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What is Pentaho?

Pentaho is a suite of open source business intelligence and analytics products, now offered and supported by Hitachi Data Systems since the June 2015 acquisition.

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Pentaho has proven to be a valuable tool for users across a range of industries and business functions. Users have found value in using …
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Best for Reporting and Dashboard

10 out of 10
April 12, 2022
I use Pentaho for reporting and dashboard development. We develop the reports and integrate them with different database sources. It …
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Pentaho - Yay or Nay?

6 out of 10
November 04, 2016
I worked in a small-size private consulting firm that used Pentaho for analytics and reporting firm-wide. It catered to clients in a broad …
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What is Pentaho?

Pentaho is a suite of open source business intelligence and analytics products, now offered and supported by Hitachi Data Systems since the June 2015 acquisition.

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What is Microsoft Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a visualization and data discovery tool from Microsoft. It allows users to convert data into visuals and graphics, visually explore and analyze data, collaborate on interactive dashboards and reports, and scale across their organization with built-in governance and security.

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SAP Lumira Discovery is SAP’s data visualization and discovery application. It facilitates data discovery, visualization, and analysis by assisting users with creation of dashboards, infographics, presentations, data facets, tag clouds, and more.

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BI Standard Reporting

Standard reporting means pre-built or canned reports available to users without having to create them.

Avg 8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

Ad-Hoc Reports are reports built by the user to meet highly specific requirements.

Avg 8.1

Report Output and Scheduling

Ability to schedule and manager report output.

Avg 8.4

Data Discovery and Visualization

Data Discovery and Visualization is the analysis of multiple data sources in a search for patterns and outliers and the ability to represent the data visually.

Avg 8.1

Access Control and Security

Access control means being able to determine who has access to which data.

Avg 8.6

Mobile Capabilities

Support for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Avg 8.0

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

APIs are a set of routines, protocols, and tools for used for embedding one application in another

Avg 7.9
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Frequently Asked Questions

Pentaho is a suite of open source business intelligence and analytics products, now offered and supported by Hitachi Data Systems since the June 2015 acquisition.

Reviewers rate Report Delivery Scheduling and Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) highest, with a score of 9.9.

The most common users of Pentaho are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


Community Insights

TrustRadius Insights are summaries of user sentiment data from TrustRadius reviews and, when necessary, 3rd-party data sources. Have feedback on this content? Let us know!

Pentaho has proven to be a valuable tool for users across a range of industries and business functions. Users have found value in using Pentaho for building data warehouses for data migration and analytics, covering all scenarios and allowing the use of external jars for unsupported activities. Pentaho's BI stack is utilized for ETL, report delivery, and as an endpoint for custom web apps. It offers ease of learning and impressive functionality, making it a popular choice for small-size private consulting firms. Pentaho is also used by engineering departments to create data warehouse environments for multiple customers, enabling analytics usage. In addition, it serves as the primary source for Business Intelligence in many companies, used by multiple users for creating reports and evaluating work across different teams. The software's ability to handle large and complex data sets with ease has been highly regarded by users, along with its advanced features for data integration, reporting, and analytical dashboards. Overall, Pentaho meets various needs such as scheduled ETL processes, data ingestion, reporting and dashboard development, making it a flexible solution across organizations.

Wide range of tools and features: Users appreciate the flexibility of Pentaho, as it offers a wide range of tools and features that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different users and organizations. This has been mentioned by multiple reviewers who found this feature highly customizable and easy to learn.

Excellent reporting tool: Pentaho is praised for being an excellent reporting tool, with features like data reporting, integration, data mining, and ETL. Users find it intuitive and easy to use, even for advanced users. The visual interface simplifies processes that would traditionally require writing lines of code. Many reviewers have highlighted this aspect as one of the strengths of Pentaho.

Highly accessible data integration module: Pentaho's Data Integration module is highly regarded for its maturity and ease of learning. It allows business users to quickly connect to almost any data source. The ability to preview data in a pivot view format enables early data analysis. Several users have mentioned this module as a valuable feature in their reviews.

Limited Data Visualization Capabilities: Users have expressed the need for Pentaho to improve its data visualization capabilities in order to enhance the end result of dashboards. Specifically, some users feel that the current options are limited and lack advanced features and customization.

Difficulties with Mondrian-based ROLAP: Some users have mentioned that the Mondrian based ROLAP capability does not scale up well when analyzing data for a large number of subscribers over different time periods. This has resulted in performance issues and challenges in meeting the needs of complex business requirements.

