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Top 4 Data Preparation Tools Compared: Alteryx vs Quest vs IBM vs SAP vs AWS

In order to get the insights you need from your data, you will usually need to map data together from different sources to get a view of the complete picture. The process of mapping data together is what data preparation tools are for.

There is a wide range of data preparation tools available, which helps the companies gather different kinds of data from numerous sources. These tools are user-friendly and can even be used by the average Joe with some training.

The latest data preparation tools offer ease of use, quick and efficient results and analysis, which is contrary to the programs used in past. By using these advanced tools you can now easily combine, change, assess and filter required data before doing the analysis. This increases the value and relevancy of the gathered data. Data refined through these tools has value for data analysts and business managers. They get insightful knowledge about the required variables from the data.

What are Data Preparation Tools & Software?

Data preparation tools refer to various tools used for discovering, processing, blending, refining, enriching and transforming data. This enables better integration, consumption and analysis of larger datasets using advanced business intelligence with analytics solutions.

Benefits of Data Preparation Tools

Latest data preparation tools offer self-service abilities for professional data analysts, IT departments, data scientists as well as ordinary business owners. These tools allow quick and efficient integration of separate data sources in one place.

The process of preparation, blending and refining of data provides a much better and smoother data analysis experience. This helps businesses gain practical insights to improve their functions. Most data preparation software provides governance, control, management of metadata and machine learning functionality. These features help improve overall software functionality.

Marketing Analytics is Taking Too Much Time

Gartner ran a study and found that marketing teams are spending WAY too much time on the wrong tasks, like data visualization, preparing data for analysis, and building charts dashboards and stats.

And even though we’re all spending 10-20 hours of our week up to our chins in data, we’re not even getting what we really need out of the analytics tools we’re using.

Harvard Business Review and Alteryx ran a study that found that while we all agree that marketing analytics is critically important, executives are not getting what they need out of the tools they’re using.

Our mission is to help marketers find the marketing analytics tools they need to make reporting and optimization a breeze.

Who Utilize Data Preparation Tools?

Data-driven companies and businesses utilize the power of data preparation tools to empower their employees. These tools help them explore complex data in a simpler form, which enhances the company’s decision making and results in productive transformations.

After data preparation through these software programs, these companies use business intelligence software program to complete actual data analysis.

Qualification Criteria for a Data Preparation Tool

A product to qualify as data protection software should have the following characteristics:

  • Should be sold as an independent data preparation software program or as an integrated data tool, which has data preparation capabilities.
  • Enables users to combine, merge and transform datasets for easy and simple data analysis as well as integration.
  • Offers a higher level of refinement and enrichment for enhanced data quality.
  • Should provide integration with data analytics and integration solutions.

Each of the following data preparation tools vary. Read through them carefully to determine which tool is the right fit for your marketing needs.

Our Pick Over All of Them: Improvado.io - the ultimate data preparation tool.

Amazon Web Services

What it is: Amazon Web Services is a well-known and widely used platform for data preparation. It is IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) solution with easy to begin features.

What it offers: Amazon Web Services offer a highly customizable platform with plenty of options for Amazon Cloud Services as well as third-party integrations. Different APIs are also available. It provides support for a wide range of Windows as well as Linux servers with less upfront costs.

Who can use it: Data analysts, data scientists, IT leaders, business analysts, and business owners.

Industries it caters to: It caters to nearly all industries including finance, marketing, business, consulting, technology, health and many others.


Easy to setup and running. All cloudwatch metrics made available like other AWS services. Ability to take snapshots, scale up horizontally and vertically across environments and depending upon load. We were able to automate our build and deployments using terraform scripts.

Quick and repeatable deployments, wide range of DB flavors, fully managed and supported by AWS.


What it is: It is a leading self-service tool for data preparation and analytics.

What it offers: Alteryx Analytics offers unique and easy data preparation, blending and analyzing capabilities in a single tool.

It makes use of repeatable workflow, provides deployable analytics and then shares the derived analytics to provide deeper data insights in just hours.

How it’s different: Data analysts and scientists love this platform because it enables quick and easy connection and cleansing of data directly from data warehouses, data spreadsheets, cloud applications and various other sources.

