Google BigQuery is a robust and scalable cloud-based data warehouse that allows storing and analyzing vast amounts of data. BigQuery is a natural choice if your data already exists on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). But before you leverage the platform, you need to extract the source data, carry out transformations, and load the data into your data lake or warehouse. This is where the ETL process and the ETL tools play a significant role.
This article delves into essential factors to consider when selecting the ETL tool for your Google BigQuery Storage environment. We’ll also explore some of the popular BigQuery ETL tools, their features, and their capabilities.
3 Key Takeaways from The Article:
- Google BigQuery is a fully managed, serverless, petabyte-scale analytics data warehouse.
- To determine which ETL tool best fits your needs, factors like scalability, functionality, data privacy, security, compliance, and pricing model should be considered.
- Some of the leading ETL tools for Google BigQuery Architecture are Integrate.io, Google Datastream, Talend, Hevo, and Apache Spark.
Table of Contents
- What is BigQuery?
- Key Considerations for Choosing an ETL Tool
- Popular ETL Tools for Google BigQuery Storage
- ETL Tool Comparison
- Use cases
What is BigQuery?
Google BigQuery is a fully managed, serverless, petabyte-scale analytics data warehouse that enables businesses to analyze all their data quickly and gain valuable insights for business intelligence. BigQuery SQL allows you to query large amounts of data, and it can scale to handle even the most demanding workloads. BigQuery supports a wide variety of data sources, including CSV files, JSON files, and Google Cloud Storage buckets.
Here are some of the key features of Google BigQuery:
- Scalability: BigQuery can handle petabytes of big data, so you can easily store and analyze all of your data in one place.
- Speed: Using BigQuery, you can derive insights from terabytes of data quickly using SQL queries.
- Cost-effectiveness: With its pay-as-you-go pricing and effective resource usage, BigQuery is a very cost-effective way to store and analyze large amounts of data.
- Ease of use: The user-friendly interface, documentation, and tutorials make BigQuery easy to use, even for non-technical users.
- Secure: BigQuery takes care of data encryption, access controls, compliance, etc., making it a secure platform.
- Real-time data ingestion: BigQuery allows you to perform real-time data analytics, making it a preferred platform for data integration.
Key Considerations for Choosing an ETL Tool for Google BigQuery Storage
There are many ETL tools available, so how do you choose the right one that fits your business requirements? A well-chosen ETL solution drastically impacts the performance, accuracy, and scalability of your data workflows.
Although choosing the ETL tool depends on your business needs, some baseline factors can be considered while choosing the tool, here are the key factors:
- Scalability: The chosen ETL tool must be able to scale up or down to cope with growing data volumes without compromising performance. The ETL tool should have features like data processing distribution across multiple nodes or clusters, to efficiently deal with increasing workloads.
- Functionality: The ETL tool should offer comprehensive functionality to cover all aspects of the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) data warehousing process, ensuring smooth data flow. Advanced data transformation capabilities, like data cleansing, enrichment, and aggregation, are essential to ensure high data quality and accuracy.
- Compatibility with BigQuery Architecture: To ensure efficient data transfer and processing, it is important that the ETL tool seamlessly integrates with BigQuery's architecture. The ETL tool should support the data formats and data structures used in BigQuery to avoid compatibility issues and reduce data transformation overhead.
- Data Privacy, Security, and Compliance: The ETL tool must-have features like data encryption, role-based access controls, and data anonymization to ensure data integrity and confidentiality. The ETL tool must also comply with industry-specific regulations and standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA.
- Cost implications: Consider the pricing model of the ETL tool and how it aligns with your budget. Some tools charge based on data volume or processing time, while some charge based on the number of resources used, irrespective of the volume of data.
Popular ETL Tools for Google BigQuery Storage
Several popular ETL tools can be used with Google BigQuery. After exploring a variety of such tools based on their features, functionalities, ease of use, scalability, and pricing, we came up with the top 5 ETL tools:
Rating: 4.3/5 (G2)
Integrate.io is a cloud-based data integration tool that allows businesses to extract, transform, and load data from multiple sources into Google BigQuery with automation. The platform offers advanced ETL and Reverse ETL capabilities.
Integrate.io has a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that allows you to quickly set up workflows and deploy pipelines. Unlike other tools, Integrate.io can be used by businesses without extensive technical training.
