Five things you need to know about ETL tools:
- ETL is a data integration method that extracts data from a source, transforms it into the correct format for analysis, and loads data into a centralized location like a data warehouse.
- Manual ETL requires data engineers to build complex data pipelines — a process that requires lots of coding.
- ETL tools, however, streamline this process and allow businesses like yours to move data between different locations without worrying about data extraction, schemas, ingestion, APIs, and other complicated factors.
- Not all ETL tools are the same. This list features the best products based on features, capabilities, and user review scores.
- Integrate.io is a no-code data pipeline platform that executes ETL without the heavy lifting.
Organizations of all sizes and industries now have access to ever-increasing amounts of data, far too vast for any human to comprehend. In 2022 alone, the world produced and consumed 94 zettabytes of data — an almost unimaginable number. However, all this information is useless without a way to efficiently process it, analyze it, and reveal the valuable data-driven insights hidden within the noise.
ETL (extract, transform, load) is the most popular method of collecting data from various sources and loading it into a centralized target system like a data warehouse. Normally, ETL requires manual data pipeline-building and complex coding, which can take weeks or months to implement in some cases. ETL tools, however, automate this process, allowing organizations of all sizes to move data between locations, even if they lack data engineering experience.
Depending on the tool, most of the above process is completely streamlined. Pre-built data connectors will extract, transform, and load data to a target system with little or no code. That removes the need for complicated data extraction, ingestion, managing APIs, and other tasks.
ETL is essential for data warehousing, and analytics, but not all ETL software tools are created equal. The best ETL tool may vary depending on your situation and use cases. Here are 7 of the best ETL software tools for 2023, along with several others that you may want to consider:
Table of Contents
- 1. Integrate.io
- 2. Talend
- 3. Informatica PowerCenter
- 4. SAS Data Management
- 5. Oracle Data Integrator
- 6. Stitch
- 7. Fivetran
- 7 More ETL Tools to Consider
- Use Cases for the Top ETL Tools
- How Integrate.io Can Help With ETL
Integrate.io is a no-code data pipeline platform that comes with out-of-the-box ETL connectors, allowing you to move data between locations without any of the hard work. Integrate.io’s philosophy is to streamline the data integration process and make life easier for your team. Try Integrate.io yourself today with a free 14-day trial. After signing up for your trial, schedule your ETL trial meeting and learn what to expect from your data integration project with an expert.
Integrate.io is a data pipeline platform that makes ETL simple! It comes with a simple, intuitive visual interface for building data pipelines between multiple sources and destinations, removing the pain points of data integration. This platform also performs ELT, ReverseETL, data warehouse insights, data observability, and fast Change Data Capture (CDC), providing more data integration options than ever.
Some of the other benefits of using Integrate.io include less reliance on data engineers, enhanced data quality, more accurate data transformation, and improved compliance with GDPR and other guidelines,
During the ETL process, Integrate.io extracts information from a source such as a database, app SaaS tool, customer relationship management (CRM) system, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Then the platform transforms data to comply with the data warehouse’s standards and adhere to data governance frameworks like GDPR. Finally, Integrate.io loads data into a centralized repository for analytics.
More than 100 popular data stores and SaaS applications work with Integrate.io's pre-built connectors. The list includes MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Salesforce, Slack, and QuickBooks.
Scalability, security, and excellent customer support are a few more advantages of Integrate.io. Moreover, platform Field Level Encryption allows users to encrypt and decrypt data fields using their own encryption key.
Thanks to these advantages, Integrate.io has received an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars from 161 reviewers on the G2 website. It has also been named one of G2’s “Leaders” in the field of ETL tools for fall 2022. One verified user says: “Integrate.io was easily implemented for the vast majority of our business needs. You can replicate your business's data jobs, and the team at Integrate has been excellent to work with.”
Talend offers a suite of ETL data integration solutions. The Talend platform is compatible with data sources on-premises and in the cloud and includes hundreds of pre-built integrations.
While some users will find the open-source version of Talend (Talend Open Studio) sufficient, larger enterprises will likely prefer Talend’s paid Data Integration platform. This version of Talend includes additional tools and features for design, productivity, management, monitoring, business intelligence, and data governance.
