that it supports ETL workloads, which can prove helpful for many users. It is a more bare-bones tool than some of the others on the list.
ODI supports a wide spectrum of data integration requests such as high-volume batch loads and service-oriented architecture data services. The tool also supports parallel task execution, which helps achieve faster data processing.
Here are some of the main benefits of Oracle Data Integrator:
- Part of Oracle’s data management ecosystem
- On-premises and in cloud
- Supports ETL workloads
- Parallel task execution
Aimed at making the data management process more convenient, Fivetran offers a diverse platform of tools. The software helps you manage API updates and can pull the latest data from your database in just minutes.
It is a cloud-based ETL solution that supports data integration with data warehouses like Redshift, BigQuery, Azure, and Snowflake. One of the top selling points of Fivetran is its array of data sources, with nearly 90 possible SaaS sources and the ability to add custom integrations.
Here are some of the main benefits of Fivetran:
- Convenient data management
- Diverse platform of tools
- Manage API updates
- Cloud-based solution
An open-source ELT (extract, load, transform) data integration platform, Stitch is one more excellent choice. Similar to Talend, Stitch offers paid service tiers for more advanced use cases and larger numbers of data sources. Stitch was actually acquired by Talend in 2018.
The platform offers self-service ELT and automated pipelines, which makes it stand out. It was designed to source data from more than 130 platforms, services, and applications.
The tool centralizes all of the information in a data warehouse, and since it is open source, development teams can extend the tool to support additional sources and features.
Here are some of the main benefits of Stitch:
- Open-source ELT platform
- Paid service tiers
- Self-service ELT and automated pipelines
- Source data from 130+ platforms, services, and applications
Driven by metadata, Informatica PowerCenter is aimed at improving collaboration between business and IT teams while streamlining data pipelines. The tool can parse advanced data formats like JSON, XML, and PDF. It can also automatically validate transformed data to enforce defined standards.
The feature-rich enterprise data integration platform is one more tool in the data management suite from Informatica. PowerCenter is an enterprise-class, database-neutral solution that achieves high performance and compatibility with various data sources.
PowerCenter also offers pre-built transformation, high availability, and optimized performance.
Here are some of the main benefits of Informatica PowerCenter:
- Improves collaboration between business and IT teams
- Streamlines data pipelines
- Parses advanced data formats
- High performance and compatibility
SAS Data Management is a data integration platform that was designed to connect data from a variety of sources like the cloud, legacy systems, and data lakes. By bringing together these integrations, you can build a holistic view of the business processes and optimize workflows.
The platform is highly flexible and can operate in a variety of computing environments and databases. It can also be integrated with third-party data modeling tools, which helps produce excellent visualizations.
Here are some of the main benefits of SAS Data Management:
- Connects data form variety of sources
- Builds holistic view of business processes
- Optimize workflows
- Operates in variety of computing environments
An open-source platform offered by Hitachi Vantara, Pentaho is used for data integration and analytics. You can select either Pentaho’s free community edition, or purchase a commercial license for the enterprise edition.
Pentaho offers a user-friendly interface that can even be used by beginners to build robust data pipelines. The platform manages data integration processes such as capturing, cleansing, and storing data in a standardized format.
The tool shares the information with end users for analysis and supports data access for IoT technologies to help with machine learning.
Here are some of the main benefits of Pentaho:
- Open-source platform
- Free community edition or enterprise edition
- User-friendly interface for beginners
- Supports data access for IoT technologies
10. AWS Glue
Closing out our list of best ETL tools is AWS Glue, a fully managed ETL service offered by Amazon Web Services. The tool was designed specifically for big data and analytics workloads.
AWS Glue is an end-to-end ETL offering intended to make ETL workloads easier and more integratable with the larger AWS ecosystem. One of the more unique aspects of the tool is that it is serverless, meaning Amazon automatically provisions a server and shuts it down following the completion of the workload.
The service also offers various features like job scheduling and testing for AWS Glue scripts.
Here are some of the main benefits of AWS Glue:
- Fully managed ETL service
- Designed for big data and analytics workloads
- Makes ETL workloads easier
- Automatically provisions and shuts down server for workloads
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