Talend vs. Precog – ETL for JSON Comparison
By Becky Conning
May 21, 2020

Modern semi-structured data sources continue to explode. More users than ever need analytic access to this data for visualisation, data science and machine learning. SaaS applications, Web API’s, NoSQL DB’s and IoT devices rely almost exclusively on JSON as a data model due to its efficiency and flexibility. Traditional data engineering and data warehousing are costly and slow, reducing the value of data and delaying access.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was empowered to access and analyse this data with no code or workflows?

Existing ETL, ELT, data prep and wrangling software don’t understand non-tabular semi-structured data. These tools empower us to manipulate structured tabular data with little or no code. However as soon as we try to work with non tabular semi-structured data such as JSON these tools make us write code and construct complex workflows. Even after we’ve done this this the results may be less than we hoped. When dealing with non-tabular semi-structured data these tools have slow performance and accuracy is not guaranteed.

Unlike other solutions Precog understands this data. This gives you fast and accurate analytic access to non-tabular semi-structured data such as JSON without writing a single line of code. Precog shows you the available fields, you select the fields you need for your analysis and Precog handles the rest. Precog will even load your analytic ready data into your favourite visualisation tool, SQL database, data warehouse, or machine learning model.

In this video we explore a real world example from the Talend community forum. Someone has some JSON data and wants to access it as a simple seven column table. The data in question is Debian security data available at a Web URL.

Talend’s lengthy solution requires us to write Java and build a complex workflow in order to get results. The entire process with help from the community took 8 days. In comparison Precog enables us to completing the same task in 5 minutes from start to finish without writing a single line of code. The difference in productivity is night and day. You can even combine Talend with Precog to get the best of both worlds!

The Talend post which inspired this video is available here. If you’d like to try it out yourself you can access the data set here and get a free trial of Precog Desktop here.In coming posts we will continue to compare Precog to popular applications, data warehouses and programming languages to see how they stack up when working with complex modern data sources. So check back for more insights!

If you want to understand why Precog can provide more speed, accuracy and productivity than other solutions check out this post! We tell you how it’s done and what goes into the “secret sauce”. Eventually all data platforms will need this kind of technology to keep up with the explosion of modern data. Precog and its underlying technology is way ahead, giving us this fast and true self service access to modern data today.

If you want to learn more or check out the free trial of Precog go here.

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