Definition: Extract Transform Load (ETL)

Extract Transform Load (ETL) refers to a trio of processes that are performed when moving raw data from its source to a data warehouse, data mart, or relational database. 

What do I need to know about ETL?

Data must be properly formatted and normalized in order to be loaded into these types of data storage systems, and ETL is used as shorthand to describe the three stages of preparing data. ETL also describes the commercial software category that automates the three processes. 

Learn more about the benefits of Extract, Transform, Load (ELT) and the difference between ELT and ETL.