When it comes to modern integration, the ETL or Extract, Transform, Load process serves as the backbone. Essentially, the ETL process works to efficiently migrate massive quantities of information or data into target data warehouses or data lakes. And with the ever-growing importance of data in business, handling and processing data efficiently is becoming far more important than ever. 

If you’ve been looking for an efficient way to work with or extract data sets that are too large or complex for traditional data-processing software, then Integrate.io is here to help. Ultimately, Integrate.io has all the answers when it comes to finding the best ETL tools for big data analysis. 

Read on to learn more about the ETL process, what the best ETL tools for big data analysis entail, and how Integrate.io can help you find the perfect ETL tools to fit your organization’s needs and goals. 

Table of Contents 

What Is ETL?

Before we discuss what the best ETL tools for big data analysis are, let’s take a minute to better understand the process of ETL itself. Developed in the 1970s, the concept of ETL or Extract, Transform, Load is a three-step process. Today, the ETL process is fundamental to modern data management and data analytics. 

Essentially, the three-step process of ETL looks like this:

Extract: In the first step, data is extracted from one or more locations such as a database, flat files, SaaS applications or platforms, third-party websites, APIs, and others. 

Transform: In the second step, extracted data is transformed in preparation for future storage in a centralized location such as a data lake or data warehouse. 

Load: In the third step, the transformed data is then loaded into a centralized target location, allowing it to be easily managed and worked with for further analysis. 

Now that we’ve outlined what ETL is, it’s time to discover what some of the best ETL tools for big data analysis are.

Related Reading: How Does ETL Work?

The Best ETL Tools for Big Data

Essentially, there are four main players when it comes to ETL tools for big data, including Integrate.io, 

Informatica PowerCenter, Jaspersoft ETL, and Talend Open Studio for Big Data. Read on to learn more about these tools, their pros and cons, and what each has to offer your organization. 

ETL Tool for Big Data #1: Integrate.io

We’d be remiss here if we didn’t mention Integrate.io as one of the best ETL tools for big data analysis. The Integrate.io platform offers a complete toolkit for building data pipelines, including a visual drag-and-drop package designer that makes it easy for even non-technical users to define robust big data ETL workflows. Integrate.io comes with more than 100 pre-built integrations with popular data stores and SaaS applications, so that you can get your big data ETL up and running right away.

Integrate.io is well-reviewed on the business software review site G2, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars and the designation of  “Leader” in the field of ETL tools. Reviewer Lally B. praises Integrate.io’s ease of use, writing:

“We were looking for an easy way to compile/manipulate large amounts of data from a number of sources. Integrate.io has provided a solution that has made prototyping and development easy, fast and reliable.”

Additionally, as the general manager of a small business, Jamie B has this to say about Integrate.io's customer support:

“What we love best about Integrate.io is the near real-time support we get from the team. Integrate.io's point of difference is the customer support we receive. The product itself is good. Easy to use at a high level. The people at Integrate.io are the difference - which is unusual for Cloud proposition. A nice change from dealing with a faceless machine.”

Raymond Matos, director of ad technology at Medialets, also gives Integrate.io a rave review:

“Integrate.io's user interface was by far better than anything else I'd seen as an ETL solution. Just an intuitive drag and drop. Nothing to install. Once the data pipeline is created, it's simple. Integrate.io has simplified the task of moving data or transforming data from one set to another set.”

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ETL Tool for Big Data #2: Informatica PowerCenter

If you’re looking for high-powered ETL for massive and/or complex datasets, Informatica PowerCenter might be the solution for you.

Informatica PowerCenter is part of the Informatica cloud data management suite and is designed for large enterprises that need top-shelf data integration capabilities. G2 reviewer Victor C. calls PowerCenter “probably the most powerful ETL tool I have ever used.” The benefits of Informatica PowerCenter include high performance and a wide range of integrations, including both SQL and NoSQL databases.

However, the common criticisms of PowerCenter focus on the tool’s challenging learning curve and high cost. In his G2 review of PowerCenter, data warehouse administrator Michael R. notes: “The cost associated with just implementing the core product is very large. Charging extra for management tools (in-client source control, metadata manager, etc.) is untenable for my organization, and management of the tool is haphazard without them.”

ETL Tool for Big Data #3: Jaspersoft ETL

Jaspersoft ETL, also known as JasperETL, is an open-source ETL and data integration tool that is part of the TIBCO Jaspersoft suite of business intelligence software.

Because JasperETL includes integrations with big data solutions such as Hadoop and MongoDB, it’s a smart choice for ETL pipelines that include these technologies. Note that JasperETL has been built in the Java programming language, and developers will need to be familiar with Java and SQL in order to use the tool.

JasperETL has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars on the business software review website Capterra. Reports developer Nathan M. calls JasperETL “the best open-source reporting framework,” adding: “I've found their reporting solutions to be reliable and versatile... I've integrated Jaspersoft into many projects over the years.”

However, other JasperETL reviews are more of a mixed bag. One reviewer writes: “If you need a bare-bones BI tool, this will work... It takes way more work and time to produce a professional-grade deliverable in Jaspersoft than it does in any other BI tool I have used.”

ETL Tool for Big Data #4: Talend Open Studio for Big Data

Like JasperETL, Talend Open Studio for Big Data is an open-source ETL big data tool, included as part of Talend’s data management software suite. Open Studio for Big Data includes a drag-and-drop interface and many pre-built connectors and components to provide a more user-friendly experience.

In particular, Open Studio for Big Data plays well with Hadoop, including a job scheduler for YARN and integration with Kerberos security. The tool also easily integrates with AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle and SQL Server databases, Saas applications, and much more.

The entire Talend Open Studio suite has an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2. One reviewer writes: “Talend Open Studio is the best in terms of ease of code development, maintenance, and migration to different environments.”

However, multiple reviews mention that the tool can suffer from memory and performance issues. One reviewer gives a generally positive recommendation of Talend Open Studio, but also discusses the tool's drawbacks: “The software is a bit difficult to get used to at first, but believe me, it has everything you need to extract your data for any kind of file. Once you get used to it, it’s just drag and drop.... It’s a bit heavy on the RAM and you only can edit the components using Java. Also, it doesn't have an Elasticsearch connector (only MySQL) so I had to create my own connector.”

Related Reading: Top 7 ETL Tools for 2021

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The Use Cases of ETL Tools for Big Data

Given the wide range of ETL tools for big data, in which situation should you use the 4 tools discussed above?

  • Integrate.io: You’re looking for a versatile ETL big data tool with an easy learning curve, as well as connectors and integrations to get a jumpstart on building your pipelines.
  • Informatica PowerCenter: You have very high-demand big data workloads, a large budget, and a staff of ETL experts on hand.
  • Jaspersoft ETL: You want to use an open-source ETL tool, you prefer working in Java, or you want to work primarily with big data technologies such as Hadoop and MongoDB.
  • Talend Open Studio: You want to use an open-source ETL tool that is part of a mature suite of big data and business intelligence software.

Related Reading: How To Simplify The ETL Code Process with Low-Code Tools

How Integrate.io Can Help

If you’ve been looking for the right ETL tools to handle your large datasets, then Integrate.io is here to help. While there are other platforms and tools available, Integrate.io is leading the pack as a superior data integration platform with top features that fit a wide range of ETL use cases. The best part about working with Integrate.io is that the difficult tasks of data management and finding the right tools to work with your data are made simple. 

Are you ready to discover more about what the Integrate.io platform can provide to your company? Contact our team today to schedule a 7-day demo or pilot and learn how Integrate.io can start helping you reach your goals.