Data Management

The Top 10 Data Preparation Solutions

Discover the Top 10 Data Preparation Solutions designed to ensure high-quality data for analysis and reporting. Explore features such as data cleaning, transformation, and enrichment capabilities.

The Top 10 Data Preparation Solutions
  • 1. Altair Monarch
  • 2. Alteryx AI Platform
  • 3. Datameer Cloud
  • 4. IBM SSPS Data Preparation
  • 5. Microsoft Power BI
  • 6. Qlik Replicate
  • 7. SAS Viya
  • 8. Tableau Prep Builder
  • 9. Talend Data Preparation
  • 10. Toad Data Point

Data preparation solutions are cloud-based platforms that help organizations to transform raw data into useful, context-rich data, ready to be processed and analyzed. They apply machine learning and automation to each stage of the data preparation process (gathering, profiling, cleaning, labelling, structuring, transforming, enriching, and validating), so that data scientists and analysts can spend less time preparing data for analysis, and more time actually analyzing it. They also make the process of data preparation more accessible to organizations that don’t have dedicated resource for it in-house. This is achieved by making it possible for individuals without an IT or BI background to prepare data. 

Data preparation is a critical step in the overall data analytics cycle. It ensures that data scientists and analysts are working with accurate, complete, and high-quality data, which, in turn, enables analysts to derive more meaningful insights from the data. Without efficient data preparation, organizations may struggle with inaccurate analytics and skewed insights. In addition to cleaning and improving the quality of the data, data preparation can help add context to a data set by augmenting it with other relevant data. This can help organizations to make more informed decisions, and more effectively achieve their strategic business objectives.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 data preparation solutions designed to help you improve your data quality for analysis and reporting. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including automated data cleansing, profiling capabilities, data governance, and data enrichment tools.

Altair Logo

Altair Monarch is a self-service data preparation solution delivered as a desktop platform. The software can connect to multiple data sources, including structured and unstructured data, cloud-based information, and big data. No coding is required to establish these connections, cleanse the data, and manipulate it for analytic usage.

Monarch quickly reshapes a variety of disjointed data formats into ordered rows and columns appropriate for in-depth data analysis procedures. This is facilitated by more than 80 pre-constructed data preparation functions delivered via an intuitive, wizard-driven interface. These functions reduce potential errors and enhance task speed, leaving more time for the generation of valuable insights from the data. This enables teams to transform complex data sets into intelligent, actionable business insights quickly and accurately. Its self-service data preparation is effective, controlled, trusted, and precise. Once prepared, the models built within Monarch can be exported seamlessly to common business intelligence tools or other analytic platforms.

Altair offers the ability to extract data from any source and automate reconciliation workflows to save time, instill trust, and focus on analysis. With Altair, data migration from old systems to new becomes an automated, streamlined task, saving hours of manual work for data analysts and data scientists. And because of its no-code interface, Altair Monarch is also well-suited for use by individuals without a technical IT or BI background.

Altair Logo
Alteryx Logo

The Alteryx AI Platform for Enterprise Analytics aims to deliver actionable insights by streamlining analytics processes. Alteryx’s platform offers automated data preparation, AI-powered analytics, and user-friendly machine learning, providing valuable features that enable analytics teams to spend less time preparing data, and more time analyzing it to drive meaningful decision-making.

Alteryx’s platform allows analysts, data engineers, and data scientists to rapidly transform raw data into valuable insights through interactive preparation, leading to visual, shareable representations of data for enhanced use case development. The system also offers the ability to automate repetitive tasks. With Alteryx’s robust data access and preparation features, users can access visual, interactive tools to transform data and automate analytics, including plentiful data connectors for on-premises and cloud integration. The data exploration and profiling capabilities allow users to visually comprehend distributions of variables and improve data quality. Alteryx also enables data enrichment with the addition of geospatial data from Mapbox and TomTom, as well as demographic data from Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and the US Census Data.

The Alteryx AI Platform offers a user-friendly interface, enabling users to easily create analytical solutions that augment productivity, efficiency, and profits. As an end-to-end cloud analytics platform, it nurtures an analytics culture and transforms data into insights through self-service data prep, machine learning, and AI-facilitated insights. The open API standards allow easy integration with crucial data and applications, and the platform also includes governance and security mechanisms to help secure sensitive data.

Alteryx Logo
Datameer Logo

Datameer Cloud is a leading data transformation tool designed to transform data into meaningful analytics, enable non-technical team members to handle complex data, and promote collaboration between technical and non-technical users. The SaaS platform offers self-service functionality, support for multiple user personas, in-built collaboration tools, and integrations with cloud data warehouses like Snowflake.

