As an independent consultant, I use Entrinsik Informer (EI) at any client site that has it implemented. At this point, I've used it only …
We use Informer across campus. It changed the way we access information. In the past, power users ran reports for the rest of campus. Now, …
- Multi-User Support (named login) (10)9.090%
- Report sharing and collaboration (9)9.090%
- Drill-down analysis (8)9.090%
- Formatting capabilities (9)8.080%
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Informer 5 from Entrinsik is a data discovery and analytics tool that aims to simplify the process of accessing, cleansing, blending, and analyzing data from multiple sources. According to the vendor, with Informer, companies can aggregate all their disparate data into a single platform using an intuitive, 100% web-based interface that replaces outdated query tools and complicated reporting systems.
The tool aims to eliminate the need for data warehouses and cubes, and eliminate complicated “views” and limited functionality. With extensible architecture, collaborative environment, and enterprise-level performance, Informer aims to deliver actionable insights and better, data-driven decisions for its customers.
- Supported: Administration via Web Interface
- Supported: Live Connection to External Data
- Supported: Snapshot of External Data
- Supported: In-memory data model
- Supported: Multi-Data Source Reporting (Blending)
- Supported: MS Excel Workbooks
- Supported: Text Files (CSV, etc)
- Supported: Oracle
- Supported: MS SQL Server
- Supported: IBM DB2
- Supported: Postgres
- Supported: MySQL
- Supported: ODBC
- Supported: Cloudera Hadoop
- Supported: Hortonworks Hadoop
- Supported: SAP Hana
- Supported: Customizable dashboards
- Supported: Report Formatting Templates
- Supported: Drill-down analysis
- Supported: Formatting capabilities
- Supported: Report sharing and collaboration
- Supported: Publish to Web
- Supported: Publish to PDF
- Supported: Report Versioning
- Supported: Report Delivery Scheduling
- Supported: Delivery to Remote Servers
- Supported: Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
- Supported: Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
- Supported: Multi-User Support (named login)
- Supported: Role-Based Security Model
- Supported: Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
- Supported: Report-Level Access Control
- Supported: Table-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
- Supported: Field-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
- Supported: Responsive Design for Web Access
- Supported: Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
- Supported: REST API
|Deployment Types||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems||Windows, Linux, Mac|
- Gathers live data
- Automatic scheduled reports
- Delivery of scheduled reports via email
- Allows customization of reports and data
- Making it easier to find the needed information within the mapped dataset (currently can be like a needle in a haystack)
- Increase the number of individual reports that can be scheduled at the same time
- A way to create reports with calculations that do not require the user to enter code
- The scheduling functionality allows different departments and users to plan ahead for their needs and either export or email the results. Scheduled reports comes in very handy when you need to export the data to third party companies or to a network location for batch processing. This allows us to provide current data with much more frequency.
- LiveExcel functionality gives you the ability to connect your query to Microsoft Excel so users do not need to log into the product to run the results. This also allows the creation of VBA Macros to process the data and provide users with the final product on demand.
- The product has had its growing pains as newer versions have come out. The transfer of old queries to the newer systems has caused some duplication of mapped files or fields and they have not come up with a tool yet to help merge these duplication.
- Wish they had better internal reporting so I could easily find the different reports that are using links and the fields they are linking with.
- I have noticed, being an admin, that the more connections and reports that are available the slower the system becomes when opening it. It would be nice to have nothing come up first and then show more once I drill into the area I want.
- Informer provides detailed, in-depth reports.
- Reports can be exported and manipulated for individual use through Excel.
- Allows organization/institution to work together and in a streamlined method. No need to continuously create the same report for different divisions.
- Personally, I need continued practice with Informer to feel 100% confident when using it.
- Reports can take several steps to complete, can be a little complicated should you use it infrequently.
Entrinsik Informer is very well-suited for generating specific data. Reports can be created on just about any query. The software has been very helpful at my institution, where different reports can either be created for one specific purpose, or shared with other users and departments, depending on the need.
Although I have sporadic usage of Informer, I have yet to encounter a scenario when using it is less appropriate than other options.
- The ability to schedule using various methods of delivery or on-demand reporting to users in a secure way - Giving users access to the data source and selection and parameters that return what they need to see, but nothing more.
- The ability to report and link on multiple data sources and types. This makes it far easier for use to link SQL Data with U2 Data and provide functional reporting and analytics without having to create a warehouse in between.
- Support and Enhancements. They are always providing great things and the releases are far more stable than most other software that is released.
