Data is a business’s most valuable asset, but using it effectively can prove difficult. However, you can make things a lot simpler by using data integration tools. With the right tools can extract data from multiple sources, transforming it into a universal format for future analytics. To help you find the best data integration tools for your business data, my team and I did the deep research required to bring you this list:
A no-code data pipeline as a service that extracts data into your preferred data warehouse
Running a successful digital marketing campaign means using data strategically to engage your audience, increase traffic, and generate conversions.
However, most data is not being used effectively. A recent report from Splunk shows that approximately 55% of all generated data is “dark.”
Dark data is data that a business or brand has access to but which it does not actively use. For example, data from social media posts, email newsletters, websites and webpages, and much more is readily available but often ignored and unused.
One of the simplest ways to make sure you’re using all of your data effectively is to use a data integration tool.
The best data integration tools extract data from multiple sources, transform it into a universally readable format, and load it onto a server where it can be analyzed to generate actionable business intelligence that can make more money for you and your business.
What are the Best Data Integration Tools?
Best Overal Data Integration Tool (FREE Trial)
Flowgear allows companies of all sizes to create powerful integrations of application, data, and APIs from a single interface with no coding required.
The cloud-based integration platform empowers industry leaders from across the world to integrate their SaaS applications and create innovative, reusable workflows. With this tool, you can automate repetitive and time-consuming processes to help you increase productivity, deliver customer excellence, and boost your bottom line. As a result, Flowgear is rated very highly on both Gartner and G2, which ultimately leads to it being at the top of our list.
Pros of Flowgear:
- Create enterprise-grade, code-free integrations for your business processes
- Intuitive drag and drop visual designer for ease of use
- A comprehensive library of pre-built connectors, APIs, and workflow templates
2. Hevo Data
Best No-Code Data Pipeline as a Service (Starts from Free)
Hevo Data is a powerful platform that will let you load data from any source into your data warehouse, such as BigQuery, Redshift, Snowflake, etc., for real-time.
This is a no-code data pipeline as a service with prebuilt integrations to over 100 channels and platforms. These ready-to-use integrations cover databases, cloud storage, SaaS applications, SDKs, and streaming services.
You can get started using this fully managed, automated data pipeline solution for free and replicate all real-time data at scale.
Pros of Hevo Data:
- Easy to set up
- Zero maintenance
- Completely automated
- Schema management
- Built to scale
- Has over 100+ connectors pre-built into the platform for most needs, including Databases (MySql, MongoDB, etc.), Cloud Applications (Salesforce, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, etc.), SDK’s and Streaming (REST API, Kafka, Webhooks, etc.), and File Storage (S3, Google Cloud, Amazon, etc.)
Best Data Integration Tool for Enterprise Businesses ($2,000/month)
Informatica PowerCenter is a great enterprise data integration solution. It is a scalable foundation that focuses on providing diverse data integration initiatives, including analytics, app migration, data warehousing, and others.
Businesses can connect and fetch data from multiple sources and easily support the entire integration lifecycle for all businesses from startups to successful enterprise deployments.
Pricing starts from $2000/month and you can sign up for a free cloud trial for 30 days.
Pros of Informatica PowerCenter:
- Universal connectivity
- Role-based tools and agile processes
- Scalability and zero downtime
- Advanced data transformation
- Rapid prototyping and built-in data profiling
Best Forever-Free Data Integration Tool (Free)
Talend Open Studio is a free and open-source software (FOSS) data integration solution that allows users to quickly aggregate, map, and sort data in a no-code interface that is easy for anyone to use.
As one of the top data integration tools, the software is also extremely useful for ETL (extract, transform, load) projects which makes it particularly suited to small to medium-size enterprises.
While it’s great for optimizing on the cost front, the downside of this free software is that its features are limited and it only offers self-service support.
Pros of Talend:
- Offers robust enterprise cloud data integration
- Provides many unified tools to help you develop and deploy unique integration strategies
- Allows you to repurpose big data to any cloud platform
Best Data Integration Tool for Big Data (Pricing not disclosed)
Information Builders is a powerful data integration solution that simplifies big data management through the use of a modern approach to Hadoop-based integration.
