Data Preparation Tools

Data Preparation Tools Overview

Data preparation tools are a new class of software products designed to enable business analysts and data scientists to bypass data warehouses to perform some data integration and data preparation themselves before analysis. Data preparation tools handle as much of the data “cleaning” process as possible. Data prep features are often found within larger tools, such as data analytics platforms, BI tools, integration platforms, and broader machine learning platforms.


Data preparation tools can search for and access data throughout an organization, combine it with other external data sets, and do data cleansing and conversions as required before feeding the data back into business intelligence systems for analysis.These emerging tools use machine learning under the hood so that they can iterate and learn where to find insights in data sets, without being explicitly programmed to do so.


Top Rated Data Preparation Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Data Preparation Tools TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Data Preparation Products

(1-25 of 54) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a visualization and data discovery tool from Microsoft. It allows users to convert data into visuals and graphics, visually explore and analyze data, collaborate on interactive dashboards and reports, and scale across their organization with built-in governance…

Key Features

  • Customizable dashboards (136)
    90%
    9.0
  • Drill-down analysis (136)
    87%
    8.7
  • Formatting capabilities (135)
    80%
    8.0
IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson

IBM Cognos is a full-featured business intelligence suite by IBM, designed for larger deployments. It comprises Query Studio, Reporting Studio, Analysis Studio and Event Studio, and Cognos Administration along with tools for Microsoft Office integration, full-text search, and dashboards.…

Key Features

  • Report Delivery Scheduling (65)
    92%
    9.2
  • Drill-down analysis (65)
    88%
    8.8
  • Formatting capabilities (66)
    86%
    8.6
Alteryx

Alteryx

Customer Verified
Top Rated

Alteryx aims to be the launchpad for automation breakthroughs. Be it for personal growth, achieving transformative digital outcomes, or rapid innovation, the vendor boasts users will see unparalleled results. Alteryx converges analytics, data science and process automation into one…

Key Features

  • Drill-down analysis (56)
    84%
    8.4
  • Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (54)
    80%
    8.0
  • Formatting capabilities (61)
    75%
    7.5
JMP Statistical Discovery Software from SAS

JMP is a division of SAS and the JMP family of products provide statistical discovery tools linked to dynamic data visualizations.

Key Features

  • Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (16)
    80%
    8.0
  • Report sharing and collaboration (13)
    80%
    8.0
  • Drill-down analysis (13)
    77%
    7.7
Databricks Lakehouse Platform (Unified  Analytics Platform)

Databricks in San Francisco offers the Databricks Lakehouse Platform (formerly the Unified Analytics Platform), a data science platform and Apache Spark cluster manager. The Databricks Unified Data Service aims to provide a reliable and scalable platform for data pipelines, data…

Toad Data Point

Toad Data Point is a cross-platform, self-service, data-integration tool that simplifies data access, preparation and provisioning. It provides data connectivity and desktop data integration, and with the Workbook interface for business users, it provides simple-to-use visual query…

Altair Monarch (formerly Datawatch Monarch)

Altair Monarch (formerly Datawatch Monarch, acquired by Altair in December, 2018) works with both relational and multi-structured data including support for a wide range of formats including PDF, XML, HTML, text, spool and ASCII files. The product can access data from invoices, sales…

Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep enables users to get to the analysis phase faster by helping them quickly combine, shape, and clean their data. According to the vendor, a direct and visual experience helps provide users with a deeper understanding of their data, smart features make data preparation…

ReportMiner

ReportMiner provides an automated solution for data ingestion and integration for unstructured document data sources. This data extraction software enables you to liberate business data trapped in documents such as PDFs, PDF forms, PRN, TXT, RTF, DOC,DOCX, XLS, and XLSX. With features…

Trifacta

Trifacta is a "data wrangling" (or data preparation) platform particularly of use with Hadoop, developed by the company Trifacta headquartered in San Francisco, California. Alteryx announced their acquisition of Trifacta in January of 2022.

dbt (data build tool)

dbt is an SQL development environment, developed by Fishtown Analytics, now known as dbt Labs. The vendor states that with dbt, analysts take ownership of the entire analytics engineering workflow, from writing data transformation code to deployment and documentation. dbt Core is…

expert.ai NL Suite (formerly Cogito Intelligence Platform from Expert System)

The expert.ai NL Suite (formerly Cogito Intelligence Platform (CIP) from Expert System, rebranded expert.ai) performs analysis of unstructured data sets to organize, discover and explore information in order to support intelligence workflows by providing actionable insight as data…

Keboola Connection

Keboola provides an open and extensible cloud based data integration platform that enables clients to combine, enhance and publish data for their internal analytics projects and data products. Keboola aims to help companies of all sizes: Reduce time to launch for analytics projectsEnable…

Upsolver

Upsolver is an In-Memory Data Preparation Platform that aims to remove the complexity from Big Data and Real-Time projects, and shorten their implementation time from weeks/months to several hours. Powered by a cutting edge VolcanoTM technology, it queries an entire data lake in…

Informatica Enterprise Data Preparation

Informatica's Enterprise Data Preparation solution allows users to prepare and operationalize big data for faster trusted insights.