Lack of Support and Guidance for WEKA: Users believe that WEKA, the machine learning platform used by Pentaho, lacks use cases in production environments and requires more support and guidance. They have found it challenging to implement and fully leverage the potential of WEKA within their organizations due to limited resources and documentation.

Attribute Ratings


(1-25 of 31)
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Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Pentaho to store, collaborate & present data in a more modular form, which in turn helps us in making better business decisions & also allows end-users to navigate through complex data tables in a comfortable & easy manner. Pentaho not only helps in loading up the required data quickly, but it also helps in making sure the data is well structured & presented in a simple way.
  • Excellent OLAP Services
  • Multiple tools for data mining & extraction
  • Plethora of options to transform data as per your needs
  • Data Integration takes up too much time due to server loads.
  • Data visualization has limited options to customize.
  • Data modeling can take too much time depending on complexities of the model.
Pentaho is very well suited to perform data extraction & data mining from various cloud storage & transform that data using various available data models. However, the software struggles when it comes to visualizing the extracted data in an appealing manner & can be difficult for end-users to get an understanding of data tables created using those models.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I use Pentaho for reporting and dashboard development. We develop the reports and integrate them with different database sources. It really helps us to achieve our business goals. I would suggest Pentaho for everyone who is looking to utilize one of the best BI tools for enhancing features with satisfying business requirements. I really love it.
  • Reporting
  • Integration
  • Flexibility
  • Cost
  • DB connector
  • High user friendly
We did report designing for the market requirement. It was well suited to the requirement because of its apt feature. Also, both Pentaho report designer and Pentaho data integration are very good in terms of high flexibility and compatibility. Also, in terms of cost, any small organization can utilize the service.
Rafael Grandizoli | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is used in my organization, mainly by the IT team, creating processes and routines focused on data ingestion from many sources. We also use Pentaho to create complex ETL jobs and prepare data to be used in our data warehouse and reporting platforms that are used by other departments in the company.
  • Data Integration with (almost) any source
  • ETL jobs
  • Manage and scheduling recurrent process
  • Report development could be easier
  • Better integration with online repository
  • Native deployment and development environments
Pentaho requires less technical skills than other solutions to start integrating and creating complex data manipulations and preparation. By having logical skills you can just start to 'drag and drop' some boxes, connect them, and create a data pipeline, step by step.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Before working for Hitachi Vantara, I had experience using the Pentaho Tools for personal projects mainly. I had the chance to work directly with the teams that supported the Pentaho tools, and I can tell with much objectivity that the Pentaho tools are by far one of the best options in the market when it comes to all the ETL processes. Data science requires extracting data from different sources, organizing it, and transforming it according to each necessity. Machine learning is built on top of these concepts, and with the Pentaho tools, you can accomplish most of it. Since I supported the Pentaho tools while working for Hitachi Vantara, my perspective is kind of unique; I can tell that the tools were used to solve internal problems such as integrations with our release tools and some of our agile tools, so the tools were used to enhance the newer versions.

Solving problems such as extracting metadata from thousands of files, organizing this information, and filtering it to create release files, determining how to create meta information files is just an example of the ETL cycle that can be performed with the Pentaho tools.
  • Open source, the Pentaho tools have a free to use version with a lot of support.
  • Performance. The Pentaho tools can be setup so they process gigabytes of data seamlessly.
  • Support from the open source developer community.
  • Documentation up-to-date.
  • The web versions of the Pentaho tools are limited to the server component.
  • Worker nodes features are being improved but more documentation and support is always welcome.
Any company looking to solve ETL, data science, data mining problems can solve these issues with the Pentaho tools.

From a very close perspective, I know that different industries, such as the leads generation industry, which operates with other sectors such as loans, medical insurance, and mortgage, can benefit significantly from using the Pentaho tools to perform data extraction and refine records.

Other industries such as universities use the Pentaho tools for different kinds of investigations.

Banking industries also use the Pentaho tools to perform internal data mining operations, which, as you can imagine having so much data is challenging.