Datameer Cloud addresses all critical aspects of data preparation such as data cleansing, enrichment, grouping, and organization, including data science-specific functions. With Datameer Cloud, users can enrich analytics datasets, generate documentation, maintain audit trails, and deploy data transformation models. Its features include an Excel-like interface, rich database documentation, data profiling, and a wide range of functions accessible via a graphical formula builder. This allows analytics teams to quickly execute data preparation tasks, aided by data engineers who create base models from raw data. In addition to data transformation, Datameer Cloud is equipped with monitoring tools and dashboards that provide constant updates on data freshness, schema changes, and anomalies, ensuring high data quality. Data breaks and irregularities can be detected swiftly, with alerts enabling the immediate resolution of data quality issues. The platform also offers historical metrics that can be explored to identify the root causes of data issues.

Datameer Cloud further improved with AI technology; this augments analysis by automating documentation and providing assistive exploration. Its user experience is entirely powered by the cloud data warehouse’s native storage and compute capabilities. This makes it a comprehensive tool for data transformation needs across various functions, promoting effective cataloging and collaboration.

Datameer Logo
IBM Logo

IBM SPSS Data Preparation is a solution that streamlines the data preparation process to provide faster and more accurate data analysis results. It comes with both an automated data preparation procedure for swift results and additional preparation methods for more complex data sets. The solution identifies suspicious or invalid cases, variables, and data values, and it allows for visualization of missing data patterns, summarization of variable distributions, and improved use of algorithms designed for nominal attributes.

IBM SPSS Data Preparation offers a Validate Data dialog for data validation, basic checks for variable and case validity, application of rules to detect invalid values, and the ability to automatically prepare data in one comprehensive step using the Automated Data Preparation (ADP) feature. The ADP feature provides an easily comprehensible report with ample recommendations and visualizations that help teams select optimal data for analysis. IBM SPSS Data Preparation also offers automatic data checks to eliminate manual checks, thereby facilitating an efficient data preparation process. The Validate Data procedure enables rules to be applied based on each variable’s measure level, determining data validity, and allowing for suspicious cases to be corrected or removed prior to analysis.

IBM’s solution also includes optimal binning; this enables the user to set cut points for scale variables, thereby facilitating accurate usage of algorithms for nominal attributes. The platform offers three types of binning: Unsupervised, Supervised and a Hybrid approach blending the prior two, giving the users enhanced flexibility for preprocessing data prior to model building. This is included in the SPSS Professional edition for on-premises use and the base edition for subscription plans. Thanks to its flexible deployment options and powerful automation capabilities, we recommend IBM SPSS Data Preparation as a strong solution for any business looking to more easily and accurately clean their data prior to analysis.

IBM Logo
Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Power BI is a comprehensive platform designed for both self-service and enterprise business intelligence. Its primary functionality involves connecting to various data sources and transforming that data into visually comprehensible insights. These insights can be easily integrated into commonly used apps, such as those within the Microsoft 365 suite.

Power BI offers a way for organizations to establish a single source of truth for all their data by connecting disparate data sources within the OneLake data hub. The platform’s key features include sophisticated data analysis tools, AI capabilities, and an intuitive report creation tool. These enable users to convert any data into visuals rapidly. Power BI can also merge enterprise-scale and self-service BI, driving innovation and insights across an organization. Finally, Power BI Embedded allows organizations to improve user engagement in their own apps by embedding visually striking reports.

Users can get started very quickly and easily with Power BI, thanks to its user-friendly report-creation experience, AI-generated reports, and wide selection of report templates. Its interoperability with everyday applications bridges the gap between insights and decisions, while its user-friendly interface, coupled with a plethora of free training resources and accessibility features, empowers all users to work effectively with data.

Microsoft Logo
Qlik Logo

Qlik Replicate is a powerful software solution that provides automated, real-time data integration. It facilitates efficient data preparation by allowing high-speed movement of data from sources to targets. Qlik Replicate can establish robust data pipelines and enables seamless integration across major data lakes, databases, streaming systems, and mainframe systems, regardless of whether they’re located in the cloud or on-premises.

Qlik Replicate comes with an easy-to-use graphical interface, intelligent management controls, advanced Change Data Capture (CDC) technology, automated end-to-end data replication, and universal stream generation capabilities. This allows databases to publish events to major streaming services like Kafka, Amazon Kinesis, and Azure Event Hub. The platform supports a vast array of sources and targets, making it possible for IT teams to load, ingest, migrate, distribute, synchronize, and consolidate data either on-premises or in cloud environments. This includes all major RDBMS, cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Hadoop distributions, data warehouses, application software like SAP, and some legacy solutions.

In terms of performance, Qlik Replicate enables quick and easy data replication with an intuitive GUI that eliminates the need for manual coding. Its efficient handling of massive data loads through parallel threading and real-time change data capture process ranks it as a leading data integration solution for analytics.

