Making the most out of Matillion's "Detect Changes" Component

Businesses across industries rely heavily on timely and accurate insights to make informed decisions. However, with the exponential growth of data, managing and processing it efficiently poses significant challenges.  Matillion’s "Detect Changes" component helps teams track and manage data modifications effectively. This article explains the component capabilities and how you can use them to improve your data transformation process. 

Understanding the "Detect Changes" Component

At its core, Matillion’s "Detect Changes" component identifies and classifies data alterations within datasets. Whether you're dealing with incremental updates or monitoring real-time changes, this component empowers users to pinpoint modifications efficiently. It operates by comparing incoming data against existing records, enabling you to isolate additions, updates, and deletions seamlessly.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Incremental Data Processing: One of the primary use cases for the "Detect Changes" component is incremental data processing. Instead of processing entire datasets repeatedly, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, you can focus on processing only the new or modified records. This approach not only optimizes performance but also reduces processing overhead.
  2. Change Data Capture (CDC): For organizations dealing with high-velocity data streams, such as those from transactional databases or event logs, CDC becomes indispensable. Matillion's "Detect Changes" component facilitates CDC by efficiently capturing and propagating data modifications in real-time or near real-time. By staying synchronized with evolving data sources, you can ensure that downstream analytics and reporting reflect the latest changes accurately.
  3. Data Warehousing and ETL Pipelines: Integrating the "Detect Changes" component into your data warehousing and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) pipelines enhances data governance and integrity. By identifying and logging changes systematically, you establish an audit trail that aids in tracking data lineage and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Moreover, by automating the detection of changes, you reduce the risk of human error and improve overall data quality.
  4. Flexible Configuration Options: Matillion offers a range of configuration options within the "Detect Changes" component, allowing users to tailor the detection logic to suit specific use cases. Whether you need to define custom key fields for comparison or specify tolerance levels for detecting incremental changes, the platform provides the flexibility to accommodate diverse requirements.


Example Use Case

In our example, we have a members table in one schema in Snowflake (Members in dpc) where data is Inserted, Updated and Deleted. We have the same table (members in master) in another schema that needs to apply any of the changes made in the table, Members in dpc. We use these two tables as input to the Detect Changes Component which will add an indicator column populating C for changed records, D for deleted records, I for identical records and N for new records.

The result for the Detect Changes Component will be used as input to the Table Update Component to apply the changes to the table members in master.

Notice the record with ID 4 pictured below, this has a record that has changed and needs to be applied to the table members in master.

 When we sample the members in the master table again we can see record 1 has been deleted and record 4 has been changed


Practical Applications of Change Detection

  1. E-commerce: In the realm of e-commerce, where product catalogs and customer data undergo frequent updates, the "Detect Changes" component facilitates inventory management, order processing, and customer relationship management. By tracking changes in product availability, pricing, and customer preferences, businesses can optimize marketing strategies and enhance customer experiences.
  2. Financial Services: In the financial services sector, where data accuracy and regulatory compliance are paramount, the "Detect Changes" component plays a crucial role in transaction processing, risk management, and regulatory reporting. By capturing and analyzing changes in financial transactions and market conditions in real time, organizations can mitigate risks and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
  3. Healthcare: In healthcare settings, where patient data constantly evolves, the "Detect Changes" component enables healthcare providers to maintain up-to-date electronic health records (EHRs), track treatment outcomes, and identify trends in patient demographics and healthcare utilization. By leveraging real-time data insights, healthcare organizations can improve clinical decision-making and patient outcomes.



Matillion's Detect Changes component offers a powerful solution for managing data modifications effectively across various industries and use cases. Organizations can streamline data transformation workflows, enhance data quality and integrity, and unlock actionable insights from their data. Whether you're dealing with incremental updates, real-time data streams, or complex data pipelines, integrating the "Detect Changes" component into your data infrastructure empowers you to stay ahead in today's data-driven landscape.

Alan Goodrich
Alan Goodrich

Enterprise Solution Engineer