8 Best Cloud ETL Tools

on Data Integration, ETL • October 19th, 2020 • Write for Hevo

With data growing at the speed of light, modern companies need to integrate data from a diverse set of sources and to do this, robust ETL tools that cater to today’s data needs are a must-have. Managing such complex data needs with traditional ETL tools requires companies to make large investments in terms of engineering bandwidth, physical data warehouses or data centres. 

To overcome all these challenges, companies have now started to shift to Cloud ETL Tools, which provides robust & automated ETL pipelines that users can deploy in a matter of minutes. It also takes away the need to invest in any hardware by allowing users to store their data in cloud data warehouses. 

This article focuses on Cloud ETL Tools and provides you with a comprehensive list of some of the best tools you can use to simplify ETL for your business. It also introduces you to the various factors that you must consider before selecting a tool for your business.

Table of Contents

Understanding Cloud ETL

Cloud ETL.
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ETL stands for extract, transform and load and refers to the process of integrating data from a variety of sources, transforming it into an analysis-ready form and loading it into the desired destination, usually a data warehouse. It helps bring in data and store it in a centralized location, thereby allowing users to use diverse data for analysis.

Traditionally, ETL made use of physical warehouses to store the integrated data from various sources. With Cloud ETL, both, the sources from where companies bring in the data and the destination data warehouses are purely online. There is no physical data warehouse or any other hardware that a business needs to maintain. Cloud ETL manages these dataflows with the help of robust Cloud ETL Tools that allows users to create and monitor automated ETL data pipelines, all through a single user interface. 

Cloud ETL has the following three stages:

Cloud ETL Process.
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  • Extract: It is the process of integrating structured and unstructured data from a diverse set of sources such as databases, data warehouses, marketing tools, CRMs, mobile apps, etc. Cloud ETL simplifies data extraction by allowing users to link and transfer the data in a matter of a few clicks, rather than making them write complex code repeatedly.
  • Transform: It is the most critical part of an ETL process and refers to the process of enriching and transforming data into an analysis-ready form using techniques such as sorting, cleaning, removing redundancy, verifying, etc. 
  • Load: It refers to the process of loading data into the desired destination in a ready-to-use form. Data can be loaded either entirely using the full-loading technique or at scheduled intervals using the incremental loading technique. Cloud ETL apart from loading structured data into data warehouses, also supports loading unstructured data into data lakes, which can then be analyzed using BI tools to draw crucial insights in a quick fashion. 

Some key advantages of Cloud ETL:

  • Cost-Effective: With Cloud ETL in place, businesses can carry out their ETL operations in a fast and effective manner. They need not spend any money on purchasing and maintaining hardware. Further, most of the Cloud ETL services make use of the pay-as-you-go pricing model and charge users only for the resources they consume, rather than hefty fixed costs.  
  • Quick Insights: Cloud ETL services have minimal latency and provide the data in an analysis-ready form in almost real-time and hence makes the job of data analyst easy, allowing them to draw crucial business insights quickly. 
  • Easy Setup: Cloud ETL eradicates the need for having physical devices or servers set up on-premises. Such physical devices not only take a lot of space but also require a lot of maintenance to be done manually.

Factors to consider before selecting a Cloud ETL Tool

Choosing the perfect Cloud ETL Tool that matches all your business requirements can be a challenging task, even for experienced professionals. Here are some of the factors that you must look into before making a choice: 

  • Data Sources: Before making a final tool choice, you must consider the fact that whether these tools support ingesting data from your data sources that you’re currently using or might need in the future. Having a clear idea about this helps eradicate possible ingestion failures and also ensures a smooth ETL process.
  • Selecting a Destination: Cloud ETL Tools only help users or businesses bring in data from their desired sources into a destination of their choice. They never provide users with an in-built warehouse solution, hence selecting the right destination becomes crucial. This requires users to think about whether they are going to use an existing database or set up a warehousing solution to leverage the power of their Cloud ETL Tools. 
  • Simplicity: When selecting the tool for your business, you must also take into consideration the extent to which it will simplify the ETL process. If you choose an ETL tool that requires you to manually code pipelines or have a wide engineering bandwidth to maintain it, it will lead to a lot of long-term problems. Hence, you must choose a tool that not only automates the ETL process but also requires minimal maintenance. 
  • Use Case: One of the most important considerations that a company must look into is its use case. Companies must weigh tools against each other to see if they can meet the business requirements before making a final choice. 
  • Budget: Even though Cloud ETL Tools are cost-effective, there are a diverse set of options available in the market, each of which has a different pricing model. Companies must take into consideration the amount of money they want to invest and then choose a tool that provides maximum functionalities, meets their business requirements and yet stays within their budget.

