An ETL system, or an extract, transform, load system, is a data integration process that includes extracting data from a source, transforming it while in transit, and loading it into a database. These processes can help your business migrate to newer technologies, expedite the process of updating your database information, and overall manage your digital assets.
Here are some everyday examples of ETL systems.
When a company decides to upgrade its technology, they usually go through a data migration process. This migration includes extracting the data from their old equipment to newer ones through a cabled or Internet connection. The data is then transformed with calculations or concatenations, so the new system is properly populated. Lastly, the data is loaded onto a new disk drive or a database for storage.
Migrating from a legacy system to a modern one has advantages when the information is adequately moved from one system to another. The new system will have different protocols and operating systems that must be considered before the migration. Ignoring these differences will cause the data to be loaded into the new system inaccurately, causing the company to waste more time and money on their migrations.
Another example of an ETL system is when a warehouse’s database needs its information updated according to the market and business changes. These changes can happen daily, weekly, or monthly and should be automated and well-structured to ensure the organization, business partners, and suppliers can function harmoniously. If the warehouse’s database is not properly updated or contains errors, there may be errors in the orders coming or going to and from the warehouse.
Mergers and Acquisitions
When two companies merge, they will most likely need to combine their data. Their data can be anything from customer information, employee accounts, training material, manuals, and other valuable information that will benefit both organizations. When this is the reality of the companies’ merger, they will most likely use an existing database and populate it with the data from the other company. An ETL system will be a key part of these efforts.
They can also acquire a new server to keep their information secure and a cloud server to upgrade their legacy technology. When this happens, they will need an ETL system to take the data from one source to its new storage unit. Sometimes these new systems will have different operating systems or hardware and even communication protocols. This is why ETL systems are appropriate in such situations—they can manipulate existing data to fit a whole new system.
Third-Party Data Management
When a company is in charge of managing third-party datasets, it should have an established ETL system to manage each of these third-party systems successfully. An example of this is when a data management platform uses your personal information like full name, birth date, and phone number that you’ve input into surveys on social media or subscription forms, for example, to create targeted marketing campaigns for you.
This helps companies make better products for their clients as well as improving their customer satisfaction. An ETL system will extract the information you input into these forms and transform it into statistical data to analyze your profile. Then, the data will be loaded into a system that may help the business produce graphics, charts, tables, and images that will help them determine how to market their products to their client base.
In essence, whenever a business needs to take data from a source and transform them into another format for a specific purpose and store that data onto another system, you’ll most likely find an ETF system working behind the scenes.