ETL Development in Business Intelligence: Overview

 In Business Intelligence, etl

Using ETL Development and data integration, you may increase performance and make your firm more efficient and lucrative. But what exactly is it? When do you need to put it into action? Continue reading to learn more about ETL development and the answers to these and other issues.

ETL Development

ETL stands for Extract, Transform, and Load. It is a means of transferring data from several data storages into a data warehouse. In general, it refers to the process of moving data from a source database to a destination database.

ETL developers begin this procedure by EXTRACTING raw data from several RDBMS source systems. The data is then TRANSFORMED before being LOADED into a specific data warehouse system. How exactly does it happen? Take a look at this process.


The data is being retrieved from the source system and sent to the staging area. These source systems might be text files, SQL servers, ERP, spreadsheets, or data stores. The staging area provides for the validation of extracted data. It is then sent to the warehouse.


It is mandatory to clean, map, and convert the extracted data. All of this occurs in the second stage. Several validations occur during this step, including filtering, cleaning, data flow validation, transposing rows and columns, and so on.


The data is then put into the target data storage systems in the final stage. This is difficult because a vast amount of data must be loaded in a relatively short period of time. The system implements recovery measures and load verifications before the entire process begins.

Uses of ETL Development

One of the most common domains of ETL use is data warehousing. However, there are also more applications for ETL. Take a closer look at this:

Internet of Things data integration

If your company supports IoT then you can utilize ETL to collect data from numerous IoT sources and consolidate it in one place. It will consequently make analyzing the data much easier for you.

Marketing data integration

ETL may help you collect all of your marketing data in one location. This procedure may include marketing and consumer data, online analytics, social networking data, online data marts, and so forth.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Also, with the assistance of your data science team, you may consolidate data and prepare it for the construction of a machine learning model. 

Cloud migration

Cloud migration is the process of migrating your data from your premises to the cloud. ETL is a technique for dealing with this procedure. 

Database replication

You can use ETL to transfer data from your source databases to the cloud warehouse. Aside from that, you may require ETL if the amount of your data is continually increasing. 

ETL Tools

An ETL tool employs a procedure that accepts data from various Relational Database Management Systems. It also universally transforms it to make it understandable and loads it into the data warehouse in a neat clean structure ready for analysis.

ETL Development tools offer a variety of capabilities to help with workflow. Therefore with the growing popularity of ETL tools, the data warehousing industry has recognized the significance of various emerging and commercial appliances.

There are multiple tools available these are:

  • Talend Data Integration
  • Informatica
  • Kettle
  • Clover ETL
  • Informatica PowerCenter
  • Business Objects Data Integrator
  • IBM InfoSphere DataStage
  • Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services
  • Oracle Warehouse Builder/ Data Integrator
  • Pentaho Data Integration (Open source)
  • Jasper ETL (Open Source)

Cloud-Based Tools are

  • AWS Glue
  • SnapLogic
  • Informatica Cloud
  • Alation

ETL Tool Function

ETL tool-based data warehouses use staging, data integration, and access layers to execute their purpose. It’s a three-tiered design.

  • Staging Layer: The extracted data from various source data systems is stored in a staging database or staging layer.
  • Data Integration Layer: The Integration Layer translates data from the staging layer and stores it in a database. Database organizes data into hierarchical categories called dimensions, as well as facts and aggregate facts. Also, in data warehouse systems, a schema is the combination of dimension tables and events.
  • Access Layer: End-users utilize the access Layer to get data for analytical reporting or other tasks.

ETL Tools for Data Science

Finding the correct ETL tool may take some effort initially, but it will pay off in the long term. Spending a little additional effort early is far preferable to having to rethink your entire data transformation process later on, especially if you’re already running at scale.

If you have clear, well-defined objectives then it won’t be difficult to choose the ETL technology that best matches your demands. Given below are some of the greatest ETL Development tools for data science that you may put to use in your company.

1. Mozart Data

While most data firms focus on a specific aspect of the data analysis process, Mozart enables you to effortlessly integrate all of those tools into a single contemporary data stack. This makes combining and cleaning data easier than ever. Mozart lets the “business people” get direct access to the information they need and when they need it.  