Talend Data Integration has received an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on G2, and the website highlighted the platform’s fast implementation in the winter of 2022. Reviewer Jan L. says Talend Data Integration is a “great all-purpose tool for data integration” with “a clear and easy-to-understand interface.”
3. Informatica PowerCenter
Informatica PowerCenter is a mature, feature-rich enterprise data integration platform for ETL workloads. PowerCenter is just one tool in the Informatica suite of cloud data management tools.
As an enterprise-class, database-neutral solution, PowerCenter has a reputation for high performance and compatibility with many different data sources, including SQL and non-SQL databases. You can use it to move structured and unstructured data from locations and improve your data integration projects.
The negatives of Informatica PowerCenter include high prices and a challenging learning curve that can deter smaller organizations with fewer technical chops. Although Informatica provides various tutorials and resources on its website, users might struggle with its learning curve, making other ETL tools on this list a better fit.
Despite these drawbacks, Informatica PowerCenter has earned a loyal following, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2— enough to be named one of the website's top 50 IT infrastructure products in 2022. Reviewer Victor C. calls PowerCenter, “probably the most powerful ETL tool I have ever used.” However, he also complains that PowerCenter can be slow and doesn't integrate well with visualization tools such as Tableau and QlikView.
4. SAS Data Management
SAS Data Management connects with various sources and moves data to a supported destination without the need to build ETL pipelines. Whether you want to integrate data from a relational database, transactional database, CRM platform, or another source, SAS Data Management has the ETL features you need.
One of the best features of SAS Data Management is its fast speed when moving data from a source to a warehouse for data analytics. You can ETL data to a warehouse and generate valuable reports and other data visualizations in BI tools for improved decision-making.
When writing this list, SAS Data Management has an average user review score of 4.1 out of 5 stars on G2. Despite its features, several reviewers have called out the platform’s price. One reviewer says the tool “may not be affordable to many companies and individuals.”
5. Oracle Data Integrator
Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is a comprehensive data integration solution that's part of Oracle’s data management ecosystem. This makes the platform a smart choice for current users of other Oracle applications, such as Hyperion Financial Management and Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). ODI comes in both on-premises and cloud versions (the latter offering is Oracle Data Integration Platform Cloud).
Unlike most other software tools on this list, Oracle Data Integrator primarily supports ELT workloads (though it’s still capable of executing ETL), which may be a selling point or a dealbreaker for users. ODI is also more bare-bones than most other tools in this post, and certain peripheral features are included in other Oracle software instead.
Oracle Data Integrator has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on G2. According to G2 reviewer Christopher T., ODI is “a very powerful tool with tons of options,” but also “too hard to learn" and "training is definitely needed.”
Stitch is an open-source ELT data integration platform. Like Talend, it also offers paid service tiers for more advanced use cases and larger numbers of data sources. The comparison is apt in more ways than one: Talend acquired Stitch in November 2018.
The Stitch platform sets itself apart from others by offering self-service ELT and automated data pipelines, making data integration simpler. However, would-be users should note that Stitch’s ELT tool does not perform arbitrary transformations. Rather, the Stitch team suggests that transformations should be added on top of raw data in layers once inside a data warehouse.
G2 users have given Stitch generally positive reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 Stars. The website also named Stitch a “Leader” in the winter of 2023. One reviewer compliments Stitch’s "simplicity of pricing, the open-source nature of its inner workings, and ease of onboarding." However, some Stitch reviews cite minor technical issues and a lack of support for less popular data sources.
Fivetran is a cloud-based ETL solution that supports data integration with Redshift, BigQuery, Azure, and Snowflake data warehouses. One of the biggest benefits of Fivetran is the rich array of data sources, with multiple SaaS sources available and the ability to add your own custom integrations.
Fivetran currently has 4.2 out of 5 stars on G2, where many users praise the platform's simplicity and ease of use. G2 also named this ETL tool a “Leader” for the winter of 2023. Reviewer Daniel H. writes: "We don't have to spend much time thinking about Fivetran, and that's a great sign it's doing what we need it to do. Hooking up new connectors is typically quick and straightforward to do with solid documentation."