Best Cloud ETL Tools

Here’s a list of some the best Cloud ETL Tools available in the market, that you can choose from, to simplify ETL. Selecting the right tool for your business needs has never been this easy:

  1. Hevo Data
  2. Skyvia
  3. Xplenty
  4. Talend
  5. Informatica PowerCenter
  6. Fivetran
  7. Stitch Data
  8. AWS Glue

Top 8 Cloud ETL Tools 

Choosing the ideal Cloud ETL Tool that perfectly meets your business requirements can be a challenging task, especially when there’s a large variety of ETL tools available in the market. To simplify your search, here is a comprehensive list of 8 best Cloud ETL Tools that you can choose from and start setting up ETL pipelines with ease:

1) Hevo Data

Cloud ETL Tools: Hevo Data Logo.
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Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline, helps to transfer data from 100+ sources to your desired data warehouse/ destination and visualize it in a BI tool. Hevo is fully-managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

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Check out what makes Hevo amazing:

  • Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Minimal Learning: Hevo with its simple and interactive UI, is extremely simple for new customers to work on and perform operations.
  • Hevo Is Built To Scale: As the number of sources and the volume of your data grows, Hevo scales horizontally, handling millions of records per minute with very little latency.
  • Incremental Data Load: Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
  • Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow and check where your data is at a particular point in time.

Hevo Data Use Case

Hevo provides seamless data pipeline experience to companies. Hevo supports pre-built integration with 100+ data sources and allows data migration in real-time. With its ETL, ELT and data transformation capabilities, you will always have analysis-ready data.

Pricing Model of Hevo Data

Hevo Data Pricing.
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Hevo Data provides users with three different subscription offerings, namely Basic, Starter and Business Plans, with the Basic plan starting at $299/month. Hevo Data also provides users with a 14-day free trial. You can learn more about Hevo Data’s pricing here.

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2) Skyvia

Skyvia Logo.
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Skyvia is one of the most popular Cloud ETL Tools that provide users with robust data integration, migration and backup support. Being a SaaS application, it only requires users to have smooth internet connectivity and a web browser to be able to access it.

Skyvia’s impeccable no-code data integration wizard allows users to bring in data from a variety of sources such as databases, cloud applications, CSV files, etc. to data warehouses of their choice such as Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, etc.

Some of the common issues that you might encounter while using Skyvia is that it doesn’t have fast customer support response times. Similarly, another problem with Skyvia is that it provides less integration support and transformation functionalities.

Skyvia Use Case

Skyvia can be a suitable choice for you if you’re looking for a tool that provides a no-code solution to help you automate your ETL pipelines, and you’re okay with minimal data transformation functionalities.

Pricing Model of Skyvia

Skyvia Pricing.
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Skyvia provides users with four different use cases, namely data integration, backup, query, and connect to choose from, with the basic plan for all them available free of cost. You can choose to pay either monthly or annually based on your business needs.  

For further information on Skyvia, you can check the official website here.

3) Xplenty

Xplenty Logo.
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Xplenty is a robust Cloud ETL Tool that provides an easy-to-use data integration platform and helps you integrate data from a diverse set of sources. Its intuitive user interface lets users set up data pipelines with ease.

It houses powerful data transformation functionalities that allow users to clean, transform and normalise their data into an analysis-ready form. It provides integration support with a diverse set of sources such as on-premise databases, cloud applications, SaaS offerings, etc. such as MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.

Xplenty Use Case

Xplenty can prove to be the right choice for companies that want an easy-to-use no-code data integration platform to manage their ELT and ETL workloads. It can be a good choice for businesses that don’t want to invest much in their engineering bandwidth and prefer leveraging pre-built integrations and functionalities such as drag and drop features.

Pricing Model of Xplenty

Xplenty follows a pricing model where it charges users based on the number of connectors they have used. Every user has to pay a flat price of two connectors per month, and depending upon their usage, the final cost is determined. You will have to contact the Xplenty team for the exact pricing as it doesn’t provide a transparent pricing model.

For further information on Xplenty, you can check the official website here.

4) Talend

Talend Logo.
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Talend is an open-source Cloud ETL Tool that provides more than 100 pre-built integrations and helps users bring in data from both on-premise and cloud-based applications and store it in the destination of their choice. 

With Talend, you can seamlessly work with complex process workflows by making use of the large suite of apps provided by Talend. You can manage the design, testing and deployment of your integrations. It also provides a smooth drag and drops functionality along with an open studio feature for beginners.

Talend Use Case

Talend is a suitable choice for companies that require the flexibility of a diverse set of pre-built integrations and are looking for an open-source ETL solution.

Pricing Model of Talend

Talend Pricing.
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Talend provides users with five different subscription offerings, with the basic plan, known as the Talend Open Source plan, available free of cost. Talend also provides users with a 14-day free trial for the paid subscription plans.