Perhaps if you are a single developer trying to extract data for some machine learning process, using the Pentaho tools could be a little too much, maybe overcomplicated when some spreadsheets or using R or Python could probably get the job done. Still, complex or straightforward data transformations could suffice for the job.
Ali Kazempour | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Information is our company fuel, The information and this software are used in all parts of our company, marketing, and sales, as well as development and research we make better decisions. Pentaho is now part of Hitachi Vantara and now is more better and professional than before. Lumada DataOps Suite is built with Pentaho, for end-to-end data integration and analytics at an enterprise scale. the more databases and information we have about customers, the target market, marketing, the type of goods, the consumer market, and the demand, It is better to decide on the presentation and save money. Pentaho Enterprise Edition is great for end-to-end data integration and analytics at enterprise scale. The complexities of doing business with this platform are simplified and all information is intelligently categorized and usable.‌
  • Integrate and synchronize with big data easily
  • Import data from any sources and different databases
  • Managing data in on-premise, hybrid and cloud environments.
  • Compatibility and flexibility of the platform with any type of scenario and any business or industry
  • Various tools in the software suite to transformation of data
  • Simple interface appearance and creative UI graphics
  • It has good modules and they should work on more variety and new modules suitable for the service
  • Initial configuration is a bit time consuming and complicated for novice users and need smart config wizard
Integration Pentaho with Hitachi Vantara is a successful idea, it has increased the speed of work in all departments of the organization. We recommend Hitachi Pentaho Enterprise Edition (Lumada DataOps Suite) to our customers in all industries, information technology, human resources, hospitals, health services, financial companies, and any organization that deals with information and databases and we believe Pentaho is one of the good options because it's agile, safe, powerful, flexible and easy to learn.
zahit bogus | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I use the Pentaho Data Integration ETL tool in our enterprise business intelligence projects. I often use the Pentaho tool for data manipulation and data transport. Pentaho plays an important role in our business processes because we work on the database in the department where I work. I use the PentahoETL tool when designing ETL processes, transporting data to the database and designing the data warehouse.
  • I frequently use the Pentaho tool for data manipulation and data migration.
  • I use the PentahoETL tool when designing ETL processes, transporting data to the database and designing the data warehouse.
  • It is an ideal ETL tool for transporting XML and JSON-based data.
  • The error codes we received in the Pentaho ETL tool are not clear enough. Explanations need to be more detailed for quick resolution of the problem.
  • Scheduling ETL packages through the windows Task Scheduler makes things difficult. This process will be more efficient through the Pentaho tool.
  • Database connection information is timed out after a certain period of time. I sometimes have this problem even though the database password hasn't changed.
The Pentaho Data Integration ETL tool runs successfully on systems derived from both Windows and Unix. When designing a data warehouse, we can create ETL packets both at the Stage layer and at the DWH layer. There are many components for ETL design. We can run packages at certain time intervals through the Windows Task Scheduler. Since Pentaho Data Integration is an open-source application, it can be developed in applications to be integrated with PDI (Pentaho Data Integration). This allows you to manage the scheduler process through a separate application.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is used as our organizational-wide reporting and BI platform. It is bringing together data from multiple enterprise applications including ERPs, HRM, EAM and PLMs. We are using it to create both prepackaged PDF reports as well as interactive analysis reports where users can compose their on add-how reports.
  • It is relatively stable, robust and reliable.
  • Interactive analysis reports are very useful and relatively easy to use.
  • Relatively simple to integrate with other systems
  • The type of graphs and layouts proposed for diagrams and charts are a little bit limited and partly outdated.
  • For certain reports you can feel that it is not using the latest web technologies.
  • The tools for creating new report template designs could be improved.
Pentaho is well suited for bringing together data from multiple data sources in order to perform analyses and to create reports.

