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Djalma Gomes, Pmp, Mba
Managing Partner at Data Pine
Vendor
Top 5
Data analysis that is easy to use, straightforward and flexible
Pros and Cons
  • "Tableau has improved my organization in a variety of ways, one of its uses being that of data analysis. A feature I have found most valuable is the ease of use and straightforwardness, in addition to the flexibility of Tableau."
  • "An area needing improvement involves the complexity of the product should you need to alter a lot of parameters. If you have technical servers, much interface, different providers and more serious processes, that will be time consuming."

How has it helped my organization?

Tableau has improved my organization in a variety of ways, one of its uses being that of data analysis. It provides a server platform for sharing information. We use it for internal collaboration, as well as other tools for data catalog, for creating the dashboards, for preparing the data in preparation of creating the dashboards, called an ETL extract, and as a tool to transform and load. Tableau is a platform that has several products, perhaps four or five, that average for the fifteen of big data, data evaluation and data collaboration. No specific aspect can be used for this and it can be employed in marketing and finance. It serves the needs of data analysis and providing an algorithm for machine learning. For instance, you can have a logistic regression to analyze whether a specific customer is a good bet or not, such as a bank that is contemplating the loan of money. It allows you to visualize and analyze your data no matter what it may be, though it can be used for an alternate solution.

What is most valuable?

A feature I have found most valuable is the ease of use and straightforwardness, in addition to the flexibility of Tableau. I like the fact that Tableau can connect to a wide variety of databases, be on cloud or on-premise. Tableau can connect to over 100 database types, including structured and non-structured databases. Tableau can connect to a PDF and extract all the tables you have in that PDF. Suppose you have a one hundred-page PDF containing sixteen tables of data. Tableau can connect to that PDF and extract its data. Tableau can connect to Google Drive, to a host of marketing portals on the internet, to cloud companies such as AWS or Alibaba and to many different types of databases. That's one huge advantage of the tool.

While it can be complex if you need to alter a lot of parameters, it provides simple installation. It is very easy. All you would need to do if you have only one Tableau running server is to employ the maximum connection and install a license column in Adobe Reader. 

What needs improvement?

An area needing improvement involves the complexity of the product should you need to alter a lot of parameters. 

Definitely speaking, it's straightforward and it's very easy. Implementation problems can be dealt with by the client, in place of the user consultant. Let me give you some examples of things that could take long in a Tableau implementation. Suppose you have five different business areas in your company: marketing, supply chain, finance, HR and procurement. Let us suppose that access to HR salaries is not company-wide but is limited to only a select number of people in HR, such as the manager or the director of the department. Yet, I want people in the supply chain to be able to see and access different data from different areas. While this would not be technically difficult it would be time consuming if the businesses are very particular. There may be many policies involved in access authorization, in data availability and the like.

This can involve a very strict security process using an outside identity provider. Instead of just logging in your username and password, you may have different technologies which are more safe and secure that need different providers to interface in Tableau. Depending on the need, this will be time consuming. For instance, while I don't know how this would be in your country, suppose you have an identity provider, in Brazil, marketing in Tableau. If you go to Asia, you may sometimes have a bio-metric identity that your hand or fingers employ which is going to get back at you. In that circumstance, they are going to send you a number or a code in your cellphone, requiring two steps, one to enter the bank and the other to withdraw your money. So, these things we call an outside identity provider, meaning a different vendor or different companies who manage the servers of managing identities. These would entail an integration with Tableau and these outside companies for security purposes. This would involve them sending me files and me sending them back in order to authenticate the user into the Tableau server.

This can be time-consuming because they involve or require a different partner. Tableau is made for basic needs, such as requiring a user and a password to log in to the server; an unsophisticated architecture; or use of a single instead of a cluster of servers. If you have non-specific data security needs or you just want to analyze and sell data, that can take less than a day. But if you have technical servers, many interfaces, different providers and more serious processes, that will be time consuming. 

While Tableau does integrate with Arc server and Python server, the integration process is slow and the information is integrated in a protracted fashion. Sometimes your data will vary. You may have a vector of data. You may have a matrix of data. For some algorithms we do not use regular data, but a different data structure. Tableau does not work with these different data structures. As such, interfacing with Arc server and Python server, which are still languages that are widely used in machine learning, all happen slowly. It does not happen by a matrix of data and data vector. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In the past I worked with Oracle E-Business Suite while working with ERP markets over a thirteen or fifteen year period. Yet for the past five years I've been focusing mainly on artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and the use of other software, such as  Tableau and Azure for the purpose of developing and building data to create algorithms and visual dashboards to show the data. It's been around five years since I have turned my focus solely to big data and machine learning. 

