Sigma Computing mostly solves a very difficult problem with a few notable shortcomings
October 01, 2019

Sigma Computing mostly solves a very difficult problem with a few notable shortcomings

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

Overall Satisfaction with Sigma Computing

We're using Sigma Computing in parallel with other reporting tools to allow business users to define and modify reports without having to learn SQL or submit a ticket to an analyst who does. It's used across the organization but has not been fully adopted yet.
  • Sigma displays tabular data and particularly pivot tables very well. The formatting options are very flexible and fairly intuitive.
  • Sigma's mechanism for defining and using filters in reports and dashboards is very far behind their competitors. Filter behavior is often inefficient and counterintuitive.
  • The queries Sigma generates for non-trivial operations seems to be relatively inefficient, and it makes extensive use of machine-generated column identifiers that make it difficult to diagnose which parts of the query are causing trouble.
  • We have only completed a full rollout of a small number of reports but in these cases the results have been a significant reduction in manual work to compile and format data in spreadsheets. The cost of the system and development time involved with delivering reports to end users are relatively small.
Most of the usability is quite good, but there are a handful of cases where the UI is counterintuitive or default values for new elements appear to be chosen at random. There are ways of specifying joins or aggregations that appear reasonable but are actually incorrect. The system enforces a timeout for queries past two minutes and this usually isn't an issue but when it does come up it is a major drawback.
Almost all of my support requests have been met with quick and helpful replies. Occasionally support requests have been missed entirely or answered in a way that indicates that the support rep did not understand the question.
We have a report that was previously handled by copying data from a source system and inserting it manually into a spreadsheet every day. We were able to replace this with a spreadsheet-style interface into the live data that eliminates the manual work and allows business users to modify or rearrange the results using the Sigma interface without having to deal with pasting in new data.
We have separate workspaces for different teams to store completed reports and a central workspace with base worksheets that can be used to generate new reports. Generally our collaborative efforts have not made specific use of the workspaces -- people who need to collaborate have access to reports across workspaces.
We have generally not found this to be true.
We have relatively few people writing reports and relatively many people consuming them, so this pricing model does match our use case well. We have had trouble with other systems where we would like an equivalent pricing model but end up paying for many full licenses that are not utilized fully.
This list of comparison products does not have the necessary options for me to describe the actual evaluation we did.
Sigma Computing is very good in cases where non-technical end users need to interact with base data that is already relatively denormalized. It allows them to join data between tables but there are pitfalls that leave people at real risk of making mistakes that could cause inaccurate results or poor query performance.

Sigma Feature Ratings

Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Not Rated
Customizable dashboards
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to PDF
Not Rated
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Not Rated
Delivery to Remote Servers
Not Rated