Qlik Catalog (formerly Qlik Data Catalyst)

Qlik Catalog (formerly Qlik Data Catalyst) builds a secure, enterprise-scale catalog of all the data in an organization available for analytics users as a service across lakes, warehouses, transactional systems, and file systems. It is able to recognize, profile, tag, and secure…

Talend Data Preparation

Talend Data Preparation provides a self-service, browser-based, point-and-click tool to help quickly identify errors and apply rules that can be easily reused and shared, even across massive data sets. Its UI and self-service data preparation and curation functionality make it possible…

Datazoom

Datazoom, headquartered in New York, is an enterprise Video Data Platform technology company that standardizes and enriches data for video teams and their technology partners. Through a variety of real-time data collection software and routing services, the Datazoom’s platform offers…

Appen

The Appen platform combines human intelligence from over one million people all over the world with models to create training data for ML projects. Appen users can upload data to the Appen platform, and they provide the annotations, judgments, and labels needed to help create ground…

AWS Glue

AWS Glue is a managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service designed to make it easy for customers to prepare and load data for analytics. With it, users can create and run an ETL job in the AWS Management Console. Users point AWS Glue to data stored on AWS, and AWS Glue discovers…

expert.ai Discover (formerly Cogito Discover from Expert System)

expert.ai Discover (formerly Cogito Discover from Expert System, rebranded expert.ai), provides comprehension of written text at scale to ensure that the insight and knowledge embedded in unstructured information is available for strategic and operational analysis and easily usable…

Openprise

Openprise is a data automation solution designed to help business users manage and share big data and create do-it-yourself automation directly from those data. The vendor says Openprise requires no software to deploy and no coding needed; it is designed so that users who are familiar…

Tamr

Tamr is the eponymous data integration platform from the Cambridge, Massachusetts based company.

Learn More About Data Preparation Tools

What are Data Preparation Tools?

Data preparation tools are a new class of software products designed to enable business analysts and data scientists to bypass data warehouses to perform some data integration and data preparation themselves before analysis. Data preparation tools handle as much of the data “cleaning” process as possible. Data prep features are often found within larger tools, such as data analytics platforms, BI tools, integration platforms, and broader machine learning platforms.


Data preparation tools can search for and access data throughout an organization, combine it with other external data sets, and do data cleansing and conversions as required before feeding the data back into business intelligence systems for analysis.These emerging tools use machine learning under the hood so that they can iterate and learn where to find insights in data sets, without being explicitly programmed to do so.


Self-service Data Preparation

A big role of data preparation tools is to get data into an analysis-ready state for end users with minimal, or no, data science knowledge. Historically, data preparation has required IT or data science resources for any sort of scaled preparation. Data preparation tools aim to democratize this process by making data preparation accessible for a wider range of users, from IT specialists to data analysts to line-of-business users.


Data preparation tools use several different features and capabilities to enable business-wide self-service. The most important features that virtually all modern data preparation tools include are:


  • Visual interfaces

  • Integration with all sources of data within the business

  • Machine learning for automated insights and recommended preparation steps

  • Data governance for repeatability and tracking



Data Preparation Tools Comparison

Data preparation tools can be challenging to compare. When evaluating different options, consider these factors:


  • Visual Interface: Visual interfaces have become the norm for data preparation tools. Buyers should try to work with each interface to get a better sense of how easy to use each one is, especially for the sophistication level of the expected user base (i.e. data scientists vs. non-specialized users). The quality and usability of interfaces are also often a point of note within data preparation reviews.

  • Tech Stack Integrations: How well does each tool integrate with the existing data sources the organization has? Data prep tools should make data accessibility easy for end-users, but if the tool does not cleanly interface with each data source, users will continue to struggle to centralize data for cleaning, and may even resort to manual processes.

  • Machine learning capabilities: Most data preparation tools advertise some element of machine learning or AI assistance. However, not all smart tech is created equal. Followup with each vendor on just what this technology can do for users, especially assisting less data-savvy users working within the data preparation tool.


Start a data preparation tool comparison here.


Pricing Information

Pricing will vary primarily depending on whether the product is a standalone data prep tool or a larger integration or analytics solution. Leaders in the space will charge between $100-450/user/month. There are some free open source options as well.

Related Categories

Frequently Asked Questions

What do data preparation tools do?

Data preparation tools help streamline and automate the process of extracting, compiling, and “cleaning” data so it can be easily analyzed and reported on.

Who uses data preparation tools?

Data preparation tools are primarily used by data analysts and similar roles, but many tools are becoming more accessible for line-of-business users as well.

What other tools have data preparation features?

Data preparation can also be found in many analytics platforms, BI tools, and integration platforms.

What are the benefits of data preparation tools?

Data preparation tools can save analysts massive amounts of manual time and labor and also mitigate the risk of human error in the preparation process.

How much do data preparation tools cost?

Leading data preparation tools can range from $100-500/month per seat, depending on the number of users and range of features included.