Registration Is Now Open for Another Datorios office meet-up!
Meet with industry leaders as we sit down to discuss the many challenges surrounding Modern Data Stacks

Register Now
Back to blog

The Guide to ETL Processing: ETL Stages and Benefits Explained

twitter facebook linkedin

An ETL tool is software that automates the process of extracting, transforming, and loading (hence the name) data from one source into another. It’s a crucial part of any data warehouse project because it ensures consistency and accuracy, which are critical elements in ensuring that a business’s decision-makers can use data effectively. There are many ways to get your data from one place to another in the data warehouse world, but there’s only one way to do it right: with an ETL tool.

What is ETL? 

ETL stands for Extract, Transform, Load.

The ETL process is a way of getting data from one system to another. It’s a set of steps that can be followed to move data.   

The goal is to take data in a format that isn’t compatible with your desired destination and make it consistent, so you can use it there.

Breaking Down the ETL Process into Stages 

Extract

In the extract phase of an ETL (extract, transform, and load) process, data is extracted from one or more sources. The data sources can be databases, files, web APIs, or other systems.

The purpose of the extract phase is to retrieve the data from the source systems and make it available for transformation and loading into the target system.

There are several steps involved in the extract phase:

  1. Identify the data sources: Determine where all of the data you want to extract is being stored.
  2. Connect to the data sources: Connectors need to be sourced or developed to connect to your needed sources to retrieve data. 
  3. Extract the data: Once the connection to the data source is established, you can extract the data using various methods, such as SQL queries, file-read operations, or API calls.
  4. Store the data: The extracted data is typically stored in a staging area, such as a temporary file or database table, to be used in the next phase of the ETL process.

It is crucial to consider the performance and reliability of the extract phase, as well as any error handling and recovery mechanisms that may be needed. You should also validate the extracted data to ensure that it is accurate and complete.

Logical and Physical Extraction

Extracting data from a source system is one of the steps in the ETL process. You can do it in two ways: Logical and Physical.

Logical extraction involves extracting data from a source system based on rules or queries. It can be done in many ways, depending on the data you’re trying to extract. For example, you could use an SQL query like this:

SELECT * FROM customers WHERE name=’John Smith’;

This query would find all records where the name field contains ‘John Smith.’ It would return all records that match that criteria, including any other fields they might have, and then return them as one large string. You could then parse this string into individual pieces with another SQL query like this:

SELECT email FROM customers WHERE name=’John Smith’;

This query would return all emails for customers whose names matched ‘John Smith.’ It could help pull out specific data from more extensive storage in different formats.

Physical extraction is typically done using third-party software or services. Still, it’s also possible for developers to create custom scripts for this purpose using languages like Python or Ruby on Rails.

The extraction process using Datorios

Datorios is a data integration and extraction tool that can be used as part of an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process. In ETL, the extract phase involves retrieving data from various sources, such as databases, files, or APIs.

You can use the Datorios tool to extract data from a variety of sources, such as relational databases (e.g., MySQL, Oracle, or PostgreSQL), non-relational databases (e.g., MongoDB or Cassandra), files (e.g., CSV, JSON, or Excel), and APIs (e.g., REST or SOAP).

To extract data using Datorios, you will need to specify the source of the data and the connection details required to access it. You can then use the Datorios interface to specify the data you want to extract, such as tables or columns from a database or fields from a file or API.

Once the data has been extracted, it can be transformed and loaded into a target system, such as a data warehouse or a reporting database. The transformation phase may involve cleaning, filtering, aggregating, and mapping the data to the target system’s schema. The load phase consists in loading the transformed data into the target system.

Transform

The purpose of the transform phase is to clean, enrich, and structure the data so that you can use it effectively in the target system. It typically involves a series of data manipulation and transformation operations, such as filtering, sorting, aggregation, and data type conversion.

There are several steps involved in the transform phase:

  1. Load the data: The first step is to load the data from the staging area into the transformation phase.
  2. Clean the data: The extracted data may contain errors, inconsistencies, or missing values that need to be cleaned or corrected. 
  3. Enrich the data: The data may be enhanced by adding additional information from external sources or applying business logic. 
  4. Structure the data: The data may need to be rearranged or restructured to fit the schema of the target system.
  5. Store the transformed data: The transformed data is typically stored in a staging area, such as a temporary file or database table, to be used in the next phase of the ETL process.

It is essential to consider the performance and reliability of the transform phase and any error handling and recovery mechanisms that may be needed. Transformed data should be validated to ensure that it meets the requirements of the target system.

The transform process using Datorios

The transform phase of an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process involves preparing the extracted data for loading into the target system. It may include a variety of tasks, such as cleaning and filtering the data, aggregating or summarizing the data, and mapping the data to the target system’s schema.

