ETL is a software application that is able to extract data from one database, transform it and load the newly-defined data into a data warehouse.
Just about every manufactured thing has various pieces of data attached to it: an inventory number, a bar code, a purchase order, an invoice number, a warranty, and so on. Those numbers reside in databases. In some cases, a number of different databases may record the same event or item using a code that is specific to each.
Organizing the Data
All organizations need to be able to mine the data that exists in various databases to be able to use it to their advantage. In the context of a Business Intelligence model, enterprises want to exploit all the data that are already available to them, but that remain inaccessible.
Fortunately, there is a software application that is able to extract data from one database, transform that data while it is in transit, and then load the newly-defined data into a data warehouse, from which they can be exploited to serve the company. It is known as an ETL application (for Extract-Transform-Load Application). This process is very flexible and applied widely.
The data (extracted from various databases) are reconfigured in such a way that they become available for new purposes. These data are given new life in their new data warehouses. They now exist in a form that allows programmers to write ETL applications to serve the interests of the company.
The company's executives determine what kind of reports would help them to run their business more smoothly, more effectively, and more profitably. Once the old data is available in data warehouses, programmers can write ETL apps to generate reports that address those needs.
Transforming the Data
Preparing the old data for its new life can be a complex process. They may have been extracted from various databases, each of which had its own format. To meet the business and technical needs of the data warehouse, the old data may have to go through one or multiple transformations. When different codes for the same information have been used in various databases, they must now be standardized for use in their new data warehouse. For instance, data that represent gender may be coded as “Male” and “Female” in one database, but “1” and “2” in another. In other instances, programmers might need to select only part of the data for transport, to pivot rows into columns, or to correct errors before loading them in their data warehouse.
The goal of the many transformations required is to prepare the data for use to create the needed reports.
Choosing the Right ETL Application
There are a great, and increasing, number of ETL applications from which to choose to mine the information and generate the reports that will profit your company. One factor to take into consideration is the size and complexity of your organization. The more complex you are, the more sophisticated the ETL application will be.
Thoransoft can determine whether it would be a profitable investment for you, contact us now.