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, Matillion, 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 ingestion, ELT, and business intelligence Data ingestion, ELT
Database Replication No database data sources Full table; incremental via SELECT/replication key, timestamp; change data capture for AWS-hosted Matillion ETL instances Full table; incremental via change data capture or SELECT/replication keys
SaaS sources About 80 About 40 More than 100
Ability for customers to add new data sources No No Yes
Connects to data warehouses? Data lakes? Yes / Yes Yes / No Yes / Yes
Transparent pricing No Yes Yes
Support SLAs Unknown No Available
Purchase process Requires a conversation with sales 14-day free trial; purchased through a conversation with sales Options for self-service or talking with sales. Also available from the AWS store.
Compliance, governance, and security certifications None GDPR HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2
Data sharing No No 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 REST API 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.

Matillion

Matillion supports post-load transformations through what it calls Transformation Components. Users can create Transformation Components via point and click selection or by writing them in SQL. Components may be dragged onto Matillion's visual workspace at an appropriate spot in the data pipeline.

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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.

Matillion

Matillion integrates with about 60 data sources in seven categories: CRM and marketing communications, ERP, finance, social networks, databases, document and file formats, and internet resources. Customers can request that the company build a new data source, but no one outside of the company can build new data sources or make improvements to existing sources. It supports Redshift, BigQuery, and Snowflake destinations.

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.

Matillion

Matillion provides support through an online ticketing system accessible through a support portal or via email. Documentation relies on articles accessible through the support portal. The company doesn't provide training services, but tutorial videos are available on the company's YouTube channel.

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.

Matillion

Matillion offers a 14-day free trial. Matillion pricing depends on the platform on which the customer's data warehouse runs. Charges are hourly at a rate that depends on the instance size customers run. Annual billing plans are available.

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.