A flexible and straightforward data visualization and collaboration platform
Arthur Zubarev | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 09, 2014

A flexible and straightforward data visualization and collaboration platform

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Business

Overall Satisfaction with Sisense

At Vital Insights SiSense is used both as part of a web application, where the dashboards are embedded, and internally for generating ad-hock or custom reports. The web based dashboards are accessed by more than 200 customers presently. As in our organization accurate, fast insights is the paramount, SiSense was able to address the so called "agility" and "latency" problems by significantly lowering the report response time thanks to its in-memory data layer and the development time to product release as oppose to how long it took to produce a report using code and web UI controls only.
  • Fast data layer. It can reside entirely on the Elastic Cube side and/or datasource driven. The former helps crafting reports in quite a restricted mode and still being able to format data.
  • Connects to a wealth of data sources. With SiSense installing third party drivers typically is unnecessary as most of the connectivity options come "out of the box".
  • Interoperability and extensibility with JavaScript. This makes the reports (dashboards) able to incorporate 3rd party JavaScript libraries or used just for some "face-lifting" on the UI layer.
  • SiSense needs more functions added to the Elastic Cube formula (expression) editor to cover more basic SQL operations.
  • Currently, JavaScript needs to be updated in several places and quite hard to debug (at least in ver 4).
  • The ability to define left/right joins should be available at the Elastic Cube level.
  • Requires a modern browser which may not be always available in large corporate environments.
We evaluated SiSense against several other players having SSRS and custom reporting (ASP + third party controls). SiSense stood up out of the crowd in how economical it is to get a license and we later found out the product support team is great. None of the solutions other than the costly PowerBI offered much self-service BI, and none offered a fast in-memory intermediate data store.
The support for SiSense is almost immediate, the product is very intuitive to use, but it seems that its greatest strength is in ROI which comes in form of quickly building robust dashboards. SiSense has very efficient APIs e.g. it allows users to create remotely without the involvement of an administrator.
We presently have 200 plus users both from outside and inside (on a smaller side) of the company. We think to use SiSense onward as our defacto/standard go to data visualization tool. All future applications would be using it too instead of creating dashboards "by hand".
As I mentioned earlier SiSense is one of the best BI tools when it comes to allowing to connect to various data sources. E.g. Hive, Teradata, Amazon, and even ZenDesk are one of the available drivers. Likewise, merging data from several different sources is very easy. Add a fast data access abstraction layer and ease of design and you get a clear winner as SiSense!
Again, almost all of the self-service BI capabilities present in SiSense which makes it stand above many other data visualization and insight extraction suites on the market. Sharing reports can be done programmatically. Also managing the system requires very little effort. How much the end users can collaborate is basically limited by the security settings and how savvy a user is in authoring reports. I suggest a very solid data model created for the end users.
SiSense is not limiting to how you want to extend its presentation layer, in fact its "behind the screens" APIs are exposed to/via JavaScript. Using third party or even OSS JavaScript libraries does not break the product support, which is awesome. E.g. you may want to add a "Print to ..." button on a report or use several of the neat Raphael.js data visualization components. By the way, the SiSense forum site has a ton of ready to borrow and use examples.
SiSense is well suited for self-service BI, large web-scale applications accessing heterogeneous data-sources where the data retrieval directly is slower than it is possible to fine-tune. It is easy to extend, and apply security on top of the database layer. SiSense is less suitable for software shops not that familiar with the web technologies, or web-scripting techniques.

Using Sisense

12 - Data analysts, ETL, developers, DBAss, data processing, reporting and customer service people.
4 - Just basic infrastructure people (2 to cross-cover) and two DBA/BI developers.
  • Fast data retreival
  • Self service
  • Row level data security
  • We are able to visualize database performance and disk space
  • We can combine data from heterogeneous sources (e.g. SQL Server + Excel)
  • With ver 5 it can be an almost 0 effort involved to implement end to end self service BI solution