ETL Tools: Moving Beyond Extraction, Transformation And Loading
ETL tools prove valuable to organizations long after the initial data transfer has been accomplished. Their data sorting and storing capabilities make finding and using data easier and quicker than ever.
ETL tools are best known for their data extraction, transformation and loading capabilities. Hence, the abbreviation. But the name can be misleading since the programs are capable of so much more. Depending on the tool selected, the software can be used to: sort, filter, cleanse, monitor, synchronize and consolidate data as well as for data quality control and profiling.
It is these functions that make the software so valuable to organizations. ETL tools are useful long after you've loaded your information into a warehouse or database because they so effectively store, update and manage your information.
ETL Tools And The End User
Programs such as Foxtrot by Enablesoft have been designed for business end users, not technical staff such as programmers and analysts. The beauty of these types of programs lies in their ease of use by non-technical staff. Anyone who uses the database is capable of using an ETL tool that has been specifically designed for end users. Of course there are programs out there that are better suited for programmers or IT staff, but end-user tools are probably going to be more effective for the vast majority of organizations. They put the software in the hands of the user, eliminating the need for IT staff to spend time and resources creating, coding, updating and constantly managing the database or databases. ETL tools do not require custom coding and work with many of today's common business platforms, including Microsoft Office products: Access and Excel.
Save Time And Increase Reliability
The right program will save organizations time and money in terms of increased productivity and decreased use of resources. It can also increase the reliability of your data. How do the programs do this?
To begin with, fewer employees will be needed to do the same amount of work. IT staff will not be tasked with managing the database or writing custom code, and future updates can be handled automatically with little to no need for staff involvement. Organizations that may typically hire temporary workers to enter data can save on personnel costs and not have to worry about non-employees seeing potentially sensitive information. Permanent employees who work with large amounts of information that typically has to be entered and updated by hand will save significant amounts of time as well, since the tool pulls and filters the data automatically.
Many ETL tools can "learn" what they need to do. This means you can perform the function once and whenever the tool is faced with the same function again, it automatically knows what needs to be done and does it. Not only that, it does it with 100% accuracy, eliminating data entry mistakes, which increases the reliability of your data.
An ETL tool can eliminate the use of multiple databases. This helps ensure that all employees and departments are using the same information, which avoids confusion, improves accuracy and helps prevent project delays.
Sometimes, the greatest challenge with databases and data warehouses is actually finding the information you need, when you need it and in the format that you need it. One of the greatest benefits of ETL tools comes in the form of information storing and sorting. With the right program, finding the data you need in the proper format is as easy as a simple query.
ETL tools are a long-term investment in your business data and information needs that will hold their value to your organization for years to come.
Article Tags: Extraction Transformation
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EnableSoft offer solutions to help move, merge, manage and maintain data in front and back office operations through powerful Foxtrot Data Scripting Technology and ETL tools. To learn more about how Enablesoft helps over 400 organizations in the financial, manufacturing, insurance and healthcare industries around the world, visit their site.