Thriving in this rapidly changing business environment requires a certain foresight to predict what is coming next and take immediate preventative actions. The agility of an organization today depends on how fast it can get hold of insights to make decisions, not an easy feat these days considering we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.
With the rapid digital revolution, everything we touch turns into data. So, the real competitive edge today does not lie in having more data but in speed to insight, which is directly proportional to the speed at which an organization can seamlessly extract data from multiple sources and transform it to make it fit for use.
The ETL Challenge
A seamless ETL process can ensure that the rate at which data is accumulated matches the rate at which it is utilized. However, the challenge today is not only the sheer volume of data but also data sources, which are exponentially becoming more diverse.
With data coming in from social media, various sensors, and IoT devices, ETL is no longer a straightforward process. Hence, even a small company that wants to implement ETL has to write millions of lines of code before it can start filtering out data. This creates a bottleneck and converts ETL into a complex data engineering task.
Build vs. Buy – Resolving the Dilemma
Now, this is where the question of build vs. buy comes into play. You can take a look at Astera for more information. It may seem that coding ETL jobs in-house can offer more control and transparency, but an organization also needs to consider the investment, maintenance costs, and flexibility.
Investing in a commercial tool that already has everything ready to be used makes more sense since it eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel. For example, if a company is using a popular database, such as Snowflake, which several other organizations already have available as a native connector, it does not make sense to invest in building a connector for it in-house from scratch.
Moreover, an in-house ETL tool is not just about coding; it also comes with a host of maintenance tasks, ensuring scalability as data volume increases.
Investing in a tool, however, may become a complex decision if an organization uses less popular data sources since their built-in connectors are not available in ETL tools.
Improving the ETL Speed
Whether a company chooses an in-house strategy or buys a tool, in the end, it all boils down to how efficient the ETL pipeline of an organization is. Here are some tricks and tips an organization can employ to ensure optimum ETL performance and maximum throughput.
- Get rid of irrelevant data
Collecting more data is always good, but not all data is used for analysis. So, before going through the ETL process and increasing lag, weed out irrelevant data beforehand. Take some time and decide precisely which data is important.
- Cut down large tables
A simple error in moving large tables from one place to another can halt the entire process and add considerable lag. So, it is better to partition tables based on any key-value such as date to improve processing time.
- Load data incrementally
Incremental loading only loads the changes between previous and new data, which can save a considerable amount of time.
- Process in parallel
One of the best ways to improve ETL performance is to make multiple workflows and then run them in parallel to reduce time. Some tools allow transformation processes to be run in parallel with other workflows that load data into a data warehouse.
Benefits of using ETL tools
ETL tools are helpful in managing businesses. Furthermore, advancements in the technological sector have created optimized tools. Therefore, you do not have to hand-code them anymore. But why everyone uses them? Because they are quite beneficial for the system. It makes your tasks easier and quicker.
So if your software is not up to date, you will lag behind. You need to update your system and work with the latest technology. Otherwise, what will be the use of using the technology? Technology is meant to speed up our work and reduce the workforce. However, if it is not up-to-date, the same system goes down in performance.
Here are some of the benefits of using the ETL tool.
The biggest flex is ETL is always changing. It is a necessity in businesses because they also change quickly. Your business will grow every day and the data will change on daily basis too. Therefore, you need something that can manage daily changes that go well with daily changes and updates. This will help the decision-making process of your business. Therefore, you should keep your software system upgraded.
Makes your job quicker and easier
Software applications and tools are meant to ease your jobs. They finish the work quickly and require less labor. Similarly, ETL works the same way. You will get table mapping and column making quite quickly. Because there is a graphical interface system in this tool. Thus, at the end of the day, you will be able to look at the progress of your business and how it went.
Eases decision making
This tool is especially helpful for decision-makers of the company because it provides a clear overview of the data. So you do not have to go to the data warehouse and go through your cloud. You will get everything in front of your eyes. So if you are responsible for making a report about the progress of your company’s performance, you will do so. You will get the complete overview of data in rows and columns. Just analyze it and report it and make decisions to improve your work.
Instead of a person, who has to go through all the data and then make spreadsheets, the software does this in less time. A person takes far more time than computer software.
You will have competitive advantages
Another thing that you can flex about. Using the latest technology and advanced method is a way of going ahead in a competitive market. Therefore, if you have a lot of competitors, you will need something that can take you ahead. So if you are using an updated ETL system, you will be ahead of others.
With a little investment in this tool, you will be able to get quick information about your insights. So if there is something to change, you will do it quicker than your competitors. Similarly, you will be able to analyze your performance and notice your shortcomings on time.
The Bottom Line
A slow ETL process means that data go to waste by becoming obsolete. Hence, in this data-driven era, every organization’s focus should be on making ETL accessible to more users, which not only decreases its reliance on the IT department but also increases ETL capacity and speed.