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Each ETL project presents its own set of challenges. Whether it’s the complexity or the scale—or both—it is very important to consider the different aspects of the project before embarking on it. Having done so many times, our experts can share with you their knowledge about evaluating ETL projects.

Key factors to consider

 The following is a list of qualitative and quantitative factors that influence the cost and duration of an ETL project:

  1. The number of systems at the source and at the destination. Will you work on one or more databases? Will you have to handle different types of files (Excel, Shapefile, File Geodatabase, AutoCAD, KML, PDF, etc.)? The number of formats and systems will have to be taken into account when evaluating the amount of effort needed.
  2. The number of transformations and their complexity. To evaluate complex processes, dividing them into several steps that are easier to identify is a good idea. Before starting your ETL project, list the problems you want to solve and divide them into pieces to plan the work in a modular way.
  3. The quality of the documentation of the source files. How well do you know the data you will be working on? If you are unfamiliar with it and the available documentation is limited, you will have to set aside some time to analyze and understand the data.
  4. The precision of the technical requirements. Are the objectives of the project defined precisely or broadly? Evaluating a task described at a high level obviously has a greater margin of error.
  5. The team’s level of comfort with and knowledge of the data to be processed. Do you have the skills to fulfill the project? If the project requires working with AutoCAD data and your team is unfamiliar with the software, it is a good idea to consider training.
  6. The quality of the data at the source. Do you know the term “garbage in = garbage out”? If the initial data is unreliable, you will not get the desired results and will face unexpected problems. You need to evaluate the quality of the data and, if necessary, allow time for cleaning.
  7. Volume and level of performance needed. The more data there is, the greater the challenge is to perform. Allow time for a load test, because starting an ETL process on 100 objects is a lot different than doing it on 1,000,000 objects.
  8. The level of effort needed in project management and monitoring. Carrying out an ETL project involves many interactions with the client and team members. Properly managing communications and progress through the various steps is therefore important for the project’s success. In addition, make sure you have enough time for tasks such as delivery, knowledge transfer and project management.

A dedicated team for a successful project

Everyone’s involvement is important for the success of the project, both for the development team and on the client side. When all players are geared towards the same objectives and prioritize the allocation of resources to advance the project, the steps are effectively linked and problems are resolved quickly. This inertia produces better results and increases the chances of meeting deadlines.


Are you considering an ETL project soon? Regardless of its size and complexity, Consortech has the expertise and methods to make it a success.

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