ETL: definition and process

ETL: definition and process

To handle data chaos, we need to clean, sort, and structure data—this process is called ETL (extract, transform, load). If your business generates too much data while you’re struggling to cope with it, our team would be glad to help you deal with your data and make full use of them.

The ultimate purpose of any ETL solution is to store information in a way that helps company management extract viable insights, detect trends, and make important decisions.

The ETL solution can unite information from a variety of systems and facilitate finding the right decision by combining data sources of different nature.

ETL process

ETL: definition and process

ETL is a process consisting of the following steps:

  • Extract. Connecting to a data source and collecting the required information.
  • Transform. The data is prepared according to the built-in algorithm and set of rules.
  • Load. Storing data efficiently and securely in a way that simplifies retrieving them when needed.


It’s a process that implies extracting the information from source systems. Proper extraction is a key to successful activities in the future. Most storage projects require combining information from a variety of source systems such as relational databases, queues, REST APIs, etc. Each of such systems may use different formats. Common data formats include XML, JSON, and special file formats like Parquet.
Finally, the gist of the extraction process is to convert data into a common format set by the developer for further processing.


The transformation stage implies applying a number of functions and rules for further loading into the data warehouse. The ultimate goal of this stage is to transfer information to the final object in the required format. In some cases, the transformation may be omitted because it’s not required.
Timing-wise, the transformation takes from a few seconds to a few days, depending on the data source volume and quality. Besides, the established business and technical requirements of the final storage influence the process duration as well.


The final stage implies importing data into the final database or storage. This process may vary significantly, depending on the company’s requirements:

  • Replacing the existing information
  • Regular updates according to the specified algorithm (daily, weekly, or monthly)
  • Adding data in a historical format at fixed intervals

The frequency depends on the company’s needs and capabilities.

The next important step is to develop data visualization. Dashboards help you get insights from your data in real time and easily facilitate important business metrics.

Who needs the ETL data services?

ETL is needed by every company that wants to be a data-driven enterprise rather than being driven by emotions. For better understanding, please see a list of questions that may help you with building the ETL:

  • Do you want your data to be available in real-time with a minimum lag?
  • Do you want your data to be stored efficiently to ensure that you can get an answer to almost any question?
  • Do you need reporting and on-the-fly KPI calculations?
  • Do you want to collect data from different sources and combine them to find viable insights on the edge of this mix?

Answering ‘yes’ even to one of the above questions would mean that you need an ETL solution.

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    How Broscorp can help you build the ETL?

    Building ETL solutions starts with business analysis. Broscorp sets the ultimate goal and collects the information about:

    • Data sources to be collected and their connection feasibility
    • Data transformations that may be required to achieve the ultimate goal
    • Your data model and type of storage to be used to efficiently query and store data

    Once business analysis is done, Broscorp develops the solution using an agile workflow and tailoring it to the client’s needs at every interim stage. After development, we launch the user acceptance testing and fix all of the inaccuracies. If you want to get a quote for your ETL solution, please contact us and get an instant reply!

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