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12 Best Data Preparation Software Shortlist

Here, I've summed up the very top data preparation tools and what they're best for:

  1. Alteryx - Best for data blending and advanced analytics
  2. Tableau Prep - Best for visual data preparation interface
  3. Talend - Best for real-time data integration
  4. Trifacta - Best for automated data cleaning
  5. KNIME - Best for open-source flexibility
  6. RapidMiner - Best for predictive analytics modeling
  7. DataRobot - Best for AI-driven data preparation
  8. Informatica PowerCenter - Best for large-scale data integration
  9. SAS Data Management - Best for data quality governance
  10. Dataiku - Best for collaborative data science projects
  11. IBM Infosphere Information Server - Best for robust enterprise data management
  12. TIBCO Spotfire - Best for interactive data visualization

Navigating the world of data preparation can be complex, but the right software streamlines tasks such as data cleaning, data discovery, and data wrangling. Whether you're an analyst dealing with unstructured data or a business seeking to unify data across various sources, these tools offer end-to-end solutions. They connect data pipelines with data warehouses and analytics platforms, enabling efficient data analysis.

With features like no-code connectors, validation, and data enrichment, they facilitate easy data access, allowing even those without technical expertise to extract meaningful metrics and insights. On-premises or cloud-based, these tools are versatile and can integrate with various apps for business analytics. So, if you're looking to turn your data analysis with features tailored to data cleaning, data enrichment, and more, exploring these options could be the solution to your data management challenges.

What is a Data Preparation Software?

Data Preparation Software is a vital tool data scientists, analysts, and business professionals use to cleanse, transform, and organize raw data into a format suitable for analysis. By utilizing these tools, the users can identify and correct inaccuracies, handle missing values, and structure the data in a way that aligns with their analysis requirements.

These software solutions enable users to spend less time in the often tedious process of data preparation and more time deriving insights, making informed decisions, and implementing strategies that align with their business goals. Whether used in a small business environment or within a large enterprise, Data Preparation Software serves as a key component in translating data into actionable intelligence.

Overview of the 12 Best Data Preparation Software

1. Alteryx - Best for data blending and advanced analytics

Alteryx data preparation software dashboard
Here's a dashboard created using Alteryx that demonstrates the analytical process from data entry to analysis.

Alteryx is a tool that specializes in data blending and advanced analytics, empowering users to combine data sets and carry out complex analyses. This robust platform brings together disparate sources of information and provides users with advanced analytics capabilities, making it the go-to solution for data blending and deep insights.

Why I Picked Alteryx:

I chose Alteryx for this list due to its unique ability to blend different types of data while also providing an advanced suite of analytical tools. What sets it apart is the intuitive interface that allows users, regardless of their background, to delve into complex analyses. It's precisely this capability that makes it the best for data blending and advanced analytics, as users can generate insights from various sources without the need for extensive coding skills.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Alteryx offers a wide array of features, including data blending, predictive analytics, spatial analytics, and data profiling. Its drag-and-drop interface allows users to create workflows easily, thus reducing the learning curve. Integrations with tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and Excel provide additional flexibility and broaden the scope for data utilization within the organization.


From $79/user/month (billed annually)


  • Strong data blending capabilities
  • Advanced analytics features
  • Integration with popular BI tools


  • Steeper learning curve for newcomers
  • Limited collaboration features
  • Price may be prohibitive for small businesses

2. Tableau Prep - Best for visual data preparation interface

Tableau Prep tool sample
The relationship distribution between the values you choose and those in the other fields is displayed in blue inside Tableau Prep.

Tableau Prep is renowned for its visual data preparation interface that enables users to see the data as they shape it. This hands-on, visual approach ensures that users understand how modifications to data will appear and makes it an ideal solution for those who prioritize a visually-guided data prep experience.