How was the initial setup?

Definitely speaking, the initial setup was straightforward and very easy. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Another option I evaluated is Power BI from Microsoft. It's cheaper than other solutions and requires fewer different packages. The major competitor of Tableau is Power BI from Microsoft and Microsoft's much cheaper than Tableau. But Microsoft usually requires me to be on Microsoft cloud Azure. You have to buy other solutions for an integrated solution. At the end your cost will be much higher. So Tableau is more flexible. 

In Tableau, I can have a scatter plot with millions of marks. Suppose I have a graph that plots my value against my process and each dot in the graph is a sale that I've made. So I have 30 million dots in this graph reflecting my 30 million sales. Tableau can run this easily and fast. Power BI cannot. Power BI has a limitation of 13,500 marks, meaning Tableau has more capacity in delivering data than its competitors. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DENNISSUNNY
Business Intelligence Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Web intelligence will work with any amount of data even if you have 10 million rows
Pros and Cons
  • "There are two tools inside BusinessObjects' schematic layout called the Universal Design Tool and Information Design Tool. These are the most powerful tools that set BusinessObjects' reporting from other solutions. If my organization has 300 or 400 tables, I can combine all of them into one universe, and everyone can use that. It is just a schematic layout that does not hold any data but the table relationships."
  • "Factoring in total implementation and maintenance costs, SAP BusinessObjects is too expensive. If you deal with a huge amount of data, you can go with BusinessObjects. However, if you are a medium-sized company with a modest amount of data, you can opt for another solution."

What is our primary use case?

BusinessObjects has a lot of tools, including Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, Analysis for Office, SAP Lumira, and Analytical Cloud. SAP also has a new tool for HANA-based applications it introduced around 2018. Analysis for Office is an SAP add-on inside Microsoft Office. It works inside of Office tools like Excel, so you have the option to get data from Excel, and there's a direct connection with SAP. You can point that to your HANA database or a BEx query also. 

You can also connect SAP to PowerPoint, so you can create presentations from the HANA database or a BEx query.  We had more than 180 to 200 reports on Analysis for Office in my last implementation. Most of our company users were good at Excel, so it was easy to use an external data connection to Excel.

For example, say we have different sheets in Excel. We populate the data from the BEx query or the HANA database in the first sheet. In the second, we'll do some options like the lookup function for Match Index and the reports. The data will be constantly refreshed in the backend. Finally, we have to create the report and publish it to the SAP BI Launchpad to be shared with everyone. 

The other thing is the WEBI, or Web Intelligence report. That's the most powerful reporting feature inside BusinessObjects. We normally use WEBI for ad hoc reporting, not for dashboarding, because the dashboard visualization is not that great. WEBI will work even if you have more than 10 million rows. 

WEBI will work with any amount of data. I have more than 100 gigabytes of data in WEBI. It's best for ad hoc reporting instead of dashboards. SAP has its own dashboard tool inside BusinessObjects dedicated to dashboards and visualizations. You cannot do any ad-hoc reporting inside that.

In terms of the dashboard, they introduced another tool called Design Studio. Design Studio is another took inside SAP BusinessObjects. Design Studio is better for dashboarding and summary reporting. For example, you can take a data table and create a graphical representation. That's SAP Design Studio, and WEBI is a tool we use globally. 

All of our SAP Businessthey will always prefer to work in WEBI, Web Intelligence. WEBI has two versions. One is inside the launch pad that is a browser-based tool. Second, you can have a tool of WEBI inside your desktop itself, that is called Web Intelligence Rich Client. Web Intelligence Rich Client is the same tool as the second version, there are two versions of WEBI, one is inside the browser, and the second is, you can install it on the desktop. Lumira is comparable to Tableau, or Power BI. Lumira was introduced in 2013 or 2014. I forgot the year, but it was introduced after Tableau. Lumira has a great story function. There is a story option in Tableau, but that started in Lumira.

SAP had another tool called Explorer. Explorer is a simple tool to preview the data that can be used for both ad hoc reporting and visualization, but they discontinued Explorer in December 2020. Adobe Flash Player was discontinued, and Explorer was completely dependent on Flash. The last tool, SAP Analytics Cloud, is currently strong in the market, and it was introduced in 2020, I think. They prefer SAC. SAC can be used for both ad hoc and dashboard reporting. 

