The latest edition of the ETL Tools Survey is out: a good reason to chat with Rick van der Linden, Business Intelligence and ETL expert, about the latest trends in ETL.
What is ETL exactly?
“ETL stands for extract, transform, and load. ETL can be compared to purifying water. First, undrinkable water (data) is extracted from various rivers. This dirty water is purified using a tool. The purified water is stored in a container that you can drink from,” says Rick van Der Linden.
The biggest problem with data, according to Rick, is its quality. “I’ve seen many organizations that drive on low-quality data. But it’s pointless to have a dashboard showing the wrong data. It’s like drinking dirty water – you can do it, but it’ll make you sick. So the “T” in ETL is a crucial part of the process.”
Rick van der Linden compared 22 data integration and ETL tools on more than 90 criteria for Passionned Group. The results of this research are recorded in the ETL Tools Survey.
Using the report
“The research report is comparable to a consumer advocacy report. Consumers can make a quick and well-informed tool selection based on an independent comparison. The research provides a good overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the various tools. It doesn’t just save time in the selection process, but also gives good insight into the marketplace,” Rick explains.
The ETL Tools survey has undergone many iterations, and every edition adds new tools and questions.
What are the latest additions?
“Data is traditionally taken from a database, but over half the data is unstructured these days,” Rick says. “Unstructured data can be information in an email, PowerPoint, or PDF file, for example. These sources keep growing.” Passionned Group also considers if tools can extract unstructured data. “This question provided some interesting answers,” according to Rick.
“ETL should become just as intelligent as a person.” Rick thinks that this should be possible in the future.
The latest trends
“Everything does more. The different tools are gaining in functionality, and especially the area of data quality is seeing a lot of development.” Rick also saw an interesting development at Oracle, who are discontinuing one of their top products. “Oracle’s new product will provide a better foundation for the future, but buyers should consider the fact that when they buy a product, there won’t be any maintenance.”
Open Source developments
“One of the products that scores highly in the 14th edition is an open source product,” Rick says. Open Source (OS) ETL Tools are gaining in popularity. But Rick thinks that bigger organization won’t switch to an open source tool. “They’re not going to entrust their entire database to a non-existent organization. Open source also comes with some insecurities. For example, it’s unknown when updates will happen.”
Rick does see opportunities for open source in government organizations. “With an eye on saving money, an open source product is very attractive, given the lower costs.”
Want to know more?
Do you want to know which ETL tools score the best on various criteria? Order the newest version of the ETL Tools Survey and learn more about all the different products.