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Review: "Three Years with Pentaho and No Regrets"
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Kenneth Panacy profile photo
Updated November 05, 2014

Review: "Three Years with Pentaho and No Regrets"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
4.8
Modules Used
Data Integration, Schema Workbench, Report Designer

Overall Satisfaction with Pentaho

Pentaho serves several roles in our environment.

We use it for report design and delivery. The designer tool is fairly straightforward and once reports are complete they are immediately accessible to our end users.

Pentaho is used for Business Intelligence which includes totals, trends, and forecasts of sales and subscriptions of our services. Pentaho's web-based analysis tool allows our end-users to drag & drop measures and dimensions and instantly convert raw data into a variety of graphical representations. Before we had Pentaho, each view might have required a long query or static report that was hand-exported to Excel. With Pentaho's analysis tool, our sales, finance, and marketing teams have instant insight and infinitely flexible views of our data.

In the IT department, we use Pentaho as a scheduling engine for data maintenance jobs as its interface allows us to manage multiple shards from a single source.
  • Pentaho works as advertised -- it provides a truly drag-and-drop customizable interface for your data.
  • The Enterprise Suite has everything you need to start working and showing results right away.
  • Pentaho's customer support has been responsive and timely when we've had issues.
  • The Report Designer interface can seem clunky at times when trying to perform additional calculations on previously calculated fields or pass values to subreports.
  • There is inconsistency within the tools in Data Integration -- it is clear the various tools were authored by different engineers at different times. It is not always obvious what goes where.
  • There is inconsistency between all the products within the Pentaho Suite. Each has a different look and feel and none work the same way.
  • The product is not without flaws, but so far none have been insurmountable.
  • Upgrading to the latest version has proven to be EXTREMELY challenging for both us AND Pentaho customer services.
It has been too long since we did the research (over three years) before choosing Pentaho so I cannot remember exactly which competing products we looked at. In the end, the problem with all the others was that they were too expensive for our small company. Pentaho was reasonably priced and was exactly what we were looking for.

Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SAS all provide similar, but very expensive products.
Pentaho continues to fulfill our needs as previously described. We are regularly finding new uses for it as we expand our business and our technology stack.
Do you need to integrate data from multiple sources? Pentaho is great for this. Previously, we were SSHing files around and importing with numerous cron scripts.

Are your Finance and Marketing teams constantly asking for one-off queries? Pentaho puts this power in THEIR hands so they can pull and arrange the data they want into whatever view they want.

Do you want to pay too much for a full-featured BI solution? Pentaho is very reasonably priced, and even has a free version!