Data Analytics and ETL – The Perfect Fit
As a business owner, juggling with big data is like trying to match thousands of pieces of puzzle from a game that comes with instructions in a language you cannot understand. So, without having a system to help you decipher all of these pieces, all you can do is hope to get lucky and guess where some of them go, the try to fit in the others. This applies both to puzzle and business information, except that the latter can have more severe effects. For this reason, if you need to manage huge amounts of data daily, the best thing you can do is put it through an ETL process. In recent years, large corporations all around the world are using this to gain competitive advantage on their respective markets, so why not try it as well? But before starting to build the data driven culture in your company, you must first understand the important connection between big data, data analytics and ETL.
What does ETL mean and why is it so important?
During the ETL process (extraction, transformation and loading), the data you have gathered from multiple channels and stored in multiple sources is basically organized. This organization is done using SQL, a programming language most people who really need to analyze data do not understand, as they are not tech people but rather business decision makers. During the process the data is actually “cleaned” and prepared for transfer, then stored in an end location, most of the times a data warehouse, ready to be analyzed. And although this seems impossible and it is a common misconception that ETL does not help, it is in fact mandatory for accurate analysis. Of course, it is not the only important element, but it is a crucial one because it filters the information you must definitely keep for the next stages of the analysis process. Once the data is extracted, transferred and loaded from the initial source to the end warehouse, you will need a reliable visualization tool in order to be able to find vital insights about your business.
How can you match ETL to the visualization tool?
Nowadays, most data analysis solution offer complete integration with any source or software you may be using in your company. However, in order to make sure things go smoothly and there is no bottleneck on the way, make sure you choose a complex solution that combines both ETL and Business Intelligence (including visualization dashboards). This will spare you the effort of finding external tools, allowing you to benefit from a self-service solution, which does not require a lot of knowledge or resources to perform queries and analysis. Remember that data visualization is extremely important for you to get accurate insight on business data that has been put through ETL.
As you can see, ETL is one of the most relevant parts of business data integration. If represents the initial operation performed on big data that is about to be analyzed and it is highly important to have it done correctly, by a performing system.