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What is Data Ingestion?

Jul 21, 2020 5 min read

Honestly, we are all in the era of big data. Businesses are now allowed to churn out data analytics using the big data garnered from a wide range of sources. If you really want to make better business decisions today, you need to put measures in place to access data specifically for analytics and business intelligence.

 

In a situation where there is an inaccurate picture of available data, mischievous reports, misleading analytic conclusions, and spurious decision-making, data analysis is essential.

Correlating the available data from multiple sources requires that these data should be kept in a data warehouse. Usually, this is known as a specific kind of database utilized for efficient reporting.

The very first step of information digestion is ingestion. Why? A piece of information has to be ingested before it gets to the stage of digestion. For managers, analysts, and business decision-makers, there is a need for a clearer understanding of data ingestion and its associated terms. This is because a strategic and practical approach ultimately drives business values to data pipeline design.

How do you get all your business data in one place? How do you make the right decisions for your business? Let’s take a look at data ingestion and why data ingestion tools are beneficial for your company:

What is Data Ingestion?

Simply put, data ingestion is the process involving the import of data for storage in a database. Additionally, it can also be utilized for a more advanced purpose. Data ingestion is fundamentally related to the connection of diverse data sources. These data are also extracted to detect the possible changes in data. For data ingestion to take place, data must be gathered from a wide range of sources. These include streaming data, weblogs, social media platforms, RDBMS, application logs, etc.

The process of data ingestion can be carried out in two different phases; batch and real-time.

Batch Data

This seems to be the most common data ingestion process. The batch process involves the periodic collection and grouping of data sources. After this, the data is then transferred to the destination system.

In short, batch data can simply be described as an efficient method of processing a large amount of data where a large set of data is collected over a specific period. These data undergo collection, input, and processing before the batch results are produced.

Real-Time Data

Real-time data is a data ingestion process that involves the input of data in a continual process. Subsequently, the data are then subjected to processing, and the output is instantaneously generated.

In real-time data ingestion, the processing must be undertaken in a short period (or near real-time). The data are transferred to larger data systems as and when they arrive.

Why is Data Ingestion Essential?

For any business or company to achieve its plans and projections, the value of data cannot be underestimated. Businesses need to have a clearer understanding of their audiences. To stay afloat among competitors, companies need to understand the true needs of their audiences and their behaviors.

All these data enables companies and businesses to manufacture better products, develop improved services, and make better business decisions. Apart from that, the data gathered from understanding the pattern of behaviors of these audiences helps them get more precise information in the market. Additionally, they’ll be able to run advertising campaigns and give useful recommendations.

Companies and businesses wouldn’t want to compromise when it comes to their business success. So, reliance on data ingestion is one of the best ways to eliminate inaccurate data from the data collected and stored in a database. Data ingestion is also beneficial when it comes to tracking the efficiency of services, receiving a signal to proceed from the device, and many more.

The Challenges of Data Ingestion

Several challenges can severely impact data ingestion processes. These factors can affect the entire pipeline performance. Let’s take a brief look at a few of these challenges:

Volume

A large volume of data tends to be potential pipeline breakers. Due to their sheer sizes, they can contribute to a significant disruption in the data ingestion pipeline. Usually, the data to be ingested shouldn’t be more than a few gigabytes in terms of sizes. If it is fit for streamlining, the challenges can increase sporadically.

Velocity

Speed is a significant challenge for both the data ingestion process and the data pipeline as a whole. Data will continue to grow in terms of complexity. While these data continue to grow, it becomes more challenging for the data ingestion pipeline as it tends to be more time-consuming. The impact is felt in situations where real-time processing is required.

Variety

Honestly, the world has witnessed radical advancements in the area of digital technology. Data ingestion has become even more complicated with the explosion of data sources like smartphones, sensors, and a host of other mediums or sources. Whether structured or unstructured, data is now available in different formats. While structured data tends to be easier to process, unstructured data seems complicated and requires unique processing power.

Costs

While data ingestion requires the support of a variety of data sources and proprietary platforms to perform its sole function, the data ingestion process is quite expensive. The maintenance of support resources and infrastructure makes the data ingestion process highly expensive. 

What is Data Ingestion Tools?

Data ingestion tools are software that provides a framework that allows businesses to efficiently gather, import, load, transfer, integrate, and process data from a diverse range of data sources. These tools help to facilitate the entire process of data extraction.

Apart from the collection, integration, and processing of data, data ingestion tools also play significant roles in helping companies modify and format data for both analytics and storage purposes.

Here are the features of data ingestion tools:

Extraction and Processing of Data

One of the fundamental objectives of data ingesting tools is data extraction. And of course, this remains a highly essential feature of these tools. As stated earlier, data ingesting tools utilizes a diverse range of data transporting protocols to gather, integrate, process, and deliver data to the right destinations. 

Dataflow Visualization

This incredible feature provides users with the opportunity to easily visualize dataflow. Data ingestion tools offer a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface that promotes the possibility of visualizing complex data. Besides, it also employs an effective way to simplify the data efficiently.

Scalability

Scalability is another incredible feature of data ingestion tools as it allows for accommodation of different data sizes. This is aimed at meeting the data processing requirements of the organization. Scalability is efficiently possible as users are allowed to configure nodes to facilitate an increase in the number of transactions or tasks performed by the processor.

Multi-platform Support and Integration

When it comes to the roles of data ingestion tools, the ability to extract all kinds of data from a wide range of sources in the premises or the cloud cannot be ruled out. Interestingly, data ingestion tools can function optimally in terms of accessing data from different databases. Also, data are accessed from different operating systems without necessarily influencing the performance of these systems.

Advanced Security Features

The top data ingesting tools use varying degrees of data encryption mechanisms and security protocols to secure the company’s data. Some of these include HTTPS, SSH, and SSL. The primary benefits of these advanced security tools include:

  • Cost-effective solutions;
  • User-friendly interface for;
  • Inexperienced users;
  • Quick data extraction and delivery;
  • Scalability makes it possible to handle a huge volume of data.

Getting Started with Whatagraph

Whatagrah is a real-time data ingestion solution. Our data reporting platform is designed to solve the hurdles associated with data ingestion. How do we achieve this? We help automate and simplify the entire process of data ingestions.

Mike Bennet
Written by Mike Bennet

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