When you get started with data, you always want to start by ETLing the most common data sources - Your product database, your CRM system, and your HRIS system.
But as you dig deeper, you'll need data from bespoke applications loaded into your analytics environment. That's when custom ETL connectors will become top of mind.
Here's a great summary of how you should get started loading data into your analytics environment.
How do you know if an ETL connector is custom?
Well. If you spend time researching, evaluating vendors, and searching integration catalogs, and you still can't find a prebuilt connector to the tool you're looking for, you'll likely need a custom solution.
Should you just give up?
A few years ago, you only had a few options:
1. Leverage in-house engineering resources to build the custom ETL connector
2. Spend money to hire a consultant to build, and then maintain the custom ETL connector
3. Forget about it and give up
Nowadays, things are changing. There are open source frameworks that cam make the engineering lift simpler. And there are companies like Portable that will build custom ETL connectors on-demand when you need them.
If you're thinking about building a custom ETL connector, check out our post on the various options.
Why are custom ETL connectors so important to your analytics strategy?
If you stop connecting new data sources to your analytics environment, the amount of data at your fingertips will stagnate.
You won't have a complete picture of your enterprise.
You won't be able to answer business unit specific problems.
You won't be able to automate KPIs that come from these long-tail systems.
Sure, your product database and CRM system might get you 60% of the data, but data teams are hired to provide insight into the most critical business problems as they come up.
How do you request development of a custom ETL connector?
It's really simple. All you have to do is reach out to email@example.com.
We'll get back to you quickly, you can test things out, and we'll handle all the development, maintenance and troubleshooting.
What types of questions can you answer with custom ETL connectors?
Here are a few examples of how you can add value with custom ETL connectors.
- A top eSports company uses Portable to load data from their various forums and engagements tools into their warehouse to analyze user engagement
- An AI company uses Portable to load data from a long-tail HR system into their warehouse to gain better insight into who is on vacation
- A high growth eCommerce company is syncing data from their inventory platform, their shipping platform, and their affiliate marketing platform into their warehouse to better optimize their internal operations.
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