In many organisations there is no software selection process at all. Sometimes there is a corporate standard you need to comply to, or you may have a database or BI tool in place from a specific vendor, and you decide to buy an ETL tool from the same vendor, because you expect that these will work better together.
Often organisations find it difficult and labour intensive to execute a software selection process in order to gather all the necessary data. The ETL tools & Data Integration Survey 2014 is designed to help you perform the selection quickly and efficiently. There are many more reasons to buy the survey.
1. Create a data integration strategy
Choosing and selecting an ETL tool is a process that begins with defining a data integration strategy, compliant with the overall Business Intelligence strategy and requirements. Without a proper integration strategy, buying an ETL tool, will be the same as buying a very nice and expensive car, which runs on a type of fuel which is not available in the country where you want to drive it!
2. Define criteria in business terms
Once the strategy is clear, you can define the business critical selection criteria, like ‘Our business people want to keep track of history’. In that case you need an ETL Tool that has standard support for slowly changing dimensions out-of-the-box. Another example: one of the business strategies is that there will be a customer contact centre. The business people in the contact centre, needs to see all the customer data that the company registered in a wide variety of source systems residing on different platforms. You need an ETL tool that performs well in a heterogeneous envinronment, on different platforms, and is able to connect natively to many different types of database. By doing so, we make a clear connection between the criteria and the business strategy, an essential factor for success.
3. Create a short-list
Once you have all the criteria in place, you will be able, with the information in the ETL tools comparison to decide which tools match your criteria. From there, you can create very easily a short-list of two or three different products.
4. Invite vendors for a live demonstration
In this phase of the ETL selection process, you will invite the vendors on the short-list for a live demonstration of their solution. We recommend that you prepare this meeting in detail with the vendor, to avoid demonstrations by PowerPoint. If possible, provide the vendors with some company data, so you can easily see the relevance of what is demonstrated and judge how well it functions.
5. Perform a proof-of-concept (PoC)
Doing a proof-of-concept (PoC) is essential for choosing an ETL tool that suits your organisation. So you can test the solution in your own IT environment, and get a idea of the functionality, connectivity, usability and performance of each ETL tool. Define beforehand what has to be done, what the results should be and what data should be used. Be sure, that the data in your source systems are accessible. In general, a proof-of-concept, can be done in three to five days. To keep negotiation options open, it is recommended that a PoC is performed with at least two vendors.
6. Negotiate with vendors
7. Close the deal
Finally, you want to close the deal with the vendor that has the best support for your data integration strategy, and has the lowest costs.