Aginity Workbench, a Data Warehouse Application That Will Help You Bench Your Work to the Max
April 20, 2016

Aginity Workbench, a Data Warehouse Application That Will Help You Bench Your Work to the Max

Roger Luo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Aginity

It is being used by my department, and possibly some other departments, but not across the entire organization. I know Toad is also a popular tool, since Aginity is specific to Netezza, and Netezza is going to be retired in the near future for my department. It addresses the business need for data analysis, by providing a direct interface to our Netezza database, for designing, creating, and executing SQL queries. It allows transparent data viewing and data research.
  • Transparent database -> table information. The columns for a specific table/view is listed out within the object browser, and the object browser is easy to navigate, for providing a clear picture of the tables/views, and what it's made up of. Including column data types, data length, and space usage. The object browser follows a collapsible format, breaking down databases by schema names, following with the table/view names, and then the columns specific to that table/view. This in my opinion, is easier than the object browser that Toad provides, where you have to select into a specific table in order to see it's contents and details, rather than being able to compare and have everything on one page.
  • The output window is easy for further data extraction, one can simply copy the data out onto an email, into an excel spreadsheet, or other places as necessary. Data could also be exported from the output window, into either excel spreadsheets, or CSV format files, without the need to convert between one or the other. A special area is reserved for dragging column headers into, and what it does is it groups information by that column. This allows flexible user grouping, without the need of writing SQL queries to group on columns. Often times, in my experience, I find the need to group columns on a to-go basis, where I review the data output, and find the need to group on certain columns for further research and analysis, this option allow me to manipulate the result I currently have, without the need to rerun a query for grouping inclusions.
  • Able to cascade query windows between different environments. I often need to cascade query windows between an UAT environment, a RESEARCH environment, and a PRODUCTION environment. To be able to cascade between them, and to reference queries and its results, is a huge plus, that I didn't find in some of the other products I've used. This allow me to reference information in between different environments, without the need to connect back and forth.
  • For one, I don't like how the parenthesis are automatically created as a set. Often times I only need to type one part of the parenthesis, but it creates a set of ( and ), forcing me to delete them because I didn't need the other half at where my cursor was. Same goes with any other sort of characters, such as ' '. I understand that it's suppose to be smart, but more often than not, it's causing more inconvenience and wasting more time, than actually saving time simply because it types an extra ) or ' for me.
  • The error message and the log. I would think there probably is a log somewhere, but the fact that I've been using Aginity for close to a year now, and I still haven't found something similar to a log, is saying something about this feature. A log is like a standard thing nowadays, for running codes, to check against what has happened with the code, and for debugging what you have done wrong within the code. It also contains error messages, and help you troubleshoot with a clearer picture. The error message display current is very small and hard to read, sometimes the error message itself is not as easy to understand either. I use SAS on a daily basis as well, I feel like SAS has done a way better job on this issue, than Aginity.
  • I think Aginity really allows us to quickly dive into the data, by providing easy and quick access to our database. This allowed us to solve our business problems on an efficient and timely manner. But since it is not a critical component of our department, (a lot of people also use Toad for the same thing, since Netezza is retiring soon, and Aginity, which belongs to IBM, has had legal issues, and is no longer available to new hires of our department. It is sort of our legacy software.)
I use Aginity extensively for quick data research. Examples include figuring out what the table structure look like, how the data looks like, quick 100 record sample selection, creating a DDL with a list of the column names for further manipulation and analysis. However, for more complicated analysis, or processes that involve multiple steps, including the creation of temporary or permanent tables, I refer to SAS. Especially since SAS allows me to implement macro variables and programs, to automate and optimize repeatable processes.
Overall I like Aginity for what it has to offer right now. I also use SAS on a daily basis, and whenever I need to create scripts for flexible and repeatable automation processes, I go to SAS for its macro facilities. To me, Aginity works very well for quick data research, but other programs such as SAS are more suited for robust analysis involving complicated coding.