As we covered in a recent article, data transformation is a critical part of data maintenance and analysis. But what data transformation tools are available to a modern marketer like yourself?
Today, we’re going to review some of the most popular data transformation tools currently available.
Types of data transformation tools
As with many services catering to digital marketers, there are a seemingly infinite number of data transformation tools for you to choose from. Some tools are flexible while others can be a bit more niche in their purpose. And of course, prices will fluctuate across the board.
So let’s break down a few of the industry favorites.
6 top data transformation tools
Short for data build tool, dbt pitches itself as “a command line tool that enables data analysts and engineers to transform data in their warehouses more effectively.” If that sounds a bit techy, that’s because it is. Dbt is geared toward more technical analysts and BI teams who already know how to use SQL programming in order to implement their data transformations.
Its users will typically import their data into data warehouses (like BigQuery and Snowflake) where they use dbt to work its magic.
The base dbt Core option is free and open-source, while pricing for their dbt Cloud option (which caters to larger teams) starts at $50 per month. However, if you're a less tech-savvy digital marketer, as many of us are, this option may be a bit too complex.
Designed for people who need to transform data with no code or specialized programming, EasyMorph helps to automate complex and repetitive data transformation tasks. It comes with a ton of preset actions and functions that can be used straight away.
While it was developed with the analytics department in mind, EasyMorph can be a good solution for less technical users with its code-free functionality. It uses a Windows-based (sorry Mac users) visual system to point and click your way to automating loops, parameters, conditions, and more.
While there is a free version available, their main product offering costs $750 per year.
If you are a mid-sized business or a large enterprise, Matillion offers in depth data transformation for your large teams. While their offering includes analytics, data integration, data lakes, preparation, and more, their transformation solution is best suited for those teams that import their data to a data warehouse or lake prior to manipulating or cleaning it.
They pride themselves on their ability to cater to large organizations by providing scalability, flexibility, the ability to solve complex business rules, and the ability to meet even the most stringent data security requirements.
Rather than a monthly or annual plan, Matillions uses a credit-based system in order to provide the most flexibility according to their clients’ needs.
Trifacta’s cloud-based solutions are designed for data engineers and analysts who need to work collaboratively to transform and work with their data. As you may have guessed, it is designed for serious technical users. However, it does provide strong functionality, and its cloud nature ensures that working collaboratively across teams is as easy as possible.
Additionally, since it uses AI service and support, users should already have some working understanding of how similar solutions work - just in case complex issues arise. Again, if you’re not so technical, Trifecta may be a bit much for your use case.
Pricing starts at $80 per month, although a free 30-day trial is available.
RudderStack positions itself as a data pipeline that makes integrations painless, builds on your existing data warehouse or infrastructure, and delivers events in real time. Their solution allows you to set up transformations and then execute them to a sandbox that can be reviewed and debugged before going live.
Their system is designed for more experienced data engineers and analysts who are comfortable working with JSON and manipulating APIs. That can present some steep learning challenges for less technical users or digital marketers without programming knowledge.
While a free version is available, their main product offering starts at $750 per month.
Much like dbt, Dataform allows users to transform their raw data via a command line tool. You heard right, some serious coding is required here. You’ll need to be familiar with SQL.
While it can be a bit more user-friendly than dbt, it’s still better suited for data engineers who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves to custom code the transformations they need to be applied to their data. Also, they have a smaller user base than dbt, which could mean less robust community support.
While their Dataform Core product is free for life, it also has a waiting list. Pricing for their other offering, Dataform Web, starts at $150 per month.
All of these can be great tools for data engineers seeking to apply transformations to their data, but that is exactly the issue. None of these solutions, including EasyMorph’s no-code approach, are designed specifically for marketers. If a digital marketer were to try to implement one of these solutions into their process, they may need to constantly rely on a BI team for assistance.
So where can digital marketers turn for a solution tailored to their needs? Well…
Why Funnel is a great data transformation tool
Funnel was designed as a marketing data hub to specifically serve digital marketers. While BI teams and data engineers can also find it useful, it's the marketers who hold a special place in our heart.
While we are some much more, you can indeed use Funnel as a data transformation tool. In fact, our code-free functionality makes that incredibly easy, and you can see Funnel as one of the best data transformation tools - at least for marketing purposes. With Funnel, you can get data from various sources and apply transformations.
Are you looking for standard rules that you can run with immediately? No problem! Our pre-built rules and logic prepare all your marketing data for the most common analyses. This means the data transformation process can be automated, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
Do you need to go a little deeper?
No problem. We’ve got you covered there, too. You can create your own custom rules to segment your data according to your specific needs. This allows you to add affiliate or agency commissions to your overall cost, fix messy campaign names, or extract UTM values for granular reporting.
Plus, we make working with multiple currencies incredibly easy. You can automate currency conversion within Funnel for side-by-side comparisons across markets. And again, there is no coding required with Funnel.
Now, we’re not saying that we are the perfect solution for every organization or data tech stack, but we are one of the few marketing data hubs that are designed for marketers, by marketers.
If you’d like some more information on how you can transform your data within Funnel, read more here.
What are data transformation tools?
Data transformation tools are software products that enable users to change raw data in several different ways. These changes can include aggregating, deduplicating, enriching, filtering, joining, merging, or splitting data. Data transformation tools can do both simple transformations as well as complex data transformations. Often, automating the needed change is part of the work a data transformation tool does.
What is an ETL tool?
Short for extract, load, and transform, an ETL tool helps data engineers and analysts to work with data. With an ETL tool, engineers can collect data from one or more sources, apply manipulations to data to ensure consistency, and send the data on to a destination — whether that is a data storage solution or visualization tool.
Who uses data transformation tools?
Data transformation tools are used by professionals who regularly analyze data in some capacity. Most commonly, these tools are used by data engineers, analysts, and business intelligence teams. However, marketers are increasingly using data transformation tools in order to monitor and measure the success of their activities.