- Usability of the product for self-service reporting.
- Scheduling and distribution of reporting content. This includes the ability to provide links to reporting content.
- Extensibility of the Informer development platform. Open SDKs.
- Recoverability of site when memory issues are encountered (usually due to large reports).
- Cache management - our production sites frequently experience corrupt cache symptoms that result in unusable UI and java exceptions.
- Processing utilization and time it takes to render large result sets.
For Universe reports, would rate this question higher. For SQL reports, there are a lot of products on the market. I understand that there are Entrinsik roadmap plans for Big Data/Hadoop integration... providing this functionality will be a great feature.
Overall, the product offers excellent results and is a fantastic value for the price.
- Simple select queries from a SQL database
- Process SQL stored procedures and report the results in an automated (scheduled) and useful output
- Dashboarding capabilities for reports existing in your Informer system
- Dashboarding functionality and visualizations options need improvement
- Ability to stop a query from continuing to process on the database server
- It allows me to custom build integration with our Google Domain and OpenLDAP.
- It allows other departments to customize reports for their specific duties. Extremely flexible.
- Customizing the reports is easy.
- With the Entrinsik java training we expanded our use of Informer to calculated tables and created a whole new way of looking at our data.
- Needs updated documentation.
- Needs updated java documents
- Distributed report running, with proper security controls.
- Can use less "techie" language for files and fields.
- Reports can be modified by users without changing the original structure of the report.
- Sometimes it can be difficult to write a complex select statement, particularly if you need to jump between files.
- Informer is very user friendly
- Informer works with multiple databases
- Informer has great technical support
- For the most part Informer does everything you need, I would like to see a little more dashboard features within the product
- The system security is excellent because we can assign specific file rights to individual groups. Sometimes it is a pain because file security is so tight.
- Ability to normalize data is quite helpful. Normalizing all data (apparently due to specific file mappings) would be greatly helpful. I have data now that needs to be run through Excel macros to complete the normalization.
- Easier security managament
Dashboarding facilities are very easy to use and intuitive for what can be a very complicated area of reporting. Compared to some other BI tools out there, our users have found Informer really easy to use to put information clearly and visually
- Dashboard Reporting
- Scheduled reporting which can drive system level tasks
- Integration into our own solutions
- Positive feedback to Entrinsik has resulted in improvements directly benefiting us
- Archived report management could be better. Especially in the area of auto delete of old archives
- You can still delete a dashboards underlying report which stops you entering the dashboard again
- Code tables should be stored with the mapping rather than globally. This is especially a problem on a hosted platform
Integration to our own software platform for security purposes has allowed us to have multi-level data security applied automatically
- Informer has an intuitive User Interface so even non-power users can grasp the use of the product for running report.
- Informer allows for quick report creation lending itself towards ad-hoc requests.
- Informer can connect to a variety of data sources from U2 and SQL databases to spreadsheets and/or Google Docs.
- Informer works well, but with large reports (250+ columns) tends to bog down at times.
- Makes creating reports straight forward
- Emailed reporting capability
- Making the work day easier
- Since my experience with Informer was more than 12 months ago I can not comment about its current format
- 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.
- 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'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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Live Excel function allows you to create spreadsheets and send them to others. The recipient can add their own columns but refresh the original data at will which saves time and effort.
- Client office staff can be trained to create their own reports, but if they don't have the time or interest it's easy to create reports for them. We can deliver the reports in a variety of ways and many people love the option of having reports sent to them by email at a scheduled time.
- The ability to report from both SQL and Unidata on the same report is amazing! We use this feature all the time and it has greatly simplified our lives.
- The software is slow to respond when you filter the list of reports on a tag or favorites. It's also slow when you try to add a report to your list of favorites.
- Setting up a report is quite easy for end users to manage
- For the logging in process it interacts with our identity management system
- It's very easy to download data into a PDF or spreadsheet/csv file.
- Lack of customising a finished looking report
- Doesn't work the same was as Crystal or Access reports ... the interface is different.
- Customising a computed column is a little tricky.
- Quick and easy installation and setup
- Reports are easy to create. The gui is really responsive and easy for users to access
- Entrinsik support is fantastic. Quick to respond and extremely helpful. Updates are quick to come out and easy to deploy.
- Certain options such as session timeouts are not included in administration options so the code needs to be manipulated every update that is installed to get the correct settings implemented
- Security can get out of hand rather easily since there are so many options for allowing and disabling access.
- Hard to clean up reports at times and if tags aren't utilized it is hard to locate reorts
- Informer allows to report across files bringing in data from linked files. Linked files allows for fields from each file to be represented in the report without having to run two reports and have to compare common fields.
- Reports can be created by competent users that can be shared and run by users who cannot grasp the concept of data querying.
- Reports can be shared and/or kept private for security.
- Reports can be created that prompt for input allowing one report to serve many purposes.
- Exporting to Excel sometimes does not keep formatting correctly. Numbers with dashes sometimes are prefaced with an E+. If I open in Excel it appears to work correctly.
Entrinsik Informer Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Entrinsik Informer
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.
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Entrinsik Informer Technical Details
|Deployment Types:||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Linux, Mac|