Introduction

Data integration is an essential part of getting the intelligent, data-driven insights that your organization needs to beat your competitors and better serve your customers. In the data integration process, information from multiple sources is brought together under a single “roof” for easier analysis and reporting.

Among the actions to perform during the data integration process, you may need to convert data between different formats, such as converting CSV to SQL. In this article, we’ll discuss the purpose of doing this conversion and the best tools to convert CSV to SQL.

Table of Contents:

CSV, SQL, and ETL

Tools to Convert CSV to SQL

Conclusion

CSV, SQL, and ETL

The ETL (extract, transform, load) process is the most common way of performing data integration. Data is first extracted from its source, then transformed in order to comply with standards, and finally loaded into the target location.

During the transformation stage of ETL, you might find yourself converting CSV to SQL in preparation for the load stage.

CSV, which stands for comma-separated values, is a simple file format for storing information in which each data point is separated by a comma, and each line of the file represents a data record. For example, a simple CSV file for storing customers’ names and ZIP codes may look like:

John,Doe,02184 Jane,Roe,49120

Meanwhile, the SQL file format contains a SQL database that has been exported as a file. The SQL file contains information in the form of SQL statements about how to reconstruct the database and the records inside.

CSV files are straightforward and human-readable, but they aren’t maximized for efficiency. In order to get the best performance during the data integration process, it’s often necessary to convert CSV into SQL.

Tools to Convert CSV to SQL

There are a variety of tools for converting CSV to SQL, depending on the business use case.

1-off, Simple Solutions 

For one, you may simply want to convert CSV to SQL by taking a CSV file and creating a database from it. A number of websites claim to convert CSV into SQL databases, including:

Some of these tools have more settings and customizability than others, so experiment with different ones to see which results you prefer.

The websites listed above may work for simple conversions, but they may not have the optimal performance for larger CSV files. In addition, it’s not wise to use these websites with CSV files that contain sensitive or confidential information.

For instances where performance or privacy is a concern, it’s better to use software tools that run on your own computer. Csvsql is an example of a command-line tool that can generate SQL statements from a CSV file. Converting CSV to SQL is also possible in the phpMyAdmin software application.

However, there are certain situations where these simpler tools aren't the best option. If you plan to repeatedly convert from CSV to SQL, if you have a lot of CSV files to convert, or if you have other file formats to convert as well, it’s a good idea to invest in a dedicated data integration software that can easily perform the conversion for you.

Secure, Long-term Solution

Data integration software can greatly streamline the data integration process and handle a wide variety of file formats, including SQL and CSV. Solutions such as Xplenty have been designed in order to make data integration as quick and painless for the end user as possible.

If you're doing something more involved with your CSV to SQL conversion, you can make use of Xplenty's services to ingest data in CSV format, transform it to SQL, and then store the end result in a data warehouse. Take a look at this article to see how easy it is to get started with Xplenty converting source data to the desired target format, including CSV to SQL.

Conclusion

No matter which solution you choose, converting from CSV to SQL is an essential part of the data integration process. There are a variety of options available for this conversion, depending on the exact use case and the frequency that it will be performed.

Want to learn more about the ETL process? Check out this blog post in which we go into more detail. If you want to invest in a robust, feature-rich solution for data integration (including capabilities for converting CSV files to SQL), get in touch with our team of data integration experts for a 7-day free trial.