Some G2 reviewers, however, have complaints about Fivetran’s consumption-based pricing model. (The platform used to charge customers for the number of connectors used, which can work out cheaper in certain data integration use cases.) In addition, a minority of users have had problems with technical issues and customer support: “Fivetran is a black box, and when there is a problem, it's really difficult to diagnose. Their support line is no prize, either.”
Looking to ETL data from a source to a destination without the hassle? Integrate.io is the data pipeline platform that simplifies every aspect of integration, removing the need for complex code and expensive data engineers. Try Integrate.io yourself with a free 14-day trial. After signing up for your trial, schedule an ETL trial meeting with a data integration expert.
7 More ETL Tools to Consider
While the seven solutions listed above are Integrate.io’s personal recommendations for the top ETL tools, there are plenty of other options to consider. Below, discover seven more ETL tools you might want to add to your tech stack in 2023.
Striim offers a real-time data integration platform for big data workloads. Users can integrate a wide variety of data sources and targets — including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Hadoop — in various file formats. Striim is compliant with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA, and users can define pre-load transformations using SQL or Java.
However, the Striim platform comes with a few drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t include any SaaS (software as a service) sources or targets, and it doesn’t allow users to add new data sources. In addition, the Striim user base appears fairly small, with just one review on G2.
Matillion is a cloud ETL platform that can integrate data with Redshift, Snowflake, BigQuery, and Azure Synapse. Users can create data transformations in Matillion through a simple point-and-click interface or by defining them in SQL.
Unfortunately, Matillion suffers from a similar drawback as Striim does: the number of possible SaaS sources in Matillion is lacking compared to other options on this list. In addition, a reviewer on G2 (where Matillion has 4.4 out of 5 stars) mentions that “the pricing model is difficult for light-usage clients. It is charged based on the time the virtual machine is turned on, not by how many jobs or computing resources are being used.”
Pentaho (also known as Kettle) is an open-source platform offered by Hitachi Vantara and used for data integration and analytics. Users can select either Pentaho’s free community edition or purchase a commercial license for the enterprise edition. Like Integrate.io, Pentaho comes with a user-friendly interface that lets ETL newbies build robust data pipelines.
However, Pentaho comes with its own set of drawbacks, including a limited set of templates and technical issues. Pentaho currently has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars on G2, where some users complain about encountering problems: “Since there are no detailed explanations of the errors on the logging screen, sometimes we cannot find the cause of the error.”
11. AWS Glue
AWS Glue is a fully managed ETL service from Amazon Web Services intended for big data and analytic workloads. As a fully managed, end-to-end ETL offering, AWS Glue is designed to take the pain out of ETL workloads and integrates well with the rest of the AWS ecosystem.
Notably, AWS Glue is serverless, which means that Amazon automatically provisions a server for users and shuts it down when the workload is complete. AWS Glue also includes features such as job scheduling and “developer endpoints” for testing AWS Glue scripts, improving the tool’s ease of use.
AWS Glue users have given the service generally high marks. It currently holds 4.2 out of 5 stars on the G2, where it's been named a "Leader" in the field of ETL tools for the winter of 2023. However, AWS Glue doesn’t make Integrate.io’s list of the seven best ETL tools because it's less flexible than other platforms and typically best suited to users already within the AWS ecosystem.
Panoply is an automated, self-service cloud data warehouse that aims to simplify the data integration process. Any data connector with a standard ODBC/JDBC connection, Postgres connection, or AWS Redshift connection is compatible with Panoply. In addition, users can connect Panoply with other ETL tools, such as Stitch and Fivetran, to further augment their data integration workflows.
On G2, Panoply has received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewer Stacie B. writes: "The best thing about Panoply is how easy it is to import data from multiple sources. Setting up the program and data loading took less than ten minutes."
So why didn’t Panoply make Integrate.io’s list of the seven best top ETL tools? The big issue is that Panoply seeks to offer the dual functionality of both data warehouse and ETL solutions. If you’re already using a different cloud data warehouse and not looking for a change, Panoply is a non-starter.
Alooma is an ETL data migration tool for data warehouses in the cloud. The major selling point of Alooma is its automation of much of the data pipeline, letting you focus less on the technical details and more on data analysis.
