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Role of ETL in Business Intelligence

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) is a process of extracting data from different data sources; manipulating them according to business calculations; loading the modified data into a different data warehouse. Because of the in-depth analytics data it provides, ETL function lies at the core of Business Intelligence systems. With ETL, enterprises can obtain historical, current, and predictive views of real business data. Let’s look at some ETL features that are necessary for business intelligence.

Extraction Transformation Loading

The Importance of ETL in Business Intelligence

Businesses rely on the ETL process for a consolidated data view that can drive better business decisions. The following ETL features justify the point.

High-level Data Mapping

Leveraging data and transforming them into actionable insights is a challenge with dispersed and voluminous data. Data mapping simplifies database functionalities like integration, migration, warehousing, and transformation.

ETL allows mapping data for specific applications. Data mapping helps in establishing a correlation between different data models.

Data Quality & Big Data Analytics

Huge volumes of data aren’t of much use in their raw form. Applying algorithms on raw data often leads to ambiguous results. It needs structuring, analyzing, and interpreting well to gain powerful insights. ETL also ensures the quality of data in the warehouse through standardization and removing duplicates.

ETL tools combine data integration and processing, making it easier to deal with voluminous data. In its data integration module, ETL assembles data from disparate sources. Post integration, it applies business rules to provide the analytics view of the data.

[Also read: Popular ETL Tools for 2020]

Automatic & Faster Batch Data Processing

The modern-day ETL tools run on scripts, which are faster than traditional programming. Scripts are a lightweight set of instructions that execute specific tasks in the background. ETL also ‘batch’ processes data like moving huge volumes of data between two systems in a set schedule.

Sometimes the volume of incoming data increases to millions of events per second. To handle such situations, stream processing (monitoring and batch processing data) can help in timely decision making. For example, Banks batch process the data generally during night hours to resolves the entire day’s transactions.

Master Data Management

Using ETL and data integration, enterprises can obtain the “best data view” across multiple sources.

How ETL Works?

ETL systems are designed to accomplish three complex database functions: extract, transform and load.

#1 Extraction

Here, a module extracts data from different data sources independent of file formats. For instance, banking and insurance technology platforms operate on different databases, hardware, operating system, and communication protocols. Also, their system derives data from a variety of touchpoints like ATMs, text files, pdfs, spreadsheets, scanned forms, etc. The extraction phase maps the data from different sources into a unified format before processing. 


ETL systems ensure the following while extracting data.

  1. Removing redundant (duplicate) or fragmented data
  2. Removing spam or unwanted data
  3. Reconciling records with source data
  4. Checking data types and key attributes.

#2 Transformation

This stage involves applying algorithms and modifying data according to business-specific rules. The common operations performed in ETL’s transformation stage is computation, concatenation, filters, and string operations like currency, time, data format, etc. It also validates the following-

  1. Data cleaning like adding ‘0’ to null values
  2. Threshold validation like age cannot be more than two digits
  3. Data standardization according to the rules and lookup table.

#3 Loading

Loading is a process of migrating structured data into the warehouse. Usually, large volumes of data need to be loaded in a short time. ETL applications play a crucial role in optimizing the load process with efficient recovery mechanisms for the instances of loading failures.

A typical ETL process involves three types of loading functions-

  1. Initial load: it populates the records in the data warehouse.
  2. Incremental load: it applies changes (updates) periodically as per the requirements.
  3. Full refresh: It reloads the warehouse with fresh records by erasing the old contents.

The ETL systems validate the following data loading parameters-

  • The Business Intelligence report on view layer matches with the loaded facts
  • Data consistency between the data warehouse and the history table.
  • Models are based on transformed data and not the raw data from the original databases.

The modern-day ETL applications utilize NoSQL database systems for warehousing. NoSQL systems are suitable for big-data and real-time web-applications. NoSQL executes queries faster than traditional databases and is more memory efficient.

ETL Business Applications

Transactional databases are not enough to resolve complex business queries. Also, dealing with unorganized data formats is more time-taking. ETL can help in obtaining-

  • Memory efficiency
  • Real-time query processing
  • Mapping data historical, current, and predictive data to derive actionable insights
  • Smart data storage and retrieval.

Almost all industries can deploy the benefits of ETL systems. However, businesses like banking, insurance, customer relations, finance, and healthcare are the early adopters of this technology.

If your business needs intelligent data processing, we’re here to listen to your requirements. Drop us a word at hello@mantralabsglobal.com to know about our previous works on developing ETL applications.


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How to increase patient engagement on a healthcare app?