The platform is designed to help you turn messy site load data into elegantly integrated systems that drive informed decision-making in your organization.
Pricing is not disclosed on the website, but you can request a demo in order to see if the platform offers all the features you need to allow your data to evolve and adapt in real-time.
Pros of Information Builders:
- Ensures a high level of flexibility, capability, and compatibility
- Provides multiple solutions for data application and B2B integration
- Real-time data sourcing and batching via Hadoop and Spark
Best Enterprise-Class Batch Data Integration Tool
Pentaho has merged with Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Insight Group to create more data-driven solutions with Pentaho Data Integration.
The company, now known as Hitachi Vantara, provides tools for improved data operations everywhere.
Some of the key features of this platform allow you to easily master data management, perform incredible analytics platforms, accelerate innovation within your marketing channels, and build your data ops practice with dedicated products for analytics, AI, and more.
Pentaho Data Integration is a premier batch data integration tool, which means that it uses batch processing to process high volumes of data with relatively little user interaction.
You can download the enterprise-class data integration and analytics software and try it for free by signing up for a 30-day trial on the website.
Pros of Pentaho:
- Pentaho is open-source software ideal for cost-sensitive customers
- The platform has a short learning curve and usage simplicity
- It supports database to flat files, database replication, etc.
- Easy-to-use graphical interface for non-technical users
7. HVR Software
Best for Efficiently Moving High Volumes of Data
HVR Software is designed for enterprise-level data integration that can process large volumes of data with minimal impact on the database.
It offers real-time data analytics and data update with support for real-time cloud data integrations as well. Users can efficiently move high volumes of data on or off premises.
One of its downsides is that it is primarily suitable for large enterprises. Pricing can be obtained by making a request on the website, and you can sign up for a free trial to test drive the software.
Pros of HVR Software:
- Most comprehensive software for scenarios involving common cloud integration
- Accurate, real-time reporting enablement
- Provides support for real-time cloud integrations with a single setup
Best for Complying with Data Integration Best Practices
Xplenty is an ETL solution that provides visualized data pipelines for simple automated data flows involving a wide range of data destinations and sources
The cloud-based platform supports data on and off-premises, including within public and private clouds. You can quickly deploy this solution and get started with data pipeline creation without having to worry about system configuration, maintenance, and updates.
The intuitive and graphical user interface makes it simple for users (technical and non-technical alike) to build effective data pipelines and take advantage of services like data replication, metadata management, data profiling, and much more.
Pros of Xplenty:
- Rest API connector to pull in data from any Rest API
- Centralize and prepare data for BI
- Transfer and transform data between external warehouses or internal databases
A Powerful Platform for Simple, Fast, & Secure Data Integration
ArcESB is a powerful, yet easy-to-use integration platform that proves you don’t need potentially expensive enterprise solutions to perform data integration effectively for your business needs.
The platform helps users connect applications and data in a simple and cost-efficient way through EDI integration and certified secure managed file transfer.
The software runs anywhere with hundreds of no-code connectors for CRM, ERP, marketing, analytics, finance, data warehouses.
ArcESB’s intuitive, low-code flow designer helps you go from installation to partner integration in less than 30 minutes. All you have to do is simply plug it in, configure and you’re good to go.
Pros of ArcESB:
- Completely free core automation framework
- Open architecture that is enterprise-ready but without the enterprise complexity
- Visual, simple, and secure
Best Data Integration Platform for Intelligent Automation
SnapLogic offers an AI-powered data integration software known as the SnapLogic Intelligent Integration Platform.
This tool provides powerful and flexible self-service functionality. The software is designed to help businesses achieve their digital transformation goals by connecting data from everywhere.
It connects IT departments with other lines of business so different teams can make strategic decisions driven by fast, accurate data.
This powerful software comes with a tool that allows users to set up integrations visually with no coding and supports big data, IOT, and cloud-based integrations as well. You can use the software for free for 30 days, and pricing can be requested on the website.
