In the current business environment, data is at the core of any modern organization. Over decades, companies have devoted massive time and effort to combine and consolidate data from different enterprise applications such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Resource Management), POS (Point of Sale), and more for analysis.
The present data-driven businesses require the flexibility to work with both structured and unstructured data and need to integrate data from various sources into a single database. The right systems should be in place and provide quick data insights without having to build big data inscription scripts and data models. If this was not so and data integration was a time-consuming affair, the data sets would be obsolete by the time the data integration process was completed.
Before coming to the details of an ideal Snowflake data integration tool, it is necessary to see how data integration works.
Data integration is the process that is used to merge data from different sources into one single unified window that offers information that is not only valuable but also ready for action and analysis. Organizations find it essential if they have to grow to opt for data integration because of the exponential increase in volumes and the sources of data.
The Right Data Integration Tool
With data integration becoming more of a necessity than an option in businesses, the scope of data integration has greatly widened. Now the process includes data migration, management, and movement, data warehouse automation, and data preparation. Companies, regardless of scope, scale, or industry, depend on data to a great extent to take their growth to the next level and have to select the right data integration tool that works in sync with their data warehouse platforms and related data ingestion tools.
Hence by combining the ideal data integration and ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tools with a cloud-based data warehousing solution, the whole process of integration can be automated as against time and resource-consuming one.
A small overview of ETL –
Extract – Desired Data is extracted from Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Data sets
Transform – Data is transformed/Modified to the desired format for storage
Load – Migration of data to the target database or Data Marts or Data Warehouse
Cloud-Based Data Warehouse and Snowflake Data Integration Tool
In the initial stages of data warehousing, costs were quite high even though that of storage declined over the years. The basic design structure made it depend a great deal on external tools for optimized operations. When the Cloud-based data warehouses were created they offered immense benefits to all.
Computing and storage layers were separated, scalable storage led to lower costs, and data from different sources could be stored at a single place leading to more accuracy than traditional databases. Customized pricing strategies led to a substantial reduction in maintenance and operations costs.
Snowflake is an analytic data warehouse offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS), operating on cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The storage resources can be accessed separately from computing resources and can be scaled and used independently of each other. Hence data loading and unloading can be done without concern about workloads and running queries.
The Snowflake data integration tool can be handled using both the ELT and the ETL processes though ELT is more acceptable within the Snowflake architecture. This cloud data platform matches seamlessly with a host of top data integration tools such as Fivetran, Informatica, Matillion, Snaplogic, Stitch, Tableau, Talend, and more. An advantage of Snowflake is that through simple commands it supports the transformation of data while it is loaded into a table thereby easing transformations in the ETL pipeline.
Snowflake Data Integration ETL Tool
A data warehousing environment often combines data from unrelated sources. Hence users sometimes have to deploy variations of the standard extract, transform, and load (ETL) tool that is automated and scheduled to process and analyze heterogeneous data. Having the right Snowflake data integration tool is critical to ensure that data flows seamlessly from the primary sources to end-user data scientists or analysts. ETL is a critical component of data integration along with data warehouse automation, data preparation, and data migration and management.
An optimized ETL tool can filter, join, reformat, merge, aggregate, and integrate with BI applications. It can also collect, read, and migrate data to Snowflake or multiple data sources or structures and track updates or changes to data streams, thereby avoiding full data refreshes.
Benefits of Snowflake Data Integration Tool
Snowflake supports transformation both during (ETL) or after loading (ELT) and works seamlessly with several data integration tools. The latest cutting-edge tools and self-service pipelines in data engineering are doing away with conventional tasks like manual ETL coding. Snowflake provides easy ETL or ELT options enabling data engineers to focus more on critical data strategies and pipeline optimization projects.
Additionally, when Snowflake is the data lake and data warehouse, ETL can be done away with and pre-transformation and pre-schemas are not needed.