Build or Buy Reverse ETL? 3 Critical Factors to Consider

• February 16th, 2022

Build Or Buy Reverse ETL- Featured Image


Your decision to transition to Operational Analytics using reverse ETL can become a turning point for your business. It is one step forward to become more data-driven and adapt your products and services to better suit your customers.

Businesses now understand that the speed of decision-making and insights into daily operations are essential to propel innovation and drive creativity. Reports produced weekly, even daily, are no longer fast enough to capture leads (The Short Life of Online Sales Leads. Harvard Business Review. (2011, March)) or define new emerging trends (Operational Analytics Market by End-users and Geography. Technavio. (2019, August)).

Operational Analytics can be facilitated if you either build or buy Reverse ETL. It is essential to your data management stack to make effective and factual decisions. This ensures efficient use of workflows, operational decisions, and systems that drive benefits to your business.

A dynamic trend as such isn’t something new. As the volume of business data and time constraints grow, executive decision-making is being pushed down to operational teams. It is now more vital than ever to provide your employees and teams with accurate data to make operational decisions swiftly and implement them to reap the rewards.

If you are not familiar with Operational Analytics and how it affects businesses, we suggest you read our other blog- What is Operational Analytics and Why You Should Use It?. This will provide a clear picture of why reverse ETL is necessary for your business and why do it now.

But before we dive right into our discussion, we would like to assure you of something.

Your move to operational analytics can be a big one you’ve taken in years, and it is rewarding in the long run. However, this might become a FOMO when you are the first one doing so. 

We have some other studies that underscore the importance of implementing reverse ETL to affirm your move.

Gartner reports that more than half of new business systems will incorporate continuous intelligence that uses real-time context data to improve decisions by the end of this year. To ensure you have a leg up on your competition, it’s high time your decision to turn to operational analytics becomes an action.

If you buy Reverse ETL tools like Hevo Activate, it enables data teams and analytics teams to implement Operational Analytics just as quickly as creating a Business Intelligence (BI) report. But choosing the best reverse ETL option for your company might be difficult. Many factors need to be considered before making that final call. Before we plunge into the debate, let’s evaluate what all it takes to build an operational reverse ETL pipeline.

Table of Contents

Building Reverse ETL Pipelines

If you are entirely new to the “build or buy” dichotomy, we’re here to help. While designing an efficient reverse ETL pipeline, several challenges come up. Let’s inspect each of these problems as you build one.

Step 1: Creating Data Connectors

Pushing data from your warehouse to downstream operational systems requires the complex work of integrating API connectors. If you choose to build reverse ETL yourself, you’ll likely assign the reverse ETL pipeline building process to a team of developers.

When doing so, you’ll accrue employment costs for no less than 3-6 months. Building a new connector pipeline takes an average of 3-4 weeks, and considering your company uses 5 SaaS platforms, that’s a lot of lead time. If your company moves to a new SaaS platform, creating a new connector will elongate the time taken to deliver value. At the end of the day, it is customer value given that matters over your investments.

In contrast, if you buy Reverse ETL solutions like Hevo Activate, it can save you cost, cut down development time entirely, and take you only 10 minutes to set up. It comes with out-of-the-box connectors to popular platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, etc., eliminating the need for your teams to create and maintain them.

Step 2: Maintaining Data Connectors for Long Term

Once your development team deploys data connectors, the job doesn’t finish there. The actual work starts now. Most APIs are not built to deliver real-time changes, which means your company may lose many potential opportunities and real-time data transfers. Because API specifications are bound to change, keeping your connectors up to date becomes an additional burden. Add this to when your company uses 6-7 CRM & SaaS platforms, and it would take a good 2-3 weeks to update your reverse ETL pipelines.

When you buy reverse ETL tools like Hevo Activate, we ensure your teams don’t have to do the constant legwork of updating and maintaining API connectors. We enrich your CRM data with real-time information using no-code automation. Yes, that’s correct. Anyone can use Hevo’s No-Code Automations with almost no technical training and set up their reverse ETL pipelines in minutes.

Step 3: Accounting for Scalability and Reliability

Lastly, your reverse ETL pipelines must be highly reliable, leaving no performance or data delivery compromise. Any delay or wrong data can lead to a loss in your business operations. Once your business starts to grow rapidly, your engineers will have to ensure that your reverse ETL pipelines also scale fast to handle surges in data volume effortlessly.  Controlling all such factors in your reverse ETL pipelines will cost you more money, time, and resources in the long run.

If you buy reverse ETL solutions like Hevo Activate, it can serve as a panacea to all your needs. Hevo Activate uses bulk APIs to fetch incremental data, ensuring a faster data sync operation. Our highly efficient tool features a fault-tolerant architecture to handle your data in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss. In case of any disruption, we notify you immediately, and once the connection is back, Activate automatically resumes your data sync.

Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, every step in building an indigenous reverse ETL solution will require periodic maintenance and the highest level of due diligence. You will need constant monitoring to ensure there aren’t any bottlenecks in your operational workflows.

To Recapitulate

  • Creating API connections between your warehouse and SaaS destinations is a costly and labor-intensive job. 
  • Updating and maintaining new changes in APIs can further complicate your reverse ETL connections, mainly when you use a good number of CRMs and support applications whereas if you consider to buy reverse ETL it will make the process simpler.
  • Designing a reliable, error-free, real-time architecture that can scale up and down as per your needs is tricky and intricate.
  • You can buy Reverse ETL solution which is affordable, efficient, and fault-tolerant, such as Hevo Activate. It can easily handle and manage your reverse ETL transfers securely, hassle-free, and automated manner.

Should you Build or Buy Reverse ETL?

By now, we believe we’ve solved your question of whether to build or buy reverse ETL solution.

But you might ask- “What about customization? Can Hevo Activate cater to my specific needs?”

We indeed get your point. Sure, we can’t ignore the fact that building an indigenous reverse ETL solution can help you better tailor your solution to your business use case and needs, but let us warn you that customizing your reverse ETL solution can get unwieldy and requires a ton of assessment on your current business operations.

You may be hesitant, but spending extravagant amounts of money and labor on creating a reverse ETL solution would be heedless to know that similar functionality is offered if you buy reverse ETL.

Hevo Activate, our product, is trusted and used by thousands of businesses in over 40+ countries. We have assisted companies in Retail & eCommerce, Technology, Consumer Business, Finance, Healthcare, Media & Agency, and many more industries. With such extensive knowledge and experience, we are strongly committed to fulfilling all of your reverse ETL requirements and are constantly evolving to serve our customers’ ever-increasing needs.

Hevo Activate: A fully Functional & Highly Cohesive Solution for your Reverse ETL Needs

In today’s rapidly growing business technology, you need ready-to-use solutions just out of the box. You need solutions that follow industry best practices and provide data sync that is real-time, efficient, secure, and automated.

Build or Buy Reverse ETL: Hevo Activate

You can buy Reverse ETL tools such as Hevo Activate, a fantastic- simpler & speedier solution that runs in the cloud. Hevo Activate can operationalize your business data from data warehouses like Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, and Firebolt to target destinations like CRM, Support Apps, Project Management Apps, and Marketing Apps with no difficulty.

It comes with No-Code Activations to sync data in real-time.
It has a robust, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface that can set up your reverse ETL pipeline in minutes and require absolutely zero maintenance. Using Hevo Activate, even your non-data teams can easily set up reverse ETL pipelines, and we guarantee you they won’t need any training or help from your engineering team.

How Does Hevo Activate Work?

Build or Buy Reverse ETL: Hevo Activate Working

Business Benefits of Using Hevo Activate

  • Intelligent Data Type Conversion: During the mapping action, Hevo Activate automatically transforms the field types of the synced data. 
  • On-Demand Sync: Hevo Activate gives users the option to resume the sync or run sync now to execute data sync as per their demand.
  • Smart Error Handling: Hevo Activate alerts you when there are sync errors. If there are persistent errors, you can stop sync, resolve them, and resume again.
  • Secure: Hevo Activate has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that your employees can handle the data securely and consistently with zero data loss.
  • Live Support: Got Stuck? The Hevo Activate team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support through chat, email, and support calls.
Visit our Website to Explore Hevo Activate


Operational analytics has begun to take root in several industries and it’s fueled by the need to make fast decisions, scale customer-centered decisions and design contextual customer engagements across their journey. If you buy Reverse ETL, it can empower operational analytics, provide minute-to-minute behavior, and equips operational teams to make smarter decisions using relevant, timely insight based on actual data, rather than relying on top-down strategy.

To support this new style of decision-making and customer expectations, organizations need to store, analyze, and report on data fundamentally differently. They require a solid groundwork of seamless integration and fast analytics processing which comes through robust and efficacious reverse ETL tools like Hevo Activate. Using Hevo Activate frees you from the hassles of integrating and maintaining API connectors and allows your business teams to harness the actual value of data quickly and compete smarter.

Need more information?

If you have further questions about designing/using Reverse ETL, buy Reverse ETL, or using Hevo Activate, please contact us. Our website offers an excellent Intercom-powered live chat service backed by our amazing 24/7 support team to help you solve any concerns you may have. Click here if you would like to try out Hevo Activate or know more about its features.

Share your ideas about whether to build or buy reverse ETL and let us know if you’re ready to start your journey with Hevo Activate. We’d love to hear from you.

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