- That is pretty difficult as we built the ROI on Informer solving a specific set of roles in the company. It has far exceeded the initial and current specifications, so we couldn't be happier.
- If I had to pick one thing, it would be to have employees geared to a specific industry for deployment and integration, but they have done a far better job than the others playing in the same ballpark.
As an independent consultant, I use Entrinsik Informer (EI) at any client site that has it implemented. At this point, I've used it only with clients who were still on Unidata; I have no experience with those operating through SQL.
I'm a huge fan for a number of reasons. Navigationally, it's intuitive for any user. It's flexible for in terms of file linkages and in terms of dictionary names (in plain English) for less-experienced users. It enables more experienced users to build complex reports quickly and produce them in multiple display formats. The copy feature is very helpful in enabling the construction of a new report without having to start at step one. Overall, it's simply an excellent product. For me, the only impediment is that I've never had any training in its use, so I'm confident that there are functionalities that I'm not leveraging. Finally, EI has a very attractive price point making it feasible for even the smallest institution.
- Possible display of dictionary elements in 'plain' English
- Multiple display formats for results
- Intuitive navigation
- Online availability of training
We use Informer across campus. It changed the way we access information. In the past, power users ran reports for the rest of campus. Now, the entire campus has access to the information they need when they want it.
Our IT department writes most of the reports and controls access. For example, all budget managers have access to real-time information. What the budget manager sees is limited to the general ledger numbers they manage. One department can't see another department's numbers. We also have access to course information, demographics, etc. All the information seen depends on your access level. End users love it since all they have to do is fill in a few blanks!
- Put information into the hands of those that need it for quick & easy access.
- Allows security controls so the right people see the right information.
- I wish it was easier to write reports on the fly.
- I would love if I could save the report modifications I make for me to see each time (if I drag column somewhere, it does not stay that way when I open it again).
- Easy to use - no technical skills required to understand how to get a report with basic data that user needs. It is simple drag and drop which is very useful for many users.
- Easy to maintain - for IT administrators updating the system is super easy. Once it is set up very little to no maintenance is required.
- Easy to set up - When connecting to databases it is easy define the connection and the username and password. It is a bit tricky with unidata databases as you have to set up one "additional" subroutine to be initialized once the informer connects.
- Super cheap - compared to other reporting tools this is like fraction of that cost with the same functionality.
- It can [eat] your resources - if your query is big or got into some endless loop which is possible) it will use all RAM you dedicated it to a jetty server and it will make your CPU go to 100% which is bad if you are running other applications as it would have serious impact.
- It is bundled with Jetty server - and Jetty server is not a very nice web server to work with and can be complicated. I really don't understand if they have a Java application why .war file wouldn't run on Tomcat that we already have in use so it requires additional software.
- If number of reports is big it becomes very slow when loading main page and reports.
- It does not have a limit on number of columns which is bad for everyday user in two ways: They think they can put 30+ columns and use it as report - who is going to read 30+ column report? Having 30+ columns will slow down the application for all users and eat all of your server resources.
- It will potentially have a performance impact on unidata database when executing a large report. Number of fields should be limited.
- Simple user-interface: Informer is relatively easy to learn and end users can begin running reports and creating new reports quickly.
- Email "burst" functionality: This feature allows emails to be sent out based on data in the report. So for example, a report could be scheduled that would email all student employment managers listing out the specific employees that report to them that haven't submitted their time sheets. Each manager would only see the rows that correspond to their email address.
- Analytics and grouping: Users can quickly drag columns to group and sub-total, and can use the analytics tab to get deeper insights into the data.
- Performance is sometimes an issue. This can usually be overcome by re-designing the report - using fewer fields, using indexed fields etc.
- Informer is pretty user-friendly. When teaching other employees how to use Informer, I typically don't have to repeat any steps or further explain how to do certain tasks because of how user-friendly it is.
- Reports in Informer are kept in a list that can be filtered by user, specific tags, or even by how recent the report was made or run. This makes it very quick and easy to find and run a specific report.
- Informer has many options for downloading the report output, including text (txt), comma separated values (csv), and even PDF.
- There are a lot of reports that we have in Informer that say they have never been run, even though I know they have been run. So that makes it really difficult to determine which reports can be deleted to keep a tidy report list.
