Reviews (1-2 of 2)
January 29, 2016
Score 10 out of 10
We're implementing BI systems for our customers. We help them select the correct tool or platform, and then implement their BI environment with them. arcplan, for our customers, is often used in financial departments, but in some cases across the organization.
- Endless functionality. With arcplan, you're not limited to a certain set of functions (like with most competitors), but you can think up and add functionality. This includes things like business process management modules, so that your BI really gets embedded into business processes.
- One core, one skill-set needed, no coding. As an all-round arcplan developer, you can basically do everything. So, even when things get complex, there is no need for external scripts, macros, VBA code, etc. Even the most advanced corporate BI systems are built in arcplan with one skillset!
- No end user training needed. With arcplan, it's easy to build applications that work purely intuitively. It's also possible to show/hide advanced options, depending on the type of users you define.
- No data modelling required. Of course, if the business requires it, you can add semantic layers, but you are not forced to do it in all circumstances. I find this a huge advantage over other products, because most business data sources already are logically structured.
- Multiple data sources can be connected and you're completely free in combining the data in these sources: create your own, or create modules to associate data 'on the fly', whatever you want. You want ETL? No problem. You want to avoid ETL? No problem either.
- Write-back capabilities: this is critical if you want to really embed BI into your business processes. In BI, information should be actionable: arcplan allows the end user to really take that action.
- Great developer interface, which makes it also possible for someone with limited technical skills (but high business acumen) to take part in developments.
- Pricing and licensing. At first glance, arcplan seems not very cheap compared to competitors. However, the licensing model is logical, and there are no hidden costs. Compare that to 'free' products that become very costly as soon as you want to have an enterprise solution.
- Positioning and marketing. Most BI vendors use a non-technical sales strategy and focus on shiny, sexy dashboards to sell the story. In order to position arcplan fairly and correctly, the technical and business advantages need to be part of a sales story. So, it is not really an easy product to sell to customers, if it has to compete with now-to-wow-five-minute products.
- Learning/training for developers. It's easy to learn the basics of arcplan, because the interface is logical. But nothing prevents a beginning developer from creating a monstrous application, because there is no prescribed architecture. It really takes some experience to become a good arcplan architect. It's a disadvantage resulting from one of arcplan's biggest advantages.
- Data connectors: arcplan standard comes with a connector of your choice. Additional connectors need to be purchased separately. Many other products come with a full range of connectors.
Read Erik Jansma's full review
It is very suitable for complete corporate BI solutions. If you see BI as embedding information into your organization and business processes, and thus as more than just a few scattered dashboards and reports, arcplan is your platform. It's less suitable for ad-hoc reporting and data discovery. It can do it (everything is possible), but there is strong competition in this area.
arcplan is used by three of my clients to measure metrics and BI. I directly support these clients.
- Excellent dashboard.
- Well advanced BI metrics.
- Better interfacing to other DW.
- Pricing. Quite on the high side.
- Not many partners. Had a user in the Philippines and had to support them from here.
- Training materials are outdated.
Read Chin Uba (MBA, MSc, MCITP, MCSE)'s full review
arcplan is very well suited for reporting metrics and measuring BI. It is good for guys in pharmaceuticals/warehousing and small banks. I would not recommend this for FMCG or retail industries. SMEs will benefit from this product because of its versatility and lots of interfacing to other database tools.