Pentaho - Jumping On The Band Wagon
Updated March 16, 2015

Pentaho - Jumping On The Band Wagon

Stephanie Dozier | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Enterprise Edition v. 4.8

Modules Used

  • Data Integration, Schema Workbench, User Console, Enterprise Console

Overall Satisfaction with Pentaho

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.
In a past life I have used Business Objects which is a great product but requires an army of people to support. Pentaho can be managed by a smaller team of developers because you don't have to have expertise in Universe design, Report design and ETL. Pentaho's interfaces allow for a quick ramp up of the software and support all three areas pretty easily.
Although the security piece is a major game changer in our shop, Pentaho is a great tool overall. I have known other shops to work out their security issues with Pentaho and do great things so we'll need to get through this growing pain point as well and make Pentaho our positive game changer. I am excited to see the improvements in Pentaho 5 and look forward to evangelizing it's benefits over the more high priced solutions out there.
  • Because of the security issue we have had to spin up an additional reporting portal using another vendor. This means we have two reporting tools that we must maintain and support.
  • Since Pentaho is used by a limited audience it gets sidelined as a solution that requires our customers and partners to access their reporting via the web.
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.

Pentaho Training

Course Taken: DI1000 Pentaho Data Integration Fundamentals
A week before your class started, the instructor will start sending out class material and lab setup instructions. This is helpful so that you understand how the environment is laid out and can start reviewing the content. Ultimately it saved about a 1/2 day trying to setup with 10 other people online which was great!
The Course
The 3-day course was laid out like many other technical classes with 15-30 minutes instruction and 15-60 minutes of lab exercises. The instructor was very knowledgeable with the functionality from version to version and answered questions as we went along. I was amazed at some of the functionality that was available that I was not using at the time and quickly implemented changes to many existing transformations and jobs. The novice users seemed to catch on quickly and more experienced users explained how some of the functionality was used in their home environments. Towards the end there was enough time so that we were able to ask very directed questions about our own environments. Overall, I really found the class to be informative and deliver enough information to be dangerous. My skills improved and I was able to design better and efficient transformations for the HIE.
Course Description:

Using Pentaho

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Creation of reports via the User Interface are very easy. The interface offers a drag and drop method of pulling data together and filters are easily applied to create the data set needed. A fairly simple report can be completed in roughly 3-5 minutes.
  • Adding new objects to the cube can be done through the Schema Editor. The User Interface offers a standard format