  • Collects all data tools in one place
  • Accelerates the gathering of business intelligence
  • Quick, easy, and secure


  • You will still need to know a little SQL to set it up, but it will be much easy after that.
  • It is not an all-in-one tool; rather, it is a contemporary data stack that makes data collection and analysis accessible to everyone on your team.

2. Xplenty

Xplenty is a cloud-based ETL system that offers simple data streams for automating data flows from diverse sources. It is also in charge of data flows and data scheduling. Customers may use best practices to clean, standardize, and transform their data. It also allows for data consolidation and preparation for Business Intelligence (BI).


  • Simple and easy to navigate GUI & scripting languages
  • An emphasis on data security
  • Excellent customer service​


  • It may be difficult to deliver data in segments
  • Sometimes error messages are not clear

3. Talend

Talend is an open-source ETL data integration tool. The Talend system may access data from both on-premises and cloud sources. It also has many built-in components that allow for the connecting of various data sources, increasing productivity and reducing the time necessary for data distribution.


  • Connects databases easily on different platforms
  • Also supports other formats, such as Comma-Separated Values
  • The JAVA technology enables users to combine many scripts from diverse libraries all around the world


  • Need for a JAVA specialist for high levels of customization
  • Talend Open Studios does not offer a sufficient way of performing component unit testing

​4. Improvado

​Improvado is one of the greatest ETL solutions since it is versatile and simple to use. It makes it simple for marketers to collect all of their data in one place. As a result, no coding is required for data automation. Because of its simplicity, there is no requirement for implementers or data experts to assist you in making adjustments.


  • Supportive customer care representatives
  • Reduces manual reporting time
  • Easily customizable at your request 


  • Some of the granular aspects might be difficult to comprehend
  • To acquire dashboards and reports in a format that you can visualize, you may need to work a little more with your customer service person

5. Alooma

Alooma is a data migration ETL solution for cloud data warehouses along with unique built-in data integration features. It also has a live data streaming display, a coding sidebar, and other user-friendly features. The most significant advantage of Alooma is that it automates the majority of data flow, enabling you to focus on the results rather than the technical details.


  • The program performs well with several data sources
  • It automatically recognizes the database schema
  • Fastly monitors any faults in the database


  • If you are a first-time user, the graphical user interface may be a little confusing
  • The debugging module is not as user-friendly as comparable products on the market

6. Starfish

Because of its capacity to quickly give actionable consumer insights, Starfish is an excellent ETL tool for marketing. It also helps firms improve customer targeting by pooling CRM data and obtaining insights about their customers. The Starfish dashboard is simple to use and hence supports customers in developing relevant marketing reports.


  • Easy to use and understand
  • A versatile and dependable solution hence can connect with any database
  • Takes into account the user input


  • It might be a little sluggish when it comes to the data transfer
  • Some firms may find it prohibitively pricey

7. Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft is now one of the most effective business intelligence software solutions on the market. It intends to serve one or more developers while scaling to the most significant levels of data quantity and process complexity. Furthermore, this ETL tool can work in tandem with Hadoop, Google Analytics, and Cassandra.


  • A fantastic online interface with colorful and dynamic reports
  • There are a variety of diagnostic resources accessible for quick software fixes
  • It is also feasible to link to non-traditional data sources


  • It is frequently used as a SaaS because of the high bandwidth needs
  • To configure the tool, you must be familiar with Excel

8. Supermetrics

Supermetrics enables users to collect data from various social marketing channels, such as Google Ads, Facebook, and other social media platforms, and direct it to a single destination, such as Google Data Studio, where analytics modules can provide insights into customer preferences for specific goods and services.


  • One of the most effective tools for measuring social media marketing
  • Focuses more on examining insights thus saving the user’s time
  • It features a bright and simple-to-use marketing dashboard​


  • Some problems are tough to identify on your own
  • There may be too much information presented at once on the Insights page

9. Domo

Domo is one of the most complete analytics tools available currently on the market. It takes data from multiple sites and channels. Also, it provides these data to clients in a simple fashion. The application also has a graphical interface that allows users to merge any number of data sources. Consequently, the customers may create new integrated datasets through a series of drag-and-drop processes.


