Reverse ETL vs CDP: 6 Important Features

• February 17th, 2022

Reverse ETL vs CDP


In today’s modern world, there is enormous competition among the companies when they are offering a similar product or service. To survive in such a competitive market, companies need to provide the best quality services and products to attract many customers and help them shape a company’s profit. When it comes to operationalising your data and making better data-driven decisions, you can go for either Reverse ETL or CDP (Customer Data Platform).

Both of these platforms are used by big or small companies and depending upon the circumstances, one platform can dominate the other. Reverse ETL is used not only by Marketing or Sales teams but also by Customer Support and Finance teams.

In this blog, we will go through a comprehensive analysis of the Reverse ETL vs CDP so that you can choose the right platform for your organization. Read along to understand both of these platforms better and help you decide which one you should select.

Table of Contents

What is Reverse ETL?

Reverse ETL is a platform that offers you the ability to synchronize the data from your data warehouse to SaaS applications such as CRM, Customer Experience, etc. It helps you operationalize your data. 

Traditionally companies were involved in keeping data at a single source of truth, and then business reports were created by using Business Intelligence tools. But these insights are far more valuable if they drive your sales, marketing, and finance teams’ daily operations via products like Hubspot, Salesforce, Netsuite, SAP, Workday, Gainsight, Zendesk, and others.

Your data warehouse’s aggregated data must be coupled with relevant technologies so that your marketing or sales team may get it automatically in the most appropriate location at the right time. This is when Reverse ETL enters the picture.

According to research by Capgemini, 70% of the companies have shifted from customer analytics to operational analytics.

There are various use cases of the Reverse ETL Platform. These are given below:

  • Marketing teams may design highly tailored email messages based on app usage and user location.
  • Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive are CRM platforms that may help you better understand client acquisition. 
  • Subscribers who downloaded a free app can be imported into Salesforce as leads.

Today, many organizations use the Reverse ETL platform, such as Cure fit, Wheely, Harmoney, Groww, Swiggy, Scale, etc.

Reverse ETL vs CDP: Hevo Activate

In the reverse ETL process, the data warehouse serves as a “single source of truth”, storing the most accurate, up-to-date data and replicating it to multiple third-party systems. Reverse ETL lets your employees get the data and insights they need from their daily usage applications.

Reverse ETL Key Features

Reverse ETL offers a lot of features to its customers. The 3 principal components are given below:

  • Operationalize Your Data: Reverse ETL platforms allow you to operationalize your data by sending relevant data to the SaaS applications. For Example: Customer data from Hubspot is being sent to Salesforce to improve the sales process.
  • Reduce Dependencies: Marketers and Sales Professionals no longer need to rely on Data/IT teams for their working needs thanks to the No-code, plug-and-play simplicity of Reverse ETL technologies like Hevo Activate.
  • Improve the Customer Experience: Due to the Reverse ETL platform, it becomes easier to transfer data from data warehouse to SaaS application in real-time. This allows the companies to offer the best services possible to their customers at the right time.

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A Customer Data Platform is a pre-packaged piece of software that produces a single, durable customer database that other systems can access. It’s a pre-built system that gathers client information from many sources and makes it available to other systems for marketing campaigns, customer assistance, and other customer experience activities.

The term CDP was first used in 2010 and was initially designed to have a single customer view and can help the software such as marketing automation suite and campaign management tool.

It became successful in 2016, and since then, it has been used by many companies. Some organizations that use CDP are IBM, Dominos, Fox, and Levi.

Let us consider a scenario where you want to purchase a mobile. You might have searched it a lot on google, visited various websites, seen a few retailers, or even watched some videos regarding technical aspects of multiple mobiles. Due to this reason, there may be a case that you have visited a single website numerous times. Once you decide which mobile to buy, the next step you follow is to look for various websites for offers, return policies, shipping costs, etc. 

Every time you visit the same company website, you might have noticed that you are getting a more personalized view. Whenever you visit those companies, they suggest more products relevant to you.

To achieve this, companies use a Customer Data Platform that helps them personalize their marketing initiatives for you.

Reverse ETL vs CDP: Customer Data Platform
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CDP’s Key Features

CDP offers a lot of features to its customers. The 4 principal components are given below:

  • Single View of the Customers: CDPs are designed to collect data from various sources, combine it to produce a holistic view of the customer across devices and channels, and make that information available to other systems. That customer view may follow your business and customers wherever they go.
  • Flexibility: A CDP allows businesses to create and link a flexible technology stack that can react to changing customer behavior and technological trends. CDPs enable organizations to collect data from anywhere and utilize it anywhere to improve customer experiences by concentrating on the data foundation.
  • Operational Efficiency: Building your own customer data platform is costly, time-consuming, inefficient, and challenging to maintain. CDPs consolidate customer data through maintaining turnkey integrations, saving hours of integration labor. Audiences and business rules are also set up centrally in one location and can be used across many tools, saving time and work.
  • Better Marketing: Customers are now interacting with brands across more channels and devices than ever before, and they have high expectations for a consistent customer experience. Customers dislike being offered a product they have already purchased in-store on the Internet. With a CDP in place, businesses have a complete perspective of consumer behavior that can be leveraged to deliver the best possible customer experience with no blind spots.