If you want to create very nicely looking interactive graphs using the latest web technologies, there might be other tools that are more suited. We have also seen performance problems with large amounts of data, but it is not certain if this only was the fault of Pentaho but could also be the infrastructure around.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We rolled out Pentaho within one of our business units as a way to get at trapped data from an old home-grown CRM system that had been recently updated to .net. Pentaho quickly got us access to the data and the built-in ETL tools were easy and quick to use and learn. It enabled a team of two to provide enough data, reporting and analytical dashboards to support over $1.5B in sales.
  • The built-in ETL tools are easy to learn, and can quickly import and transform any data you have.
  • The excellent visualizations and charts are pleasing to the eye, and looks are important in sales and marketing presentations.
  • The rollout was fast, we installed the software and were building dashboards within minutes.
  • I think the relative obscurity of the tool is a downside, not as many developers, consultants or peers you can tap into.
  • Lack of a solid user community held us back, looking at Power BI and Qlik, they have huge user communities that help each other out. Would have liked that here.
  • Smaller company means smaller sales force, and the lack of a local presence made it hard to only interact online with the account rep. Other companies have someone local who often stops by with pre-sales developers to just pitch in free of charge when they have time.
The tool is fast, visually attractive and intuitive to use, but we also have an implementation of Qlik Sense and Pentaho pales in comparison to the overall capabilities. I recommend the tool, but everyone’s solution need is unique, so it may not be the right fit. Larger tools like Qlik are more versatile and easier to recommend. More expensive, yes, but you usually get what you pay for.
Ilham AB | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Currently, Pentaho was using it for our internal IT Department. We are using Pentaho to address more specific needs to integrate and analyze the company data that resides on all systems. It is necessary to have a secondary system that runs for the same purpose to run small and simpler modeling tools for Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence. It also acts as a comparison system to build simple jobs and transformations.
  • Easy to create simple jobs and transformations
  • Mature data access and data transformation capabilities
  • Suitable for complex analytic use cases
  • Consume data from many sources
  • At first, one needs to learn the basic concept of this software before going for the implementation. Once you are an expert on this then you will rock it.
  • Some of the basic features need to be enhanced such as sharing and collaboration capabilities
  • Needs to support automatically generated analytic visualizations or models
Pentaho will work great to embed analytic content with full features of Machine Learning capabilities. It supports many machine-learning frameworks and can be easily integrated. So, you also can connect with many data sources and have no worries about it. In our case, we are using it to help us create many day-to-day jobs and transformations that our internal users need. But to achieve this, we need to train our team to be able to understand the main concepts of how this software works.
Mihaela Olariu | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are currently using this application for all the companies. We have managed to develop a lot of reports and dashboards and also bursting reports. Until now we have been able to meet the requirements of reporting in the company in all departments. Pentaho is a good BI solution to also provide the option of creating many operational reports if you don't have a good option in your ERP.
  • SQL query + scripting will help you design different objects, tables, pivots, dashboards, linked t other reports.
  • Organizing in which way you want, synchronizing with AD is very helpful to set security/folder/group of users/single users.
  • By using Eclipse you can set another layer of security by filtering information users's need to access.
  • Sending reports y email also can be set up by security, by groups or list of users.
  • Design seems pretty secure, from time to time can fail when there is too much design.
  • Would like to have a format copy for different objects, tables, cross-tabs, grids, it would make design much more easier. Of course, we use template and CSS design for these objects, from time to time we design something different and it makes it much harder to do this manually for each similar object.
  • Possibility to use multiple DB in the .xaction.
  • Operational reports, big lists of COs, POs, DOs, master information and details. Bursting reports by email and scheduling tasks are interesting and very useful.
  • Complex aggregations are useful to use in cross tabs and calculated functions in the tables. I would recommend a new tool if the purpose is dashboards, but they still can be created in Pentaho as well.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We made a decision to use Pentaho to OEM into the analytics feature of our software and the developers had a much harder time getting it integrated than we were expecting. The Mondrian code was hard to learn and the number of qualified applicants who already knew how to use it was limited.

  • Being able to use the OLAP Analyzer tool saved our organization a lot of time in not needing to develop an OLAP tool on our own.
  • The ability to customize the tool and integrate all the internationalization we required was pretty straightforward.
  • The Mondrian code was hard to learn.
  • The availability of resources that had experience with Pentaho and Mondrian was limited for us.
  • The dashboards were slow and we found that it ended up being easier to remove the Pentaho pieces of the dashboard.
Overall as an OEM vendor of analytics, I would say it was about average. They did help us get to market sooner than if we developed everything in-house, but I felt the dashboards were pretty ugly and I wouldn't say I was super impressed. I found the Analyzer OLAP tool to be very useful and that part would have been harder to develop in-house, but I would skip the dashboards next time and go straight to developing those in-house, which is what we ended up with in the end.
November 04, 2016

Pentaho - Yay or Nay?

