SiSense - a most sensible choice
December 15, 2014

SiSense - a most sensible choice

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

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Sisense

Sisense is used in our organisation to perform the following tasks:
- Bring together data from multiple data sources (mysql databases, google spreadsheets, google analytics, web analytics tools) to form a single source of truth.
- Dashboarding - various sales/metric dashboards are displayed around the office on large plasma screens. Individual users also have access to the dashboards.
- Adhoc reporting - we also use Sisense to perform adhoc reporting and do data extractions across different sources

The product is used across multiple departments from the CEO's office, through to marketing and accounting.
The product has a long way to establish a single source of truth for our sales data, but to also allow for the quick and timely extraction and presentation of data in dashboards which was previously done in a very laborious way.

  • Easy to generate dashboards
  • Easy to link up your different data sources (drag and drop)
  • Pleasing UI
  • Professional and responsive customer support
  • Smooth integration (hosted solution was seamless)
  • Cost effective
  • Would like to see conditional alert feature - ie if a value
  • Manual builds of the Elasticube (back end) can sometimes take a long time, for unknown reasons
  • Better mobile integration/UX
  • Can't print to PDF (yet)
  • Qlik,GoodData,Jaspersoft,Adobe Analytics,Birst

In all honesty price was a driving factor in our selection. This pretty much ruled out GoodData, Jaspersoft, Adobe and Birst. Qlik and SiSense then became shortlisted. Both seemed like excellent and appropriate products for what we needed.

SiSense had a slicker more usable UI and offered a Google Analytics integration as standard, while Qlik required a 3rd party product which we had to pay for. We were also after a hosted solution that reduced the burden on our IT department. SiSense offered a very competitive solution for us which turned out to be completely seamless. Both Qlik and SiSense were professional to deal with to be completely fair.

I think the business and myself as a user has come to rely on SiSense as a dashboarding and quick ad-hoc reporting tool. I am hoping to integrate SiSense dashboards into more parts of the business in the future. We have reduced our report turn-around time for the most part from hours/days to minutes and in some cases almost the speed of thought. Reports are also easier on the eye and more easily distributed.

I would also like to say that the support and professionalism from the SiSense team has been excellent.
We have 1 Admin and 10 consumers. The reports are viewable by the business on plasma screens. Of those 10 consumers, 2-3 people would look at the reports on a daily basis.
Sisense has two interfaces. A web-front end for creating dashboards and a desktop application that allows you to create Elasticubes - the back end repository that the dashboards obtain data from. The elasticube has a simple-straight forward interface that allows you to import individual tables and views from MySQL, Google Analytics, Adwords, ODBC connectors, etc. The imported tables are displayed in a drag and drop environment similar to MS Access's relationship window. You can drag key fields from each table to join other tables. I am quite IT savvy, and was able to figure out the interface without any training. You can also create custom fields using SQL/Excel-like functions.

You can also create custom tables using SQL nomenclature to join data from disparate tables. Depending on your data structures it may take some time and use of your own logic within these custom tables to merge data to the desired level. A vlookup function is also provided that can assist when linking data. Importing of the data is fairly straightforward, and for our data set takes around 15 minutes. If you need quicker real time updates there is an option to perform incremental builds, but this was not our recommended solution. Builds can be scheduled at desired time points - in our setup we update our build every 45 minutes. Occasionally with manual builds SiSense without any good reason would take a long time to build - that is the only problem we have really had.

Sharing is done on a dashboard by dashboard basis. When you update a dashboard design the dashboard must be re-shared. Upon each share an email is sent to all recipients.

There is no over-arching interface to share dashboards to maintaining who can see what report, could become laborious. You can also create user groups.
You can also limit what data your users can see - this is not a feature I have used however. I would say that the sharing is fairly straightforward. From a dashboard interface perspective, if you have lots of reports, it can be difficult to find the exact report you are looking for. A search box might be useful.
In the 6 or so months that we have used SiSense we have created around 50 dashboards. Some are used all the time, others are created as ad-hoc reports. The usual excel-type charts are provided, along with some excel-style pivoting. Conditional formatting is also a feature. Dashboard links can also be emailed to data consumers on a scheduled basis. It would be useful if the conditional formatting allowed alerts to be sent to email/SMS.

The charts themselves are not out of the box customisable, however with java development the pages can be fully customized with CSS.

When an elasticube is being manually built in the backend the dashboards will go down - you will need to perform manual builds when your backend structure changes (ie adding a table/field). Automated builds don't have this issue.

We are a small-medium ecommerce business with a LAMP stack. If you were an ecommerce bohemoth you may wish to test your data for speed. SiSense does allow a trial period so you are able to do this.

Evaluating Sisense and Competitors

Yes - We replaced a custom reporting system that was written in PHP. Obviously this required programmatic resources and use of a tool such as Sisense was an efficiency gain.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Price but also the fact that they had a trial version of the product that we were able to use. We ended up generating value just from the Trial!

Sisense Support

Been nothing but impressed by the professionalism of the SiSense support team
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Escalation required
No - We didn't think it necessary to pay for premium support, as the dashboards, while important are not necessarily mission critical.