Why I Picked Tableau Prep:

I chose Tableau Prep because of its unique and intuitive visual data preparation interface. This feature sets it apart from others by allowing users to interact with their data graphically, facilitating a better understanding of what’s being done. It's this visual interaction that leads me to judge Tableau Prep as best for those who want to see and manipulate their data in a way that feels natural and direct.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Tableau Prep offers an interactive interface where users can visually explore and clean data. Its smart recommendations for joins, unions, and data cleaning save time and help create a smooth workflow. Key integrations include connections with multiple data sources like Excel, SQL Server, and Google Sheets, as well as integration with Tableau Desktop for further analysis.


From $70/user/month


  • Visual interface improves understanding
  • Smart recommendations for data preparation tasks
  • Strong integration with other Tableau products


  • May be less suitable for non-visual learners
  • Limited advanced transformation features
  • Higher price point for individual users

3. Talend - Best for real-time data integration

Talend data summaries overview
This image is a quick summary of data that can be seen by choosing a column. The counts of items within that column are demonstrated in a chart on the right.

Talend is a robust data integration platform designed to facilitate the real-time flow of data across various systems. With its strong focus on real-time data integration, Talend offers a solution that ensures the exchange of data, making it an ideal choice for organizations in need of up-to-the-minute data synchronization.

Why I Picked Talend:

I chose Talend for this list because of its commitment to real-time data integration. The ability to move and transform data in real time is vital for many businesses, and Talend's specialized tools provide this functionality. This commitment to real-time processing is what makes Talend stand out, and it's why I determined it to be best for businesses needing to synchronize their data instantly across different platforms.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Talend offers features like real-time data streaming, transformation, and integration across a wide range of sources. Its Big Data integration and support for cloud platforms are particularly noteworthy. Talend integrates well with various data sources such as AWS, Azure, Salesforce, and Hadoop, providing comprehensive support for diverse business needs.


From $1000/user/month (billed annually)


  • Robust real-time data integration capabilities
  • Comprehensive cloud and Big Data support
  • Flexible integration with various data sources


  • Complex setup may require technical expertise
  • Higher price point for small to medium businesses
  • Lack of visual interface for data preparation tasks

4. Trifacta - Best for automated data cleaning

Trifacta data preparation software
Here's a sample dashboard in Trifacta showing the analytics of the data quality assessment and remediation and data quality suggestions.

Trifacta is a data preparation platform that excels in automated data cleaning. Recognizing that data cleaning can often be the most time-consuming part of data preparation, Trifacta focuses on automating these processes, making it an essential tool for those looking to streamline their data preparation workflow.

Why I Picked Trifacta:

I chose Trifacta for this list for its exceptional ability to automate the data cleaning process. In comparing various tools, I found Trifacta's approach to data cleaning to be unique and effective. Its dedication to automation saves users significant time and effort, making it best for those who prioritize efficiency in data cleaning without compromising on quality.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Trifacta's intelligent data cleaning tools are empowered by machine learning algorithms that learn from user actions and suggest relevant transformations. Its predictive transformation feature is particularly innovative. Integrations with major cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, as well as compatibility with various data storage systems, make Trifacta versatile in different environments.


From $40/user/month (min 5 seats)


  • Intelligent automated data cleaning features
  • Strong integration with major cloud platforms
  • User-friendly interface for non-technical users


  • Limited functionality for advanced data analytics
  • Minimum seat requirement might deter smaller businesses
  • Some users may find the automation options overwhelming

5. KNIME - Best for open-source flexibility

KNIME interactive interface screenshot
This is an illustration of a data app created using the KNIME method, featuring an interactive interface for learning about the sophisticated machine learning algorithm.

KNIME is a data analytics, reporting, and integration platform that allows users to create and produce data-driven insights. As an open-source tool, KNIME provides unparalleled flexibility, enabling users to customize their workflows and integrate various data tools. This makes it a powerful choice for those who need tailored solutions and prefer open-source flexibility.

Why I Picked KNIME:

I picked KNIME for this list because of its impressive open-source nature, allowing users to craft bespoke workflows and analytics processes. Through my evaluation and comparison, I found that KNIME's approach to data integration and flexibility makes it stand out in the field. The open-source flexibility, in particular, caters to a wide range of users and offers unique customization possibilities, making it the best choice for those who need adaptable tools.

