What's Reverse ETL? (Examples + Dokin solution)

Google Sheets
Productivity tips
October 25, 2023


As the number of SaaS used by teams keeps changing and growing, business users often find themselves struggling to incorporate data into their workflows and processes. But there's a solution – Reverse ETL. Though this option has traditionally been accessible only to data teams, solutions like the one offered by Dokin are closing the gap between data and business teams. In this article, we'll explore what Reverse ETL is, how it differs from ELT, its significance in comparison to Customer Data Platforms (CDP), and the remarkable advantages it offers. 

Did you know?

Dokin is an ETL and reverse ETL solution for modern business teams.

Pull live data from sources like HubSpot, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Airtable and more into Sheets, Slides & Docs.

User Reverse ETL when you sync data from HubSpot, Trello and Retable.

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What's a Reverse ETL?

Reverse ETL is the innovative process that flips the traditional ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) approach on its head. Instead of pulling data from various sources into a central repository, Reverse ETL pushes data from a centralized database directly into the systems where business users naturally operate.

This reversal is monumental because it empowers SalesOps, RevOps, and other business users to access and manage data directly in their day-to-day tasks, analysis, and decision-making. With Reverse ETL, business users no longer need to wait for the data team to provide insights. Data becomes accessible, and the backlog of requests diminishes.

Is Reverse ETL the Same as ELT?

Key Differences Between Reverse ETL and ELT 

We have talked about Reverse ETL and ETL. But there’s a third piggy: ELT.
They may all sound similar, but they operate in distinct ways. Let’s go by order.

ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) is a data processing method with roots as old as the widely used database itself, involves the extraction of data from single or multiple sources, followed by data transformation tailored to meet a business's specific requirements, and ultimately, the loading of data into a final destination, which can be either physical or virtual. 

On the other hand, ELT, a more contemporary approach, capitalizes on cost-effective storage and scalable resources to retain all initially extracted data and perform the transformation as a concluding step. 

Lastly, Reverse ETL represents an additional stage, focusing on enhancing external systems by supplying them with cleansed data obtained through ETL/ELT processes. Reverse ETL extracts data from the warehouse, transforms it inside the database, and then loads it into the target business systems. This fundamental difference is crucial in understanding their unique roles.

The Roles They Play in Data Integration 

ELT has been the dominant data integration method for decades, but with the rise of cloud data warehouses, Reverse ETL has emerged as a game-changer for empowering business users with immediate, actionable data.

Difference Between Reverse ETL and CDP

CDPs (a new acronym, there’s many in this article, standing for Customer Data Platform), are designed to centralize and manage customer data for marketing and personalization. However, they might not always provide the same data activation that Reverse ETL does. Reverse ETL ensures critical data reaches the systems where business users operate, such as Salesforce and HubSpot, significantly improving data usability.

While Reverse ETLs have been initially mostly available for data scientists and data teams, the integration of Reverse ETL with applications that business users are more familiar with, like spreadsheets, and the rise of no-code have brought these advantages also to business teams, thanks to tools like Dokin.

The key advantage of the Dokin solution is that it equips SalesOps managers and other business users with the right data at the right time, right within their native systems. This reduces the dependency on the data team and allows business users to integrate data into workflows, operations, and decision-making processes.

The Advantages of Reverse ETL

Reverse ETL empowers business users with faster, more reliable access to critical data. It allows them to incorporate data directly into workflows, enhancing operationalization.

In recent years, we've witnessed powerful examples of Reverse ETL in action, from enhancing sales enablement to optimizing customer onboarding processes. These use cases have increased sales, improved lead conversions, and streamlined critical operations.

Reverse ETL Tools and Examples

To execute Reverse ETL, you need the right tools. We'll delve into how these tools function and their significance in enabling Reverse ETL processes.

As an example we’ll show how Dokin allows RevOps teams to:
1. Pull CRM data from HubSpot into spreadsheets, 

2. Edit and add records in bulk to HubSpot directly from spreadsheets thanks to its “Push Back feature”.

Reverse ETL with Dokin

Dokin is the answer to the Reverse ETL needs of RevOps teams. 

Dokin is a no-code solution that allows business users to sync live data from tools like Hubspot, Google Analytics, Notion, Airtable, and more with Google Workspace applications, like Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs.

Dokin currently also provides Reverse ETL features for three of its integrations: HubSpot CRM, Trello and Retable.

For example, with the Reverse ETL feature in the HubSpot integration, RevOps teams can use Dokin to sync tables from HubSpot into Sheets, by leveraging filters and sorting. They can then make any edits or additions of records and instantly push everything back to HubSpot.

In this way, managing large sets of CRM data becomes easy and effective. The combination of spreadsheets and reverse ETL closes the gap between business users and data teams, preventing any data silos. 


As you dive into the world of Reverse ETL, remember that Dokin is your trusted partner on this journey. Dokin's customizable templates, seamless data integration, and no-code approach provide the bridge between your data and your business users. With Reverse ETL and Dokin, you can unlock the full potential of your data, empowering your business for greater success.

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Jacopo Proietti

Co-founder @Dokin
Jacopo, a co-founder of Dokin, boasts 8 years in finance, having worked as a finance manager at Ogury and head of Financial Planning and Control at BlaBlaCar.
His passion for data integration led to the creation of Dokin, a game-changer for modern business teams. With customizable templates and built-in data connections, Dokin allows modern CMOs and CFOs to streamlines data reporting across Google Workspace applications.

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