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What is Fivetran?

Written by Luke Slater
Monday 15 March, 2021

What is Fivetran? (& Why Biztory Love It!)


Making Data as Simple & Reliable as Electricity

It’s 2021 so every organization has heard the message 'Data is the New Oil', it’s an incredibly valuable asset and if you’re using it correctly you can tap into an extensive list of benefits (business growth, process efficiencies, empowered employees etc. etc.).

So where is this data? Well that one’s easy, it’s everywhere, and this isn’t necessarily a positive. The average company has a portfolio of Business Systems, SAAS Applications & strange Gizmos with both the alluring and intimidating potential to spit out valuable data. Here at Biztory we can relate to this, we have Sales data in Hubspot, Finance data in Xero, a never ending suite of Google tools. Slack collects how much we talk to each other and Tableau Server keeps an eye out for the analytics we do. 

We know what we want to do with this data, we should store it in a Modern Data Warehouse before getting insight via a market leading Analytics Platform. But the data’s siloed in a  bunch of proprietary stems, each with their own export preferences, unique schemas and update sequences.  Building out connections from scratch is going to be complex, time consuming and expensive. And that’s just Day 1. We’ll have to maintain these pipelines and tweak them every time our platforms alter their schemas.

This is a limiter to the untapped potential of data we were promised.


What is Fivetran

Fivetran are on a mission to make accessing data as simple & reliable as electricity. In the same way that electricity is an enabler for modern life (quite literally powering our world!) data is an enabler for modern business. It requires the same level of thoughtful infrastructure to make analytics as seamless and intuitive as flicking a light switch.

In simple terms, Fivetran moves your data from over 150 data sources to a destination of your choosing. It follows an ELT ethos. Cloud storage is now so cheap and the benefits of having access to all data so great, you should move all your data, en masse,  to a Data Lake using Fivetran to effortlessly complete the Extract & Load steps. From there, a Modern Data Stack of Warehouse + Analytics Platform will allow you to carry out final Transformations before analysis. 

More and more organisations are entrusting Fivetran with this process. In 2020 they doubled their customer base and collected stories from the likes of Strava, New Relic & Old Castle.


Why Biztory Love It!

The premise is pretty straightforward, use Fivetran to extract data from all those tricky to reach locations effortlessly. But why do we love this so much?

  • Speed of Implementation. Traditional Data Engineering projects take weeks, months and (whisper it quietly) sometimes years. With Fivetran the setup is counted in minutes & hours. This is a massive cost saving and enables you to get that juicy value out of your data immediately.

  • Maintenance-Free. There's nothing worse than the nagging feeling that a  job is never quite complete.  This is certainly the case with traditional Data Engineering. As a minimum you’ll need to run frequent, costly, maintenance cycles, all the while adapting to any changes made by the providers of the source systems you’re connecting to. In contrast, Fivetran engineers update connectors as source APIs & Schema change, eliminating user maintenance and ensuring 99.9% uptime.

  • A Connector for Every Occasion. Nothing is more disappointing (at least to an analyst) than having data you can’t quite reach. Fivetran have built 150+ ready to go connectors. They’re rapidly developing more of these and you can use their Custom Functions for anything not yet supported. With Fivetran we can squeeze data and value, out of all of your applications.

Refocus Your Time.  Whilst Data Pipelining is an important process in any Modern Data Stack, in isolation it produces zero value.  The value your data holds only surfaces through analytics & insight. By cutting down the time and effort required to operate pipelines you can reallocate the capacity to do the things that matter most to your organisation, seeing & understanding your data.

- Luke