If you want to accomplish a successful project your data should not be compromised. Using data profiling tools into your big data sources, helps you to create a deep insight into the quality of your data.
Nowadays there is a comprehensive range of good data profiling software solutions (even free for download) – such as the ETL and business intelligence software with built in data profilers or stand-alone data profiling solutions. All of them allow you to find data issues before they become bigger data problems.
An accurate picture of your data has crucial benefits for your business such as providing management with needed information to make strategic decisions or allowing your IT team to build a reliable big data warehouse.
On this page:
- What is data profiling? Definition and meaning.
- List of the best data profiling tools and software solutions (and one free tool).
What is Data Profiling?
Data profiling (also known as data archeology) is an assessment of data values within a given data set for uniqueness, consistency, and logic – the three key data quality metrics.
It uses descriptive statistics – one of the key types of statistical analysis to examine data for different purposes.
The insight you gain by data profiling gives you an idea how difficult it will be to use the data for different purposes.
With the help of data profiling tools, you can profile any data asset meaningful to your business – big data, real time data, structured and non-structured data and etc.
Data profiling software and techniques provide companies with the ability to analyze large amounts of data fastly, in no time. Data have a very dynamic nature and you should constantly evaluate it.
Data Profiling Tools and Software Solutions: Best List
1. IBM InfoSphere Information Analyzer
This popular tool allows you to understand the quality, content, and structure of the data. IBM InfoSphere Information Analyzer provides a comprehensive range of capabilities for profiling your data source.
The main data profiling functions are:
- Column analysis that generates a full-frequency distribution and examines in detail each column of every source table.
- Primary key analysis that allows you to validate the primary keys and identify columns that are applicants for primary keys.
- Natural key analysis allows you to profile the uniqueness of distinct values in each column of a table. You can review the natural key analysis results.
- Foreign-key analysis
- Cross-domain analysis that examines content and relationships across tables.
2. SAP Business Objects Data Services (BODS) for Data Profiling
SAP BODS is one of the best and most popular data profiling tools and ETL software solutions out there. The tool allows business users very quickly identify inconsistencies and data problems before it is used for intelligence purposes.
One of the key success-factor of SAP BODS is that it combines three business-oriented solutions such as data quality monitoring, metadata management, and data profiling in one package.
Among the benefits of SAP BODS data profiling are:
- Allows you to analyze if data matches business expectations
- Validate data completeness, redundancy, sparseness, pattern distribution.
- Analyze cross system data dependencies
There are two types of Profiling:
- Column Profiling that let you perform basic profiling ( including information like min, max, avg, etc.) and detailed profiling (distinct percent, distinct count, median, etc.)
- Relationship profiling that lets you find data anomalies between two columns.
3. Informatica Data Profiling Solution – Data Explorer
Informatica Data Profiling and Quality solutions allow developers and data administrators to profile the data in the repository very fastly and provide a more thorough analysis.
Data Explorer has two editions—Standard and Advanced. Both of them use powerful data profiling capabilities to scan every single data record, from any source. This allows you to find quickly anomalies and hidden relationships.
The tool works regardless of complexity and of the type of relationship between your data sources.
Informatica data profiling software provides your IT team with automated discovery capabilities. This helps them minimize the specification and testing cycles and save their time.
In addition, the tool provides several pre-built rules and they can be applied right to the profile within either the Analyst or Developer tool. Informatica data profiling tools even support data governance procedures.
4. Data Profiling with Talend Open Studio for Data Quality
Talend Open Studio a famous ETL software – a very flexible tool that provides a rich functionality to give you deep visibility into your organization’s data.
Without a need to write any code, you can make data quality analysis ranging from simple data profiling to analysis of different types of fields, to validation against standard or custom patterns.
You are able to easily access a broad range of databases, applications, file types – all from the one graphical console.
You also can apply custom business rules to your data, identify data that fails to conform to particular internal standards such as SKU and etc.
This is one of the best free data profiling tools that is fully functional and powerful software and you can download and use it for free – as long as you want.
5. Melissa Data Profiler
Melissa provides a full spectrum of data quality software solutions including data profiling, data enrichment, data matching and data verification.
Their Data Profiler is initiative and very easy to use data profiling tool that put your data under a microscope. Profiler analyzes your data before it gets into your warehouse and helps ensure consistent data quality.
Profiler is designed to tackle two data profiling predicaments:
- Identification – you are able to identify, extract, and understand your data. It returns numerous string and stats from minimum and maximum values to averages to quartiles and more.
- Monitoring – the tool provides permanent monitoring functionalities that help you understand how well your data quality processes are operating.
In addition, the software is able to analyze a broad variety of data types such as contact name, title, company, address, city, state, phone and more. For identification and discovery, you get: General Formatting, Content Analysis, Field Analysis, Monitoring.
Data profiling is the crucial first step in data quality. Data profiling tools and software solutions are originally designed to make the task of the managing data quality easier and more fun.
On the market today there is a broad range of data profiling solutions such as the ETL and business intelligence software with built in Data Profilers. There are also stand-alone Data Profiling solutions.
Which one you will use depends on many factors – your business needs and strategy, data quality cost and etc. A good data profile strategy should be in synchrony with your overall business strategy and expectations.
What is your preferred data profiler? Share your thoughts in the comment field above.
Silvia Vylcheva has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing world – which gave her a wide business acumen and the ability to identify and understand different customer needs.
Silvia has a passion and knowledge in different business and marketing areas such as inbound methodology, data intelligence, competition research and more.