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I worked in a small-size private consulting firm that used Pentaho for analytics and reporting firm-wide. It catered to clients in a broad range of industries ranging from hospitality to the public sector. The software is easy to learn and has an impressive amount of functionality incorporated. The ETL (Kettle) module is great for generating visualizations and I highly recommend this software to a beginner interested in BI.
  • User friendly interface
  • Easy and quick report generation
  • Great report customizing features
  • Heavy software to install
  • Requires licensing to enable all features
  • Difficult to integrate with other servers
Pentaho is well suited to small - mid size firms that have specific reporting needs. It is less likely to benefit firms that already have data analytics capabilities built into multiple platforms as Pentaho is not easy to integrate with other analytics platforms. There isn't enough documentation available online, however, customer support is easy to reach.
Nikhil Karkare | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is the primary source for the Business Intelligence in my company. We have many Pentaho users across the whole organization that are making a good use of Pentaho Analyzer to create the reports. At the report side, it helps the business users to evaluate all the work that has been done by the different teams across the organizations. By seeing the reports they can check, for example, how many issues are open, how many bugs have been fixed in a specific duration, how many builds failed in which phase etc.
  • First thing what I have experienced about Pentaho is that it is user friendly. The best thing about Pentaho is Pentaho Data Integration. I have never used more user friendlier ETL tool like PDI. All the jobs and transformation steps are easy to understand. And I like the sample transformations and jobs that are provided with the package. It is so user friendly that, even if you don't know SQL, it will generate it for you. If you don't want to write scripts, that's fine, you can do it in PDI.
  • I have found that Pentaho can be integrated with any technology or framework. I have easily and successfully integrated it with HDFS, EMR, S3, CouchDB, many different RDBMSs. I would consider it as a strength of Pentaho. Also if you are stuck or you find any error, the type of logging will have an answer for you. I found the logging mechanism very effective.
  • I have mostly used Pentaho Analyzer and Schema Workbench at the BI side. It is user friendly too and we have a very few users who come to the developers to help them understanding the UI of PUC.
  • Most of the companies use star schema in their Data Warehouses but they are not the pure star schemas. There are the bridge tables, group tables but when using Schema Workbench to design a cube, it gets very painful for the developers to accommodate such schema in it. To do this, I have to go to the XML file and add the new elements. I would love to see the feature where Schema Workbench can accommodate the bridge tables as they are the part of star schema too.
  • When it comes to ETL, I have found PDI to be the best tool, but at the report side, it is not as good as the other tools available in the market. Especially the users always complain about the graphs in the Pentaho Analyzer. I think. the UI needs a lot of improvement.
  • PDI is slow reading the JSON files. There is a fast JSON input step available in the marketplace but I think I would be great if Pentaho can make the JSON reading even faster.
  • When I export the repository, I see the files names are encoded with UTF-8 encoding. It would be great, if the spaces and the special characters can be preserved while exporting a BA repository.
Well suited scenarios: When we need to deal with any type of RDBMS, from data input to the data loading, Pentaho is super fast. It has many bulk loaders available too. Dealing with the tables is the specialty of Pentaho.