It easily integrates the data then conduct a predictive, statistical and spatial analysis without the need for writing another code. It uses a similar intuitive interface for users for this purpose. It offers scalable analytics, which can translate into your organizational success.

Who can use it: Data analysts, data scientists, analytics leaders, BI directors, IT and data management teams, C level executives, students, academics, and non-profit organizations.

Prominent Clients:  AnalyticsIq Inc, Belk, BloominBrands Inc., Cardinalhealth, Cineplex, Dairy Queen.


“Alteryx works extremely well with a multitude of BI and database solutions and would be a great fit for any team trying to speed up the typical daily grind of data prep and ETL so their analytics and data team can be more agile, accurate, and automated.”

Alteryx Designer is a very intuitive way to map out a process in a step by step visual workflow which can be then executed with the click of a button. Tedious manual tasks can be automated with ease.


What it is: IBM SPSS tool for data preparation is a complete and well integrated IBM SPSS Statistics module. It streamlines the data preparation stage through the use of advanced techniques, which deliver swift and more accurate data analysis and results.

What it offers: IBM SPSS Data Preparation software is designed to automate the data preparation process, which removes complex and time-taking manual data preparation. You do not need to perform manual checks for data validation, which gives you better performance with accurate data. It automatically detects any discrepancies and problems in data to ensure optimal data accuracy.

How it’s different: This data prep software comes with separate tabs to show variables and perform basic checks on the variables. You can apply standard as well as custom rules to individual variables that help in the identification of invalid or missing values. It automatically prepares data for evaluation in a single step. It offers an optimal binning feature with three binning options, which allow you to set cut off points/bin for various scale variables.

Who can use it: Data analysts, data scientists, IT and data management teams, executives, students, academics, research scholars, non-profit organizations, and different industries.

Prominent Clients:  DSK Bank, BWG Foods, Medtronic (Healthcare), Brownells Inc., American Airlines, GameFly Streaming, and Leveraging Technology


SPSS is a feature rich product that has evolved to serve professional statisticians. It can do almost everything you could imagine.

It is an excellent software for handling large volumes of data, because it allows in a simple way without great technical knowledge to perform from simple statistical calculations, descriptive statistics, data validation to inferential or predictive statistics.


What it is:  Quest is a predictive business data continuity solution which is designed to meet the needs of the Cloud era.

What it offers: Quest helps in the management and protection of data while giving you control over hybrid environments. It also allows tracking of all devices connected to the network and controls each identity present across the organizational network.

How it’s different: It helps you minimize your data storage footprints, helps with easy management, monitoring, migration, replication, protection and security of your data. It gives control over on and off the premises access. Through its automated data development and management, it enhance productivity, performance and ensures top-notch coding to reduce costs.

Who can use it: Data analysts, analytics executives, IT leaders, IT teams, data scientists, and business analysts.

Prominent Clients:  Intel, eBay, Barclays, Ford, Uber, AT&T, American Airlines, Microsoft, Merck.


Very intuitive and user friendly. Didn't take long to understand… No complaints.

Free to use with MYSQL. Easy to navigate and use after an initial learning curve. The UI is clean and easy to understand.”


What it is:  SAP is an agile platform for data preparation that enables successful analytics, data migration and master data management (MDM) initiatives.

What it offers: SAP is a self-service data preparation tool that provides a facility of on-premise as well as on cloud deployment. It quickly transforms data into easily comprehensible and actionable information. It simplifies the way data is accessed, which makes it much more productive as well as agile.

How it’s different: With SAP user coordination and sharing is quick, simple and easy. It provides fast insights through single-click import of multiple datasets gathered from different sources. It also facilitates data curation with an interactive interface for better insights. It provides automatic data cleansing and duplication that delivers operational data sets.

Who can use it: Data analysts, analytic executives, IT leaders, data scientists, business analysts, and business owners.

Industries it caters to: Energy and natural resources, financial services, automotive industry, consumer industry, public services, and service industry.


We used SAP for accounting and reporting, but the reports were hard to interpret. Even with very little background with these types of softwares, I was able to turn reports into easy-to-read dashboard and other graphics.

The tool has great features like the planning menu and the easy of use interface. It's a complete tool for Business Intelligence and analytics, with beautiful views and charts.

Our recommendation:

Check out Alteryx vs Quest vs IBM vs SAP vs Amazon Web Services

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