To carry out the transformation process using the Datorios tool, you can use the tool’s transformation capabilities to specify the transformations you want to apply to the extracted data. Here are some examples of changes you might perform using Datorios:

  1. Cleaning and filtering: You can use Datorios to remove null or empty values from the data or to filter the data to include only specific rows or columns.
  2. Aggregating and summarizing: Datorios can be used to group data by specific criteria and perform aggregations, such as summing or averaging the data.
  3. Mapping to the target system’s schema: By using Datorios you can create new columns or rename existing ones and convert data types to match the target system’s requirements.

To perform these transformations, you can use the Datorios interface to specify the transformation rules and apply them to the extracted data. Once the data has been transformed, it is ready to be loaded into the target system.

Load

In the load phase of an ETL (extract, transform, and load) process, data is loaded from the transformation phase into the target system. The target system could be a database, a data warehouse, or another system.

The purpose of the load phase is to insert the transformed data into the target system in a way that is efficient and consistent with the target system’s schema and constraints.

  1. Load the data: The first step is to load the data from the staging area into the load phase. 
  2. Connect to the target system: Next, you must connect to the target system to load the data. 
  3. Map the data to the target system’s schema: The transformed data may need to be mapped to the target system’s schema to fit the target system’s structure.
  4. Load the data into the target system: Once the data is mapped to the target system’s schema, it can be loaded into the target system using various methods, such as SQL insert statements, file write operations or API calls.
  5. Perform error handling and recovery: It is essential to consider the performance and reliability of the load process, as well as any error handling and recovery mechanisms that may be needed.

The Load Process using Datorios

In the load phase of an ETL process, data is moved from the transformation phase to the destination. It typically involves inserting the transformed data into the target database or data warehouse.

To perform the load process using Datorios, you can use one of the following methods:

  1. Use a load component: Datorios provides load components that can be used to load data into various target systems, such as databases, data warehouses, and cloud storage. These load components allow you to specify the connection details for the target system and the load options, such as the load mode (e.g., insert, update, or upsert) and the batch size.
  2. Use a script component: If you need more flexibility or customization in the load process, you can use a script component to write custom code to load the data. It could be helpful if you need to perform additional transformations or logic before loading the data or if a load component does not support the target system.
  3. Use a third-party tool: Datorios integrates with several tools you can use for the load process. For example, you could use a tool like Apache Nifi or Talend to load the data into the target system.

ETL Pipeline: Benefits for Businesses

Save Time

When it comes to business, time is money. And if you’re a company that has to deal with extracting and transforming data from one system to another, you know how much time and money you can lose without a proper ETL process. 

Why? Because manual data entry is tedious, prone to human error, and too slow for today’s businesses.

That’s where ETL Pipelines come in. They help you save time and money by automating your data extraction and transformation processes so that you can focus on the things that are important for your business.

Improve Accuracy 

When managing your data, the last thing you want is a lot of inaccurate data floating around. That’s why you need to be sure that all the information going through and coming out of your system is accurate. 

An ETL pipeline can help you achieve this goal by ensuring that all data is reviewed and verified before it goes into your database.

Increase Efficiency 

And finally, the ETL pipeline increases efficiency by ensuring that every step in the process is followed correctly and that no steps are skipped or duplicated unnecessarily.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ETL (extract, transform, and load) processing is essential for moving and manipulating data from various sources to a destination, such as a data warehouse or database. 

Overall, ETL processing is essential to modern data integration and management systems. Understanding the stages, benefits, and best practices of ETL processing is crucial to designing and implementing ETL processes effectively.

FAQ

Which is the easiest ETL tool to learn? 

The easiest ETL tool to learn is Datarios.

Datarios is the easiest ETL tool as it is made for any user, technical or not. With their straightforward platform, they offer the lowest barriers to entry – a great way to get started with ETL.

Datarios has a learning curve that’s not too steep, so you can quickly get comfortable with the basics. Once you have that down, it’s easy to start experimenting and taking on more advanced tasks.

What is ETL architecture? 

ETL architecture is a software design pattern that helps to move data from one system to another. It stands for Extract, Transforms, and Load. The goal of ETL architecture is to remove redundancy and make data more usable.

ETL architectures are used in companies that need to handle large amounts of data that needs to be processed in a specific way. You can use an ETL architecture for batch processing, real-time processing, or both.

What are ETL best practices? 

ETL best practices are guidelines that help you optimize your data processing. They include things like:

  • Choosing your tool based on the needs of your business and the nature of your data
  • Understanding how data flows through your system so that you can optimize it
  • Creating a process for handling exceptions and other issues as they arise during ETL

Recommended Resources 

https://datorios.com/data-orchestration-tools/

https://datorios.com/etl-tools/

https://datorios.com/2022-the-advancement-of-etl-tools/

Related Articles

Enjoy Data Again

We are building a smoother, more enjoyable experience, with a solution developed purely around data teams.

Take the interactive demo
See data differently! Schedule your personalized demo

Fill out the short form below