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Exploring our top picks of ELT tools

EdgeRed x Databricks x Alteryx x Airflow

At EdgeRed, we're no strangers to diving deep into datasets, and we understand the pivotal role that ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) tools play in shaping insightful analytics. Let's dive into our toolbox and dissect the essentials that we've observed drive success across our diverse range of clients.

Decoding ETL vs ELT, what's the difference?

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) versus ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) – it's more than just rearranging the alphabet! While ETL follows a traditional path of extracting, transforming, and then loading data, ELT flips the script by loading raw data straight into the warehouse before transforming it. This modern approach leverages the prowess of data warehouses, making it a game-changer, especially for big data processing.

A list of the top ELT tools we’ve used

At EdgeRed, efficiency and scalability are our bread and butter. Here's a quick list of the ELT tools that we've found indispensable for delivering impactful solutions to our clients:

  • Databricks: It's a powerhouse for big data analytics, offering collaborative notebooks, integrated workflows, and a seamless transition between ELT processes, data science, and machine learning. Our team's proficiency in Databricks, particularly our ETL/Data Pipelines specialists, is testament to its versatility.

  • Fivetran: When it's all about plug-and-play, Fivetran is our go-to. Its connectors do the heavy lifting, taking the sting out of the setup and maintenance.

  • AWS Glue: AWS Glue is a fully managed ETL service that integrates seamlessly with the AWS ecosystem. Its serverless nature means we can focus on defining the transformations without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

  • Apache Airflow: Airflow DAGs orchestrates complex data pipelines, allowing seamless scheduling, monitoring, and management of data transformations. With its flexible architecture, it streamlines the movement and transformation of data, enabling efficient ELT workflows. It couples well with Google Cloud Composer & provides easy to maintain environments.

  • Alteryx: Alteryx brings a user-friendly interface that caters to a wide range of data blending and advanced analytics tasks. Its drag-and-drop workflow design allows us to prep, blend, and analyse data from multiple sources quickly.

We've seen our clients opt for these tools because they enable agility and responsiveness to their evolving needs. They perfectly align with our data-driven mindset, allowing our clients to sift through data at scale and with sophistication.

What is the future of ELT?

The future of ELT is shaping up to be as dynamic as the data it manages. Automation isn't just a possibility - it's practically inevitable. We're witnessing tools becoming smarter by the day, with the ability to adapt and even learn from the data they handle. It's clear we're on the verge of a new era where ELT processes will require less manual intervention and offer more strategic oversight. This shift promises to empower us to delve deeper into data insights and make more impactful decisions.

Is there an overlap between ELT and Data Governance?

Absolutely, ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) processes and data governance are intertwined components, particularly when it comes to upholding data quality, security, and compliance within our consultancy framework at EdgeRed.

  • Data Quality: At the heart of both ELT and data governance lies the commitment to data integrity. Our ELT procedures often encompass sophisticated data cleansing and transformation techniques to refine data quality. Similarly, our data governance frameworks are instrumental in setting and maintaining high standards of data accuracy, completeness, and reliability across various platforms.

  • Metadata Management: Metadata is the cornerstone for both ELT processes and data governance strategies. Through our ELT operations, we meticulously capture and handle metadata, ensuring a clear understanding of data lineage and transformation pathways. Data governance measures, on the other hand, leverage metadata management to enhance data discoverability and comprehension, all while ensuring adherence to compliance standards.

  • Data Security and Compliance: ELT mechanisms are designed to incorporate robust security measures such as data encryption and access control, ensuring the safeguarding of sensitive information throughout the transformation processes.

In practice, ELT and Data Governance collaborate seamlessly, fostering a reliable and valuable data ecosystem for our clients at EdgeRed. Complementary tools we've implemented include KADA, dbt test and Great Expectations.

EdgeRed's experience with ELT tools

At EdgeRed, our journey with cutting-edge tools has led to remarkable transformations for our diverse range of clients.

  • We employed Databricks to revolutionise the ETL process for an upscale Australian grocery retailer, condensing weeks of work into mere hours, all the while unveiling invaluable insights with the tool's advanced analytics capabilities.

  • With Fivetran, we provided a major Australian healthcare client with the means to seamlessly integrate their disparate data systems, resulting in a consolidated and immediately up-to-date repository of patient data.

  • Partnering with a leading financial services firm, we harnessed the power of Alteryx to significantly refine and accelerate data workflows, slashing processing times from days to mere hours, thus freeing up ample space for data-driven decision-making.

  • And in a notable retail analytics project, we utilised Google Cloud Composer alongside Airflow to construct efficient ELT processes for performance and planning datasets across multiple stores.

Our journey through the landscape of ELT tools has illuminated the critical role they play in shaping data analytics success. From powerhouse platforms like Databricks to user-friendly solutions like Alteryx, each tool in our arsenal contributes uniquely to our ability to extract value from data. As we look to the future, automation beckons, promising a new era of efficiency and strategic oversight.

At EdgeRed, we're committed to harnessing the power of these tools to drive innovation, deliver impactful solutions, and empower our clients to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world.

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About the author

Krishna Pydimarri is our Lead Data Engineer and Consultant at EdgeRed Analytics, holding dual Master's degrees in IT and IT Management. Originally from a background in software engineering, Krishna has a knack for crafting technical solutions across the full spectrum of data challenges. Outside of his professional pursuits, he's a fan of cricket, badminton and latte art.

About EdgeRed

​EdgeRed is an Australian boutique consultancy specialising in data and analytics. We draw value and insights through data science and artificial intelligence to help companies make faster and smarter decisions.

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