- ETL & Reverse ETL: Integrate.io supports both ETL and Reverse ETL, allowing you to move data from one system to another in either direction.
- ELT & CDC: With its ELT and CDC capabilities, Integrate.io allows faster data replication. This helps you unify your data every 60 seconds and keep your data up-to-date with real-time changes.
- Data Observability: Integrate.io allows you to set up alerts, monitor your data pipelines and troubleshoot problems, ensuring you’re updated on your data changes.
- 100+ in-built connectors: Integrate.io has over 100 built-in connectors, making it easy to connect to a wide range of data sources and platforms like Google BigQuery.
- Over 220 data transformations: Integrate.io supports over 220 data transformations, allowing you to cleanse, transform, and enrich your data.
- Low-code/no-code operation: Integrate.io makes it easy to set up and manage your data pipelines without extensive technical knowledge.
Integrate.io’s ETL and Reverse ETL platform features straightforward and flexible pricing per connector used. Irrespective of the volume of data, the platform only charges a flat rate per connector.
Integrate.io features usage-based three pricing plans:
- Starter plan ($15,000 per year): Unlimited packages, transfers, and users, two connectors, and a scheduling cluster.
- Professional plan ($25,000 per year): Better suited for larger organizations, 99.5% SLA, advanced security features, and two scheduling clusters.
- Enterprise plan (customized based on your needs): Best for enterprises with advanced data integration requirements. Unlimited REST API connectors, source control development, a QA account, a SOC2 audit report, and more.
2. Google Datastream
Rating: 4.4/5 (G2)
Google Datastream is a serverless, fully-managed data replication service that makes it easy to move data to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) using data loading mechanisms.
- Serverless and fully managed: Datastream takes care of managing infrastructure, all the administration, and maintenance.
- Wide range of data sources: Datastream can replicate data from a wide range of data sources.
- Low latency: Datastream can replicate data with low latency, so you can quickly get your data into GCP.
- High availability: Datastream is a highly available service, so you can be confident that your data will be replicated despite an outage.
Google Datastream pricing is based on the number of GBs processed, depending on the region of Datastream availability.
Rating: 4.0 (G2)
Talend is an on-demand ETL data platform designed to streamline the ETL process and data management tasks. The tool offers diverse connectors and an intuitive user interface allowing businesses to quickly build and deploy ETL pipelines.
- A drag-and-drop interface: Talend's intuitive interface makes it easy to create and manage data pipelines.
- A wide range of connectors: Talend supports a wide range of data sources, including relational databases, NoSQL databases, and platforms like Google BigQuery.
- A variety of transformation options: Talend offers a variety of transformation options, allowing you to carry out data-cleaning tasks.
- Built-in data quality checks: Talend includes built-in data quality checks, which can help you ensure that your data is accurate and consistent.
Talend offers a 14-day free trial, further pricing details have not been disclosed.
4. Hevo Data
Rating: 4.3 (G2)
Hevo is a cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) integration platform that helps businesses move data from a variety of sources to Google BigQuery, AWS, Snowflake, and other cloud data warehouses. HevoData offers a wide range of features.
- 150+ connectors: HevoData supports a wide range of data sources, including relational databases, NoSQL databases, and cloud storage.
- A variety of transformation options: HevoData offers a variety of transformation options, allowing you to cleanse, transform data, and enrich your data.
- Schema management: Hevo Data's automatic schema detection and handling capabilities help you manage schema changes.
The free tire allows users to ingest up to 1 million records, followed by $239/month for additional features.
5. Apache Spark
Rating: 4.1 (G2)
Apache Spark is an open-source cluster computing framework that can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including ETL. Spark is a powerful and versatile tool that can be used to process large datasets quickly and efficiently.
- Speed: With its distributed computing framework, Spark can process large datasets much faster than traditional ETL tools.
- Scalability: Spark is scalable, able to handle even the most demanding ETL workloads.
- Flexible: Apache Spark allows a variety of ETL operations. The tool provides several data sources to extract the data, and many destinations like Google BigQuery to load the data.
Companies can use Spark for free to process the data.
