What is Reverse ETL and How it Activates your Data Warehouse?

• January 27th, 2022

Reverse ETL- Featured Image

Data-driven Decision Making is increasingly common these days. Modern-day companies require systems and processes that can leverage the endless digital insights gathered from various sources. A data warehouse solution like Snowflake, Google BigQuery, or Amazon Redshift creates a central repository of data for executives and business teams to effectively own and support decision-making. 

Nowadays, companies use ELT/ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) solutions like Hevo to ingest data from a variety of SaaS applications, database sources, and other systems into their data warehouses. This helps them empower everything from everyday reporting, routine business operations to advanced analytics. 

ETL Pipeline Hevo Data: Reverse ETL

Find more information on the ELT/ETL mechanism here

When businesses use BI platforms, they gain access to crucial business intelligence, enhanced analytical capabilities, and dashboards to help their teams make decisions. Although these solutions can help them measure campaign performance, what it doesn’t do is help them influence the business process and performance in real-time.

So, what exactly is the missing element here? What is this gap in this current approach to the modern data stack? We call this the “last mile” in harnessing the full power of data warehouses. 

The Last Mile Problem of Data Analytics

The last mile problem is the gap between the collected data and making correct use of it.  

Businesses have now started recognizing that data stored in their warehouse can be leveraged to accelerate operational intelligence in day-to-day business activities. This helps them drive smarter decision-making processes and relevant actions for every team that consumes it. 

A report from Seagate—with Research and Analysis by IDC, has pointed out that only 32% of the enterprise data is put to use, while the other 68% goes unleveraged

Consider this scenario. You have data about all your user’s touchpoints in your data warehouse. But how does your Sales team use it to run a campaign that rewards your most potential customers based on the funnel stage they are in?

Sure, you can easily create real-time, interactive reports and visualizations using this data on all high potential leads. But your sales team is using a sales frontend tool, such as Salesforce. How can they act on those potential customers in real-time? 

Usually, in a traditional ETL workflow, analytical data is taken on spreadsheets and shared among teams to work on manually record by record or, sometimes, is pushed through API connectors from the data warehouse to SaaS applications and CRMs. Both these processes are cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to errors. 

What’s worth noting here is that analytical charts and reports coming from the data warehouse are great, but these insights can be much more powerful if they drive the everyday operations of your business teams.  

So, what is the solution?

The consolidated data of your warehouse must be integrated with appropriate tools so that your sales team can automatically receive it in the most appropriate location (in this case, Salesforce) at the most appropriate time. And that’s where reverse ETL comes into the picture.

What is Reverse ETL?

Reverse ETL is that bridging component that sends the data from your data warehouse to any operational business tools like CRM, CX, and other SaaS apps, so that you can make data actionable.

Hevo Activate: Reverse ETL Solution

A study published in the Harvard Business Review emphasized the need to reduce lead response time. According to the study, if a salesperson contacted a prospect within one hour of their initial contact, they were sixty times more likely to convert the possibility into a client.

Organizations may utilize reverse ETL to retrieve real-time data on newly signed-up users/leads, sync this dataset to the sales interface tool, and trigger activities for inbound lead conversion within an hour or two. This serves as a really simple and effective strategy for amplifying your brand’s growth.

Why do you Need Reverse ETL?

The first step in operationalizing data is to ingest data to your data warehouse, which could also be used for BI to extract insights. The second, and more important one, is to employ reverse ETL to move data from the warehouse into Operational Systems, i.e. Business Applications. 

Here’s why reverse ETL is useful for businesses using a modern data management stack:

  • Need for Operational Analytics: Operational Analytics can be thought of as “low latency analytics” that can be used right away in making decisions from your CRM. More and more companies are now shifting their focus from traditional analytics (creating reports in BI tools) to real-time analytics (turning insights into CRM action) automatically. 
  • Reduced Dependencies: Using the no-code, plug-and-play nature of reverse ETL tools like Hevo Activate, Marketers and Sales Professionals no longer need to depend on Data/IT teams for their working requirements. 
  • Enhancing Customer Experiences: With Reverse ETL, unleveraged data from data warehouses becomes accessible and available in CRMs and other SaaS platforms in real-time. This could be utilized to offer the right solution to the right customer at the right time, improving the overall customer experience.

