Data Ingestion Tools Buyer’s Guide [2024]

Swamped with data from different sources and unsure how to handle it? This guide offers expert tips on choosing the right ingestion vendor and implementing best practices.

Being a data geek, I routinely skim through data subreddits, fishing for the common hurdles within the modern data stack. Unsurprisingly, I found many Redditors needing help choosing the right ingestion tool. It cannot be downplayed, as a wrong choice could impact business decisions, a situation best avoided.

In a similar quandary? You’re in luck. This guide is your treasure trove to select the data ingestion vendor for your specific needs, use cases, and the tools in your stack.

We'll explore the benefits, "build vs. buy" decision, key factors, top vendors, and how 5X streamlines the process, ensuring you focus on your business priorities.

Real-life use case

An online retailer wants to build its own data platform. It requires a tool to collect and clean the data from various sources:

  • Social media data: Gather Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram data.
  • Online shopping data: Capture product and customer details.
  • Subscriptions: Track payment and subscription status for premium services.

The data ingestion tool collects information from these sources and integrates it for comprehensive customer profiling, enabling personalized deals and efficient billing. It harmonizes the incoming data for a holistic understanding of customer behavior.

Core benefits of using data ingestion tools

data ingestion process

Data ingestion includes a wide range of tasks aimed at getting data ready for analysis. By using ingestion vendors, your business can:

Simplify data collection: As per a Matillion & IDG Research survey, organizations, on average, utilize 400 data sources. Additionally, 20% of surveyed companies had over 1000 data sources integrated into their BI software. Consolidating data from these sources can be time-consuming and can lead to compatibility issues when merging information from different platforms.

Data ingestion tools come to the rescue. They make data collection smoother, bridge the gap caused by compatibility issues, and even include features to reduce data errors. Businesses can use them to easily move data around and make sure it's clean and accurate, even if they don’t have tech experts.

Enhance data protection: Data ingestion tools help secure sensitive data through data encryption, access controls, and audit functionalities. They enable organizations to execute robust data governance practices, ensuring compliance with data regulations.

Scale effortlessly: Data ingestion tools are built to handle increasing data volumes and sources. As businesses grow and add new data sources, these tools can easily adjust to manage the higher data load, maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of data integration processes.

Choosing data ingestion: build or buy?

When it comes to handling data, you have two options: build your own data ingestion tool or purchase an ingestion vendor. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Building a data ingestion tool


Control and ownership: Building your ingestion tool gives you complete authority over your infrastructure. You decide what data to collect, how to collect it, and where to store it.

Flexibility: With a custom pipeline, you can adapt and adjust it as your needs evolve. You're not confined by pre-existing solutions and can make changes whenever necessary.

Security: You can implement security measures tailored to your organization's standards, ensuring data privacy, encryption, and protection of sensitive information.


Time and effort: Building a native ingestion tool can be time-consuming, resource-intensive, and complex.

Dependency and limited support: Relying on a few key individuals for tool development may pose risks in case of turnover or unavailability, impacting ongoing development, maintenance, and support.

API changes risk: Manual errors may occur, especially in complex pipelines, or if data source APIs change, risking data integrity.

Adaptation complexity: Implementing changes as technology evolves or business requirements shift can be complex and time-consuming.

Buying a pre-built ingestion tool


Automated data handling: Pre-built ingestion tools automate the extraction, transformation, and loading of data from diverse sources. This saves time, minimizes errors, and enhances efficiency.

Monitoring made easy: These tools provide insights into data pipeline status, making it simple to identify and fix issues, ensuring smooth and accurate data flow.

Comprehensive integration: Data ingestion tools can handle data from various sources like databases, cloud services, apps, and files. This consolidates data for easier analysis and reporting.

Scalability: Ingestion tools handle large data volumes with minimal delay, adapting as your data sources and volumes grow.

Data security: In-built security features ensure data encryption during transfer and storage, access controls, and compliance with regulations, keeping your data safe.

Constant innovation: Frequent product updates help you enhance your data capabilities, stay agile, and strengthen security and compliance.

Support: Pre-built ingestion tools offer customer support, promptly addressing issues and minimizing disruptions.


Limited customization: Pre-built ingestion tools may not cater to highly specialized data integration needs.

Cost: Purchasing and maintaining these tools can be costly, particularly for smaller businesses.

Vendor lock-In: Committing to a specific tool can limit future flexibility, as switching tools can be challenging.

Sync frequency: Some tools may have limitations in syncing data frequently, which can be an issue for real-time data needs.

Key considerations for selecting the right data ingestion tool

What's your budget? And which pricing structure suits you?

Begin by evaluating your budget and the pricing structure of the tool. Different data ingestion tools offer varying pricing models, such as per active rows, connectors, or runs. Examine the data sources you have and estimate the volume before selecting the ingestion tool.

Does the tool have an existing connector for your data sources?

Check if the tool provides existing connectors for your data sources. Visit the vendor's website to verify if they support connectors for your specific data types. If not, check whether the tool offers custom connectors if needed.

Do you need incremental or full updates?

Incremental updates refer to adding or changing specific parts of your data without starting from scratch. They are quick and efficient for small changes.

Full updates refer to replacing all your data, whether it has changed or not. They are useful when you want a complete refresh.