Less Appropriate scenarios: When you have a star schemas with the bridge tables or snow-flake schemas, you will need a lot of additional work to be done in Pentaho apparently. Also, dealing with the files is not bad, but it should be improved.
** My review is for Pentaho or previous releases.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
In my organization, we use Pentaho as our go-to ETL tool. It is used by our engineering department in order to create our data warehouse environment, which is used by several customers. It allows us to create our data warehouse, which ultimately enables our end users to utilize analytics for their environments.
  • Great visualizations. Much like SSIS, the component-based model of ETL is easy to see at-a-glance in order to understand what is going on.
  • Easy roll-ups. It is very easy to encapsulate logic into separate jobs (KJBs) and transforms (KTRs), in order to group code into bite-size chunks.
  • Wide selection of tools. There are several dozen ETL steps to choose from, in a variety of different categories. Everything from file management to XML and scripting.
  • Lack of support. Unlike many Microsoft products, there is not a great wealth of support out there for Pentaho on the web. It is much harder to track down solutions.
  • Non-intuitive. There is a learning curve, and there are subtle nuances to Pentaho that even experienced ETL developers will take a while to get used to.
  • Less reputable. Despite all of Pentaho's benefits, it just hasn't gotten to that critical mass in the marketplace. Thus it does not garner as much respect as Microsoft or Oracle, which in turn makes it harder to find online support. It's a vicious cycle.
It is well suited for developers who may not be adept at strict coding, but have experience with GUI development. It is also better for rather simpler ETL, as the GUI interface has natural restrictions that make complex ETL problems challenging to solve. It may also be well suited for companies on a budget, as the free version still has enough features to be reasonably useful.
Gordon Yeh | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is used for scheduled ETL between Remedy and other platforms to help centralize and enrich data.
  • Easy to use!
  • Reliable for small jobs
  • Open source
  • Easy to learn
  • Great community online
  • Fast
  • Open sourced
  • Running on our vendor's VM... could be the reason why we are seeing some data limitation issues
  • Future friendly
Open sourced ETL tool to help corporations load data. Very easy to learn but you have to take the time to do it! Lots of reading and exploring by yourself and there are some free jobs and transformations online to help you get started. However, we have heard and seen cases with the jobs just do not load the data entirely; it'll have issues after 50K records.
Yinghua Hu | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is used as main ETL tool in the data analytics team. It solves the problem of processing and populating financial and ads related data.
  • Populate relational database
  • Transform and clean data
  • Create periodic job and generate report
  • Aggregate data
  • It will be helpful to have modules supporting Google Adwords and Facebook API and Twilio API
  • It has "add constant", but does not have "multiply constant" module.
  • Unit transform module
Pentaho is well suited for ETL processing and database population. It is less appropriate for visualization and analytics. Key question is the benefit it can bring and the cost and robustness.
Ivan Miller | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho's BI stack is being used by our entire company. We use their tooling for ETL, delivering reports, and as a sort of end-point for a custom web app that we've built. The end point uses xaction and Mondrian to deliver data to our front end. We also make use of the community edition of the BI server--this houses several reports that our analyst team has built as well as resources necessary to support our custom app. In the near future we'll also be using the tool's big data plugins to ingest data into our data warehouse from hive/hadoop.
  • ETL, fairly wide support for a number of different data sources, a good API for writing plugins, and great out-of-the-box functionality.
  • Community support and great documentation for using their tooling.
  • Mondrian/OLAP, great engine for processing MDX queries.
  • pentaho's analyzer tool/front-end. This doesn't come close to competing with products like Tableau.
  • Pentaho Report Designer, this looks like something that was built in the early 90's and is extremely clunky to use for new-users
  • Schema Workbench, would be nice to see better support for snowflake type schemas
Pentaho is very well suited for organizations looking for end-to-end BI solutions without wanting to break the bank--particularly because the community edition has most of the functionality necessary to get you started, and it's free. Honestly though, if you have deep pockets there are probably more complete solutions out there in terms of functionality
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
At our organization we are building a data ware house for data migration and analytics. After researching several options we went for the Pentaho community edition which is an open source tool. Pentaho played big role in the implementation of ETL jobs and QA testing. The features available in Pentaho covered all of our scenarios, plus it allowed us to plug in external jars to use for any unsupported activity.
  • Pentaho allows for migration from one system to another system without much trouble.
  • Minimum code or almost no code expertise is required. Just get your SQL and Pentaho will do rest.
  • It is difficult to verify millions of rows. But with Pentaho you can do that, this makes the QA task easier.
  • Pentaho does make comparison of data between two systems fairly easier compared to other systems, but it lags in terms of output you get. The output has a merge difference option which will show a difference transaction only but if you have large data set columns it is not easy to find issues.
  • Date formatting and number formatting is again an issue, both the systems should have the same datatype. It was difficult for us to compare as a new system had updated data types and pentaho failed to compare these.

Pentaho is well suited for:

  • Migration of large data.
  • Reading XML file and processing data.
  • QA Testing.
  • Data modeling.
  • Data processing.
It is less appropriate for:
  • DataType validation
  • Reporting
Jordan Squire | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We utilize the Community Edition of Pentaho across our organization for business intelligence. We use Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) to gather data from disparate data sources and perform ETL to populate our data warehouse. We also use PDI to deliver custom reports to various internal and external clients. We use Mondrian as a data engine behind our customer-facing website to process MDX queries from our customer reporting portal. We use Pentaho Report Designer to author pixel-perfect reports for internal and external audiences. We also use the Pentaho User Console for our business analysts to slice-and-dice the data for various departments. In summary, Pentaho is used to allow our internal and external clients to benchmark the performance of our products and services and gain visibility into customer behavior and activity.
  • Pentaho Data Integration (PDI), which is Pentaho's ETL tool, is a powerful visual scripting tool. It is a very mature ETL tool that can process large quantities of data quickly when provided with appropriate hardware.
  • Pentaho Analyzer which is Pentaho's Enterprise browser-based analysis and pivot table tool is powerful and intuitive. When provided with a well defined data warehouse schema it is easy for even non-technical users to quickly generate reports and graphs.
  • Pentaho allows you to connect to virtually any datasource provided there exists a JDBC connector, REST API, or some other API end point.
  • Pentaho has an open-source Community Edition which provides much of the functionality of the Enterprise Edition without any licensing fees.
  • A major problem we have had with Pentaho is their enterprise licensing. As a client who understands very well what is offered within the free Community Edition we felt their mark up on their enterprise features was much too high. They wanted to charge us for migrating from MySQL to Amazon RedShift since RedShift is an "analytical database" while nearly every other database could be connected to for free. Due to licensing concerns we terminated our enterprise license.
  • Pentaho's visualization tools are very capable, but have a very steep learning curve and engineering cost. Due to this we ended switching from Pentaho for the majority of our internal dashboarding and reporting to purchasing Tableau licenses. If Pentaho could improve their visualization and dashboarding capabilities, they could truly be an end-to-end BI solution.
As far as generating and maintaining a data warehouse, Pentaho does an excellent job and I would highly recommend it. For analysis and gaining insight into your data, Pentaho is excellent. For visualization, dashboarding, or executive grade reporting it may not be as beautiful or flashy as your clients require.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We used the Pentaho Data Integration tool to pre-process some data and fill thr production database. It was used in the department where I worked. Being a software developer I made a decision to use PDI instead of writing scripts on Python. The main advantage of PDI was supporting scaling out of the box, and the ability to run on multiple machines. When you need something less than a Hadoop cluster but bigger than self-made quick scripts it fits well.
  • The main strength of Pentaho (PDI) is that it is free. No need for additional license approvals to implement something quickly using the UI tool.
  • It has Pentaho Reporting - the ability to use reporting on top of PDI transformations is a powerful feature. PDI can handle data extraction, and with reporting you can create a simple report on this data. They all just work with each other without additional integration required.
  • And most of Pentaho projects are open-source. That helps a lot when debugging something.
  • Help documentation is an area for improvements. A lot of features and side effects just not documented.
  • PDI uses swt. It has a lot of troubles with this dependency. It is run on Java, but with swt - and you are stuck with a platform that supports swt. ARM architecture does not have swt support out of the box.
  • Online jobs/transformations creation. Jobs/transformations are just xml. So the lack of online editor is just 'it was not implemented yet'.
  • Strange /Pentaho-solutions placement. Application is not deployed on a server in a standard way. Instead - a server should be embedded into a 'Pentaho solution' - very strange architecture.
There are different Pentaho features, and each one has its own specific scenario where it is best suited. Reporting - is for generating boring Excel like reports, with calculations etc. For data visualization reporting is not a [good] tool. PDI is used for creation data transformations, from almost any source of data. But it is very heavy weighted. It has Hadoop and other support. But hand made code runs faster than transformation made in Spoon. And there are some algorithms that can be much easily written manually.
Anderson L.A. | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It's been used across the whole organization . Automated reports and dashboards are some of our core usages .
  • automated reports
  • dashboards
  • data-integration
  • Big Data
  • Poor support
  • few books published in relation to Pentaho
  • Pentaho User Console could be more user friendly
Pentaho is an excellent tool for start ups and where CTOs are willing to invest in staff training Drawback : Takes a bit longer to master Pentaho in relation to the leading BI solutions.
Alex Meadows | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho Data Integration is used to move data into our data warehouse solution, used for various projects.
  • Data Integration. PDI handles pretty much any type of data source and can transform data and conform it to any type of business logic.
  • Object Oriented ETl Coding. Code developed in PDI can be shared across numerous jobs/transformations. This allows for resusable and maintainable code.
  • Flexibility and plugins. If the function that you are looking for is not built into the tool, it's fairly straightforward to either download or develop plugins. There is a huge community of users that build new functionality all the time.
  • Scaleable and cloud ready. PDI is able to cluster and scale out to handle huge data sets.
  • The speed at which some trouble issues get resolved could be improved.
