Pentaho: A great DW/BI soultion
November 03, 2016

Pentaho: A great DW/BI soultion

Nikhil Karkare | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Pentaho

Pentaho is the primary source for the Business Intelligence in my company. We have many Pentaho users across the whole organization that are making a good use of Pentaho Analyzer to create the reports. At the report side, it helps the business users to evaluate all the work that has been done by the different teams across the organizations. By seeing the reports they can check, for example, how many issues are open, how many bugs have been fixed in a specific duration, how many builds failed in which phase etc.
  • First thing what I have experienced about Pentaho is that it is user friendly. The best thing about Pentaho is Pentaho Data Integration. I have never used more user friendlier ETL tool like PDI. All the jobs and transformation steps are easy to understand. And I like the sample transformations and jobs that are provided with the package. It is so user friendly that, even if you don't know SQL, it will generate it for you. If you don't want to write scripts, that's fine, you can do it in PDI.
  • I have found that Pentaho can be integrated with any technology or framework. I have easily and successfully integrated it with HDFS, EMR, S3, CouchDB, many different RDBMSs. I would consider it as a strength of Pentaho. Also if you are stuck or you find any error, the type of logging will have an answer for you. I found the logging mechanism very effective.
  • I have mostly used Pentaho Analyzer and Schema Workbench at the BI side. It is user friendly too and we have a very few users who come to the developers to help them understanding the UI of PUC.
  • Most of the companies use star schema in their Data Warehouses but they are not the pure star schemas. There are the bridge tables, group tables but when using Schema Workbench to design a cube, it gets very painful for the developers to accommodate such schema in it. To do this, I have to go to the XML file and add the new elements. I would love to see the feature where Schema Workbench can accommodate the bridge tables as they are the part of star schema too.
  • When it comes to ETL, I have found PDI to be the best tool, but at the report side, it is not as good as the other tools available in the market. Especially the users always complain about the graphs in the Pentaho Analyzer. I think. the UI needs a lot of improvement.
  • PDI is slow reading the JSON files. There is a fast JSON input step available in the marketplace but I think I would be great if Pentaho can make the JSON reading even faster.
  • When I export the repository, I see the files names are encoded with UTF-8 encoding. It would be great, if the spaces and the special characters can be preserved while exporting a BA repository.
  • Pentaho has improved our overall business process.
  • Pentaho has helped the Managers and Directors to analyze the numbers going up and down from time to time.
  • We have a started a big project using Pentaho that is going to include all the business processes in the organization.
I was not with the company when they selected Pentaho over any other tool. As per my experience, I would recommend Pentaho. One of the reasons are that it is open source. If you know JAVA, you can create your own plugins. I have found its customer support pretty good and quick. And the most important thing is the cost. If you are not using the DI server, you can just use the community edition and it should fulfil your purpose too.
Well suited scenarios: When we need to deal with any type of RDBMS, from data input to the data loading, Pentaho is super fast. It has many bulk loaders available too. Dealing with the tables is the specialty of Pentaho.

Less Appropriate scenarios: When you have a star schemas with the bridge tables or snow-flake schemas, you will need a lot of additional work to be done in Pentaho apparently. Also, dealing with the files is not bad, but it should be improved.
** My review is for Pentaho or previous releases.

Pentaho Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Predictive Analytics
Multi-User Support (named login)
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)