Standout Features & Integrations:

KNIME offers drag-and-drop data workflows where users can easily build their data processes using a wide variety of nodes. The availability of community extensions and integrations with programming languages like Python and R offers vast flexibility. KNIME integrates with various databases, big data extensions, and even cloud storage, making it adaptable to many different data environments.


Pricing upon request


  • Open-source platform allows for high customization
  • Rich integration with different programming languages and databases
  • Strong community support and extensions


  • Can be challenging for beginners to learn
  • Performance might lag with extremely large data sets
  • Lack of readily available pricing information may deter some potential users

6. RapidMiner - Best for predictive analytics modeling

RapidMiner tool dashboard screenshot
RapidMiner uses automated machine learning to expedite the entire data science lifecycle.

RapidMiner is a data science platform that specializes in predictive analytics modeling, making it possible for users to create models that forecast trends, behaviors, and future events. With its user-friendly interface and robust modeling features, RapidMiner stands out as the ideal tool for those who need to conduct complex predictive analytics tasks.

Why I Picked RapidMiner:

I chose RapidMiner for this list after carefully comparing and evaluating various tools that focus on predictive analytics. Its distinct feature set and strong capabilities in predictive modeling have caught my attention. RapidMiner offers pre-built models and templates that make it easier to get started with predictive analytics, distinguishing itself as the best tool for those seeking efficient predictive analytics modeling.

Standout Features & Integrations:

RapidMiner offers a visual workflow designer that simplifies the modeling process, allowing for more accessible predictive analytics. Its Auto Model feature speeds up the model creation process by automatically tuning models. RapidMiner integrates with many databases and cloud services, and has extensive support for R and Python scripts, enabling a connection with various data sources and tools.


From $2,500/user/month (billed annually)


  • Strong focus on predictive analytics with pre-built models
  • Supports integration with R, Python, and various data sources
  • Auto Model feature that accelerates the model creation process


  • High pricing may limit accessibility for small businesses
  • Requires some prior knowledge of data science concepts
  • Limited flexibility in the free version, with essential features locked behind the paid plan

7. DataRobot - Best for AI-driven data preparation

DataRobot workbench directory overview
Here's an overview of the collaborative experimentation experience with DataRobot.

DataRobot is an enterprise AI platform that excels in automating data preparation tasks using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms. This focus on AI-driven data preparation streamlines complex processes, making it a valuable asset for organizations seeking to automate data handling tasks.

Why I Picked DataRobot:

I selected DataRobot after carefully judging its AI-centric approach toward data preparation. DataRobot's implementation of artificial intelligence in the preparation phase makes it stand out, which can save time and reduce human error. I chose it as the best tool for AI-driven data preparation because of its innovative use of AI to efficiently and effectively handle data, a feature not commonly found in other tools.

Standout Features & Integrations:

DataRobot's features include an AI-driven automation engine that guides the entire data preparation process. It has capabilities for automated feature engineering, anomaly detection, and data transformation. DataRobot integrates with popular data platforms such as Tableau, Hadoop, and Spark, as well as various cloud services like AWS and Azure, providing compatibility with many data sources and environments.


Pricing upon request


  • Strong focus on AI-driven data preparation
  • Offers a wide range of integrations with data platforms and cloud services
  • Automates feature engineering and anomaly detection


  • Pricing information is not transparent
  • May require specialized skills to fully utilize its AI capabilities
  • Limited customizability in comparison to open-source alternatives

8. Informatica PowerCenter - Best for large-scale data integration

Informatica PowerCenter data dashboard
The Informatica PowerCenter data dashboard template offers prebuilt reporting methods for data quality across the organization, enabling executive-level presentations and identifying trends.

Informatica PowerCenter is a robust data integration platform designed to connect, gather, and transform data from various sources. With its ability to handle large-scale data integration across complex systems, PowerCenter stands as a top choice for organizations needing to manage vast quantities of data.