  • Makes smart business judgments via machine learning
  • The transmission of data does not need a big quantity of bandwidth
  • An operating system that helps firms make real-time decisions


  • Managing datasets may be challenging at times
  • It is designed primarily for commercial users therefore they may be overwhelmed by the software’s numerous capabilities

10. Datorama

Datorama is an ETL marketing solution that takes a comprehensive approach to gather a company’s advertising data. Thus obtaining information from a range of sources allows you to run more effective sales and marketing operations. The software’s three main engines are data integration, activation, and insights.


  • This user-friendly interface simplifies platform integration and data analysis
  • There are various report options on the program dashboard
  • Real-time automation powered by artificial intelligence


  • If you are a first-time user, then software settings might be challenging for you
  • Some customers prefer a per-client pricing model to a per-user pricing approach

ETL Testing

Testing refers to the process of confirming, verifying, and certifying data while avoiding duplicate records and data loss. ETL testing guarantees that data is transferred from disparate sources to the central data warehouse following transformation rules. It also ensures that all validity checks are followed.

Eight stages of the ETL testing process

Effective ETL testing identifies issues with the source data before placing the data into the data repository. As well as it identifies inconsistencies or ambiguities in the business rules that are supposed to govern data transformation and integration. 

1. Identify business requirements —

Create the data model, describe the business flow, and determine data reporting requirements based on client expectations. It’s critical to start here so that the project’s scope is well defined, documented, and thoroughly understood by testers.

2. Validate data sources —

Perform a data count check to ensure that the table and column data types fulfill the data model’s criteria. Check that check keys are in place. Also, remove the duplicate data.

3. Design test cases —

Create ETL mapping scenarios, SQL scripts, and transformational rules. It is also necessary to check the mapping document to ensure that it has all of the necessary information.

4. Extract data from source systems —

Identify types of bugs or defects encountered during testing and make a report. It is important to detect and reproduce any defects, report, fix the bug, resolve, and close the bug report.

5. Apply transformation logic —

Ascertain that data is changed to conform to the schema of the destination data warehouse. Also checks the data threshold, alignment, and data flow. It ensures that the data type for each table matches the mapping document.

6. Load data into target warehouse —

Before and after moving data from staging to the data warehouse, perform a record count check. Ensure to reject incorrect data and to accept the default values.

7. Summary report —

Check the summary report’s layout, choices, filters, and export capability. This report informs stakeholders of the specifics and results of the testing process. It also gives reason for the incomplete steps, i.e. “out of scope.”

8. Test Closure —

File test closure.

ETL Development Process

We use a systematized ETL development cycle at Thinklayer to provide consistent, on-time, and cost-effective outputs.

  1. Analysis: At Thinklayer, your ETL project begins with planning, research, and reference examination. We check over the materials that our clients have brought with them.
  2. Specification: Thinklayer places a strong emphasis on the specs stage, allowing us to deliver the product on schedule and within budget.
  3. Design: We create quick and efficient models and present you with various mock versions. We do it until you get the one that best meets your demands.
  4. Development: The development step of your ETL project is simplified thanks to our team of skilled developers.
  5. Testing: After each milestone, we put the project through a set of tests.
  6. Delivery: It is the last step, in which the client receives the finished work. The step is repeated until the provided ETL package functions flawlessly in the live environment.

ETL Design

It is difficult to design an ETL cycle. Following these best practices would assure the ETL solution’s effective design and execution.

Analyzing Source Data

  • Each column’s source and destination must be mapped.
  • Data types of source and destination need to be considered.
  • Identify complex tasks in your project and find the solution
  • Use the Staging table for analysis then you can move in the actual table

Fixing Data Issues

  • Prepare a strategy to identify the error and fix them for the next run.
  • Add data validation tasks and if there’s an issue you can also move them in a separate table/file.
  • Communicate with source Partner specialists to resolve similar difficulties if they occur again.
  • Add autocorrect task (lookup) if any known issues such as spell mistake, invalid date, email id, etc.