- The only other complaint I have about Informer is that there doesn't seem to be a properly detailed error code/message when the student information system can't be accessed. For example, I am currently trying to move Informer to its own standalone server and I get an error message saying that our license isn't valid. Informer Support sent a new license, which prompted the same message, and the only explanation they have given me is that Informer can't reach the student information system. I would think that if that were the case, the error message would say that instead of an invalid license.
- Informer's Scheduler is full-featured and vital to automating its use. Avid Informer users like to schedule reports to write data directly to servers of ours (accessible while on-campus or through VPN), and non-users like to schedule reports to be emailed to them. Both replace the need for staff to remember to periodically run reports.
- At a basic level, Informer is vital for Ellucian Colleague users simply because it can easily query records and display them as a spreadsheet. It's supremely disappointing that Colleague users suffered so long without this feature.
- Informer needs more predefined date formats in its Column Display Editor. The existing 5 do not meet everyone's needs.
- It's a minor UI issue, but Informer's Edit Columns view stutters and displays empty space when scrolling left or right. It may be because I'm using Safari on Mac OS X, and Informer isn't designed for input devices that scroll with "momentum" (as Apple calls it).
- The Reports Listing takes longer to load reports than I believe it should. At least a progress bar displays to tell you when it's complete.
- Initially, Informer was chosen primarily because of how it handled our multi-valued database structure for our student information system. Since then it has expanded to a support a slew of database platforms.
- Our institution uses informer for internal and Federal reporting as well as a host of other data requests that come to our institution.
- Informer quietly and seamlessly drives several Business Intelligence initiative on our campus. The solutions provided range from supplying our online employee directory with accurate information to aiding the Financial Aid office in monitoring and projecting financial budgets.
- Informer has room to grow in the dashboard delivered. While helpful and visually pleasing, they are not as robust as some of the other solutions that are more focused on the dashboards. The API leaves the opening for well-resourced organizations to enhance this area on their own.
- We make it a point to show Informer as a list generator and not a fully fleshed out report writer. There is room to grow here as well. It just so happens our users are much more used to extracting the data than generating a publishable report directly out of the Informer product.
- Over the years, Informer has expanded its capability to meet all of the needs initially. Some of the things I initially saw as weaknesses was because it didn't fit into the vision Entrinsik had set for its product.
- Ease of Use - This product is almost self explanatory. Very little training is needed. The training videos developed by Entrinsik are wonderful.
- Dashboards - this product is the icing on the cake. No need to purchase and learn a different software package. It's all there with Entrinsik Informer.
- I think the most difficult task in Informer was setting up the security. It's very flexible, which is both good and bad. I would like to see more detailed instructions or examples of different security settings.
- Would love to have a feature on the dashboards that would allow a load "live" without having to "refresh". I would like to see this as a choice for refresh on opening or manually by user.
We have over 1000 reports, with some scheduled and others setup as quick links for individual users. Most of the reports are written by the Applications Team in Information Technology, but we engaged with tech-savvy and power-user employees around the campus, training and encouraging standards in writing their own reports for themselves and their departments. The Informer product has helped departments "own" their reports through the ability to quickly review, audit, and verify data specific to their area.
- Files and fields can be mapped and linked in Informer without the need to create computed columns within the Colleague environment, alleviating ad hoc requests to the I.T. department.
- Scheduled reports can be created that will run if a range of criteria are met: users are not receiving scheduled reports that contain null/empty/blank values.
- Quick links and Live Excel reports give users instant access to their most used and favorite reports.
- Dashboard views give instant aggregate information essential during peak times: registration headcount, outstanding receivables, payroll tax deposits, enrollment and financial aid verification, etc.
- If the reporting dashboard included a column on reporting sharing, if the report is public or restricted, would be very helpful. One must detail into each report to see if there are restrictions, which is not efficient.
- It would be helpful to be able to modify the columns that are displayed on the reporting dashboard: add a column for last modified, add a column for sharing (report is public, shared, private), etc, at the global level, and ideally, at the user level.
- Help information could be expanded, particularly on mapping and auto suggest type.
- Helpful option to be able to selecting/view specific multi-values without normalizing the report view.
- Include a list of common script samples within the application versus posting them to Entrinsik's forums.
- Reporting is key. Easy access to the data that is important to each office through user developed reports is very important. Reporting was an issue in the past, IT would have to create reports for end users and build computed fields to get data from multiple files with Entrinsik Informer this goes away almost entirely.
- Scheduling - Having the ability to schedule a report and have it available to a person when they come into work each morning has been extremely beneficial. there is no more waiting for a report to run unless you need information from a non-scheduled report. Even then, reports run quickly and efficiently.
