Pentaho: a strong open source BI suite
Updated November 04, 2014

Pentaho: a strong open source BI suite

Nathan Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Community Edition

Modules Used

  • PDI
  • Reporting Server
  • Report Writer
  • Mondrian

Overall Satisfaction with Pentaho

Pentaho Data Integration was used for a variety of data integration projects, including populating a dimensional data warehouse. Data sources included relational data bases, flat files, and LDAP directories. Pentaho Reporting served reports from a range of data sources to multiple departments with security integrated with Active Directory. The Mondrian OLAP engine delivered pivot tables for slice and dice analysis.
  • The Pentaho Data Integration tool is extremely versatile. I find it easier to use than comparable tools like SSIS.
  • The reporting engine delivers reports in multiple formats, including Excel and PDF.
  • It is easy for users to subscribe to reports for delivery by email.
  • The report parameterization is very flexible, and I find it easier to use and more versatile than parameterization in Crystal.
  • If using the community edition, be prepared to invest some effort in learning the product. Documentation can be vague.
  • The new pivot table viewer is part of the enterprise edition. Fortunately there is a nice open source plug in called Saiku that can replace the old, difficult to use jPivot pivot table interface.
  • I wish there were easier ways to audit user activity, especially to see which items have not been accessed for a long time and could be retired.
  • There are not as many people who know how to use Pentaho in the market as there are people proficient in other BI tools. There is a learning curve and design patterns are not necessarily the same from one BI tool to the next.
We used the Pentaho community edition because we were looking for an open source solution. There is a good community involved with Pentaho. I often found Pentaho to be more flexible than Crystal Reports or SSIS but sometimes less polished in the user interface.
It has consistently met our needs.
Pentaho provides a rich end to end BI solution. It is highly configurable. The data integration module is an especially useful and powerful. You may need a higher level of IT skills and support to work with Pentaho than you do with other BI tools. It is helpful to have SQL querying skills when creating Penthao reports. Make sure you have resources who are familiar with Pentaho or are able to get training.