by Eric Franzon
Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) and the business problem ETL solves -- Data Integration -- are complex to say the least. As the team at Cambridge Semantics points out:
Data integration and data on-boarding are time-consuming, manual, costly & error-prone processes.
- Complex integrations require developing a large number of point-to-point source-target mappings.
- Each mapping must be jointly developed by experts in all involved systems before being handed off to a team of ETL developers.
- Each hand-off increases both the time it takes to complete the integration and also the risk of errors as requirements are misunderstood or not fully validated.
- The lineage and meaning of data are often lost in the process, limiting the trustworthiness and utility of the data.
Cambridge Semantics today announced the launch of its Anzo Smart Data Integration (ASDI) software to help enterprises rapidly understand and integrate information assets. Described as a "design time tool for business analysts," ASDI is "designed to reduce integration time frames and costs by 10X and enhance time-to-revenue when on-boarding new customers, partners and data," according to the official announcement.
ASDI is a toolset that automates the ETL job-creation process without replacing existing systems. It works with popular ETL engines such as Informatica and Pentaho. Business analysts can "map source and target systems to the common, conceptual model" in a familiar Excel-like interface, automating traditional data integration tasks. This eliminates the need for hand-coding and direct data exchanges between teams. Through automation and elimination of process complexities, accuracy and data quality are both improved.
To discuss how ASDI helps with ETL, SemanticWeb.com spoke with Marty Loughlin, VP Financial Services at Cambridge Semantics. As Loughlin said, "Systems are only ever mapped once, rather than once per project, allowing for re-use of those semantic mappings... With ASDI, business analysts can control the setup, design and configuration of the ETL jobs as well as track data lineage and view dashboards showing project, data source, schema, model, and governance information." Those followed the W3C PROV spec might find it interesting to note that PROV is used to track that data lineage.
"ASDI also improves redundancy by allowing enterprises to use multiple ETL vendors. Finally, business analysts use ASDI to create on-demand data marts or extracts for real-time business analytics and decision support."
Alok Prasad, President at Cambridge Semantics, added, “As the volume of business data continues to explode, companies are seeking ways to accelerate the process of integrating data during acquisitions, new customer and product onboarding, regulatory compliance responses and more. Any business operation that involves migrating data from one or more organization, database or system to another can benefit from reducing the complexities of the process with Anzo Smart Data Integration. We’re already seeing high levels of interest by industry leading organizations to join our Beta program.”
This is a phased release, in limited beta for now, with a full beta planned for the August time frame. To Join the beta and to see a video demo of ADSI, visit: http://www.cambridgesemantics.com/products/anzo-sdi-demo
Learn more about ASDI, Anzo, and Cambridge Semantics at the Semantic Technology & Business Conference, August 19-21, 2014.