Nexla Vs. Census

Head-to-Head Comparison

Compare Nexla and Census, and see the differences between the two platforms.


Overview Data integration, transformation, delivery, observability, and monitoring for all data to anywhere Managed Reverse ETL service from data warehouses to apps
Connector Types SaaS Apps, Warehouses, Lakes, Streaming, Webhooks, API, Databases, Files, Spreadsheets, and more Data warehouse sources and app destinations
Bulk/batch data movement ELT, ETL, Streaming, API, API Proxy Reverse ETL
Data movement topology Bidirectional data flow with tunable latency and speed One way Reverse ETL pipelines – from data warehouse to apps
Batch, Streaming, and Real-time Processing Batch, Streaming, and Real-time Batch only
API services REST, SOAP, and Oauth connectors Not as data connector
Data Mesh Architecture Principles Data products (Nexsets), domain governance, metadata intelligence, and more Not applicable

Nexla and Census can both be used to build reverse ETL data pipelines, but Nexla is also built for all other data use cases such as ETL, ELT , Streaming, API, and more.

For a more fine-tuned control over every aspect of a data flow, Nexla provides the suite of features and tools businesses need. For more complicated flows that require custom transformations, branching, or specific configurations, Nexla enables anyone to build exactly the flow they need — while making data engineers’ jobs easier by automating the straightforward tasks.

Nexla sees Reverse ETL as just one aspect of complete data operations, and envisions a platform where anyone who works with data is enabled to build any flow they need in minutes rather than months.

Difference #1: True End-to-End Customer 360

Reverse ETL supports using a single source of truth in your data warehouse for all of your sales, marketing, and customer success apps, but what about getting data into the warehouse in the first place? Nexla can build every aspect of the entire Customer 360 framework, integrating, enriching, standardizing, and monitoring data from anywhere – including CRM systems like Salesforce and Hubspot – into your data warehouse, then utilizing that single source of truth with any reverse ETL pipeline. Census is only focused on building reverse ETL pipelines after the warehouse, while Nexla is a complete end-to-end solution.

Difference #2: ETL, ELT, Reverse ETL, Streaming, API, and Anything Else

Census is for Reverse ETL mode data pipelines specifically from data warehouses to SaaS apps. Nexla’s goal is to provide unlimited flexibility to build any and all of the flows a data-driven business might need, covering all ETL, ELT, Reverse ETL, Streaming, API, and other use cases. In addition, Nexla provides a suite of pre-built data transformations and all the custom transformations you need with custom Python, Javascript, or JSON for ETL and other modes of movement.

Difference #3: Data Products

Nexla automatically detects, creates, manages, and organizes data products from all of your data sources and transformations. At scale, data products enable inter-team and cross-team collaboration with ease and make it easy to find and use exactly the right data anyone needs every time. Census focuses on reverse ETL pipeline building, and therefore has no concept of data products.

Difference #4: Custom Transformations without DBT

While Nexla can trigger dbt transformations, Nexla also runs its own transformations, providing a suite of pre-built transformations as well as the ability to create and share your own custom transformations with Python, Javascript, or JSON. Without relying on dbt for transformations, easily apply and code your own transformations right in Nexla without constraint. Census transformations are limited to only what is available through dbt once the data is in the warehouse, not along the way or between data products.

Difference #5: Unlimited Connectors

Census offers a set of pre-coded connectors developed and launched by their team. Nexla offers an open ended connector template for any type of data from APIs, webhooks, FTP, SFTP, spreadsheets, email, and warehouses that your data might be stored in - all both as sources and destinations. Census only supports warehouse sources and app destinations, while Nexla serves all connectors as both source and destination. New connectors are simply configured, not coded, so they can be added in a matter of minutes. Nexla’s universal connector template ensures the right connector will always be available, or configurable, when needed.

Difference #6: Data Processing Controls

Nexla offers flexibility in how users can set up their data processing. Not only batch processing, but streaming, real-time, and API style processing are all available to configure as needed, which supports many use cases that are crucial to customers. A full suite of collaboration and sharing tools aims to accelerate the data operations process between and across teams.

Difference #7: Built for Data Engineers

In addition to a no-code and low-code interface for data users, Nexla also offers complete platform capabilities for Data Engineers to automate the mundane tasks and tackle the most complicated challenges. Nexla’s powerful suite of APIs - the same ones available to our own UI developers - are accessible for custom solutions. The Nexla CLI offers complete control of Nexla from an engineer’s terminal of choice, allowing for automation through scripts to manage CI/CD for dev and production pipelines. JSON manifests of every flow enable managing versions in Github, while our Airflow operator further enables automation. Finally a complete Python SDK extends Nexla’s pre-built transformations to any custom code. Nexla is built for everyone, from non-coders to seasoned Data Engineers. Census is primarily focused on data users rather than Data Engineers.

See the difference yourself with a free demo and trial.