Why I Picked Informatica PowerCenter:

I picked Informatica PowerCenter for this list after meticulously determining its effectiveness in handling large and diverse data sets. Its ability to integrate data at an enterprise level is what makes it different from other tools. I chose this tool because it is best for large-scale data integration, as it offers flexibility, scalability, and a high-performance engine to process extensive data volumes.

Standout Features & Integrations:

PowerCenter features a visual design interface that simplifies the creation and management of data workflows. It supports high availability and scalability and has advanced data transformation capabilities. PowerCenter integrates with a wide range of data sources, including relational databases, cloud applications, social networks, and more, allowing for comprehensive data management.


Pricing upon request


  • Tailored for large-scale data integration
  • Robust visual design interface simplifying data workflow management
  • Supports a wide array of data sources and platforms


  • Pricing information may not be easily accessible
  • Might have a steep learning curve for those new to data integration
  • May require additional resources for optimization and fine-tuning in complex environments

9. SAS Data Management - Best for data quality governance

SAS Data Management visual interface
This visual interface simplifies data preparation, removing technical barriers, allowing users to blend, shape, and integrate into reporting and analytics pipelines.

SAS Data Management is a comprehensive solution designed to support data quality, integration, and governance. Offering functionalities to cleanse, standardize, and enrich data, it helps organizations ensure data accuracy and reliability, making it best suited for data quality governance.

Why I Picked SAS Data Management:

I picked SAS Data Management after carefully comparing and judging its capabilities in ensuring data quality and governance across various platforms. What makes it stand out is its robust set of features focusing on data quality controls, standardization, and monitoring. I chose this tool because it is best for data quality governance, offering unique solutions that help in maintaining the integrity, accuracy, and consistency of data within an organization.

Standout Features & Integrations:

SAS Data Management comes with features like data profiling, cleansing, matching, monitoring, and data lineage visualization. Its data governance framework ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy across the organization. The tool integrates with various databases, applications, and even big data technologies, offering a unified solution for managing data quality.


Pricing upon request


  • Robust data quality control measures
  • Flexible integration with various platforms
  • Comprehensive monitoring and reporting capabilities


  • Pricing information is not transparent
  • May require specialized training to fully utilize its features
  • Some users might find the interface less intuitive compared to other solutions in the market

10. Dataiku - Best for collaborative data science projects

Dataiku data preparation and visualization demo screenshot
Dataiku's data preparation and visualization demo screenshot.

Dataiku is a platform designed to enable collaboration between data scientists, analysts, and business teams. Providing tools for data preparation, machine learning, and deployment allows various team members to work together efficiently on data science projects. This collaborative approach makes Dataiku best suited for managing and executing data science projects involving multiple stakeholders.

Why I Picked Dataiku:

I chose Dataiku after carefully determining its functionalities in fostering collaboration among data professionals. The platform's capacity to allow interaction between data scientists and business users is what sets it apart. By enhancing collaboration, it ensures faster project delivery and more effective solutions, and that's why I think the tool is best for collaborative data science projects.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Dataiku's standout features include shared project spaces, visual data preparation, and automated machine-learning workflows. These features provide a unified environment where all team members can work on shared goals. It offers important integrations with Python, R, SQL, and Hadoop ecosystems, among others, allowing users to leverage various tools and technologies within one platform.


Pricing upon request


  • Encourages collaboration among diverse teams
  • Extensive support for various languages and tools
  • Intuitive user interface suitable for both technical and non-technical users


  • Pricing information may not be readily available
  • Might be overwhelming for smaller teams or individual users
  • Requires some learning curve for those new to data science platforms

11. IBM Infosphere Information Server - Best for robust enterprise data management

IBM Infosphere Information Server sample dashboard
With scalable MPP capabilities, IBM InfoSphere Information Server simplifies data analysis, management, and transformation.