Pros of SnapLogic:
- Supports transaction or event-based integrations that change in real-time
- It provides integration to Big Data platforms such as Hadoop and other NoSQL sources
- Supports a wide range of connectors across Big Data, Enterprise, SaaS, etc.
Best Data Integration Tool For the Entire Integration Lifecycle
Jitterbit is an API integration platform designed to streamline the connection of cloud, on-premise, and SaaS applications.
The company’s main product, Jitterbit Harmony, allows organizations to design, deploy, and manage the entire integration lifecycle.
It also offers a way to add Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology into your applications and combine them in creative ways to come up with new solutions.
AI options include speech recognition, real-time language translation, and a recommendation engine.
Pros of Jitterbit:
- Easily connect SaaS, cloud, and on-premise applications
- Rapidly create new APIs from existing enterprise data or applications
- Infuse applications with artificial intelligence
Best Future-Proofed Data Integration Platform
WhereScape is a platform that helps IT organizations of all sizes leverage automation to design, develop, deploy, and manage data infrastructure faster. With it, you can accelerate the delivery of meaningful data on an easy-to-use platform.
More than 700 customers worldwide rely on WhereScape automation to eliminate hand-coding and other repetitive, time-consuming aspects of data infrastructure projects.
The platform will help you deliver warehouses, lakes, vaults, and marts in days or weeks instead of months or years.
Pros of WhereScape:
- Supports data mart infrastructure
- Easy integration with Hadoop, Microsoft Azure Data Lake, etc.
- Offers data warehouse as a service (DWaaS)
13. IRI Voracity
Best Data Integration Platform for Total Data Management
IRI Voracity is an end-to-end data lifecycle management tool powered by decades of proven technology in performance to help address the data use challenges, such as speed, cost, and complexity.
You can use Voracity in greenfield projects or as a tool to replace or accelerate existing ETL tools.
The platform is ideal for fast, cost-effective ETL operations and is a future-proof solution for multiple data management use cases that involve structured, unstructured, or semi-structured sources.
Pros of IRI Voracity:
- Data cleansing, validation, and enrichment
- Data and database migration and replication
- PII masking (and re-ID risk scoring), and synthetic test data capabilities
Best for Extracting Data into BigQuery
Alooma is an open-source platform that allows real-time data processing, analytics, and more. The software extracts, transforms, and connects all data in the cloud.
The platform’s data pipeline service integrates with a lot of popular sources of data and features end-to-end security, which ensures that every event is securely transferred to a warehouse or other data storage facility. The software also responds to data changes in real-time to make sure no events are lost.
Pros of Alooma:
- Bring data together with native and custom integrations
- Create mashups to analyze user data with any other data source
- Combine on-premise or cloud data storage silos into one location
Best Data Integration Pipeline for Ease-of-Use
Panoply is the easiest way to sync, store, and access all your business data. The platform combines a secure warehouse and in-built ETL for over 60 sources to allow you to spin up storage and begin syncing your data in minutes.
The software works with popular analytics andBI tools and keeps data stack maintenance to a bare minimum by handling tasks like vacuuming and API updates.
You have all the control you need, thanks to Panoply’s table-level data governance. There’s also industry-leading support, ranging from in-depth documentation to expert data architects. Pricing starts at $399/month and you can sign up for a free trial on the website.
Pros of Panoply:
- Automatically store raw data in analysis-ready tables
- Connect all your data without complicated code
- Create core business logic to keep metrics consistent
Best for Connecting Apps and Automating Workflows
Zapier is a data integration and automation software that allows users to integrate web applications, automate workflows, and ultimately get more work done.
Users can integrate more than 1,000 web apps, including Google Docs, Slack, and Quickbooks, among many others.
With this tool, you can seamlessly move and share data across multiple apps. You can use Zapier for free or sign up for a premium plan starting at $19.99/month to unleash the full power of automation and more other data management functions.
