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, Elastic Logstash, 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 Log replication and management Data ingestion, ELT
Database replication No database data sources None Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources About 80 None 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 Yes Yes
G2 customer satisfaction Not rated 4/5 4.8/5
Support SLAs Unknown No Available
Purchase process Requires a conversation with sales Available as a free download. Also bundled as part of the Elastic Stack, which is available via subscription Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
Compliance, governance, and security certifications None GDPR, SOC 2 Type 2 HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing No No Yes, through Talend Data Fabric
Vendor lock-in Unknown Logstash is open source software shipped under the Elastic license Month to month or annual contracts. Open source integrations
Developer tools REST API Four monitoring APIs, instructions for writing plugins in Java 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

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.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash provides plugins for several kinds of transformations, including filtering and deserializing data, extracting fields, and enriching data with lookups. Filters are text files, and users can edit existing filters and write their own; Logstash filters are Ruby gems.

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.

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Connectors: Data sources and destinations

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

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.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash is a command-line tool that runs under Linux or macOS or in a Docker container. It serves as a way to integrate log data into the Elasticsearch search and analytics service. It supports more than 50 log and event data sources. Destinations include Google BigQuery data warehouse, Google Cloud Storage and Amazon S3 data lakes, Elasticsearch, and more than 50 other file formats and operational monitoring platforms.

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.

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.

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.

Elastic Logstash

Logstash vendor Elasticsearch provides support through a customer-only portal. Logstash is also supported through an open source community. Documentation is comprehensive. Digital training materials are not available.

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.

Pricing

Improvado

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

Elastic Logstash

Logstash is a free download, and is available bundled with other products in the Elastic Stack as a subscription, which starts at $16 per month. More expensive plans are available that feature things like dedicated support, custom plugins, machine learning, and advanced security features.

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.

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.