Matillion is a data integration platform that deals with acquisition, ingestion, and transformation, with a low-code approach that makes use of the computing power of cloud data warehouse systems.
Along with leveraging its users’ cloud environments to transform their data, Matillion offers two primary products, Matillion ETL and Matillion Data Loader.
Matillion Data Loader is only meant to move data, and their durable ETL solution is called Matillion ETL. Advanced users may find that both Matillion ETL and Matillion Data loader offer detailed configuration.
Now that we know what Matillion is and what they offer, let’s delve into the pros and cons that come with using Matillion as a data integration platform.
The Pros with Matillion
· Matillion ETL has over 100 pre-built connectors at the moment for various data sources such as Google Bigquery, Snowflake, Delta Lake, Amazon Redshift, Azure, and Synapse as destinations. You can also create your own custom connectors to any REST API source system.
· Leverage Matillion’s graphical UI to create orchestration jobs to construct sophisticated ETL pipelines. Also, you can establish transformation jobs within Matillion by selecting from dozens of components to create a large-volume transformation workflow.
· When jobs are orchestrated and scheduled in Matillion, everything is automated.
· Each job in Matillion can be set up to run at a predetermined time or a regular interval depending on your needs.
· Stage data in your own cloud environment and send notifications directly to Slack or email.
· Use custom scripting leveraging languages such as SQL, Python, or Bash for particular transformation requirements.
The Cons with Matillion
· Matillion may have been labeled as a SaaS solution, but it would be more accurately described as an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solution.
· Matillion gives you a platform to make data integration possible, but you will be the one that is responsible for handling the set-up of all of the intricate details.
· As an ELT platform, Matillion should really be considered a data orchestration platform that lets you coordinate the execution and monitoring of your data pipelines and workflows.
· Users may find that Matillion has difficulty when they use it to scale their business. Depending on the data ecosystem that you have, it is very possible that establishing these data pipelines may quickly create complex workflows that put your business staff in a situation of having even more responsibilities on their hands.
· Added work that Matillion users can experience is having to address and maintain the flow of errors that inevitably take place.
· Generally speaking, ETL and ELT data solutions are intended to allow engineers to be able to have more time to work on projects they have been hired to handle. If engineers are maintaining the pipelines without the ability to write code, Matillion could create more work for them.
· Keep in mind that Matillion has a client base that is predominately enterprise customers. If your organization happens to be an SMB/mid-market company, you may not be the target demographic that they prioritize in their business model. Matillion does offer that much support for smaller businesses with their services.
· Users may find themselves asking the question, why can’t I use Matillion for Reverse ETL? Matillion specializes in ELT, not reverse ETL. Therefore, it is an example of an ELT solution that will read from the source and write to the warehouse.
All in all, Matillion is a tool for data integration that places a hefty amount of extra effort on your organization’s staff. Being that Matillion is not the industry standard data integration tool, you will find that Reverse ETL is the missing element in your procedure that is needed to properly activate your data if you are using ETL/ELT.
In comparison, you could potentially use an ELT product like Fivetran and a dedicated transformation solution like dbt as a foundation for putting together a data stack that is much more contemporary in nature as an alternative ETL approach to creating actionable insights.
Something to consider cloud data warehouses fuel business intelligence and analytics, but unfortunately, they won’t be able to do very much in the area of leveraging and democratizing the data that you have and need for your daily operations to make sure that you are elevating your customer experience, which makes Reverse ETL that much more important.
Just so you know, a Reverse ETL solution like Hightouch can read from the data warehouse and write to the data source. Matillion reads and writes in both directions for some connectors that it works with but can ultimately only over some minimal capabilities.