Decisions made by businesses are becoming more and more data-driven. Having accurate and current information is crucial when making business choices. 

Businesses used to base their judgments on their own knowledge and hunches in the past. Big data, however, has given firms access to a plethora of data that can be used to guide decision-making. 

There are several tools and technologies that come and go in the data science industry. However, certain trendy terms appear to be sticking around.

ETL (extract, transform, load) and business intelligence (BI) are two examples of such terminology. 

Business intelligence (BI) is the process of transforming data into insights that can be applied to improve business decisions.

Data is extracted from various sources, transformed into an analytically-ready format, and loaded into a data warehouse or another repository using ETL tools. 

The ETL process may be carried out manually, however there are several ETL tools that can automate the procedure. 

BI and ETL are expected to be popular terms in the data field as organisations depend more and more on data to make choices.

ETL in Business Intelligence

ETL is at the heart of business intelligence solutions since it offers detailed analytics data. 

Enterprises may get historical, present-day, and forecast perspectives of actual business data through ETL. 

Let’s look at ETL in the context of business intelligence.

What is ETL?

If you need to integrate data from several sources into a single, consolidated database in the field of data warehousing, you must first: 

Extract information from the original source.  Data must first be TRANSFORMED by being combined, deduplicated, and quality-checked before being LOADED into the desired database. 

By enabling businesses to collect data from several data sources and combine it into a single, central place, ETL tools support data integration plans. ETL tools also enable the collaboration of various data kinds.

How ETL Tools Work 

The three terms Extract, Transform, and Load are shortened to ETL. Data is extracted from many types of systems, transformed into a structure that is more suited for reporting and analysis, and then loaded into the database or cube as part of the ETL process.

Extracting from the Source 

In this process, data is extracted from various internal and external sources, both structured and unstructured. 

With the use of native connections, message queuing, ODBC or OLE-DB middleware, simple queries are delivered to the source systems. 

The so-called Staging Area (SA), which often has the same structure as the source, will be where the data is placed. 

In some situations, we just need the data that is fresh or has changed; otherwise, the searches would only return the alterations. Some ETL systems have a changed data capture (CDC) mechanism that can carry out this task automatically.

Transform the Data

The data will be transformed once it is accessible in the staging area and is all on a single platform and database.

As a result, it is simple to connect and union tables, filter and sort data using certain properties, pivot to a different structure, and do financial computations.

We can evaluate the data quality and clean it if necessary throughout this stage of the ETL process. 

When all the data is ready, we may decide whether to use gradually shifting dimensions. In such situation, we want to monitor how characteristics change over time in our analysis and reports.

Load the Data

Last but not least, data is put into fact and dimension tables in a data warehouse. 

As needed, the data may then be integrated, aggregated, and placed into datamarts or cubes. 

Through the use of BI tools including data visualisation software, dashboards, OLAP tools, and reporting tools, the business user analyses and makes use of the converted data.

What is Business Intelligence? 

Technology, applications, and procedures for the gathering, integrating, analysing, and presenting of business information are together referred to as business intelligence (BI).

Better corporate decision-making is supported by business intelligence. Essentially, Business Intelligence systems are Decision Support Systems that are data-driven. 

Executive information systems, report and query tools, and briefing books are occasionally used interchangeably with business intelligence.

What are the Goals of BI and ETL?

Better business choices that help enterprises boost revenue, boost operational effectiveness, and gain a competitive edge over competing companies are the ultimate aim of BI projects.

In order to do that, BI combines analytics, reporting, and data management technologies with a number of different data management and analysis approaches.

Data from many sources are combined through the data integration process known as ETL and put into a data warehouse or other destination system from a single, consistent data repository.

Workstreams in data analytics and machine learning are built on the basis provided by ETL. ETL cleans and arranges data through a set of business rules in a way that satisfies particular business intelligence requirements, such monthly reporting, but it can also handle more complex analytics that might enhance back-end operations or end-user experiences.

What is the Importance of ETL vs BI?

The majority of the time, business intelligence systems employ data that has been collected into a data warehouse or a data mart, but they can also occasionally use operational data to give historical, real-time, and predicted perspectives of company operations.

Reporting, interactive “slice-and-dice” pivot-table analytics, visualisation, and statistical data mining are all supported by software components.

Applications address a wide range of business data sources, including sales, production, finance, and many others, for objectives including corporate performance management. Benchmarking is the process of gathering data about rival businesses in the same sector.

The amount that an organisation depends on data warehousing determines how important ETL is inside that company.

Large amounts of raw data are gathered, read, and migrated using ETL technologies from various data sources on various platforms.

For ease of access, they load the data into a solitary database, data store, or data warehouse.

They perform procedures like sorting, joining, reformatting, filtering, combining, and aggregating on the data to give it meaning.

They also contain graphical user interfaces, which provide results more quickly and simply than conventional methods of transferring data through manually crafted data pipelines.

Data silos are broken down by ETL solutions, which also make it simple for your data scientists to access, process, and transform data into business insight.

ETL tools are the first crucial stage in the data warehousing process, in other words, and they ultimately enable you to make better decisions in less time.

ETL vs BI 

Accessing, gathering, converting, and analysing data are all parts of the business intelligence process, which reveals information about a company’s performance. Afterward, you can utilise this information to help you make decisions.

As a result, BI includes processes, resources, and technology that enable data to be transformed from its unprocessed state into understandable visualisations. This procedure may be thought of as a series of related steps. The ETL procedure is the first link in this chain. 

Data is extracted from sources, transformed in accordance with BI reporting needs, and then loaded into a target data warehouse using ETL operations. 

We’ve already covered how ETL functions in business intelligence in great depth above.

How Ascend Analytics can Power Data Pipelines for Your Business  

Data analytics and predictive analytics consulting services are fully offered by Ascend. 

Ascend Analytics envisions a world in which analytics and artificial intelligence are seamlessly integrated to improve both human experiences and business outcomes.

More than ten nations and various industries depend on us. Ascend Analytics offers consultancy services in data analytics and predictive analytics. Real-time data streaming from a variety of sources is allowed, making it simpler to draw important conclusions from high-quality data.

Ascend Analytics brings together strategists, data analysts, data engineers, developers, data scientists, and machine learning professionals to assist your organisation in visualising and generating novel ideas. All required enabling technologies are present in the ultimate architecture.

Ascend’s key goals are data-driven business development and new opportunities for value creation. Contact us right away to schedule a free consultation. 

Ascend Analytics is a user-friendly interactive dashboard that gives you access to crucial data, measurements, and KPIs to help you make better business decisions.

For your data, Ascend employs a four step data analytics process that begins with a data warehouse.

Ascend will organise and store your data from pertinent sources; develop scalable and reliable databases and data business warehouses; and provide ETL-based integrated datasets for a comprehensive picture.

The second step involves creating a reporting framework. 

Automated and adhoc reports are used to increase data accessibility which come under the domain of descriptive and diagnostic analytics.

The third step involves advanced analytics. 

Ascend focuses on leveraging existing frameworks for diagnostic and prescriptive analytics; what if analysis, scenario based modeling. 

Finally, we have machine learning and artificial intelligence play their role. 

Iterative and scalable models that require dedicated compute and rely on existing data sources, for example multivariate testing for Segmentation & Cohorting, sales optimization.  


All sizes and types of enterprises may benefit from ETL Business Intelligence.

The advantages of ETL tools may be applied in almost all sectors. The early users of this technology, however, include industries like banking, insurance, customer service, finance, and healthcare.

When you have the appropriate information at the right time, you can make decisions that will advance your business and put you in a position to monitor your competitors and stay one step ahead of them.

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