Pros of Zapier:
- Pass information between your apps using workflows called Zaps
- Link your web apps with a few clicks, so they can share data
- Build processes quicker and get more done with no code
Best Data Integration Software for Small and Medium Businesses
500apps’ ZapUp app integration software helps in the automation of business operations and the improvement of workflows. It also aids in the elimination of repetitive and time-consuming activities. Software for Automation and Integration in the New Era ZapUp can assist you in taking your technology to the next level. You can automate your redundant tasks and create workflows with only a few clicks. It also includes custom connectors and drag-and-drop tools that allow you to link a variety of programmes to boost your overall productivity. You will also receive real-time updates as new data is added.
- Unlimited Zaps:
Create unlimited zaps that enable collaboration and productivity across your business and automate incessant workflows by integrating apps seamlessly.
- Application Management:
Personalize and manage various apps in a single dashboard and make your processes easier by adding multiple accounts which helps in fast integration of apps across the enterprise and control over how they function.
- Real-time Logs:
Get Real-time insights to provide comprehensive monitoring of your workspaces through a unified view of your workspace usage, task progress, and zap logs.
- Custom Connectors:
Create a custom flow that handles plenty of steps automatically indicating that you save time and don’t have to re-do work every time some change in the data is demanded.
- Visual Builder:
Create workflows for the more difficult and time-consuming tasks with a drag and drop visual builder to get the most out of automation.
Pros of ZapUp:
- Improves the Quality of Marketing Leads
- Boost Speed of Deliveries
- Maintain a Consistent Brand Presence
For $14.99 per user, you get access to 37+ apps including Zapup with a 14 Day Free Trial.
18. AWS AppSync
Best Data Integration Tool for Developing GraphQL APIs
AWS AppSync is a specialized tool designed for sending real-time data updates to web and mobile applications.
The platform is a fully managed service designed to make it easy to develop GraphQL APIs. It does so by taking care of the heavy lifting involved in securely connecting to sources like Lambda, AWS DynamoDB, and more.
You’ll find it just as easy to add caches to improve performance, subscriptions to support real-time updates, client-side information stores that help to sync offline clients, and much more.
Once the software is deployed, AppSync automatically scales the GraphQL API execution engine either up or down to meet your business’s API request volumes.
Pros of AWS AppSync:
- Simple and secure data access
- No servers to manage
- Built-in real-time and offline capabilities
19. IBM App Connect
Best for Speed and Quality of Application Integration
IBM App Connect is an on-premise data integration suite that features tools for both traditional (batch and replication processing) and modern (data virtualization and integration synchronization) requirements.
The company’s cloud integration product is widely considered to be among the best currently available on the market, and additional functionality is expected in the months ahead.
IBM offers several distinct tools for virtually every enterprise use case. You can expose data as REST APIs and take advantage of hundreds of pre-built connectors included on the platform.
Pros of IBM App Connect:
- Provides capabilities for delivering data in real-time to business applications
- Fully secured data migration techniques
- InfoSphere Information Server for end-to-end integration mechanism
Best Data Integration Tool for Creating Automation Chains
IFTTT stands for “If This Then That.” It is a free, web-based application that enables users to create automation chains between other web services and applications, such as Google Drive, Gmail, Facebook, and many more.
Each automation series is referred to as an applet and performs a specific series of events within your apps. Right now, there are over 54 million IFTTT applets that you can use to connect multiple apps with automated tasks.
Developers can use this tool to connect products to the world’s best brands, and the integration platform can be a powerful tool to aid in business growth.
Pros of IFTTT:
- Straightforward and easy-to-use interface
- A large library of services and applets allow for many uses and options
- Additional features and event triggers via apps for mobile devices
Best Universal Cloud Data Platform
Skyvia is a SaaS-based data platform that offers a no-code environment for many data tasks. Its capabilities include data integration, management, and backup, along with workflow automation and data visualization tools.
This cloud-based platform offers contemporary cloud agility and scalability, removing the need for deployment or manual upgrades.
It’s also extremely easy to use and has a no-coding wizard-based solution that meets the needs of business users with no technical skills.