In February 2019, Google acquired Alooma and restricted future signups to Google Cloud Platform users. That means any customers using other data warehouses (such as Redshift or Snowflake) should keep looking for an alternate solution.
Nevertheless, Alooma has received generally positive reviews from users, with 4.1 out of 5 stars on G2. One user writes: “I love the flexibility that Alooma provides through its code engine feature… [However,] some of the inputs that are key to our internal tool stack are not very mature.”
14. Hevo Data
Hevo Data is an ETL data integration platform with over 100 pre-built connectors to databases, cloud storage, and SaaS sources. Users can define their own pre-load transformations in Hevo Data using Python. Hevo Data supports the most popular data warehouse destinations, including Redshift, BigQuery, and Snowflake.
One of the biggest limitations of Hevo is the inability to add your own data sources. If you need a new connection, you can only hope that the Hevo developers listen to your feature request. That said, Hevo Data generally has positive reviews on G2, with an average user score of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Use Cases for the Top ETL Tools
No two ETL software tools are the same, and each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Finding the best ETL tool for your business use case will require an honest assessment of your requirements, goals, and priorities.
Given the comparisons above, the list below suggests the type of users that might be interested in each ETL tool:
Integrate.io: Companies who use ETL and/or ELT workloads; companies who prefer an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that non-technical employees can use; companies who need many pre-built integrations; companies who value data security; companies that want to comply with GDPR and other data governance frameworks.
Talend: Companies who prefer an open-source solution (Talend Open Studio); companies that need many pre-built integrations and additional features (Talend Data Integration).
Informatica PowerCenter: Large enterprises with large budgets and demanding performance needs.
SAS Data Management: Large enterprises that require fast speeds when moving data between different locations for data analysis.
Oracle Data Integrator: Existing Oracle customers; companies who use ELT workloads.
Stitch: Companies who prefer an open-source solution; companies who prefer a simple ELT process; companies that don't require complex transformations.
Fivetran: Companies that need many pre-built integrations; companies that need the flexibility of multiple data warehouses.
While Integrate.io can’t recommend the following tools as the top ETL solutions, these platforms might be right for specific use cases:
Striim: Companies that need to comply with GDPR or HIPAA; companies that don't need to add new data sources (especially SaaS).
Matillion: Companies that want to use a simple point-and-click interface; companies that only have a limited number of data sources.
Pentaho: Companies who prefer open-source ETL tools.
AWS Glue: Existing AWS customers; companies who need a fully managed ETL solution.
Panoply: Companies who want a combined ETL and data warehouse solution.
Alooma: Existing Google Cloud Platform customers.
Hevo Data: Companies that want to add their own data transformations using Python; companies that don't need to add new data sources.
How Integrate.io Can Help With ETL
Integrate.io is one of the best ETL tools because it offers the following features:
Pre-built native data connectors for databases, CRM systems, SaaS tools, data warehouses, data lakes, and other sources and destinations
Fast data transformatons
Compliance with GDPR and other data governance frameworks
Other data integration solutions aside from conventional ETL, such as ELT, ReverseETL, CDC, data warehouse insights, and data observability
World-class customer service
Build your own data connectors
Integrate.io is the best way to move data between locations because it only requires a limited skill set, meaning organizations of all sizes can extract, transform, and load data without the steep learning curve.
Integrate.io handles ETL by:
- Extracting data from a data source and placing it in a staging area.
Transforming the data into a suitable format for a destination like a data warehouse. The transformation stage might include checking for inaccuracies, removing duplicated data sets, and ensuring data integration complies with relevant industry standards and legislation like GDPR.
Loading data to a centralized target system, typically for analysis. At this stage, you can run data sets through business intelligence (BI) tools like Tableau, Looker, and Microsoft and generate powerful insights for better decision-making.
Here’s an Integrate.io use case for moving data between two locations:
Say you want to analyze Salesforce data and discover your most valuable customers. Integrate.io’s native Salesforce connector will extract data from the CRM system, transform it into the correct format for data analysis, and load it to a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift. This process requires almost no manual work and allows you to get more value from your Salesforce data!
Integrate.io is the no-code data pipeline platform that makes ETLing data less of a chore. Now you can ETL data to a supported location without dealing with the challenges of data integration. Schedule a demo now.