The amount of big data that enterprises churn out is simply staggering. All this information is worthless unless organizations unlock its true value for analytics. This is where ETL proves useful. 

Traditional ETL (extract, transform, and load) remains the most popular method for moving data from point A to point Z. It takes disparate data sets from multiple sources, transforming that data to the correct format and loading it into a final destination like a data warehouse

Now there's a new way to do things: Say hello to Reverse ETL. It reverses the traditional extract-transform-load process by moving data from a warehouse (or lake), transforming that data to the correct format, and then loading it to a third-party system such as a SaaS application or platform for operational analytics. It's like looking at ETL in a mirror.

Like 'regular' ETL, reverse ETL needs a reliable vendor with a stable product to make everything happen. So which of these should you choose? Here are six of the best reverse ETL vendors based on features, integrations, ease of use, and pricing principles. 

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Table of Contents

  1. Xplenty
  2. Hightouch
  3. Census 
  4. Grouparoo
  5. Polytomic
  6. Seekwell
  7. How Xplenty Helps

#1. Xplenty

Xplenty's super-simplified point-and-click user interface makes data pipeline-building easy, whether you want to execute traditional ETL or reverse this process to make data more operational. This low-code/no-code solution comes with pre-built connectors that move data between warehouses and SaaS applications, making operational analytics a far more appealing concept. Want to move data from a warehouse to Netsuite? You got it. How about Salesforce to Salesforce? No problem.

The sheer number of connectors on Xplenty is mind-blowing, but the platform scores points for scalability and security too. You can transfer vast amounts of data from a warehouse to a SaaS platform for operational analytics while complying with data governance legislation like HIPAAGDPR, and CCPA

(Prevent expensive penalties from the government!)

Other features for reverse ETL include simple workflow creation, a REST API you can count on, and highly responsive customer support for all users. Xplenty's revolutionary pricing model — where you pay for the number of connectors you use and not for the amount of data you consume — also makes life much easier. 

Read more: 7 Steps to Operationalize Your Data Warehouse 

#2. Hightouch

With Hightouch, you can move data from your warehouse to a CRM, marketing tool, or other third-party SaaS application easily. It works like this: The platform integrates with a data build tool (dbt), pulls data from your git repo, and syncs after completing a dbt job. There are lots of integrations that make this process easier, though far fewer than Xplenty. 

Once everything is up and running, you can automate data pipeline-building, which removes the need for code. However, Hightouch requires some knowledge of SQL at the beginning of a new reverse ETL project, making it more difficult to use than Xplenty. Also, the platform has only been around for a couple of years — reverse ETL is a relatively new concept, of course — and has yet to prove its potential. 

Read more: ETL & Data Warehousing Explained: ETL Tool Basics

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#3. Census

Like Hightouch, Census is a product from a new startup that focuses exclusively on reverse ETL. It handles reverse ETL in much the same way, but there are fewer integrations than Hightouch, which might be a deal-breaker for some potential users.

Census also has a different pricing model than Hightouch, charging users for the number of data synchronization workflows. (Hightouch charges for the number of data records synced every month.) Deciding between these platforms could depend on which pricing method works out better for you.

#4. Grouparoo 

Grouparoo is the only open-source platform on this list, which brings both pros and cons. It won't cost you anything to use, of course, but, like all open-source tools, there's no guarantee that its vendors will continue to update the tool, resulting in potential security vulnerabilities in the future. 

While extremely effective for reverse ETL, Grouparoo offers few sources and destinations. You can only move data from five data warehouses (Snowflake, Postgres, MySQL, Redshift, and BigQuery) to a select number of destinations like Marketo, Facebook, and MailChimp. Still, it's free, and it works well. 

Read more: ETL vs ELT: 5 Critical Differences

#5. Polytomic

Polytomic is a no-code tool, making it an awesome choice for those who want to explore operational analytics but lack data engineering experience. There's also a great one-click feature that lets users invite other people into the platform to manage reverse ETL tasks, making this tool a good choice for team projects. The problem is, it's difficult to know how Polytomic compares to other platforms on cost as the vendor doesn't publish any prices on its website. (There are three pricing tiers, but prospective users need to contact the company for a quote.) 

#6. Seekwell

Seekwell comes with an incredible range of automation and scheduling features for reverse ETL. However, like Grouparoo, there are only a handful of data warehouses to choose from for operational workflows (MySQL, Postgres, Redshift, Snowflake, and MS SQL Server.) 

Unlike Polytomic, Seekwell publishes prices on its website and, with packages starting from $50 a month, this tool is pretty affordable for newbies who want to explore reverse ETL.

How Xplenty Helps

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Reverse ETL lets you move data from a warehouse or lake to a third-party SaaS application or platform. All the tools on this list execute that process pretty seamlessly. However, standard ETL is still a critical component of data management. Xplenty is the only tool above that facilitates reverse ELT and regular ETL, providing you with far more choices for data-driven projects. With its simple interface, flexible pricing, REST API, Salesforce-to-Salesforce capabilities, and wealth of pre-built connectors, Xplenty is the smarter choice for enterprises that don't want to limit themselves to just one data engineering method. 

Looking for a low-code/no-code reverse ETL solution? Xplenty has you covered. Learn more by scheduling a personalized demo now.