Qlik Logo
SAS Logo

SAS Viya is an end-to-end platform focused on data analytics. The platform integrates artificial intelligence technology into its operations, eliminating traditional data science complexities. It offers customizable solutions catered to every data need and use case, all of which are housed in a flexible, single environment.

SAS Viya’s data management capabilities support a wide range of data sources, allowing users to access and integrate data from virtually anywhere across their environment. The platform’s unique suggestion engine streamlines data preparation, while data governance traces data and model lineage. The platform also includes intuitive machine learning tools with automated feature engineering capabilities that offer intelligence for faster, informed decision-making. Emphasizing monitorization and real-world performance, SAS Viya simplifies the creation and management of model collections. Models can be easily embedded into operational systems, and business rules can be integrated to provide up-to-the-minute results.

The platform also offers matrix programming, forecasting, text analytics, optimization, econometrics, event streaming analytics, advanced workload management, real-time distributed databases and decisioning. Each of these aspects come together to help users predict outcomes, extract valuable information, and make real-time decisions to further their business objectives.

SAS Logo
Tableau Logo

Tableau Prep Builder is an intuitive tool designed to simplify data preparation processes. Part of the Tableau product suite, it allows users to efficiently combine, shape, and clean data for analysis within the Tableau ecosystem. With Tableau Prep Builder, users can facilitate faster and easier access to quality data.

Tableau Prep Builder provides users with deeper insight into their data with three coordinated views: a row-level view, a column profile view, and an overall view of the data preparation process itself. This ensures that users can interact with data in ways that are most relevant to their ongoing tasks. The platform promotes optimal data accessibility, allowing connections to data whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud, which can mean a database or a spreadsheet. It enables the combination and cleaning of various data types without the necessity of writing code. Additionally, the tool intelligently pushes operations down to the database when possible, ensuring the rapid execution of tasks and leveraging existing database investments.

Tableau Prep Builder fosters efficient collaboration through easy data sharing via Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, or Tableau Cloud. This feature helps diminish bottlenecks between data preparation and analysis, thereby fostering improved business outcomes. The tool also presents immediate results with each action taken, showcasing changes made to data instantly. With Tableau Prep Builder, users can reorder steps and experiment freely with their data without any consequences.

Tableau Logo
Talend Logo

Talend Data Preparation is a user-friendly, browser-based tool created to ease data handling complications. With the ability to identify errors promptly and apply shared, reusable rules, it manipulates large data sets smoothly. Part of the wider Talend Data Fabric—a unified solution for data integration, integrity, and governance—Talend Data Preparation encompasses data integration, data quality, data integrity and governance, and application and API integration, all of which are powered by the Talend Trust Score.

Talend Data Preparation guarantees data governance with role-based access and masking rules, ensures data proficiency throughout its lifecycle, and provides a range of self-service capabilities. It’s equipped to handle a broad range of use cases, from simple data ingestion to complex multi-cloud projects. Talend Data Preparation offers tools for ELT/ETL and Change Data Capture (CDC), integrating batch or streaming data from virtually any source, whilst simultaneously prepping your data for immediate use. Within the Talend Data Fabric platform, Talend Data Preparation emphasizes data integrity and governance. It enhances data trust with automatic quality checks and provides easy-to-use tools for sharing and preserving legacy knowledge.

Users can easily integrate data into the Talend Data Preparation platform from any type, source, or destination, either on-premises or in the cloud. The system ensures flexibility and eliminates vendor or platform restrictions, allowing users to build data pipelines and have them run anywhere. It also bridges the gap between IT and business with its self-service applications for classifying and documenting data. Overall, we recommend Talend Data Preparation as a robust data preparation tool that can support most use cases. It’s particularly well-suited to organizations looking for a data preparation tool that can be implemented as part of a wider data analytics platform.

Talend Logo
Quest Logo

Toad Data Point is Quest Software’s versatile tool for self-service data preparation. The platform allows for expansive data connectivity and desktop data integration, offering simplified data access, preparation, and provisioning.

Toad Data Point enables users to connect to more than 50 diverse data sources, both on-premises and in the cloud, including SQL-based and NoSQL databases, ODBC, business intelligence sources, Microsoft Excel, or Access. Users can easily switch between data sources and execute query building and report creation in an intuitive fashion. Within the platform, users can build queries without the need to write SQL statements, blend data from multiple sources, automate reports, accelerate SQL development, reduce reporting costs, and share integrated data with relevant stakeholders and systems.

Toad Data Point incorporates two distinct interfaces based on the style of work users prefer. The Standard interface offers comprehensive functionality like data comparison, import/export, and data profiling. The Workbook interface enables users to construct fundamental query-to-report workflows in a simplified manner, providing user-friendly visual building of queries and workflow automatization.

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The Top 10 Data Preparation Solutions