By :
4 minutes, 9 seconds read

Patient facing mobile apps have emerged as a viable alternative to interact with patients and help them execute several tasks related to healthcare without reaching the hospital. Patients are now increasingly glued to these healthcare apps and their time spent on mobile devices has increased significantly. From communication and information to executing business through mobile apps have become a common thing.

Still, there is a lot of gap in the healthcare market. Marketers are struggling to gauge the true value of mobile apps for the bottom line of healthcare organizations. Especially in terms of the value of the app viz-viz the efforts, cost, and time it would take to become a useful and engaging healthcare app for the patient.

To help you increase the patient engagement on a healthcare app, here are a few crucial ways that you need to know. It will not only increase the engagement but will also help you meet your organizational goals at a faster pace.

1. Reduce Readmissions

Healthcare provider’s biggest pain point these days is to avoid readmission of preventable cases. It is crucial for healthcare organizations to reduce this number to enhance patient outcome and improve their revenue growth. Customized healthcare applications can assist hospitals in reducing the number of readmissions.

Here is how:

  • Offer personalized post-release information and instructions
  • Reminder for regular follow-up visits
  • Enforce stricter adherence to post-release prescription and regiment
  • Easier access to healthcare resources and information
  • Lesser cost and time of reaching out
  • Greater engagement to reduce readmission rates

2. Encourage Patients to Proactively Manage Their Health

Encouraging the patient to become proactive in managing their own health can help in improving the outcome and also enhance the reputation of your hospital. With easier access to the required resources and tools, patients are more likely to stay in touch with healthcare professionals and practice the wellness regimen. A properly optimized mobile app can deliver a better wellness experience to the patient and a greater sense of satisfaction.

Here is how an app can help the patient in managing their health proactively:

  • Keeps the patient informed and connected with relevant services
  • Encourages regular health tracking
  • Helps in developing healthy habits and exercises
  • Promotion of health education by streaming informations

3. Improve Trust and Build Relationships

Establishing trust between the patient and doctor is one of the difficult things that hospitals face. Due to long wait times, complex processes, or lack of communication between healthcare team; patients are not willing to attend healthcare appointments.

However, when you give all the relevant tools and information in the smartphone of the patient and empower them, the trust develops between the two parties and the patient proactively takes charge of their treatment. Hospitals can also gain competitive advantage by streamlining patient referrals and building stronger relationships with physicians.

Here is how apps can help:

  • You can provide access to a larger pool of specialists 
  • Help in easily accessing credentials, studies, and information from the mobile app
  • Recommend, network, and connect
  • Improve efficiency and workflow

4. Boost Brand Image and Reputation

Today patients can not be treated less than consumers. Hospitals are competing with each other to provide better care facilities and infrastructure at affordable prices. Hence, it has become crucial to achieve patient satisfaction and engagement. Through mobile apps, hospitals can make the existing information easily accessible along with brand awareness features including social media, photo galleries, virtual tours, and more.

Here is how mobile app can help:

  • Easier access to communication and information
  • Intuitive presentation of the hospital through immersive galleries
  • Stream ER wait time and other relevant information
  • Greater social media engagement

What more factors can increase engagement?

Several patients come to healthcare app once and then dump them after a few logins. One of the major reasons for such low engagement rates is that either the app is difficult to navigate or it is not immersive for the patient.

Consider these few points to make your app more engaging:

  • Customize the app as per the patient group. An app can appear differently to a child and an old age person. Develop an app that is easy to use for all users. Sit with your QA engineers to validate the functionality of your application thoroughly.
  • Build an app that is scalable and can be evolved over a period of time. Leave the possibility of enhancements and customizations that you would need in the future to keep the application viable.
  • It is a no brainer to give multiple options to your patients. Develop a cross-platform application that is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms and offers a rich user experience.

Wrapping Up

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more worried about visiting hospitals. Social distancing has become the norm and patients are more inclined towards telemedicine for their treatment. In such a tricky situation, it has become more crucial for hospitals to provide a robust, secure, and engaging mobile app to patients to interact with doctors, access information, and stay connected with the healthcare system.

About the Author

Erna Clayton is a techie with over 12 years of experience in several technological domains including quality assurance and software testing. In her free time, she loves travelling and writing on technology.

Further Readings:

  1. Building Consumer Trust in the Digital Healthcare Era
  2. HealthTech 101: How are Healthcare Technologies Reinventing Patient Care
  3. Virtual health: Delivering care through technology
  4. How Mobile Micro-Health Insurance can unlock ‘Digital for Bharat’?

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