IBM Infosphere Information Server is an integrated platform for data integration, cleansing, monitoring, and transforming. It provides a comprehensive suite of features that facilitate the management and utilization of enterprise data, ensuring its quality and consistency across the organization. Its focus on enterprise-level functionality and adaptability to various data environments makes it best for robust enterprise data management.

Why I Picked IBM Infosphere Information Server:

I picked IBM Infosphere Information Server after examining its comprehensive capabilities for handling complex enterprise data requirements. Its robust architecture, scalability, and diverse set of features set it apart from other tools. I believe this tool is best for robust enterprise data management due to its ability to handle extensive data operations, from data integration to quality assurance, in large-scale organizations.

Standout Features & Integrations:

IBM Infosphere Information Server's standout features include data quality frameworks, metadata management, and parallel processing capabilities. These features ensure accurate, consistent data across various systems within the organization. Integrations with a wide variety of databases, ERP systems, and big data platforms allow for connection and collaboration between different data sources and technologies.


Pricing upon request


  • Comprehensive suite for all aspects of enterprise data management
  • Scalable to handle large volumes of data
  • Wide range of integrations with various data sources and platforms


  • May be too complex for small businesses or simple use cases
  • The learning curve can be steep for users new to the platform
  • Lack of transparent pricing information might be a barrier for some potential users

12. TIBCO Spotfire - Best for interactive data visualization

TIBCO Spotfire sales data analytics
Here's a sample dashboard of the TIBCO Spotfire sales data analytics.

TIBCO Spotfire is a data analytics and business intelligence platform designed to create interactive visualizations and dashboards. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for analyzing, visualizing, and sharing insights from complex data sets. The strong emphasis on interactive visualizations and user-friendly interfaces is why I consider it best for interactive data visualization.

Why I Picked TIBCO Spotfire:

I chose TIBCO Spotfire for this list after carefully comparing its features with other visualization tools. Its ability to create dynamic, interactive visualizations and the flexibility to handle various data sources make it stand out. I believe this tool is "Best for..." interactive data visualization, as it empowers users to engage with their data in a highly visual and intuitive manner, enhancing decision-making processes.

Standout Features & Integrations:

TIBCO Spotfire offers advanced analytics, real-time data connectivity, and predictive modeling as its standout features. The platform’s drag-and-drop functionality ensures an easy and smooth user experience. Integration with various data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and cloud services, makes it a versatile tool for various business needs.


Starting from $125/user/month (billed annually)


  • Strong focus on interactive and dynamic visualizations
  • Integration with a wide array of data sources
  • Customizable dashboards for different user needs


  • Pricing can be on the higher side for small businesses
  • Some advanced features may require technical expertise
  • Limited documentation and support for specific customizations

Other Noteworthy Data Preparation Software

Below is a list of additional data preparation software that I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. Microsoft Power Query - Good for easy data transformation and integration
  2. QlikView - Good for associative data modeling and visualization
  3. Datameer - Good for big data analytics and processing
  4. DataPreparation by Zaloni - Good for scalable data quality and preparation
  5. Google Cloud Dataprep - Good for cloud-native data preparation and cleaning
  6. Tamr - Good for data unification and mastering across sources
  7. MicroStrategy - Good for mobile business intelligence and analytics
  8. SAP Data Services - Good for enterprise data integration and transformation
  9. Matillion - Good for ETL processes and data migration to the cloud
  10. Talend Data Preparation - Good for self-service data preparation and collaboration

Selection Criteria for Choosing Data Preparation Software

When selecting the right data preparation and management software, the task can be daunting, with numerous options available in the market. I've evaluated dozens of data preparation tools, but in this case, I was looking for specific functionalities like core data transformation, interactive visualization, ease of use, and scalability, which I'll go into more detail about below.