- Dashboarding/Visualizations - the ability to provide end users a visual representation of the data that is important to them is fantastic. We use these visualizations to compare multiple years of data and make good business decisions.
- Price - A low cost big bang for the buck reporting solution.
- Additional visualizations would be beneficial, I would like to see a Funnel visualization, bubble charts etc.
- The ability to do multiple normalizations on records would be a nice add-on but there would be issues as the number of rows created would expand exponentially based on the amount of data needing normalization.
- Ease of use for end-users--drag and drop interface allows for users without database knowledge to create reports.
- The ability to map Informer to multi-valued databases like Unidata/U2.
- The ability to link multiple databases allows for endless opportunities for data integration.
- Reliable, dependable, and extremely stable product that works seamlessly with upgrades.
- Allows export of data in multiple formats to allow for external download of data.
- The dashboard product (which we don't have but we have had a trial version in the past) allows for Google map plotting to view trends in applicant/student demographics.
- While I don't think there is anything that is hard to use with Informer, additional functionality might be the ability to run multiple reports off of one query.
- Reporting: Entrinsik Informer makes report writing easy. I have had to train a few employees on how to write reports and it is much easier to teach them the logic of how to write reports rather than teach them the syntax of a reporting language like SQL. Because they can drag and drop statements as well as columns in a report to meet their needs I can focus more on the logic then anything else.
- Security: Entrinsik Informer is a very powerful reporting tool that can allow someone to pull massive amounts of information at one time. Having security for reports and what tables you can report from is very important. You can give a user access to just run one report that is given to them, or give a user access to make their own reports, or any combination of times. Having groups of who can see this report is also very helpful when your company has many departments with in it and each one has their own data.
- Multiple Data Sources: Being able to link between more then one data source and report information from both sources is huge when it comes to writing reports. You don't have to worry about anything but setting up the initial link between the data sources and writing some reports. You can pull columns in from both data sources with ease then.
- Scheduling: Being able to make a schedule that can export in almost any format from CSV to PDF to TXT file is a great plus. If a person who has a scheduled report has a MAC that does not Microsoft Office you can send them a PDF of the same data for viewing. Being able to generate fixed width text files allows for the porting of that data for some type of other processing such as adding users into active directory.
- Allowing to put code behind a column instead of creating a calculated column and calling upon that one.
- I would like to see a way to be able to copy and paste selection statements from report to report do you do not have to re-drag each item onto the screen.
- Being able to save the fixed with outputs for text files such that it does not have to be a scheduled report, it could be one that you can launch and chose the export to be fixed with text file with the widths populated.
- Easy of Use
- Intuitive user interface
- Rapid deployment capabilities and ability to disseminate information on a wide scale
- Entrinsik puts powerful tools in front of many users just not a selected few
- The only item I saw in the past was the library used for gauges which I do believe has been fixed.
- Security is much more robust than what we had with the standard reporting tools we had. We can secure files, restrict users from certain actions.
- Scheduling reports has been a god-send. Our users have set up more than 100 scheduled reports to reduce the amount of repetitive tasks they have to perform annually.
- Having a centralized report storage area allows our users to share reports and work collaboratively.
- Informer, like any other reporting tool, can be a resource hog. We are working to optimize performance. Some of it is us but I think we can do a better job with it.
- In the newest release, they have sent better security functionality but I still have difficulty with reports not being tied to a specific session that I can kill manually.
- If you are already an Informer user, I would like to be able to save the Analytics and schedule them. (See, every time they come out with something neat, we want more).
- Entrinsik has an plethora of supportive resources. They are always willing to listen and help develop a solution, if we cannot find one on our own. We've also taken advantage of their regional training classes and have attended the valuable ICON conferences.
- Entrinsik Informer is the "best bang for your buck". It's cost effective for institutions, particularly those who have financial strains, and yet provides a thorough solution to meet most reporting needs.
- Entrinsik is constantly adding functionality to the product, which is exciting. They are a truly innovative, professional company that I admire and think everyone should use.
- The flexibility to connect Informer to multiple types of databases is another invaluable feature of this product. It helps to seamlessly integrate our systems.
- Include more delivered functions with the product (which I believe Entrinsik is already planning for in future releases).
- Improve the "Last Executed Date" to be accurate or display the "Date Created" instead. Most of the reports say "Never Executed" and that's not true. Nearly all of our reports have been executed at least once, because we test the reports once they are written.
We recently rolled out dynamic dashboards and 43 report-writers attended the training session.