What is most valuable?

There are two tools inside BusinessObjects' schematic layout called the Universal Design Tool and Information Design Tool. These are the most powerful tools that set BusinessObjects' reporting from other solutions.

If my organization has 300 or 400 tables, I can combine all of them into one universe, and everyone can use that. It is just a schematic layout that does not hold any data but the table relationships.

UDT is perfect, and you can do anything in it. There are never any issues when joining the tables because there are a lot of options. In terms of tables, two things always come to mind: looping and traps. These are the main difficulties we face when joining tables, but loops and traps are easily resolved inside BusinessOjbects UDT and IDT. We have API functions and contact operators that resolve these issues.

IDT and UDT form the backbone of BusinessObjects. There is one more thing called publication. I haven't seen this feature in any other tools. Publication is useful for bulk reporting. For example, say I want to send reports to 200 Indian salespeople, and I want to apply a filter so the reports only go to specific cities. This can be done in BusinessObjects in five minutes. This cannot be done in any other tool like Tableau or Power BI. 

What needs improvement?

BusinessObjects reporting tools have not been perfected yet. However, there are two ETL tools inside the BusinessObjects. They are ETL tools in the schematic between the database and the reporting. 

But if we're talking negative aspects of BusinessObjects, it's like comparing a bus and a bike. If you want to reach somewhere nearby within five minutes, you can use a bike instead of the bus because there will be a lot of traffic and lots of people inside the bus. If you have large amounts of data, then go for BusinessObjects. If you have a light amount of data, it's better to use Tableau or Power BI tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've worked with SAP BusinessObjects for 10 to 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

BusinessObjects' stability is awesome with a huge amount of data, but you're often running three or four tools at a time. For example, say I want to do reporting in BusinessObjects. First, I have to think about the type of schematic layer I must use: UDT or IDT.  Second, I have to think about what type of reporting tool I'll need: ad hoc, detailed summary, or dashboard reporting. 

If it is an ad hoc report, I will go for Crystal Report. If it is just dashboard reporting, I've to go for SAC or Lumira. These confusions will be there for every user. If someone wants to really work on BusinessObjects, they should understand at least three or four of its tools. With Tableau, you only need to know about Tableau. You don't have to think about other tools because everything is inside Tableau or Power BI.

BusinessObjects will give you a lot of options. There will be a proper category, like schematic layout developer, report developer, report viewers, etc. And there are different categories of users inside BusinessObjects. Tableau and Power BI don't have such categories.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Factoring in total implementation and maintenance costs, SAP BusinessObjects is too expensive. If you deal with a huge amount of data, you can go with BusinessObjects. However, if you are a medium-sized company with a modest amount of data, you can opt for another solution. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate SAP BusinessObjects eight out of 10.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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Specialist Geosciences Data Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Simple to use out-of-the-box features, but customization is difficult
Pros and Cons
  • "The out-of-the-box features are simple and easy to use across the board."
  • "Personalising Spotfire, as a whole, is painful and is something that could be made easier."

What is our primary use case?

My daily tasks are related to data mining and TBICO Spotfire is one of the products that I use. We are a small group of geologists operating in a niche area who are analyzing geochemical data. Our backend database is MySQL and we use products such as Power BI, Tableau, and Spotfire to display data for the geochemists.

How has it helped my organization?

If we get dirty data in, we might use Spotfire to see what it is we actually have. This might include how many files we have and the file types, in the case where we have this massive data purchase or something similar.

We use Spotfire to slice and dice and see what we're looking at. But then at the end of the day, we end up just taking the data and loading it into Oracle tables. After we have figured out what we have, we might connect Spotfire to those data tables, to better display the different analyses that a geochemist needs.

What is most valuable?

The out-of-the-box features are simple and easy to use across the board. Some of the features that we use are bar charts, pie graphs, and cross tables. They are simple dashboards to show the different metrics on the data, and sometimes data quality, as well.

What needs improvement?

Personalising Spotfire, as a whole, is painful and is something that could be made easier. As a result, I'm not doing much coding.

