Data preparation tools are software solutions designed to improve data quality by transforming unorganized data into data that can provide organizations with actionable insights. Here’s a quick guide.
What do data preparation tools do?
Cloud integration refers to bringing multiple cloud-based systems, applications, and processes There are three basic ways in which data preparation tools can help you organize your messy data. These include:
Compilation of Data
Regardless of the data format or origin, data preparation tools can quickly and easily access data from structured data sources as well as unstructured data sources.
Enhances Data Quality
Instances of error in data preparation are considerably higher when it is done manually. However, when you use data preparation tools, your data quality improves since these tools are designed to not only help you organize your data but to also facilitate a data cleanse. As a result, the reports you generate will provide accurate and highly reliable data insights.
Validation of Data
Post data compilation and cleanse, the next step involves data validation to ensure your data is reliable, accurate, and relevant. Here again, data preparation solutions can help in data validation thereby optimizing your data quality.
Common Tools Used for Data Preparation
When it comes to selecting the right data preparation tool and the right vendor for your organization, the process can get complicated. Why? You need to spend time researching the markets for solutions that address all your unique data preparation requirements. Plus, with hundreds of data preparation tools available, knowing where to begin can be challenging.
To help you understand what different data preparation tools can offer by way of features and capabilities, here is a list of some of the top data preparation tools available in the market today.
It’s important to note that some of these data preparation solutions are better suited for SMBs while others might provide data preparation capabilities more suited for larger enterprises and industries.
Data Ladder is designed to serve as a data quality and cleansing solution which can effectively simplify your entire data preparation process. The solution does not require in-depth technical training which means it offers easy navigation and usage.
Designed to be intuitive, Data Ladder uses machine learning to quickly learn as data inputs increase. Furthermore, the tool can quickly and accurately integrate with datasets from almost all sources.
Top features of Data Ladder include the following:
- Address validation.
- Data quality firewall.
- Geocoding capabilities.
- 4000+ deployments.
The first step in getting started with cloud integration is to examine your existing applications
Microsoft Power BI
Designed for business analysts, Microsoft Power BI is a data preparation software that is designed with business intelligence capabilities and data visualization via a highly user-friendly interface.
Microsoft Power BI can quickly and efficiently generate high-quality reports based on data analytics – the analytics can be then used by data scientists to gain dataset intelligence. This data preparation tool can turn data into visual formats which can be easily shared with teams and business clients.
If you are looking for a solution that can help you analyze your data for making informed business decisions, then Microsoft Power BI is the solution for the job.
Top features of Microsoft Power BI include the following:
- Data visualization.
- Offers customizable reports and dashboard.
- Designed with collaborative reporting features.
- Provides real-time dashboards.
- Designed with built-in security features.
Tableau Prep is a data preparation tool designed to help data engineers and analysts. The solution works by combining, shaping, and cleansing data for anyone who works with datasets.
In addition, Tableau Prep can integrate with on-premise and cloud-based data – regardless of the data format. Designed with smart capabilities, this data preparation tool simplifies data preparation thereby effectively cutting down the time it takes to complete repetitive tasks – and it can do this with just one single click!
Tableau Prep is a feature rich self-service data preparation tool which can help you quickly optimize the process of correcting routine or common dataset issues or challenges. And because the solution comes with a collaborative interface, teams across your organization can easily access critical data thereby driving data-driven decisions.
Top features of Tableau Prep include the following:
- Highly scalable.
- Can easily connect with both on-premises and cloud-based datasets.
- Offers visual feedback.
- Effectively restructures ill-formatted data.
Alteryx Analytics is again among the top self-service analytics and data preparation tools available in the market today. The solution is designed to help automate manual work and features an intuitive user interface with drag-and-drop visual workflows that can effectively simplify your data preparation process.
The solution can quickly and automatically deliver your data analysis outcomes to 70+ sources which include the following – Oracle, SQL, XML, Microsoft Excel, Spark, and PD among others.
Furthermore, Alteryx Analytics is designed to compile both on-premise and cloud-based datasets including multiple sources such as spreadsheets, databases, social sources, as well as unstructured data.
Top features of Alteryx Analytics include the following:
- Advanced machine learning capabilities.
- Drag-and-drop visual workflow.
- In-database processing (Oracle, Spark, SQL, Microsoft among others.)
- User-friendly data profiling.
If you are looking for a data preparation tool that can help you explore, transform, and integrate you unstructured datasets, then Trifacta can match these requirements.
Trifacta works by taking raw data from all your data sources including cloud-based data and effectively compiles it into one single source. Once this is done, the solution then structures, cleans, improves, and validates your data making it ready for use.
Furthermore, because it is designed with machine learning capabilities, Trifacta offers automatic suggestions on data transformations and aggregations.
Top features of Trifacta include the following:
- Machine learning capabilities that support predictive data transformation.
- Automated, visual representations of data.
- Multiple processes of clustering values.
- Continuing monitoring and management of data quality.
What are data wrangling tools?
Data wrangling tools are solutions designed to help convert erroneous and unusable data forms into usable and compatible formats — thereby allowing users to take advantage of the real value of their data. In other words, data wrangling tools help in compiling, importing, structuring, and cleaning of all your data prior to it being fed into analytics or BI apps.
Automated data wrangling tools can help you validate data mappings and effectively scrutinize data samples spanning your entire data transformation process, thereby enabling you to quickly identify and correct errors in data mapping.
If you are considering using data wrangling tools for your business, it is important that you start by deciding on which tool is the best fit for your business needs. Here is a list of the top data wrangling tools currently available in the market today.
Platform: Altair Monarch
Altair Monarch is designed as a self-service data preparation tool which can connect easily with multiple data sources including cloud-based data as well as with big data. The solution can be used on desktops.
Platform: Alteryx Designer
Designed with an intuitive user interface, Alteryx Designer is a data wrangling tool that is designed to enable users to connect and clean data from different sources including data warehouses and cloud applications, among others.
Anzo is a data wrangling solution that allows users to find, connect, and combine data while also allowing them to easily connect with internal and external data sources.
Platform: Datameer Enterprise
Datameer Enterprise is a data wrangling solution that supports all data related processes including moving data from multiple sources into one place, data preparation, and data exploration.
Platform: Foundation Platform
The TMMData Foundation Platform comes with multiple capabilities including data integration, preparation, and data management. Foundation Platform is designed for easy on-perm deployment as well as cloud and hybrid deployment.
Points to Ponder
Different businesses and organizations will have different needs when it comes to data preparation tools.
There are a wide range of tools available in the market today. However, it’s vital that you carefully research and understand how each data preparation solution addresses your specific requirements. Keep in mind that while each of the above mentioned tools might be designed with similar capabilities, it’s not necessary that every tool will be similar when it comes to meeting your organization’s requirements.
For this reason, choose a data preparation tool that is compatible with your datasets and offers integration capabilities that are best suited for your business.