Furthermore, Skyvia’s platform is scalable and comes with flexible pricing plans for each product, making this software perfect for businesses of any size, from a small startup to an enterprise company, with seamless data integration for incoming data.
Pros of Skyvia:
- Connect your cloud, flat, and on-premise data to automate workflows with incoming and outgoing data with data management functions
- Automatically transfer your business data between apps in just a few clicks
- Use REST API to connect with multiple OData consumers and share data in real-time
Best Data Integration Tool With Click or Code Configuration
Tray.io is an API integration platform that allows users to configure complex workflows and integrate applications, as well as add customized logic.
It’s a scalable general automation platform that offers powerful capabilities for business and technical users in any organization.
The product features a click or code configuration for faster setup, as well as a quick ramp-up experience for users. A flexible automation workflow builder makes it easy to integrate the full tech stack, and the platform has a universal connector for any RESTful API.
Pros of Tray.io:
- Integrate your software applications quickly using powerful automated workflows
- Easily integrate your cloud stack to work in real-time with this robust data integration tool
- Scale from simple point-to-point integration to complex workflows for your data warehouse
23. Qlik Connect
Best for Closing the Gaps between Data, Insights, and Action
Qlik is one of the best data integration tools you’ll find in the marketplace. It allows you to create visualizations, apps, and dashboards. It also lets you see the whole story that resides within your data.
Formerly Attunity Connect, Clik Connect is an easy-to-use, standards-based solution that provides you with rapid, easy, and cost-effective data access and availability. The simple drag-and-drop interface creates flexible and interactive data visualizations.
It offers real-time and seamless connectivity and integration with web applications and, you can use natural search to navigate complex information.
Pros of Qlik Connect:
- Supports multiple data file types and sources
- Allows you to instantly respond to interactions and changes
- The platform offers easy security for data across all devices
Best Hybrid Data Integration Platform
Microsoft provides its own SQL Server Integration Services for connecting SQL Server Data of different databases. You can integrate all your data with Azure Data Factory – a serverless fully managed data integration tool.
The platform allows easy migration onto a single data structure, through which all your data can be easily migrated without data loss.
With Microsoft’s data integration platform, you can visually integrate all of your data with more than 90 built-in and maintenance-free connectors. All of this is at no extra cost to you.
You can quickly construct ETL and ELT processes without the need for code, and then deliver integrated data to Azure Synapse Analytics to leverage new and valuable business insights.
Pros of Microsoft:
- Fully-managed, pay-as-you-go cloud service
- Business intelligence support for solving complex solutions
- Rehost SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) in a few clicks
Most User-Friendly Data Integration Automations
Integrately is a user-friendly automation tool that provides one-click connections with many applications. All you need to do to get started is select specific automation and activate it, and that’s it.
As one of the top data integration tools, this platform includes pre-built automation along with features and capabilities to help users develop both simple and complex workflows.
Trusted by over 10,000 customers, Integrately is the highest-rated platform and G2 with over 500 reviews from happy customers.
You can try out the software for free by signing up for a 14-day free trial on the website. There’s also a free plan available, but to unlock more features, you’ll have to sign up for a premium plan starting at $15.99/month billed annually.
Pros of Integrately:
- User-friendly automation tool with data virtualization
- One-click connections with many applications and even used for data migration
- Affordable plans with premium support retain data quality on your system
A Complete Data Visualizer for Both Structured and Unstructured Data
SAP provides a complete data visualizer for structured and unstructured data. The platform has an agile style of integration which allows parallel processing and faster migration using data integration software.
The software’s smart data migration criteria work to manipulate and import data to the system easily, and big data migration processes can be scheduled in batches with smooth data flow.
With this tool, you can connect all the people and departments within your software development company in order to deliver enhanced service to customers thanks to its intelligent ERP.
Pros of SAP:
- Efficient single-user interface for all transactions
- Faster and efficient batch processes
- Analyze deeper insights from unstructured data
The Industry’s Most Complete Portfolio of Data Integrity Products
Syncsort is a well-established data integration tool that includes a huge library of use cases with some of the most common cases like hash aggregations, weblogs, joins, and processing.
