Reverse ETL is recognized as the process of copying data from a central data warehouse to various forms of operational systems of record, which may include SaaS tools used for sales, support, growth, and marketing.
The ‘ETL’ stands for extract, transform, load, with each of those three words representing a key phase of the data integration process, and reverse ETL being this process in reverse.
But in order to fully understand why a business as big as a global enterprise or one small as a local clothing boutique need to make good use of reverse ETL, it will be helping to identify the top use cases for reverse ETL to get an idea of how it works for others when it gets put into action.
1. Operational Analytics
Operational analytics is the feeding insights that have been pulled from data to business teams in their usual workflow so they can make accurate and defendable decisions based on this new, up-to-date information.
So, how does reverse ETL enable operational analytics? Instead of having to train your staff to use business intelligence (BI) reports, the data analyst can operationalize their analysis by putting lead scores from the data warehouse into a custom field in a solution such as Salesforce.
Now with the use of operational analytics, your reps have the information that they can use to properly take action, instead of just having to sit still with information.
Reverse ETL solutions enable data teams and analysts to implement operational analytics quickly as they would have been able to create a business intelligence (BI) report but with more accurate data at their fingertips.
2. Personalize Customer Experiences
Reverse ETL is the form of software engineering that has a way to benefit your data infrastructure that is surely expanding with numerous data sources. One of the most central use cases for reverse ETL putting in work in the area of data infrastructure is by personalizing customer experiences.
When customers feel like their interests have been taken into consideration during their engagement with a company, it makes the relationship a much more two-side event that leaves more of a lasting impression that is positive.
3. Accessing Disparate Data Sources
Let’s face it; customer data is spread across dozens and even hundreds of disparate systems under the roof of each company that a customer does business with.
There are countless data points that are associated with customers, from their purchase history, their locations, their product and service preferences, and much more.
Therefore, it isn’t surprising to think that your application needs to access information from separate data sources, and reverse ETL can be right there for you to create a solution to this issue.
For example, if a business that caters to other enterprise-level businesses is dealing with a new client that is being onboarded, the sales deal desk makes a note of their credit allotment in a solution such as Salesforce.
If this client asks to see their credit allotment inside of your web app, problems could occur if your developers don’t want to integrate Salesforce.
Reverse ETL saves the day by syncing pertinent Salesforce information from inside your data warehouse into the production database that fuels up your app, which is now able to display your customer’s billing information.
5. Data Automation
Not every business issue is a monster problem that will be keeping your developers up at night into the early hours of the morning. Data automation is a simple way of executing simple tasks, so time doesn’t get wasted by having to have staff members stop what they are already doing to make it happen.
Reverse ETL enables data automation for any number of manual data requests such as a list of webinar attendees for the sales team, account data applicable to premium customers for the support team, and customer attributes that need to be properly synced for the accounting department or even the finance team who may be in need of rolled up transaction data to use in the Google Sheets application.
The beauty of all of these particular use cases is that the data that is needed is already available, sitting right there waiting for everyone in the data warehouse.
With reverse ETL, it is now possible to put some power behind all of that accumulated information and transform it into some immediate value.
From data automation all the way over to making customer experiences feel much more customized, reverse ETL covers a broad spectrum of practical and highly necessary ways of making organizations run much more favorably for consumers and for profitability.