Picking an effective approach for unifying data is, by and large, determined by the scale of the challenge. If your problem is unifying three data sources with 10 records each, then it doesn’t matter what type of tool you use.

A whiteboard or paper and pencil is probably the best approach. If your problem is integrating five data sources with 100,000 records each, you can likely use traditional rules-based approaches and known technologies like ETL; although it may well be painful.

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