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7 Tools to Automate your Data Ingestion

Learn about 7 industry leading data loading and ETL tools, to help improve and automate your data ingestion process.

Are you drowning in data from a variety of sources, and trying to find a way to organize and automate your data importing?

For many of us this is our daily lives, trying to piece together data from various sources to analyze in a complete manner. What if I told you there was a way that you could escape the pains of combining datasets, and leave your working hours free of monotonous tasks?

I'm going to share seven of the best tools you can use to automate your data ingestion, so that you can focus on analysis and visualization, rather than manually wrestling with getting your data into your database.

Data Loading Tools

For some of us, the only functionality that we require is the collection and onboarding of our data, and we don't need to worry about cleaning or transforming the data during the ingestion process. The following three products are excellent choices if you want a fast and easy way to get your data from a source to a warehouse.

AirByte

Airbyte data loading automation screenshot

What it does: Started in July 2020, AirByte is one of the newest solutions on this list. AirByte is a open source platform that specializes in extracting and loading data. Essentially, AirByte is designed to handle all the setup of data pipelines, and then maintain the pipeline's flow through a number of scheduling, syncing and monitoring functions. Currently, the product has integrations to collect data from sources ranging from Google Analytics, to Salesforce, to local files. AirByte then is able to send data to Snowflake, Postgres, Redshift, BigQuery, or to export to CSV or JSON.

Who should use it: If you're not looking to transform your data before uploading it to your data lake/database, AirByte is an amazing choice for your business. The software is accessible to small businesses through its free open-source community edition, and the wide array of connectors built/on the product roadmap within the first year of the company makes it an exciting software to build your data ingestion flows with.

Matillion

Matillion data loading tool

What it does: Matillion is an industry leading data loading and ETL tool for gathering data from various online sources, and centralizing them for further analysis. With over 70 connectors to different data sources, Matillion allows users to piece together information from a vast array of sources. One big advantage Matillion has over some of it's more enterprise-focused competitors is the free tier available for the Matillion Data Loader.

Who should use it: If you're a small-medium sized business who is looking to migrate your data from existing applications, databases or files to a cloud database, Matillion is an amazing choice with it's free tier. Setting up data pipelines without having to worry about coding or custom connections is one of Matillion's strong points, and Matillion offers scheduling features to extract data on set intervals.

Fivetran

Fivetran data loading screenshot

What it does: Fivetran is another industry leading ETL tool, focused predominately on larger enterprises, but available to all sizes of business through their scalable pricing strategy. Fivetran has hundreds of prebuilt data connectors, and can offer excellent ways to ingest your data automatically. These connectors can be run on a set basis, and all your data can then be sent to your database/data warehouse for further analysis

Who should use it: With a logarithmic pricing model that scales with usage, the larger your organization is, the more cost effective Fivetran will become for you in terms of wrangling data. If you're on a larger analyst or business team, FIvetran is certainly one of the best options for you. With a vast array of connectors, building pipelines is straightforward and easy in a no-code environment.

Data Preparation Tools

In your ingestion process if you requires some data preparation and data cleaning, these next entries are more likely to suit your needs. These tools allow you to clean and manipulate your data as you ingest, and input them into a centralized database or data warehouse.

Talend

Talend Data Loading  and Transformation Tool

What it does: Talend it a data ETL tool (Extract, Transform, Load) that specializes in taking data from a vast array of sources, and creating data pipelines to bring all the data into a data warehouse. From this warehouse, you can start performing powerful analysis and building dashboards to supercharge your decisions with data-driven metrics. With solutions ranging from free open source software to their Data Fabric for large enterprises, Talend has a wide array of products for different business data needs (Including Stitch, which we'll talk about later in this article).

Talend has more than 1000 connectors and components to allow you to connect to almost any data source imaginable, and offers the ability to have on premise data. You're able to customize your data pipelines through a drag and drop interface, and save pipelines for later use.

Who should use it: Talend is for businesses that need to aggregate information from a number of online reporting channels, and plan on putting it in a data warehouse. If your business is already using a data warehousing solution like Snowflake, AWS, Google or Azure (alongside some other large data lakes/warehouse providers), then Talend could be an excellent choice for your business.

Generally, Talend has created feature sets that lean towards large organizations with massive appetites for data ingestion, making it the gold standard for enterprise data ingestion and transformation. If you're willing to part with the money required (it's not exactly cheap), Talend will almost surely exceed your expectations.

Dropbase

Dropbase data ingestion and trasnformation tool

What it does: Another one of the newest softwares on this list, Dropbase is an instant database tool for transforming offline data into live databases in seconds. With a wide variety of processing steps, Dropbase allows users to manage their data ingestion, transformation and loading into a database in a complete solution. Dropbase gives users the ability to take Excel, CSV and JSON files, apply data cleaning and processing steps, and then load it directly into a Postgres database. Each account created by Dropbase is given a free database, but Dropbase also allows you to connect your existing database solution.

Who should use it: If you need a way to quickly transform offline files into a database, rather than connect to data that is already online, Dropbase is the best offering on the list. Dropbase allows you to quickly turn CSV, Excel and JSON files into live production databases. The software also allows you to create data transformation and cleaning steps, saving them in runnable data pipelines for future reuse.

Dropbase is more friendly towards startups and SMB's that are trying to consolidate their data into a database as well. With managed databases available for free, businesses can start ingesting and centralizing their data without having to worry about breaking the bank.

Alteryx

Alteryx data ingestion tool

What it does: Alteryx is an automated analytics tool that allows you to take data from a variety of sources, and perform a vast array of data science analyses and functions to better understand your information. This allows you to make better, more data driven decisions, and create accurate models and predictions for the future of your business. For data ingestion specifically, ALteryx's powerful data preparation tools can be extremely useful. Alteryx allows you to connect, prepare, cleanse, blend and join data from a variety of sources both offline and online, all in a no-code environment.

Who should use it: If your main purpose for ingesting data is for visualizations and data science functionality in a low code environment, Alteryx is an excellent choice for you. However, like Talend, the software is out of budget for most small businesses. With prices north of $5000 per user annually, Alteryx is only for businesses who truly need data solutions on a large scale.

Trifacta

Trifacta ingestion, cleaning and transformation tool

What it does: Trifacta is a cloud based data preparation tool, focused on building and automation data prep workflows. The software allows you to connect to a number of different databases and applications, load it to a database, and then transform the data once it's already in your data warehouse/data lake. Instead of a typical ETL process, they use an ELT process, whereby they're able to reduce the need for developers to transform the data before it enters the database.

Who should use it: Trifacta is a great data ingestion process for organizations who want to remain agile, and allow their analysts to prepare and clean data without having to wait for developers to load the data to their data warehouse. With excellent collaboration features, Trifacta is a great tool for teams of analysts who wish to share and collaborate with one another.

Making data ingestion easier

Now with the knowledge of these 7 industry leading data ingestion and preparation tools, you'll be better equipped to choose a software to assist you with the gathering of your information from various sources. Whether you are simply loading data from one source, or transforming data from hundreds, your life will be improved by adopting one of these excellent softwares.

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