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What is data integration ETL & what tool is used for it?

Have you ever wondered how a thousand pieces of data information get categorized and stored easily? Well it is not without Extraction, Transformation and Loading. ETL is a process that helps get the required data from hundreds of Gigabytes loaded daily and you would need an ETL data integration tool to do so according to Visual Flow.

An ETL data integration tool gathers all the data from different sources and puts it into one target source. Now it has become a data warehouse. Initially, it was done to just gather data. Later on, ETL tools were used for the computational and analysis of the data. Further, these could be used for huge data-demanding projects. Let’s check more about data integration ETL and what tool is used for it.

How does data ETL work?

The main challenge for major companies in Germany is coping with the huge amount of data. About 45% of the companies deal with the inability to overcome the load. This can be eased by ETL solutions.

Data is also important for machine learning and to develop several artificial-intelligence projects. For that, the quality of data is also important. ETL helps to cleanse the data and provides only the data that you need. More than 1000 companies in the USA are dependent on ETL. So how does data ETL work? Like the name, it has 3 processes. Let us have a look at them and how they help to organize the data:

Extract

The function is to get information from various sources. These sources may contain a structure or may not have one. Here is a list of sources that might be used to extract data:

  • SQL
  • CRM System
  • Flat Lines
  • Email
  • Web pages

Transform

The next step is to modify the data. The main process is to consolidate all the information and make them useful for their intended case. In transformation, the following things can be performed:

  • Filtering
  • Performing Calculations
  • Auditing
  • Encrypting
  • Matching the Scheme 

Load

The final step is loading the data into the target warehouse. But the amount is too much. How do you load so much data? It is a tedious and time-consuming process. The process of loading is usually automated and is done in batches. Also, it happens when the traffic is less so that the speed is unaffected. The following are the steps:

  • The whole data is uploaded
  • The changes are uploaded
  • Next comes the replacement

Why ETL?

The process of verifying the information and removing unnecessary parts is a crucial part of ETL. Therefore, many businesses and companies use them to upload their mountain load of information. 

However, it is suggested only for small data repositories. ETL makes sure you receive high-quality data which is filtered, audited and encrypted, when necessary. Here are a few benefits when a business uses ETL solutions:

  1. Enhanced performance
  2. Access to data
  3. Better Quality
  4. High Return on Investment

Types of ETL tools

ETL has several tools that can help pipeline the data management process. Instead of a company employee sitting and writing codes for hours, you can use free-for-everyone sources to get ETL functionalities. The following are the types of ETL tools:

Business software

These tools are robust and are specifically built for and by commercial enterprises. With a graphic and intuitive interface, these tools support a huge group of databases and users.

Also, they help to ease the documentation process. Given their usability, it is natural that it comes with a heavy price tag. Also, the employees handling this software must be adequately trained.

ETL tools for all

Yes, there are open-source ETL tools that help make data management easy for everyone. These do not require a lot of training and help to assess the data. They come without the support of an enterprise, therefore, the usability is not stable.

Based on cloud

Several cloud service providers have ETL tools. What is special about cloud-based services? Well they are known for their efficiency. They are accurate and flexible.

They make sure the data demands are met in time. Is there a drawback? You can only store in the provider‘s cloud. You cannot move it unless it has been uploaded on the cloud.

Custom-made

The last type of ETL tool is a tool that is specially made to meet your demands. This is the way the companies earlier used ETL solutions. They developed their own programs.

Why would a company do that? Well the company gets its priorities through their customer-made tools. These tools are flexible and are specially made to cope with your flow of data. However, one needs extensive testing and maintenance to keep up.

ETL made easy

Now that you know the different types of tools provided for ETL solutions, it is time to know what they can do and how they make our lives easier. Let us have a look at their functionalities:

Automation

If you do not streamline the process, the whole process can get tedious. But ETL now provides tools that can help you get from gathering information until the end of creating a data warehouse.

These tools also recommend certain rules and ways throughout the process. This makes it easy for people who might not understand ETL totally.

Visual Interface

When you want to mention data flow or a rule in the process, these visual interfaces come in handy. It also makes it simpler to understand as you don‘t have to read a lot of text. A visual interface can be a savior for non-tech savvy people.

Data management

ETL is responsible for data management. However, when you need complex integrations, calculations and translation, you need a sophisticated system. That is exactly what this data management tool does. They help you ease the process of complex cleansing of the data.

Providing security

Certain governments do not allow the data to be openly shared. In that case, the ETL helps to add encryption or remove certain sensitive information that is not allowed. Such rules varies from government to government. ETL can encrypt while the data is in motion or when not. That is a special quality. 

Artificial intelligence

ELT has the capability to integrate real-time data and streaming data to produce information useful for AI. The main thing required by AI is a huge load of data and use it to sense the next situation and react according to it. Getting clean data is crucial. 

Final thoughts

In short, ETL is useful when you are dealing with data or data-related projects. ETL solutions help to automate the data processing system. You don‘t need employers to do such repetitive work. Rather they can now concentrate on other important parts of data management. If AI is a part of your future project, where you cannot have data full of errors, then ETL is your answer.

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