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ETL—or, extract, transform, load—is a data integration process that is used to combine data from multiple sources into a single consistent data set for loading into data lakes, data warehouses, or other target systems. As databases grew in popularity in the 1970s, ETL emerged as the process for integrating and loading data, and eventually became the primary method to process data for data warehousing projects. 

Today, ETL serves as the foundation for data analytics and machine learning workstreams, cleansing and organizing data to address specific business intelligence needs. ETL is also key for tacking advanced analytics to improve back-end processes or end-user experiences. 

While many may think ETL requires extra software and training, it can actually be performed in Excel with the help of Power Query and other tools that boost the process, like ExtendInsights for NetSuite.

Excel Power Query, a powerful data connection technology, enables users to discover, connect, combine, and refine data across a wide range of sources. As an ETL tool, Power Query automates the process of extracting data from various sources, transforming that data into a usable format, and loading it into Excel for further analysis and reporting. This capability is especially beneficial for businesses looking to derive insights from their data without the need for complex programming or IT intervention. Let’s take a look.

Extracting and Analyzing NetSuite Data with Power Query and ExtendInsights by CloudExtend

To begin, we delve into the process of using Excel Power Query alongside ExtendInsights for NetSuite to analyze NetSuite data. ExtendInsights, a product designed to enhance the efficiency of cloud applications, seamlessly integrates with Power Query, allowing users to extract NetSuite data directly into Excel. This combination not only simplifies the data extraction process but also provides a flexible environment for data analysis.

Step 1
Establish a connection between Excel and NetSuite using ExtendInsights. This involves configuring ExtendInsights to access NetSuite data on a schedule, thereby eliminating the need for manual data entry or complex API calls. This Excel file will serve as the data source and generally remain untouched.

Step 2
Utilize Power Query’s intuitive interface to select, filter, and load the desired NetSuite data into a new Excel file. At this stage, users can leverage Power Query’s transformation capabilities to clean and prepare the data for analysis.

Step 3
Analyze the data within Excel, using pivot tables, charts, and formulas to uncover insights. The integration with ExtendInsights ensures that the data remains up-to-date, providing a dynamic analysis tool.

Transforming Data and Connecting Multiple NetSuite Saved Searches

Another powerful application of Power Query is its ability to transform data and connect multiple NetSuite saved searches together. This process enables users to consolidate data from various sources, creating a comprehensive dataset for analysis.

Step 1
Use Power Query to import data from multiple NetSuite saved searches, facilitated by ExtendInsights’ connectivity features. This step is crucial for businesses that rely on data from various segments of their operations.

Step 2
Apply Power Query’s transformation tools to normalize and cleanse the data, ensuring consistency across the dataset. This might involve renaming columns, converting data types, or removing duplicates.

Step 3
Merge or append the data from the different saved searches into a single dataset. Power Query provides straightforward options for combining data, making it easier to create unified reports or dashboards.

Extracting Excel Data from SharePoint or OneDrive for Business

The final step is the extraction of Excel data from SharePoint or OneDrive for Business into Power Query or Power BI. This scenario is particularly relevant for organizations that store their data in the cloud and wish to leverage Power Query’s ETL capabilities.

Step 1
Configure Power Query to connect to Excel files stored in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. This involves specifying the file path and authentication details, with ExtendInsights potentially playing a role in streamlining access to these platforms.

Step 2
Once connected, select the relevant Excel files and load the data into Power Query. Users can then perform any necessary transformations or data cleaning operations.

Step 3
The refined data is now ready to be loaded into Excel or Power BI for analysis. This approach enables businesses to integrate cloud-stored data into their analytical workflows seamlessly.

Enhancing ETL Capabilities with ExtendInsights

Clearly, throughout this post the emphasis has been on demonstrating how Excel Power Query, empowered by ExtendInsights, serves as an efficient and user-friendly ETL tool. By automating the extraction, transformation, and loading of data, businesses can significantly reduce the time and effort required for data analysis, ultimately leading to more informed decision-making.

While we’ve focused on the technical aspects and benefits of using Power Query and ExtendInsights, it’s essential to highlight the broader impact on business operations: The ability to quickly analyze NetSuite data, combine multiple data sources, and incorporate cloud-stored Excel files into the analysis process can transform how organizations approach data-driven challenges.

In summary, Excel Power Query, in conjunction with ExtendInsights by CloudExtend, offers a powerful solution for businesses looking to leverage their data for competitive advantage. Whether it’s analyzing financial data, consolidating reports from multiple departments, or incorporating external data sources, the combination of Power Query and ExtendInsights provides a flexible, efficient, and scalable approach to data analysis.

Try ExtendInsights for NetSuite FREE for two weeks, no credit card required. Get started here.