Automation has not just made our lives simpler, whether it’s handling our daily routines or managing the intricate workflows within the organization. In the world of data, this technological wonder has revolutionized how businesses collect, handle, and utilize their most valuable asset: data! A survey by Salesforce reveals that 47% of IT leaders claim the operation process offers the greatest ROI through process automation.

Employing data pipeline automation is like shifting gears. It enables businesses to smoothly transition from manual and time-consuming data handling methods to a streamlined, efficient, and accelerated process. But do you know in which use cases to automate the data pipeline or what triggers to apply to take advantage of automated data pipeline tools?

Let’s find that out!

How an Automated Data Pipeline can Help You?

Data pipeline serves as a medium through which you can collect, transform, or store data. It facilitates the movement of data from one or more sources to a destination where it can be stored and analyzed. This data is generally loaded into databases, data warehouses, data lakes, or target systems of any choice. In other words, a data pipeline is a series of steps that allow data to flow from where it is generated to where it is needed. 

Manually performing all these steps can be time-consuming, burdensome, resource-intensive, and error-prone, especially for complex data workflows. This can also lead to data loss and delays, hindering timely insights and analysis.

However, with data pipeline automation tools, you can automate various tasks and steps within a data pipeline with the help of some triggers.

But why do you really need a fully automated data pipeline?

Let’s say you work for a brand selling products online and offline. You need to gather and process sales data from multiple sources, transform it into a well-structured format, and load it into a data warehouse for analysis. Doing this manually involves the following steps: 

  • Extracting sales data from multiple online and offline sources into a format suitable for the target system,
  • Cleaning and transforming the data into a consistent format,
  • Loading the data into the data warehouse,
  • Scheduling and monitoring these tasks to run at regular intervals,
  • Addressing errors or performance issues,
  • And if data volume increases, scaling the pipeline to handle load.

However, with the data pipeline automation tools, you can automate the entire process:

  • Set a schedule to extract data from diverse sources automatically,
  • Apply transformations,
  • Manage schema changes,
  • Load the data into the database or data warehouse,
  • Schedule or orchestrate tasks to run at specified times or in response to triggers and events,
  • These tools additionally keep track of pipeline health and allow you to set alerts for any issues that may arise.

Data pipeline automation enhances reliability, efficiency, and scalability in managing your data workflows.

Is Data Pipeline Automation Different from ETL Automation?

Yes, data pipeline automation is different from ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) automation. While they share some similarities, they have distinct purposes. 

Data pipeline automation allows you to streamline and automate a wide range of data integration processes using triggers. It also includes tasks like real-time monitoring, error handling, or scheduling.

With data automation platforms, you can further manage and facilitate ETL and ELT processes, which may include data extraction, transformation, and loading.

When Should You Move to an Automated Data Pipeline?

The transition from a manual to an automated pipeline can be a challenging decision. However, it will benefit you in multiple ways. Here are some indicators that might help you decide whether it’s the right time to consider implementing an automated data pipeline.

Rising Data Volume

As your organization grows and there is an ever-increasing demand, manually handling data processes becomes very limited. Here, the shift to automation tools can help you handle enormous datasets more efficiently. According to IDC, the global data sphere will grow from 33 zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025.

Frequent Data Updates

Automation is incredibly valuable when you need to track changes in datasets for projects that evolve continuously. For instance, you work for an e-commerce company, and your inventory changes rapidly with the products coming in and dispatching out throughout the day. Keeping track of these inventory levels can be a daunting task. This is where data pipeline automation tools come into play. With these tools, you can capture and update the information in real-time to ensure accurate stock levels and even add triggers when items are running low. This keeps your online store running smoothly without any manual intervention or data entry. As a result, you can quickly analyze your customers’ data and make informed choices.

This is where automation data pipeline tools, like Hevo, come into play. It is a no-code data integration and replication tool that seamlessly captures and updates information in real-time. As a result, you can quickly analyze your data and make informed choices.

Growing Data Sources

As the number of data sources within your business continues to expand, data pipeline automation will allow you to manage and integrate this enormous data efficiently. You can quickly consolidate and automate data processing from the specified sources.

Competitive Advantage

In a fast-paced world, automating data processes is not just a convenience but a necessity. By automating the data pipeline, you are not only reducing the manual work but also gaining a significant edge in the business landscape. This rapid access to data can be a key factor in enhancing your competitive advantage. For example, automated data pipelines enable organizations to access data in real-time, allowing for immediate insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational performance. An e-commerce company can use real-time data to identify market trends or adjust pricing strategies dynamically based on demand and competition.

Triggers to Automate Data Pipeline

Data automation triggers help you initiate and control automated data processing workflows. Here are some common triggers used to automate data pipeline:

  • Event-based Triggers: You can set these triggers in response to specific events or conditions. For example, when a new customer registers on your website, you can set up a webhook trigger to process the information and store it in your destination system.
  • Time-based Triggers: These triggers are scheduled to run at specific time intervals, such as hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. You can automate data routine tasks or set this trigger for recurring events.
  • Change Data Triggers: You can activate these triggers when changes occur in the data source. For instance, initiate data cleaning when existing data is changed in the source.

