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Customer Panel Video: Morningstar's Cloud Data Lake Journey with Etleap

By Christian Romming
December 13, 2021
Blog Customer Panel Video: Morningstar's Cloud Data Lake Journey with Etleap

The Etleap team and I are extremely proud of the success Morningstar has achieved with Etleap ETL. Generating value from diverse data sources is essential for Morningstar to remain a leader in investment research and management.


The 2021 Morningstar Investment Conference (MIC) included several talks on technology and financial services. We’re now excited to share this recording where Morningstar's Head of Technology for Data and Analytics, Jeff Hirsch, describes their path to a Unified Data Lake. I was honored to be part of the panel and excited about how Etleap ETL is empowering Morningstar.


Challenges with old infrastructure and assessing new approaches

Hirsch describes how Morningstar’s prior data infrastructure discouraged creative analytics solutions. Analysts had to have confidence up front that data projects would be successful because the time investment in data setup was so large. 

As they evaluated different tools to consolidate their data in an AWS S3 data late, they found most tools lacking. Some were “last generation, meant for our traditional relational databases.” The team then started down a path of building its data pipelines on its own, along with AWS Glue. Hirsch highlights three challenges with this approach, though:

  1. Significant overhead for integrating each individual data source.
  2. Developers had to meet with analysts and still write tedious ETL code.
  3. Scalability challenges as data loads increased.


Selecting Etleap ETL for data pipelines - A quick impact

Morningstar ultimately decided that Etleap ETL could address these challenges. Hirsch could see how Etleap - utilizing AWS infrastructure - could scale to meet Morningstar’s needs. Etleap’s Data Wrangler empowered Morningstar “data experts to do their ETL and wrangling logic without having to get an engineer involved.”

An early test of the new implementation came with Morningstar’s acquisition of Sustainalytics. Etleap delivered a successful integration and gave Morningstar further confidence to run all its pipelines with Etleap. Etleap ETL has “allowed our developers to focus on what we believe is more differentiating work, the specific tasks of our financial domain, integrating with our products.” 

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