Comparison and Evaluation of ETL Tools for Google BigQuery Storage
ETL & Reverse ETL, ELT & CDC, Data Observability, 100+ in-built connectors, Over 220 data transformations, Low-code/no-code operation
Usage-based pricing: Starter plan ($15,000 per year), Professional plan (25,000 per year), Enterprise plan (customized based on your needs)
Serverless and fully-managed, Wide range of data sources, Low latency, High availability
Based on the number of GBs processed, depending on the region of Datastream availability
Drag-and-drop interface, Wide range of connectors, Variety of transformation options, Built-in data quality checks
150+ connectors, Variety of transformation options, Schema management
Free tier for up to 1 million records, $239/month for additional features
Speed, Scalability, Flexibility
Free to process the data
Now that you know the ETL tools and how to choose them, let's walk through some of the use cases, which tool to use, and its strengths and weaknesses.
Use case 1:
A large e-commerce company wants to move data from its on-premise database to Google BigQuery. The company wants a scalable and easy-to-use solution to track real-time customer behavior and sales data.
In this case, Integrate.io would be a good solution because it offers a wide range of features that are well-suited for this use case.
Integrate.io's ELT capabilities allow the company to keep its data updated, and its 100+ built-in connectors would make it easy to connect to the on-prem database and load the data into Google BigQuery Environment.
The low-code/no-code operation and drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for the company to set up and manage the data pipelines without extensive technical knowledge.
- Drag-and-drop interface: Integrate.io offers a drag-and-drop interface to design pipelines, allowing even non-technical users to quickly create workflows.
- Security: Integrate.io provides a couple of security features like access control, Field Level Encryption, Key authentication, etc. which keep your data and information secure.
- Customer Support: As per the reviewers, Integrate.io provides “near-real-time” support. You are assigned a personal integration specialist for unlimited customer support - be it through phone calls, video calls, text, or email.
- The drag-and-drop interface can get a bit tough when working on setting up complex pipelines.
- At times when a pipeline encounters a failure, finding the underlying cause can become challenging.
Use case 2:
A small business wants to move data from its on-premises database to Google BigQuery. With a limited budget, the company needs a solution that is easy to use and scalable.
In this case, Talend would be a good solution because it offers a wide range of features that fit the needs of the company. Talend's drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for the business to easily set up data pipelines. Talend's open-source platform will allow the business to save money on licensing fees.
- Open-source platform: Talend is an open-source platform. This can save businesses money on licensing fees.
- Wide range of connectors: Talend supports a wide range of data sources and destinations, making it easy to connect to different data types.
- Built-in data quality checks: Talend includes built-in data quality checks, which help businesses to keep their data accurate and consistent.
- Performance: Talend can be slow for large data sets.
- Complexity: Talend can be complex to use for large data pipelines.
- Support: Talend's support can be slow to respond.
Use case 3:
A medium-sized company wants to shift the on-prem database to Google BigQuery and analyze the on-prem data to gain insights into customer behavior and improve its marketing campaigns.
In this case, Hevo Data would be a good solution. Hevo Data offers 150+ connectors which makes it easy for the company to extract data from its on-premises sources, transform and load it into Google BigQuery.
Hevo Data Strengths:
- Ease of use: Hevo Data is a cloud-based platform that is easy to use, even for non-technical users.
- Automated data pipelines: Hevo Data's automated data pipelines can save businesses time and money.
- Wide range of connectors: Hevo Data supports a wide range of data sources, making it easy to connect to different data types.
Hevo Data Weaknesses:
- Limited customization: Hevo Data offers limited customization options, which may not be suitable if the company wants to build complex data workflows.
- Limited support for complex data transformations: Hevo Data offers limited support for complex data transformations, this can be a limitation for businesses with complex workflows.
By now, you understand the significance of choosing the right ETL tool. There are many factors to consider when choosing an ETL tool for your Google BigQuery Storage environment.
The most important factors include scalability, functionality, data privacy, security, compliance, cost implications, and lastly compatibility with BigQuery architecture.
Selecting the right ETL tool can make the ETL process efficient, saving you time and money. To truly understand which ETL tool aligns best with your business requirements and goals, it is better to explore each tool and its services carefully. Leveraging the free trials provided by the tools, you can analyze and evaluate the tools’ services over your requirements.
Among the ETL tools featured, Integrate.io stands out with its set of enterprise-level features. The tool offers extensive features from data integration and migration, CDC, ETL/ELT, API Management, and others, at a fraction of the cost compared to other tools. Integrate.io also provides near-real-time customer support to help resolve any queries.
Are you ready to streamline your data integration and unleash the full potential of Google BigQuery Storage? We encourage you to try out Integrate.io and experience its powerful features firsthand.