- The terms are easily understood. Our report writers and users have an easy time plotting the data to make sure they are receiving the information they need.
- The ability to schedule on-going reports has been a tremendous time saver. We currently have 260 reports running in a "hands off" mode so they can be delivered to upper management for their needs. Included in this list is a pool of "audit" reports where supervisors can receive a report if there are issues with common data entry standards.
- Security is easy to manage. We are able to allow all of the appropriate granular security with each user group.
- The ability to use LiveExcel interaction with our database allows some of our administrative assistants to use their Windows Office skills rather than having to login to the tool itself.
- While we do like the new Dashboards, the scale-ability of the graphical representation would be helpful.
- We had developed a list of "wishes" and submitted them to the Entrinsik forum... and lo and behold, when release 4.4.1 came out, the issues were addressed! We particularly needed the ability to copy parts of the set up from one instance to another. We continue to be users of the Wiki and Forums available to clients.
~~This is still true~~~jbowker 11/10/14
- Informer was the best solution for reporting directly off of a multi-valued database. We researched other multi-valued reporting solutions and Informer was absolutely the best.
- Entrinsik has been very responsive to product suggestions. In the early days of our adoption of Informer we had many suggestions and most of our suggestions have made it into the product.
- When Entrinsik added the ability to report off of SQL based databases it opened up a whole new world for us. We have many different systems on campus and now most of them are connected to Informer. It is really nice to provide a single reporting solution for our end users.
- The ability to schedule reports has been fantastic. Before we had Informer all reports were run manually. This has saved us a lot of time.
- Being able to report off of multiple data sources in one report is extremely helpful. As mentioned before, we have quite a few different systems and there are times we need data from multiple systems and Informer handles this well. As long as the systems have a common key it is very easy to get data from multiple systems onto the same report.
- Informers dashboard module is really nice but I would like to see additional functionality and visualizations added. For instance, our admissions office uses funnel reports and it would be nice to be able to use a funnel visualization to represent their funnel data.
With Informer we are able to use it for most all of our reporting needs. There are a couple of instances when the report is complicated enough that Informer is not the best tool to use. Since the release of the dashboards we are able to move some of these more complicated reports to a dashboard but there are still a handful of reports that we use other tools for.
Overall we are very happy with Informer. It has absolutely changed our reporting capabilities for the better.
- Informer is really easy to use. Simple drag and drop functionality helps the end user build their reports.
- Entrinsik's support is exceptional. Any time I've ever called with a problem it was solved in a short amount of time.
- Connecting to multiple databases is a breeze.
- They need to bring back the functionality when searching for a report you just type in part of the name. That works great, but if you detail out of a report and then back out to the search results, the results are cleared and you have to re-type your search to get the results you had. This used to work before but with the newest update it does not.
- Very user friendly for our endusers
- Many ways to report the data, pdf, excel, savedlists, etc
- Reports are easily changed to fit many needs of different departments
- On occasion when we get errors, the explanation could be better.
- The layout of the interface is very intuitive, it makes it more simple to actually create great reports
- Ease of use for all different types of users. Those that are new to reporting find Informer a great tool
- Entinsik as a company will listen to the users and take comments to heart and try and find ways to make it better.
- Entrinsik customer service has always been a great help and have gotten back to me in a very timely manner
- With the newest update to the program we have found that it runs quite a bit slower
- They need a way to quit "run away reports" we sometimes have users that will create huge reports and when the set them off they take the system down.
- Entrinsik Informer provides a way to pull information from several files within our database into a single report. This is far superior to having to query the database directly where you can only pull information from a single file at a time. It enables the end user to access information easily without having to involve technical staff.
- It's possible to train power users to create their own reports in Entrinsik Informer, giving the users more flexibility in writing reports that are most appropriate to their work processes and without taking up technical staff time. We have done that here, and it works well. This only requires the occasional assist from technical staff, freeing our time to devote more time and support to users who are only interested in accessing reports written for them.
- Some direct training on the advanced features of Entrinsik Informer would be helpful, e.g., more specific instructions on how to create computed columns within Informer reports.
- Some more detailed instruction on how to use Analytics and Charting would be beneficial as well, with examples geared more to a college setting than to the business world. Often in the sessions at the Entrinsik conferences, for instance, the examples given don't translate well for me to our college experience. It's more along the lines of sales and things of that nature, that don't fit into our experience at all. So, sometimes it's hard for me to figure out how to apply the principles.