Informed about Informer!
Kate Goldberg | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated November 04, 2014

Informed about Informer!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

v4.4.1 Build 440093

Overall Satisfaction with Entrinsik Informer

Entrinsik Informer is a web-based reporting tool that connects to our Datatel (ellucian) Colleague database (Unidata). It is a transactional database that allows us to access live and real-time data. There are probably six departments using it at our organization. I am in the College Advancement department (alumni relations and fundraising). It utilizes a GUI user interface that makes it so much easier to write reports rather than having to write programming code. We have four staff in our department who are heavy users and about 15 staff who are running "self-service" reports (they can't change the files, fields, select statements, etc.). No matter who runs the reports, we can export to Excel, Adobe PDF, Saved lists, and other options. The most transformation feature was the ability to schedule reports to email to users. Now, my staff and I can send daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reports that we used to have to remember to send previously!
  • Scheduling reports. We are able to easily schedule emails using many different recurring schedules. We are also able to email outside of our domain, so we can email to our volunteers who don't have an email from our institution.
  • Export choices. We use Excel and PDF predominantly, but have been experimenting with XML.
  • Drag and drop of columns. We are now able to move columns and rearrange easier than in previous versions.
  • User level permissions. Our OIT department controls our permissions, but we are able to have two levels-one for my staff who are the report writers and another for the staff who are the end users of the reports.
  • Performance-I don't know if it is a problem with Informer or the database, but sometimes it can take up to 45 minutes to run a report and I have to schedule it.
  • Search for email addresses- there is no way to search for a particular email in the scheduling section. So, when staff leave, I can't easily go find all the reports they were receiving.
  • Data analytics-they have a tab called "analytics", but I don't really think that is a fair term to use. It produces really basic pie and bar charts. It can be a little misleading.
My OIT office hasn't provided any other similar tool. Prior to Intrinsik, we typed script into the interface!

Any reports were custom programmed by the programmers in OIT.
This is the only tool that I have to connect to our database!! So I have to renew!! If we changed our database system, I would re-evaluate to look at other reporting tools.
Within my department, we probably have 19 active users. I think there are probably 20 other users across the rest of campus. So probably 40 (ish) out of 700 employees?
It is the only tool that I currently have. I am unable to connect to other sources, but I don't know if that is a function of Informer OR our OIT department!
The visualization tools inside Informer are really lacking. They can create bar and pie charts-but they can't be saved inside of the report. I don't have access to create dashboards, but have seen explanations in the documentation. I am unaware of any geospatial data for Informer.
Because of the security, we are able to build reports for our end users. My staff have written over 2,000 reports, but have only published 200 that are "self-service" for our end users. We might use Informer to build internally used reports. Also, we strive to write simple and flexible reports for our end users so that they have to learn fewer reports. We use "parameters" inside Informer to allow them to chose options such as ID, year, city, state, etc.
I am unable to incorporate all of my data into "one place" - so Intrinsik is only connecting to Datatel- but I have a few other data sources that I would like to use.

Intrinsik is well suited for transactional level reporting. We often use it for data verification and data checking. For example, if we have 20 records that we are correcting, we can rerun the reports and be sure that we have fixed the problem.