The platform allows you to connect today’s infrastructure with tomorrow’s technology so you can unlock the potential of all your enterprise data.
With Syncsort, you can build once, and reuse multiple times. The platform also allows you to scale in and scale out easily, and you can proceed with development without any constraints.
Pros of Syncsort:
- Achieve or exceed service-level agreements
- Collect, process, or integrate data from untapped sources
- Remove the need for constant coding and tuning
28. Adeptia Connect
Best Data Integration Tool for B2B and Ecosystem Integration
Adeptia Connect is one of the best enterprise-class data integration platforms. It allows the user to perform data mapping, data transformation, and data integration, and, thanks to its simple UI, it can be used by non-technical business users.
With the platform’s simple user interface, you can manage all external connections and data interfaces. It provides self-service partner onboarding and has a no-code approach that allows users and partners to easily view, set up, and manage data connections.
The platform also boasts cloud services integration and a suite of pre-built connections, as well as B2B standards and protocol support.
Pros of Adeptia Connect:
- It offers the capability for users to create connections without needing IT professionals
- It provides a simple UI for managing external connections and data interfaces
- It radically reduces the expenses associated with managing a network
Best for Accelerating Flexible Data Integration Solutions
Actian DataConnect is a hybrid data integration tool that allows users to quickly design, deploy, and manage various data integrations, both on-premise or in the cloud.
The database integration software solution allows the design process for the data storage facility or warehouse with load integration and supports different data format conversions.
It also has a wide range of foundation features to help users accelerate flexible integration solutions. There’s a drag-and-drop user interface design that makes for simplicity and ease of use.
You can contact the website directly to sign up for a free trial and start realizing immediate value from your data.
Pros of Actian:
- Power users can use this tool to work directly with metadata management
- A standardized approach to RESTful web service APIs
- Interactive feedback for robust high-performance
Best Fully Managed Data Integration Tool
Liaison is a fully managed data integration tool that provides different types of integration and management operations.
This cutting-edge, cloud-based platform manages a layered architecture that has an internal system built through APIs to allow better code for usability.
Liaison provides an efficient and affordable maintenance-free solution that users can access from anywhere, and the platform uses a web-based electronic data interchange (EDI) solution that can be easily managed through the intuitive interface option.
Pros of Liaison:
- Integrates seamlessly with other third-party reporting tools
- Provides launching point to view and report on the data model
- Helps enterprises connect a number of cloud applications and data sources
31. Dell Boomi
Best Low-Code Data Integration Platform
Dell Boomi is an on-demand, on-premise, and cloud-based data integration tool. The platform uses a simple graphical interface that requires very little coding that allows users to easily configure and automate integrations from a unified reporting portal.
Applications can be connected to services like Workday, SAP, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics GP, etc.
This tool is designed to give you the advantage of speed by connecting everything faster and you can sign up for a free trial on the website to test the system out to see if it’s a good fit for your business.
Pros of Dell Boomi
- It has a lightweight, dynamic run-time engine
- Activity monitoring and event tracking for your data integration process
- Real-time automatic updates with data integration tools
- Allows data to be handled in a central area using a unified reporting portal
- Includes Private-cloud and Public-cloud endpoint connectors
Selecting Data Integration Tool — Additional Options:
If you still haven’t decided on the data integration system that’s right for you and your business, perhaps you’d like to look at another platform that supports data integration. No worries. There are many additional options to those listed above, including Oracle Data Integrator, Fivetran, Exalate, and many others.
Take a look at some of the additional tools for simple and advanced data integration:
- Oracle Data Integrator: Perfect for handling huge volumes of data, especially if you’re using other Oracle products
- Fivetran: A platform to help you centralize data analytics with a pipeline you can trust.
- Exalate: A tool to streamline connections between work management platforms.
- Workato: Leverage machine learning to streamline the automation process.
- Celigo: Integrate data into cloud apps and automate key parts of the process.
- MuleSoft Anypoint Platform: An all-in-one solution designed for technical users.
