Hear – Listen – Communicate


May 17, 2011, 1:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

2011 – The year #measure will start to adopt ETL tools.
First, for the non data warehousing junkies, ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. The three things you as an analyst loathe the most.
Extract – This is the act of obtaining the data in it’s raw format to be played with in Excel, Google Spreadsheets or your tool de jur.
Transform – oh if only the data were ready to be used! Transforming is when you clean up URL’s, create calculated metrics like ROAS, or simply group pages or events together.
Load – While officially this is loading the data back into the analysis tool, for the sake of our roles I am going to stretch this into the final presentation of data. We will say loading the data into the HiPPO.

Now from a show of Retweets… how many of you do this on a daily basis! This is why I feel the ETL process will see the greatest change in 2010. The fundamentals are there and are beyond testing.
1)For the last few years we have seen open access via REST API’s from several vendors, none more utilized than Google Analytics.
2) The GA API has been so popular, and is such a good representation of obtaining raw data, that it has resurrected old-school data extraction tools such as NextAnalytics (formerly…), Analyst Canvas (formerly DataMartist), and even newer “spreadsheet” tools such as Blime.
This speaks to the power to having quick access to raw data. The analyst community must give a hand to all the developers contributing to making this job easier for all of us. However, the challenge has only just begun. If all we are getting is raw data quickly, that certainly won’t help us transform and then load it into the HiPPOs brain.
The Transform and Loading process is where these companies need our assistance. While many companies have been stuck in rut normalizing things such as customer lists, market territories or regional sales cycles…we have a whole new challenge. Completely unstructured, non-understood, at times ambiguous datasets. We all know the “transformation” this data takes to become actionable (or loadable).

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