How to Create an Automated Data Pipeline?

Data pipeline automation needs meticulous planning, so choose your tools and technologies wisely. This process involves a series of steps to design, implement, and manage the pipeline. Here’s an overview of the entire process:

Step 1: Define Objectives and Requirements

Clearly define the objectives of your data pipeline, understanding the data collection, processing, and storage requirements. Subsequently, you need to identify the data volume, the final format according to the destination system, and the frequency at which data must be processed. 

Determine the suitable data pipeline type you need, choosing between batch vs real-time processing. Consider the latter if immediate data insights are in your requirements.

Step 2: Identify the Data Source and Destination

Identify the data sources and destinations for your pipeline. Determine where data will be collected and where it needs to be loaded, such as a database, data lake, or data warehouse.

Step 3: Select the Right Tool

This is a critical decision that should align with your requirements. When making this choice, consider the following factors:

  • Evaluate whether the tool offers low-code or no-code functionality, which can accelerate development. In case it doesn’t, you would need a development team to create and configure data pipelines programmatically.
  • Consider whether the tool is cloud-based or can be deployed on-premises, depending on your infrastructure preferences.
  • Ensure that the tool is compatible with the types of data sources you are working with, including databases and APIs.
  • Examine the availability of connectors provided.
  • Assess your available resources and budget to implement the data pipeline, including licensing costs and maintenance expenses.
  • Choose a tool that can effectively handle the data volume you expect to process.

Step 4: Data Collection and Transformation

Set up data connectors or integration points to collect data from your sources. Specify the data transformation and processing steps required to clean, enrich, or format the data for consistency.

Step 5: Set Triggers and Notifications

Implement triggers to initiate data processing based on your requirements. These triggers can be webhook-based or time-based to automate the flow of data through the pipeline. You can also set alert notifications or specify rules to address any unexpected errors. This allows you to set the pipeline’s response to various scenarios.

Step 6: Test Your Pipeline 

After mentioning all the configuration details, test the source and destination connections. Verify data quality, trigger mechanism, and how the errors are handled. 

Step 7: Monitoring and Maintenance 

Once the data pipeline process is initiated, continuously track the health and performance of your data pipeline. This will help you discover unknown errors, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies that may arise. Further, you can look for areas of improvement or redefine the automation configurations.

Step 8: Knowledge Base and Documentation

Make a comprehensive documentation of your data pipeline. Cover minute detailed instructions on how to set up, configure, and maintain the pipeline. This documentation should include important aspects such as data sources, transformation steps, error-handling strategies, and automation configuration.

Hevo is the only real-time ELT No-code Data Pipeline platform that cost-effectively automates data pipelines that are flexible to your needs. It allows integration with 150+ Data Sources (40+ free sources), lets you transform your data, & make it analysis-ready.
Get your free trial right away!

Data Pipeline Automation Platforms

Multiple types of data pipeline tools are available depending on the specific requirement. Let’s take a look at how Hevo Data helps you.

Hevo Data

Image Source

Hevo is a no-code cloud-based replication tool that not only facilitates you to automate data integration processes but also orchestrates workflows. It offers a user-friendly interface to automate and streamline data pipelines. Some of the advanced features of Hevo include:

  • Real-time Updates: Hevo supports real-time data integration and replication, allowing you to work with up-to-minute data. This enables you to make faster decisions on the latest information.
  • Data Transformation: With Hevo, you can skillfully access a range of data transformation capabilities. This includes both pre-load and post-load functionalities. Use its drag-and-drop user-friendly interface for simple transformations or a Python console for intricate data transformations.

Hevo is the only Real-Time ELT platform that cost-effectively automates data pipelines that are adaptable to your needs.

Conclusion

In the data-driven landscape, where change is constant, data pipelines must not only deliver real-time data but also be capable of instant adjustments. Data pipeline automation serves as the backbone of this dynamic environment, eliminating manual overhead.

With the help of data pipeline automation tools, you can swiftly adapt to evolving requirements. Whether it’s real-time data processing, scaling up for increasing volumes, or performing ETL operations. These tools empower you to stay ahead in the data-driven era, allowing you to make informed decisions and leverage your datasets. Here’s where Hevo Data, our automated data pipeline platform can help you.

Want to take Hevo for a ride? Sign Up for a 14-day free trial and simplify your data integration process. Do check out the pricing details to understand which plan fulfills all your business needs.

Tell us about your experience of completing the process to import Excel into MySQL! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Reference
– https://www.salesforce.com/blog/automate-business-processes/

Suchitra Shenoy
Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Suchitra is a data enthusiast with a knack for writing. Her profound enthusiasm for data science drives her to produce high-quality content on software architecture and data integration. Suchitra contributes to various publications, adding her friendly touch to every piece she creates.

All your customer data in one place.