- Cleo Integration Cloud: Allows organizations to connect to enterprise and SaaS apps.
- Denodo Platform: Offers data virtualization for joining multi-structured data sources.
- Diyotta: A tool with a drag-and-drop user interface and native processing capabilities.
- Keboola: A cloud-based data integration tool that connects various sources of data to analytics platforms.
Types of Data Integration Tools
Data software tools fall into different categories which are as follows:
- On-Premise Data Integration Tools: These are perfect for sourcing data from different channels (local or on-premise) and are installed on local networks or in a private cloud together with optimized native connectors to allow batch loading from different sources.
- Cloud-based Data Integration Tools: These are iPaaS (integration platforms as a service) designed to help integrate data from multiple sources into cloud-based data warehouses.
- Open-source Data Integration Tools: These types of tools are ideal for businesses that want to avoid using proprietary or potentially expensive enterprise solutions, and have complete control over their data in-house.
- Proprietary Data Integration Tools: These primarily differ from open-source tools in that they are built to cater to specific use cases for businesses, and therefore cost more but also you to better master data management for your business.
10 Key Features to Look For in A Data Integration Tool
With the ever-rising number of data integration tools popping up on the market, it can be a bit tricky to choose the right one to suit your needs.
Deciding which are the key features you need to create data pipelines for incoming data, access data from traditional data sources and emerging ones, transfer data to a storage facility, and analyze the collected data can be difficult.
To help you determine what you should look for when selecting the data integration platform that is right for you, your business, and your data, take a look at my list of the 10 key features of data integration tools:
1. Multiple Data Sources Supported: The complexity of your data integration strategy is going to grow as your data flow grows. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a platform that allows combining data from many sources, including traditional data sources as well as emerging sources of data.
2. Scalability: At first, you may require a low volume of data in your integration system. But, as your business begins to scale, you will likely begin combing data from a large number of sources, increasing the volume of data collected exponentially. So, in addition to being able to take on additional data sources, the right data integration tool should allow you to easily scale up (or down) according to your business’s data needs.
3. Data Security and Compliance: Since you will be dealing with mission-critical data, it’s important to ensure that your chosen solution offers the data security resources and expertise required to make sure you’re effectively covered with regards to security, privacy, and compliance.
4. Data Transformations: Data extracted from different applications is available in different formats. In order for you to do meaningful analysis, you need to make sure that all the data gets to the destination seamlessly and in a single common format for quick and easy analysis – which is where data transformation comes in.
5. Real-Time Data Availability: If your integration use case is to bring data to the destination for real-time analysis then you need to make sure your data integration service supports this. Not all platforms do so. For the most part, data is brought in batches to the destination and this creates a lag of a few hours or days.
6. Data Management Functionality: The ability to manage your data as you need without third parties interfering in your business is extremely important. Thus, you need to ensure that your data integration tool permits data management functionality that meets the needs of your business.
7. Data Quality: When selecting a tool for integrating your data, you need to make that the data it provides is high-quality and easily analyzable. Poor data quality can make the data useless, which is a big bummer when you have a huge amount of data collected. You may discover that while some traditional data sources are captured in high-quality, integration of data from emerging sources may lack the quality you desire.
8. Integrating Into Existing Data Stack: Chances are your business already has developed some sort of data stack. When selecting a tool to integrate data, make sure that it is compatible with any software or services you’re already using. For example, Oracle Data Integrator works naturally with other Oracle products but may have incompatibilities with non-Oracle platforms.
9. Ease-of-Use for Non-Technical Users: While data scientists and engineers may be required to sift through big data at larger enterprise companies, many smaller businesses simply can’t afford these high-cost positions. Thus, you need to ensure that the tools you use are designed with a graphical interface that allows for non-technical users to analyze and use data without coding skills.
10. Change Data Capture Functionality: In order to better analyze what happens when you make changes to your data, you want to be able to capture when those changes occurred so that you can look at the data before and after. Change data capture is a set of software design patterns that allow you to do this easily and without any hassle.
How Can Data Integration Tools Help You?