PDI is a great alternative to proprietary tools. If your environment is just starting out using ETL tools, definitely look into using PDI. The number of features plus the ability to write flexible dynamic processes allows for much more maintainable code.
Sandro Frattura | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use it for what you would expect. ETL for process and aggregate data, and then building data cubes and reports for viewing that data. We also use the ETL tool to auto-process files (CSV, XML etc) from that we receive from a few of our vendors daily.
  • The Data Integration tool is fantastic. A novice user can get up to speed quickly with it and the GUI is intuitive
  • Support. As an enterprise customer, I am always thrilled with the fast turnaround on support tickets that I open.
  • Job Scheduling. The Job scheduler is easy to use and very reliable
  • Data Analyzer Tool in "User Console". The drag and drop UI makes it easy for me end users to see the data in whatever way suits them. They can even GEO-MAP the data instantly!!
  • Speed on ETL. Without a very complex setup, the ETL Job runs single threaded and can be slow for BIG jobs.
  • The "Report Designer" is decent, but lacks a lot of control that you might get from more mature products (like Business Objects, for instance). Sometimes to want to rotate or reformat a chart label, and it can't be done. In other cases, it can. It is not consistent. Also, 3D charts don't work in certain circumstances. Finally, charts mapped over time, in some cases, don't have the X Axis auto-scale and so all the data points are not readable.
If you are an open-source shop, this is a great choice. Also, if your developer has minimal experience with ETL, Pentaho is a great way to go wince it is easy to use. There is also a ton of help in the forums, in you go with Community Edition (i.e. sans support)
Stephanie Dozier | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Pentaho is currently being used for several functions within my department. The Data Integration is used as our primary ETL tool. The software does a great job with data cleansing and standardizing from multiple sources. The tool is easy enough to learn using videos out on You Tube or using the Pentaho Kettle Solutions book. We also use the Schema Editor for creating the semantic layer in the User Console reporting tool. Having defined objects available in the User consoles makes it easy for a data analyst to quickly log in and quickly get a report together. We are in the healthcare industry so much of what is being asked is counts of patients, encounters by diagnosis, practice or time period. All these items can quickly be answered very quickly via the user console.
  • A data analyst has quick access to data that would otherwise need to be pulled straight for the database. Additionally, the data dictionary is tied to an object so up keep is easy and users can scroll over the object to exactly what that measure or object represents.
  • Report presentation is clean and professional. Pentaho comes with a pretty extensive set of charting and graphing functionality out of the box that in other tools would have to be developed. Easy file output with sufficient types available to choose from. (.pdf, .xlsx, .csv)
  • The Data Integration tool is without question the best tool in the set. There is no limit to your transformation options. You can transform virtually any text file, excel file or script into a table, spreadsheet or even report. Many times we are given list of patients and file formats vary from practice to practice. With Pentaho DI we have the flexibility to take what has been provided and standardize.
  • Pentaho could use some improvement of the integration of ldap into the User Console. We have unsuccessfully been able to deploy the Pentaho User Console to partners because it does not support a federated ldap model. Even attempts at integrating to our primary ldap has proven fruitless.
  • The Pentaho Suite as a whole tends to be a resource hog. Since we work with such large data sets we often find that large requests hang up or get an "oops error" which is a standard Pentaho error when the data set is too large. It would be nice to have some indication of our limits so that we are not guessing or we can limit the data set up front.
  • Upgrades on the Suite are a bit cumbersome for our Administrators. There is not a standard backup and install package so upgrades often involve our administrator on the phone with Pentaho during the upgrades to walk through a custom install.
Pentaho is well suited for an internal environment who needs access to data quickly and offer the data up in a very professional business document. It is not suited for a reporting portal that customers can access via the internet or web. The limited security prevents us from being able to offer our Pentaho UI as a service to our partners and customers.
Itamar Steinberg | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I used Pentaho Kettle as a team manager of development and later as a CIO. After that I opened a company that consults and implement business intelligence solutions. We are using Pentaho mostly with the data integration module. I think that of all the modules of Pentaho, Kettle is the most complete. It can give a "fair fight" to source solutions that are not open. The problem it addresses of course is to extract data from various sources; transform them; ”play with data”; and then load it to the target. I find the transformation most valuable and rich with functionality. I even made a full scale course about it, you can find it on udemy.
  • Pentaho Kettle gives you a great graphic user interface to plan your transformation and jobs.
  • Pentaho Kettle makes it easy to handle errors, logging and performance.
  • Pentaho Kettle has dozen of great steps like: lookup and SCD functionality.
  • Several steps have performance issues like the Json input.
  • The community edition does not include scheduler and job manager so you need to figure it out yourself, unless of course you buy the Enterprise edition.
  • I think that web service should be easier to operate.
I find it suited for 90% of data integration projects , its a very good tool, easy to use, stable and affordable.
I think that the big data connections are still not perfect, so if you have a NoSQL DBl / Hadoop / Cassandra, you might consider extracting the data to file from the source using MapReduce. Also, if you need bulk load, sometimes it's better to use it directly on a tool, for example Redshift / InfiniDB (that is no longer with us).
Apart than that I think it will suit you well.
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