For further information on Talend, you can check the official website here.

5) Informatica PowerCenter

Informatica Logo.
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Informatica PowerCenter is an enterprise-grade data integration platform. It is one of the most robust and well-reputed Cloud ETL Tools in the market and is available as one of the tools in the Informatica cloud data management suite.

It performs exceptionally well and helps integrate data from numerous data sources, including various SQL and NoSQL databases. PowerCenter’s data integration platform is highly scalable, and scales as your business grows to manage your business and data needs and helps transform fragmented data into an analysis-ready form.

Some of the common issues you might face using Informatica is that it has a steep learning curve and requires users some time to learn and understand the platform. Similarly, it can turn out to be an expensive solution for various small businesses.

Informatica PowerCenter Use Case

If your company is a large enterprise that can support expensive ETL solutions and has a challenging workload that requires high-end performance, then Informatica can be the right choice. You must also be ready to invest a large amount of time in learning the platform as it has a steep learning curve.

Pricing Model of Informatica

Informatica Pricing.
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Informatica follows a pricing model where the price depends upon the type and number of your data sources, the in-place security features, etc. Informatica doesn’t provide transparent pricing. The basic plan of Informatica starts at $2000/month. It also provides users with a 30-day free trial.

For further information on Informatica, you can check the official website here.

6) Fivetran

Fivetran Logo.
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Fivetran is a cloud-based ETL tool that delivers high-end performance and provides one of the most versatile integration support, supporting over 90+ SaaS sources apart from various databases and other custom integrations. 

It is fully-managed and helps deploy automated ETL pipelines in a matter of minutes. It has an easy to use platform with a minimal learning curve that allows you to integrate and load data to various data-warehouses such as Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, etc. It further adapts to changes in the API and schema easily.

Some of the common issues that you might face while using Fivetran is that if there’s an error or technical issue, it becomes challenging to figure out the cause of it. Further, Fivetran customer support tends to be slow in responding to your queries.

Fivetran Use Case

Fivetran is a suitable choice for companies that require the flexibility of a diverse set of pre-built integrations.

Pricing Model of Fivetran

Fivetran Pricing.
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Fivetran follows a pay-as-go pricing model and provides users with three subscription offerings, with the basic plan, known as the Starter plan, available at $1/credit. Fivetran charges users only for the services they have used based on the number of data rows a user has created.

For further information on Fivetran, you can check the official website here.

7) Stitch Data

Stitch Logo.
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Stitch Data is an open-source cloud-based ETL tool that is suitable for businesses of all kinds, even large enterprises. It provides users with intuitive self-service ELT pipelines that are fully-automated, allowing users to integrate data from various data sources such as SaaS applications, databases and store it in data warehouses, data lakes, etc.

Stitch doesn’t support much transformation functionalities and requires users to load the data and then transform it. It provides more advanced features to users as they go higher in the pricing tiers.

One common issue that most Stitch users face is the lack of support for some data sources and minor technical errors that occur frequently. Although Stitch has an easy-to-use UI, it can take some time to adjust to the UI.

Stitch Use Case

Stitch is suitable for companies that are looking for an open-source tool that provides a no-code solution to help them automate their ETL pipelines, and are okay with having minimal data transformation functionalities.

Pricing Model of Stitch

Stitch Pricing.
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Stitch follows a pricing model that charges users based on the number of rows they are going to create, either monthly or annually. Stitch provides users with two subscription offerings, with the Stitch Standard plan starting at $100/month or $1000/annum. It also provides an Enterprise plan for which you need to get in contact with the Stitch team. It also provides users with a 14-day free trial.

For further information on Stitch, you can check the official website here.

8) AWS Glue

AWS Glue Logo.
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AWS Glue is one of the most popular Cloud ETL Tools by Amazon, meant for big data analytics. It simplifies ETL workloads and provides exceptional integration support with other AWS ecosystem applications.

It is a serverless offering by Amazon that allows users to make use of the AWS Management Console to run their ETL tasks and shut down the server once their workload is over.

AWS Glue Use Case

AWS is suitable for companies that are looking for a fully-managed ETL solution and have experience of how the AWS ecosystem looks like and functions.

Pricing Model of AWS Glue

AWS Glue follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model. It charges an hourly rate, billed by the second. The pricing is in terms of data processing units at 0.44 per DPU hour. You can learn more about AWS Glue pricing here.

For further information on AWS Glue, you can check the official website here.

Conclusion

This article introduced you to some of the best Cloud ETL Tools available in the market that you can use to simplify ETL. It also provided in-depth knowledge about their features, use cases and pricing. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, that will not only help you transfer data but also transform it into analysis-ready form, then Hevo Data is the right choice for you! It will take care of all your analytics needs in a completely automated manner, allowing you to focus on key business activities.

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