Validation of Logics

  • Validate all business logic before loading it into the actual table/file.
  • To validate the ETL process, create negative scenario test cases.
  • Test with huge volume data to rule out any performance issues and also keep your test cases updated.
  • Ensure the configured emails are received by the respective end-users.

Optimizing the ETL Solution

  • Ascertain that the Hardware is capable of handling the ETL.
  • Drop indexes during loading and recreate them thereafter.
  • Disable all triggers in the destination table and deal with them afterwards.
  • Use parallel processes wherever possible, consequently capturing running time of each task. It also compares them periodically.

Error Handling, Logging, and Alerting

  • Keep a record of all mistakes in a file or table for future reference.
  • The ETL project name, task name, error number, and error description should all be captured by the error handling system.
  • Ignore mistakes that have no influence on the business logic, but store/log them. Stop the ETL process and address the problem if the error has an impact on business logic.
  • Put in place an alerting system. Also send the error notice to the end-user and the support staff through email.

Point of Failure Recovery

  • There is always a possibility of an unexpected failure that could eventually happen. 
  • A typical ETL solution will have many data sources that sometimes might run into a few dozens or hundreds.
  • Enable point of failure recovery during a large amount of data load. 
  • It is beneficial to restart the procedure from where it failed.

Scheduling, Auditing & Monitoring ETL Jobs

  • The last step of the ETL design is scheduling it in jobs, auditing, and monitoring to ensure that the ETL jobs are done as per what was decided.
  • Schedule the ETL job in non-business hours.
  • Determine who should hear the message of success or failure.
  • For the ease of usage, user mail ID should be saved in a file/table.

ETL in Data Warehouse

ETL is a Data Warehousing procedure. An ETL tool collects data from numerous data source systems, transforms it in the staging area, and then loads it into the Data Warehouse system. Let’s go through each stage of the ETL process in detail

1. Extraction: 

In this stage, data from numerous source systems is extracted into the staging area in various formats such as relational databases, No SQL, XML, and flat files. It is critical to first extract data from multiple source systems and stores it in the staging area before transferring it to the data warehouse.

This is due to the fact that the retrieved data is in multiple formats and might potentially be corrupted. As a result, importing information straight into the data warehouse may cause it to be damaged, and rollback will be much more difficult. As a result, this is one of the most crucial processes in the ETL process.

2. Transformation: 

In this stage, the extracted data is subjected to a set of rules or functions in order to be converted into a single standard format. It might entail the following processes/tasks:

  • Filtering – putting just specific properties into a data warehouse.
  • Cleaning – filling up the NULL entries with default values, converting U.S.A, United States, and America to USA, and so on.
  • Joining – joining multiple attributes into one.
  • Splitting – dividing a single attribute into numerous characteristics.
  • Sorting – sorting tuples based on some key attributes.

3. Loading: 

In this stage, the transformed data is eventually loaded into the data warehouse. The data is sometimes updated very often by entering it into the data warehouse, and other times at longer but regular intervals.

The ETL development process may also take advantage of the pipelining notion, which means that as soon as some data is extracted, it can be converted, and fresh data can be extracted at that time. Furthermore, as the modified data is being imported into the data warehouse, the extracted data might be altered.


ETL Development helps in taking decisions by analyzing data. It can handle complex problems which cannot be handled by traditional databases. It also provides a common data repository and loads data from different sources into the target database.

ETL tools are necessary for businesses to efficiently manage their data and present it in a way that’s easier to analyze. These tools will also allow you to discover valuable insights into the needs of your customers. 

Using quick data transformation and migration capabilities, ETL tools may help you aggregate data from a variety of platforms, such as social networking websites, datasheets, and end-user PCs, into a single data warehouse.

So, start using ETL development and data integration services for the growth of your business. At Thinklayer we are providing you with the best services to integrate ETL services to your data warehouse for better outcomes. 


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