Reverse ETL vs CDP

1. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Terminology

Reverse ETL is a process that helps you transfer the data from a data warehouse to third-party applications such as Salesforce, Zendesk, etc. In contrast, CDP is a system used to collect, store, and analyze customer data from multiple sources.

2. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Motive

The motive of a Reverse ETL platform is to transfer data from a data warehouse to a SaaS application. It can be used for any data or teams like Marketing, Sales, Finance, Support team, etc to make better data-driven decisions. In contrast, the motive of using a CDP platform is to collect customers data from multiple sources, which is used by Marketing and Sales teams.

3. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Data Collection

Reverse ETL collects data that is already organized in data warehouses, whereas CDP collects raw data from different sources. So, this data is not organized.

4. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Pricing

Pricing of Reverse ETL subscriptions is calculated based on the number of SaaS applications in which data is being transferred. In contrast, CDP subscription pricing is based on visitors per month.

5. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Technology

Batch APIs are commonly used in reverse ETL to acquire data. Batch tasks are scheduled to run at regular intervals or at real time. Whereas, to assimilate new data, CDPs often employ event-driven APIs. A trigger is sent to the system when information becomes available, allowing the ingestion process to begin and the new data to be accessed instantly.

6. Reverse ETL vs CDP: Functionality

All your data is available in a centralized data warehouse in Reverse ETL. You can get more insights and execute data modeling with more data from more sources, whereas CDP only provides you with access to customer data, limiting the kind of studies you may conduct.

Why is Reverse ETL Better than CDP?

Below are the reasons why a Reverse ETL platform is better than CDP:

  • Reverse ETL could be used by any team, such as Marketing, Sales, Finance, Support team, etc for their day-to-day operations where CDP is used by Marketing and Sales teams only.
  • It takes care of all your data preprocessing needs and lets you focus on key business activities. 
  • The cost of reverse ETL is based on the number of SaaS applications rather than the number of visitors per month.

Hevo Activate: A Solution to All Reverse ETL Needs

Hevo Activate is a No-Code Reverse ETL platform that lets you synchronize data in near real-time and allows you to personalize the data replication procedure. It also allows you to choose your preferred sync frequency during pipeline creation. Hevo Activate comes with pre-built connections that eliminate your staff’s need to design and manage them. Hence you can focus on your product rather than developing and managing the connectors.

How Does Hevo Activate Work?

Reverse ETL vs CDP: Hevo Activate Working
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Business Benefits of Using Hevo Activate

  • Real-time Data Transfer: Hevo Activate, with its strong integration with various sources, allows you to transfer data quickly & efficiently in real-time.
  • Secure: Hevo Activate has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that your employees can handle the data safely and consistently with zero data loss.
  • Intelligent Data Type Conversion: During the mapping action, Hevo Activate automatically transforms the field types of the synced data. 
  • Tremendous Connector Availability: Hevo Activate houses a large variety of connectors and lets you bring in data from various Data Warehouses such as Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, etc., in an integrated and analysis-ready form.
  • 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.
  • Live Support: Got Stuck? The Hevo Activate team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support through chat, email, and support calls.
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Getting valuable insights from the data and making better decisions is one of the most critical functions of every organization. Organizations must integrate analytics directly into their business apps. Go-to-market teams require new data they can trust to identify new opportunities, prevent churn, and provide superior service. Reverse ETL can solve such a problem.

From the blog, you must have come across that Reverse ETL and CDP are different applications. Reverse ETL is a process of transferring any data from a data warehouse to SaaS applications, but CDP is a system to collect and analyze the customer data. 

If your company wants to operationalize the data to enable data driven decision making for different teams such as Marketing platforms, sales platforms, customer support, finance, etc., you should go for the Reverse ETL applications. If your organization is mainly involved in marketing, CDP would be a better fit for you.

Now you know about both Reverse ETL and CDP and their differences. You are better positioned to choose which of these your company requires.

Need More Information?

You can reach out to us to get more information about how Hevo’s Reverse ETL platform works. You can visit our website to obtain information regarding the company, it’s pricing, the security we offer, sources and warehouses we support. You can also contact us by using the intercom-powered live chat feature where our custom/er support executives are available 24*7.

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