The background process is something that I find difficult to work with, although that may be more related to company policy and procedures than it is to Spotfire. Specifically, having it on the servers for development and then moving to acceptance in production is not user-friendly. I understand why it's got to be done, so you don't mess up anything that's in production, but to me, it's a little bit antiquated. I think it could be more robust in how you pull in your data, from a database level. Using data in spreadsheets is very simple but when you start connecting to databases, it can be clunky and difficult to do.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with TIBCO Spotfire for approximately six years. My company has had a license for much longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spotfire is stable, although sometimes it is slow. That may be related to the company and how the data is being rendered, and where our servers sit for the databases. I don't think that its' a fault of Spotfire because I've seen it work with real-time data really fast. It seems, however, the implementation can cause it to lag a little bit.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution if you're not trying to customize it too much. If you can use what it comes with out of the box, I think it's very scalable and very simple to use. It's when you start having to make custom coding adjustments and whatnot, that it could be a pain because then only one person can fix it typically, and that's the person who initially worked on the coding.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't connect directly with TIBCO because we have our own technical support in the company. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use Microsoft Power BI and Tableau to create views of the data.

As of last year, my company has been starting to move away from using Spotfire and focus on Power BI, only because it is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. This means that it's easier to integrate. However, for now, we are still using both products.

Spotfire X was a big improvement from the previous versions. They now have an export option to PowerPoint, which was a large pain point in the past. Generally, this is not something I use personally. I create a web service and I give the links out for people to access it directly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty simple. All we have to do is request a license, download it, and start using it. You can start bringing spreadsheets in, for example.

We are a small group within the company and we have dedicated groups within our organization for Spotfire support. We just tell them that we need a place on a server and they set it up. For the most part, deployment is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We have an in-house team for deployment and maintenance, and they provide technical support to the rest of the company. It used to be a large team and they are very helpful. My understanding is that there was a reorganization and we now have only two people who are contacts for Spotfire support. At least in the past, if we needed help then it was easy and they were great.

Additional people have been brought in to assist us with Power BI, although I have not yet been using it regularly.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost is a few hundred dollars per user per year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As a data analyst, I am not in operations and don't have a say in which products we use.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Spotfire is to first speak with TIBCO to make sure that your data model and everything that operates in the background is implemented correctly. If it is done improperly then it may render slowly.

Don't assume that you know everything, the way we do in my company. There are times when we get something new and because it has to be done our way, we end up breaking it.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Sr Manager - Metrics & Analytics
Real User
Excellent correlation analysis, highly scalable, but more features needed
Pros and Cons
  • "The correlation analysis is excellent. It's one of the best that I have used to date."
  • "The data uploads that we do, such as Excel files, have a lot of restrictions. If we can make it a bit more user-friendly, allowing us to have more flexibility it would be a great help."

What is our primary use case?

I am using IBM Cognos the analytical pack that is provided, I've used it to do a lot of forecasting, proactive analytics, prescriptive, predictive analytics, and correlation analysis. Additionally, I have developed some leadership dashboards.

What is most valuable?

The correlation analysis is excellent. It's one of the best that I have used to date.

What needs improvement?

The data uploads that we do, such as Excel files, have a lot of restrictions. If we can make it a bit more user-friendly, allowing us to have more flexibility it would be a great help.

In the next release of the solution, It would be a great addition to the analytical tool pack if there were histograms on the fly it would be a benefit. I know there is a workaround on IBM Cognos and I've used that workaround to develop the histograms, but not everyone is that tech-savvy. It would be a great help if we had some of these features, such as histogram, box plots, on the fly.

Lastly, the solution could improve by adding some of the user-friendly statistical calculations, such as percentile calculations, median, mode, for calculations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Cognos for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of IBM Cognos is excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Cognos is used on a daily basis and sometimes for the entire day. It is scalable. We have approximately 2,500 users using the solution. 

How are customer service and support?

We had an issue with the dashboards and we were in touch with the technical support from IBM to resolve the problem.

On the overall experience with the technical support, I would rate them a four out of five. However, the initial response time could improve.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The analytical parts of IBM Cognos are some of the best in the market, it is excellent. I've used Qlik Sense, Microsoft BI, Oracle Business Intelligence, and to some extent Tableau. The second feature that IBM Cognos is excellent with, is the table structure that we can create on the fly. I have had a very good experience with them.

Microsoft BI is much more user-friendly and non-technical personnel can also start working on the Microsoft BI quickly. It would be great if IBM Cognos would also look at doing something on that front, where a non-technical person can also develop some small, very basic dashboard on their own.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit complex. 