One of the biggest benefits of data integration is that it helps to improve consistency by reducing conflicting or erratic data from the database.
Additionally, data integration allows you to perform processes like data migration and data cleansing while allowing users to fetch exactly what they’re looking for, which helps them to make better use of the information they have collected.
Here are some ways that these tools can help you:
- They provide fast and easy connections
- Allows you to integrate from traditional data sources and new ones
- Data cleansing, to ensure that your data is free of corruption and errors
- Data migration allows you to extract data from different sources and make it available for analysis in one place in real-time
- Get data-based insights to improve your marketing and outreach efforts
- They provide better collaboration internally and with trading partners
- They offer data integrity and enhanced data quality
With the right tools, businesses can pull together massive volumes of data from sales systems, marketing operations software, web traffic, CRM platforms, customer success systems, etc.
You’ll be able to save tons of time and minimize errors that arise when logging in and out of multiple systems to manually input and analyze all that data.
Collaboration is also easier across different departments, and above all, such a unified view of data makes it easy to glean valuable insights instantly so businesses can act on the information quickly and deliver improved results.
How Do Data Integration Tools Work?
The data integration process involves moving data from each source system into a central location. This is called data ingestion and involves extracting data from each source and moving it through data pipelines where it is loaded into data lakes and cloud data warehouses.
Many organizations use data integration tools for this phase, such as ETL tools (extract, transform, and load).
These tools extract data from the source system and then connect to data channels by either querying the source API or using pre-built connectors. The tool then transforms the data so there is consistency at the destination, regardless of where the data originated from.
This might include:
- Changing the format of the data
- Altering units of measurement
- Standardizing time zones, currencies, etc.
The integration tool then loads the transformed data into the destination system. Now the data is ready for use in analytics and reporting.
The ETL process needs to be repeated frequently in order to keep the central data source up to date.
Data Integration Tools Q&A
What is Data Integration?
Data integration refers to the process of combining various data formats and types into a single location (commonly known as a data lake or warehouse) with the ultimate goal of generating useful information that can help you gain valuable insights and solve problems in your business. To accomplish this process, data pipelines are used for the movement of data into the warehouse or other storage facility.
What Is a Data Warehouse?
As part of the integration process, data must be extracted from multiple sources, transformed into a universal format for analysis, and loaded into a data warehouse where it can be accessed by data engineers and scientists.
The process of storing data in a warehouse is called data warehousing. Another aspect of data warehousing is securitizing the hardware, software, and perimeter of the building and property to ensure that your data is protected from any hackers, thieves, or viruses.
What Are Data Pipelines?
Proper integration of data requires the extraction of data from multiple sources through a pipeline that transforms and loads the data into a warehouse.
At times, data loaded into a warehouse will not have been transformed into a universal format until after it is loaded into the warehouse. In these instances, transformation occurs after loading. This has its advantages because it allows data scientists to isolate data from certain sources and time frames, but it has the disadvantage of making the data from loaded multiple sources not immediately available for analysis.
If you’re looking to build a stable data pipelines service for your data, check out my guide to the best data pipeline tools currently available.
Are There Data Integration Jobs?
There are many jobs that will involve accessing, processing, and using data of one sort or another. Even the simplest jobs require taking in data, processing it, and applying it properly to complete a task. However, if you’re looking for jobs that focus on working specifically with data, you may need to look into getting an advanced degree in data science or engineering.
The Best Tools for Data Integration— Summary & Top Picks
Effectively integrating data from your website, email sequences, social networks, and other business marketing channels can ensure that you maintain a competitive advantage within your niche and find ways to reach your followers in the way they want to be reached. This is why you need data integration tools for your business.
When selecting the right data integration tool for your needs, however, there are a few things to consider: the total number of sources from which the tool extracts data, the amount of data that can be extracted simultaneously, the availability of on-site or on-cloud storage options, the amount of coding required to use the tool, the overall costs, scalability, and automation functionality.
My Top Picks of the Best Data Integration Tools are:
A no-code data pipeline as a service that extracts data into your preferred data warehouse