Utility of Reverse ETL in Different Business Teams

Here are some examples of how reverse ETL can benefit your various business teams:

  • Sales Teams can integrate lead scores into their CRM platforms like Salesforce or HubSpot using reverse ETL. Consider the following scenario: You receive thousands of signups on your Website and Social Media Platforms each week. Some of these leads are interested in your product and have downloaded your free ebook. Sales reps may now use reverse ETL to extract data on interested prospects, operationalize this data set in their Salesforce/HubSpot customer database, and contact them on time. This increases sales and boosts conversions.
  • Marketing Teams get direct access to the frequency of clients’ purchases in their Marketing Automation Solution. They can create more powerful campaigns and practical roadmaps, using the information on users’ app usage, location, age, job title, and a variety of other parameters. For example, if the vast majority of your customers are on Facebook, marketing teams can obtain granular segmentation for Facebook Ads based on the customer data in your warehouse.
  • Data Science Teams can feed insights from analytics to other business teams in their SaaS platforms and support tools. For instance, they can conduct customer segmentation using complicated modeling and update it periodically based on current business objectives. These segments can then be immediately integrated into Sales and Marketing CRM platforms for additional action and analysis.
  • Customer Success Team can use the power of operational analytics to deliver tailored emails/messages based on customer’s product use or past interactions. Consider receiving a call from a customer who signed up for a free trial on your website a few days ago. He/She intends to become a paid user and is interested in knowing the usefulness of your premium product. Your Customer Success Team can then share the key information using real-time synced data. They can check users’ product use, prior conversation, billing history, and current membership to assist them or continue from previous conversations, saving time on both sides.

Hevo Activate- The Reverse ETL Platform for All Your Needs

Hevo Activate 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. 

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Hevo Activate helps you directly transfer data from Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, etc., and various other sources to SaaS applications, CRMs such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Intercom, Zendesk, etc. It takes care of all your data preprocessing needs and lets you focus on key business activities. Using Hevo Activate, you can draw a much more powerful insight on how to generate more leads, retain customers, and take your business to new heights of profitability. 

Our reverse ETL solution comes with out-of-the-box connectors for diverse data sources, so your teams no longer need to write and maintain them. Hevo Activate gives you options to either sync continuously or define what triggers the syncing between the two systems. 

How Does Hevo Activate Work?

How does Hevo Activate Work: Reverse ETL

Business Benefits of Using Hevo Activate

  • Simplicity: Using Hevo Activate is easy and intuitive, ensuring that your data is exported in just a few clicks.
  • 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 in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Intelligent Data Type Conversion: During the mapping action, Hevo Activate transforms the field types of the synced data automatically. 
  • 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.
  • 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. You can stop sync if there are persistent errors, 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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Case Study – Why Our Customers Love Us?

Hevo Enables Ebury to Create Reliable Data Products and Make Faster Decisions

Ebury is a worldwide FinTech company that assists Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) in trading and transacting on a global scale. On a regular basis, they deal with regulatory needs and legislation from multiple locations.

Using Hevo Activate, Ebury was able to load data from their systems, automatically adapt to schema changes when the source schema changed, meet regulatory standards with a minimum load frequency of 1 hour, and receive real-time notifications in their Salesforce and Looker platforms for timely actions. 

“Hevo was the most mature Extract and Load solution available, along with Fivetran and Stitch but it had better customer service and attractive pricing. Switching to a Modern Data Stack with Hevo as our go-to pipeline solution has allowed us to boost team collaboration and improve data reliability, and with that, the trust of our stakeholders on the data we serve.”

– Juan Ramos, Analytics Engineer, Ebury

Learn more about how Hevo has assisted Ebury in improving data reliability and enhancing collaboration among various teams by clicking here


With burgeoning data, effective data management and data warehousing operations are becoming increasingly difficult and overwhelming for decision-makers, data engineers, and other employees. The focus of the past few years has been to consolidate all of the organization’s data into a cloud data warehouse, i.e., how soon you can analyze the data after it is generated (data latency) and how fast you can actually analyze it (query latency). The missing piece was how soon you could consume the analytics. 

It’s crucial for great companies to connect analytics directly into their business apps. Whether it’s identifying new opportunities, preventing churn, or providing superior service, go-to-market teams need fresh data they can trust. The advent of Reverse ETL completes the cycle of data from collection, through analysis, to drive further action. 

Bidirectional data pipelines (ETL/ ELT in combination with Reverse ETL) help to eliminate the data sprawl and complete the feedback loop of data. This will empower different teams right in the tools they use every day. The disconnect between data, insights, and user productivity becomes a thing of the past with Bidirectional data flow. We believe this is the key to building incredible experiences for customers.

Hevo, in conjunction with Hevo Activate, can handle your ETL/ ELT and reverse ETL requirements. A complete solution to your modern data stack needs.

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Need more information?

For any further queries on reverse ETL or on using Hevo Activate, you can reach out to us any time! If you want to take Hevo for a spin or gain more insights about Hevo & its offerings, you can check out our website. You will also be able to leverage our Intercom-powered live chat service backed by our exceptional 24/7 support team that will help clarify any queries & doubts that cross your mind.

Empower Customer Analytics Using Hevo Activate