The joins and structures that we had to create were somewhat difficult. I've worked on the OB as well and the RPD constructions that we do on OB are pretty straightforward. If we have some features such as we have in Oracle Business Intelligence, of the RPD structure, it would be a great help for IBM Cognos.

I would rate the complexity a three out of five.

What about the implementation team?

We used support from the vendor for the implementation. It took approximately one and a half months for the process.

For some of the aspects of the solution requires maintenance. One of the features that we were using is the development of interactive and interdependent dashboards. For some reason, this dashboard used to fail when we would get out of the dashboard and close IBM Cognos and come back to IBM Cognos again. That required an upgrade on the application, which we did, but it was still not working. This issue required some maintenance to resolve.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

IBM Cognos price is on the higher side of the spectrum. However, with the features that it brings, such as correlation analysis, it's worth the money. They should look at the pricing more clearly because it's a little on the higher side.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others is to be very particular about the architecture that you are developing because once you deploy it, it's really difficult to change and very complex to change. Once you deploy it and start working on it, and then you realize that something that you had to do, you have not done it right, it's a really complex process to change it.

The second thing I would advise is always to keep on top of the updates that IBM Cognos sends over. Some of the features that you might require in your work environment only come with the updates. You need to upgrade your application and that is when the features would be available.

Lastly, make sure that you explore every bit and piece of the analytical world of application because there are some very good features that the IBM Cognos brings in. It would be great if you explored everything and then start using it. 

If the cost is not a problem for the organization, then I would highly recommend IBM Cognos.

I rate IBM Cognos a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Senior tech architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Stable, great Amazon integration, but has minimal features
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of Amazon QuickSight is its connectivity with other Amazon services."
  • "Amazon QuickSight has minimal features. The feature set can be improved to allow you to create good production-ready dashboards. This does not happen with QuickSite, it needs to mature to be used in production."

What is our primary use case?

We use Amazon QuickSight as a BI tool for data analysis. When we are working with Amazon data on Amazon Cloud, we use Amazon QuickSight. If I have to build a solution on Amazon data for an IT team or for a quick POC for some customers, I use QuickSite. Additionally, for basic analysis, we use QuickSite. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Amazon QuickSight is its connectivity with other Amazon services.

Our company is heavily bought into Amazon, our entire infrastructure is set up on Amazon for my organization. This is why QuickSite is good for us because everything else is running on Amazon.

What needs improvement?

Amazon QuickSight has minimal features. The feature set can be improved to allow you to create good production-ready dashboards. This does not happen with QuickSite, it needs to mature to be used in production.

With Amazon QuickSight or any other BI tool, they are limited in what you can do because they're drag and drop tools. For unique features we need or what we want to build, we cannot build using these tools. We use JavaScript for that. We write our own code and build our own solutions.

I need the capability to call machine learning models in Python. For example, while I'm building a dashboard if I am displaying a chart, but the value calculation should be a machine learning model, which is running somewhere else, such as on Amazon. I need that capability because these tools give good outputs, such as calculated fields. However, today the outputs are not straightforward. It's not only some additional or multiplication, but you also need a machine learning output to come, and then you want to show it. These tools cannot do that on the fly. In simple, you can say machine learning on the fly is not currently provided.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Amazon QuickSight for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of Amazon QuickSight is fine.  It doesn't crash or cause any issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable according to their marketing. However, there are some issues.

When the data size increases, as we go from a few thousand rows to a million rows to a hundred billion rose to queries. This solution fails. With a few Mb's it works fine but with a few GB's, the solution is likely to be slow. When we tried to use terabytes or hundreds of terabytes of data, the solution does not work.

We have ten users using Amazon QuickSight in my organization. We do not have plans to increase our usage.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Tableau. If the user is a C-level employee, such as a CXO, CEO, or VP, they prefer to work with Tableau. It's easier for them than Amazon QuickSight. Additionally, we have used Microsoft BI.

How was the initial setup?

Amazon QuickSight is a SaaS that does not require any installation or deployment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Amazon QuickSight you subscribe and you use the service.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others is that there are many good solutions but it depends on your use case. If you are building something for C-level employees, use Tableau or another solution. If you want to do data analysis on Amazon, use QuickSite. And if you want to build production-ready software use Javascript.

These BI solutions are built with some thought in mind, they're good at what they do, but they don't solve all the problems. The features I need, they cannot provide me because they're not built like that.

I rate Amazon QuickSight a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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