Most businesses have data stored in a variety of locations, from in-house databases to SaaS platforms. To get a full picture of their finances and operations, they pull data from all those sources into a data warehouse or data lake and run analytics against it. But they don't want to build and maintain their own data pipelines.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to build everything in-house. We put together this ETL tool comparison guide to help you choose the product that’s the best fit for your business.

Overview

Improvado, Informatica, and Stitch are all popular platforms. Here's a side-by-side look at how they stack up against each other.

Focus Data ingestion, marketing dashboard Data integration, ETL Data ingestion, ELT
Database Replication No database data sources Full table; incremental via change data capture Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources About 80 More than 80 More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources No Yes Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing No No Yes
Support SLAs Unknown Available Available
Purchase process Requires a conversation with sales Requires conversation with sales Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
Compliance, governance, and security certifications None HIPAA, SOC 2, SOC 3, Privacy Shield HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing No Yes, through Informatica Cloud Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in Unknown Annual contracts. No open source Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
Developer tools REST API Informatica Developer Tool, REST API, Connector Toolkit Import API, Stitch Connect API for integrating Stitch with other platforms, Singer open source project

Let's dive into some of the details of each platform.

Transformations: the 'T' of ETL

Stitch

Stitch is an ELT product. Within the pipeline, Stitch does only transformations that are required for compatibility with the destination, such as translating data types or denesting data when relevant. Stitch is part of Talend, which also provides tools for transforming data either within the data warehouse or via external processing engines such as Spark and MapReduce. Transformations can be defined in SQL, Python, Java, or via graphical user interface.

Improvado

Improvado provides preload transformations on data moved through the Improvado UI. Improvado transforms data into a format that they believe to be better for users, but it doesn't support user-configured transformations. Improvado also lets customers move raw data to a destination by writing code that calls their API.

Informatica

Informatica has been an on-premises product for most of its history, and much of the product is focused on preload transformations, which is an important feature when sending data to an on-premises data warehouse. Informatica includes a library of prebuilt transformations and the ability to build custom transformations using a proprietary transformation language.

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Data, sources and destinations

Each of these tools supports a variety of data sources and destinations.

Stitch

Stitch supports more than 100 database and SaaS integrations as data sources, and eight data warehouse and data lake destinations. Customers can contract with Stitch to build new sources, and anyone can add a new source to Stitch by developing it according to the standards laid out in Singer, an open source toolkit for writing scripts that move data. Singer integrations can be run independently, regardless of whether the user is a Stitch customer. Running Singer integrations on Stitch’s platform allows users to take advantage of Stitch's monitoring, scheduling, credential management, and autoscaling features.

Improvado

Improvado supports about 80 integrations to SaaS platforms. Several other data sources are "available by request only." Improvado supports Amazon Redshift and Google BigQuery data warehouses; Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage data lakes; and PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Postgres Plus database destinations. Customers can request that the company build a new data source or destination, but no one outside of the company can build new ones or make improvements to existing ones.

Informatica

Informatica provides Cloud Connectors for more than 100 applications and databases. The only cloud data warehouse destination it supports is Amazon Redshift. It also support Pivotal's Greenplum on-premises platform. The only data lake destination it supports is Microsoft Azure SQL Data Lake. Developers can create new connectors using Informatica Connector Toolkit.

Support, documentation, and training

Data integration tools can be complex, so vendors offer several ways to help their customers. Online documentation is the first resource users often turn to, and support teams can answer questions that aren't covered in the docs. Vendors of the more complicated tools may also offer training services.

Stitch

Stitch provides in-app chat support to all customers, and phone support is available for Enterprise customers. Support SLAs are available. Documentation is comprehensive and is open source — anyone can contribute additions and improvements or repurpose the content. Stitch does not provide training services.

Improvado

Improvado provides support through Intercom online chat and via email. Documentation is provided in the form of how-to articles. The company doesn't provide training services.

Informatica

Informatica provides three levels of support. Basic Success is available during business hours. Premium Success offers 24x7 support for Priority 1 cases. Signature Support offers 24x7 support for all cases. Documentation is comprehensive. The company offers training through Informatica University.

Pricing

Stitch

Stitch has pricing that scales to fit a wide range of budgets and company sizes. All new users get an unlimited 14-day trial. After the trial, there's a free plan for smaller organizations and nonproduction workloads. Standard plans range from $100 to $1,250 per month depending on scale, with discounts for paying annually. Enterprise plans for larger organizations and mission-critical use cases can include custom features, data volumes, and service levels, and are priced individually.

Improvado

Improvado doesn't disclose pricing, and has no free trial period.

Informatica

Informatica has many products, each of which may have several optional components. The base version of Integration Cloud starts at $2,000 per month. The pricing of add-on tiers is undisclosed. Informatica provides a 30-day free trial for many of its products.

Get started now

Which tool is best overall? That's something every organization has to decide based on its unique requirements, but we can help you get started. Sign up now for a free trial of Stitch.