Core Functionality

  • Data Integration: Ability to pull and combine data from multiple sources
  • Data Cleaning: Removing or correcting erroneous data, inconsistencies, and duplications
  • Data Transformation: Converting data into a suitable format or structure for querying and analysis
  • Data Visualization: Ability to present data in graphical or visual formats
  • Scalability: Capability to handle growing amounts of data and users without performance loss

Key Features

  • Collaborative Work Environment: Allowing multiple users to work on data preparation tasks simultaneously
  • Real-time Analytics: Offering live insights and updates as data changes
  • Automation Tools: Facilitating repetitive tasks with scheduled and automated processes
  • Cloud Compatibility: Enabling integration with various cloud platforms for increased flexibility
  • Compliance and Security Features: Ensuring adherence to industry standards and data protection laws


  • Intuitive Interface: An interface that facilitates easy navigation, drag-and-drop functionality, and quick access to various tools
  • Customizable Dashboards: Capability to personalize views and reports to suit individual or team needs
  • Role-Based Access: Providing different access levels based on roles within the organization, ensuring both control and flexibility
  • Learning Resources: Offering comprehensive guides, tutorials, or training programs for onboarding new users or to support users in learning advanced features

Most Common Questions Regarding Data Preparation Software (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using Data Preparation Software?

The benefits of using Data Preparation Software are multifaceted:

  1. Efficiency: Automation of repetitive tasks saves time and resources.
  2. Data Quality: Robust cleaning and transformation features ensure accurate and reliable data.
  3. Collaboration: Facilitates teamwork with shared access and real-time collaboration features.
  4. Scalability: Capable of handling growing amounts of data without losing performance.
  5. Insightful Decision Making: Visualization tools provide insights that drive better business decisions.

How much do these tools typically cost?

Data Preparation Software pricing varies widely depending on features, scalability, and support levels. Most vendors offer various pricing tiers to match different business needs.

What are the typical pricing models for Data Preparation Software?

Pricing models often include monthly or annual subscriptions, user-based pricing, or feature-specific pricing. Enterprise-level solutions may also include customized pricing based on the unique requirements of the organization.

What is the range of pricing for these tools?

The typical range of pricing can start as low as $10/user/month for basic plans and go up to thousands of dollars per month for enterprise-level solutions with extensive features.

Which are the cheapest and most expensive software options?

The cheapest options often include basic tools with limited features, starting around $10/user/month. The most expensive software offers comprehensive solutions and can range into thousands of dollars per month.

Are there any free tool options available?

Yes, some vendors offer free versions or freemium models of their software. These usually come with limited features and are good for small projects or for trying out the platform before committing to a paid plan.

Can I get a trial version before purchasing Data Preparation Software?

Many vendors offer trial versions or demo access to their platforms, allowing potential users to explore features and usability before making a purchase decision.

How do I choose the best Data Preparation Software for my organization?

To choose the best tool for your organization, identify the specific functionalities you require, consider the scalability, evaluate the pricing, and make sure it aligns with your team's workflow and your industry's compliance and security standards. Trying out a demo or a trial version can also help in determining the right fit.

Other Data Software Reviews


In conclusion, selecting the best Data Preparation Software is a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors, including core functionalities, key features, usability, and pricing. This buyer's guide has highlighted the critical aspects to consider and answered common questions, providing you with the information needed to make an informed choice.

Key takeaways:

  1. Identify Your Needs: Understanding your organization's specific needs, from the scale of data to the required features, is vital. Each tool offers something unique, so pinpointing your requirements will help you find the right fit.
  2. Evaluate Usability: Choose software that aligns with your team's workflow and skill level. The right tool should be user-friendly and provide support or training if needed. Exploring trial versions or demos can help you gauge usability.
  3. Consider Pricing and Scalability: Aligning the software with your budget while ensuring it can grow with your organization is essential. Evaluate pricing models and understand the scalability of the solution to ensure it can handle increasing amounts of data without losing performance.

What do you think?

I hope this guide provides you with valuable insights to help you choose the best Data Preparation Software for your specific needs and use case. Your choice will likely hinge on a careful balance of functionality, usability, and cost, all of which can vary widely between different tools.

Have you come across a tool that wasn't covered in this list, or do you have personal experiences with any of the tools mentioned? Your input could be invaluable to others in a similar position. Please feel free to suggest tools that I may have missed or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.