ETL (extract, transform, load) is the backbone of modern data integration, efficiently migrating massive quantities of information into a target data warehouse. But with so many ETL tools on the market these days, how can you choose the best ETL tool for big data?

Below we’ll discuss 4 of our favorite ETL tools for big data analysis, including their pros, cons, and user reviews so that you can make the choice that’s right for your situation.

Table of Contents

  1. The Best ETL Tools for Big Data
  2. The Use Cases of ETL Tools for Big Data
  3. Xplenty and Big Data

The Best ETL Tools for Big Data

ETL Tool for Big Data #1: Xplenty

We’d be remiss here if we didn’t mention Xplenty as one of the best ETL tools for big data analysis. The Xplenty platform offers a complete toolkit for building data pipelines, including a visual drag-and-drop package designer that makes it easy for even non-technical users to define robust big data ETL workflows. Xplenty comes with more than 100 pre-built integrations with popular data stores and SaaS applications, so that you can get your big data ETL up and running right away.

Xplenty is well-reviewed on the business software review site G2, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars and the designation of  “Leader” in the field of ETL tools. Reviewer Lally B. praises Xplenty’s ease of use, writing:

“We were looking for an easy way to compile/manipulate large amounts of data from a number of sources. Xplenty has provided a solution that has made prototyping and development easy, fast and reliable.”

Additionally, as the general manager of a small business, Jamie B has this to say about Xplenty's customer support:

“What we love best about Xplenty is the near real-time support we get from the team. Xplenty's point of difference is the customer support we receive. The product itself is good. Easy to use at a high level. The people at Xplenty are the difference - which is unusual for Cloud proposition. A nice change from dealing with a faceless machine.”

Raymond Matos, director of ad technology at Medialets, also gives Xplenty a rave review:

“Xplenty's user interface was by far better than anything else I'd seen as an ETL solution. Just an intuitive drag and drop. Nothing to install. Once the data pipeline is created, it's simple. Xplenty has simplified the task of moving data or transforming data from one set to another set.”

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ETL Tool for Big Data #2: Informatica PowerCenter

If you’re looking for high-powered ETL for massive and/or complex datasets, Informatica PowerCenter might be the solution for you.

Informatica PowerCenter is part of the Informatica cloud data management suite and is designed for large enterprises that need top-shelf data integration capabilities. G2 reviewer Victor C. calls PowerCenter “probably the most powerful ETL tool I have ever used.” The benefits of Informatica PowerCenter include high performance and a wide range of integrations, including both SQL and NoSQL databases.

However, the common criticisms of PowerCenter focus on the tool’s challenging learning curve and high cost. In his G2 review of PowerCenter, data warehouse administrator Michael R. notes: “The cost associated with just implementing the core product is very large. Charging extra for management tools (in-client source control, metadata manager, etc.) is untenable for my organization, and management of the tool is haphazard without them.”

ETL Tool for Big Data #3: Jaspersoft ETL

Jaspersoft ETL, also known as JasperETL, is an open-source ETL and data integration tool that is part of the TIBCO Jaspersoft suite of business intelligence software.

Because JasperETL includes integrations with big data solutions such as Hadoop and MongoDB, it’s a smart choice for ETL pipelines that include these technologies. Note that JasperETL has been built in the Java programming language, and developers will need to be familiar with Java and SQL in order to use the tool.

JasperETL has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars on the business software review website Capterra. Reports developer Nathan M. calls JasperETL “the best open-source reporting framework,” adding: “I've found their reporting solutions to be reliable and versatile... I've integrated Jaspersoft into many projects over the years.”

However, other JasperETL reviews are more of a mixed bag. One reviewer writes: “If you need a bare-bones BI tool, this will work... It takes way more work and time to produce a professional-grade deliverable in Jaspersoft than it does in any other BI tool I have used.”

ETL Tool for Big Data #4: Talend Open Studio for Big Data

Like JasperETL, Talend Open Studio for Big Data is an open-source ETL big data tool, included as part of Talend’s data management software suite. Open Studio for Big Data includes a drag-and-drop interface and many pre-built connectors and components to provide a more user-friendly experience.

In particular, Open Studio for Big Data plays well with Hadoop, including a job scheduler for YARN and integration with Kerberos security. The tool also easily integrates with AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle and SQL Server databases, Saas applications, and much more.

The entire Talend Open Studio suite has an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2. One reviewer writes: “Talend Open Studio is the best in terms of ease of code development, maintenance, and migration to different environments.”

However, multiple reviews mention that the tool can suffer from memory and performance issues. One reviewer gives a generally positive recommendation of Talend Open Studio, but also discusses the tool's drawbacks: “The software is a bit difficult to get used to at first, but believe me, it has everything you need to extract your data for any kind of file. Once you get used to it, it’s just drag and drop.... It’s a bit heavy on the RAM and you only can edit the components using Java. Also, it doesn't have an Elasticsearch connector (only MySQL) so I had to create my own connector.”

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The Use Cases of ETL Tools for Big Data

Given the wide range of ETL tools for big data, in which situation should you use the 4 tools discussed above?

  • Xplenty: You’re looking for a versatile ETL big data tool with an easy learning curve, as well as connectors and integrations to get a jumpstart on building your pipelines.
  • Informatica PowerCenter: You have very high-demand big data workloads, a large budget, and a staff of ETL experts on hand.
  • Jaspersoft ETL: You want to use an open-source ETL tool, you prefer working in Java, or you want to work primarily with big data technologies such as Hadoop and MongoDB.
  • Talend Open Studio: You want to use an open-source ETL tool that is part of a mature suite of big data and business intelligence software.

Xplenty and Big Data

Xplenty is an industry-leading data integration platform with a robust feature set that has been built from the ground up to fit a wide range of ETL use cases. 

Want to learn how Xplenty can help enable your ETL needs? Get in touch with our excellent customer support team to chat about your big data goals and requirements and request a pilot of the Xplenty platform.