So, before selecting a tool, consider your data update requirements. Some tools excel at handling incremental updates, while others are better suited for full updates. Choose a tool that aligns with the type of updates your business requires.

What is the reliability of the connector, and does the tool have data recovery capabilities in case of failures?

Look for a highly reliable tool that handles large data volumes without failures and ensures accurate data recovery in case of any issues. If you can, try it out in a trial. Also, inquire about its long-term support.

Do you have security and compliance requirements?

Verify that the tool offers robust security features, including encryption, authentication, and authorization. Ensure it complies with relevant data protection regulations to safeguard sensitive data during ingestion.

What is the minimum sync frequency of the tool?

Determine how frequently you need data updates. Match the tool's sync frequency options with your specific business requirements. Whether you require updates every minute or find 24 hours sufficient, the tool should cater to your needs.

How robust are the error handling and alerting capabilities of the tool?

Look for tools equipped with effective error handling mechanisms. They should log errors and provide alerts or notifications when problems arise. Monitoring features are vital for swift problem identification and resolution.

What is the quality of the tool's community and customer support, and how does the vendor's reputation in the industry stack up?

Assess the tool's community and customer support resources. A strong support system can be invaluable for troubleshooting and seeking assistance when necessary. Additionally, consider the vendor's reputation in delivering reliable solutions.

Confusion to clarity in minutes!

Puzzled about the right ingestion tool choice? Count on 5X for free advice and easy setup.

Book a free consultation

How 5X streamlines data ingestion

Assessing needs for best-fit vendor recommendations

We understand your business & use cases you want to implement. We then assess your data sources, data stack, and security & compliance needs. Based on these, we recommend a tool that fits your budget.

Creating proof of concepts with your real data

We help build your data pipelines using your actual data sources. This allows you to directly compare tools based on your real contextual use cases, aiding in the decision-making process. We can also help build custom connectors if your data source is not supported by any existing connectors.

Ensuring best practice

5X Black service (i.e. our consultancy) can help you setup your data pipelines with best practice and run validations, ensuring data quality and integrity.

Streamlined negotiations and contract handling

5X takes care of all the negotiations, paperwork, and contract management on your behalf. We engage with ingestion vendors to secure the best contract, eliminating the need for you to navigate complex sales conversations.

Seamless integration with the rest of your data stack

We offer easy integration of your selected ingestion vendor with other tools using a simple 1-click process. When you onboard data vendors like data warehouses to the 5X platform, the new ingestion vendor smoothly configures with your data warehouse via APIs, eliminating manual work and maintenance so you can focus on analytics.

Centralized billing, user management, and insights

Through the 5X platform, all vendors provisioned under 5X are consolidated into a single monthly bill. This simplifies financial management by eliminating the need to handle multiple invoices. Additionally, 5X platform allows you to manage user access, monitor usage, centralize, and manage your data with 5X’s trusted data ingestion solutions, so your data team can focus on insights, not infrastructure.

Take the frustration out of choosing a data ingestion tool!

Schedule a free consultation with our expert team for guidance on selecting the right ingestion vendor and seamlessly integrating it into your data stack.

Book a free consultation

Tool implementation best practices

Setting up the tool

1. Configure connectors: Start by setting up connectors for your data sources, using clear naming conventions. This helps you easily identify each connector.

2. Define replication and sync: Specify data replication methods and data sync frequencies to align with your requirements. Also, name your destination schemas logically and consistently.

3. Document everything: Thoroughly document your configurations, schedules, and mappings with descriptive names. This makes maintenance and troubleshooting easier.

Maximizing efficiency & performance

1. Use built-in tools: Make the most of the tool's dashboards and alerts to quickly spot issues.

2. Review and optimize: Regularly check and improve your data pipelines as your data system grows.

3. Stay updated: Keep up with the tool's latest updates and features. Vendors often enhance their tools, so staying informed helps you work more efficiently.

Security & compliance

1. Control access: Use access controls and authentication methods like role-based access and multi-factor authentication to limit access to authorized users.

2. Protect data: Implement security measures like data hashing and masking for sensitive information, such as personal data.

3. Audit and monitor: Enable audit trails and logs, and regularly review them for unusual activities or security incidents.


Ingestion is the first step in your data pipeline, enabling efficient data collection for analysis and decision-making. Consider factors like scalability, ease of use, pricing structure, support, and documentation to make an informed purchase decision. Ensure the tool accommodates various data types and sources aligned with your business needs. Acknowledge any limitations or downsides honestly.

Once you've chosen the tool, make sure to set it up and configure it smoothly. Use the built-in tools to identify and address any issues promptly. Most importantly, restrict access to authorized users to prevent security incidents.

Remember to align your choice with your company's goals so that the tool supports your current needs and promotes a data-driven culture.

Subscribe to newsletter

Get exclusive buyer's guides & resources right in your inbox
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree with 5X Privacy Policy.
Thank you for subscribing! Stay tuned for the next edition!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Struggling to choose the right ingestion vendor? We’ve got you covered!

Personalized recommendations
Quick implementation
Seamless integration with other data vendors
Streamlined negotiations & contract handling
Centralized billing & user management
Trusted by 100s of companies globally
Get Started
Please enter your work email.

Thank You!

Out team will get back to you soon!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.