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IT Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Better than any of the competition for ease-of-use but it is slow and not good with big data
Pros and Cons
  • "The technical support from Germany is very good."
  • "Mashzone is the best product on the market for process analysis."
  • "This solution is made to be easy-to-use. If you can use Excel, you can use MashZone."
  • "MashZone is not very good to use with big data, statistical analysis, or financial analysis. This is not what it is built to do."

What is our primary use case?

We are experts in process analysis for the biggest companies in Poland.  

Software AG is trying to sell us on their cloud version, but for now, we still using the on-premises version on our server.  

MashZone is a very simple system for analysis because it connects widgets for object analysis. You do not have to try to develop something in SQL or another programming language. Everyone who knows something like Microsoft Excel, for example, will have enough experience to try doing analysis with MashZone. It is that simple. It is easier to use than Qlik, more simple than Tableau, et cetera.  

What is most valuable?

The ease-of-use of MashZone is better than any of the competition for data analysis.  

What needs improvement?

Within the last month, Software AG sent us a new version of MashZone. Some of the features in MashZone have been modified and there are two new functionalities that are quite interesting to us. But we are still in the testing stage so there is not much to say about the new version yet and if they have resolved some things that are currently issues for us.  

The interface is good. It is very simple. It may not have many functions, but it is enough for process analysis. By comparison, Qlik and Tableau have many, many more functions. Statistical analysis is impossible in MashZone, but for process analysis, it is enough.  

MashZone is the best for process analysis. It is a very solid system. It is not as good for BI (Business Intelligence) because when you have big data, you have a problem. When we start to aggregate data and we have a source of something like one million rows, we have a big problem with MashZone because it is a very slow system.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with MashZone for about two years. I started work with my present company and this company working with Software AG (Aktiengesellschaft / Corporation) for many, many years. But for me, it is only the last two years that I have been with them that I have had experience with the product.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think the stability depends on the specialists you have in your company. It is a very stable system when you have good employees in your company who know what they are doing and how to work with the product. If the IT department that you have is good, then MashZone is very stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The number of users that we have changes a lot, up and down, because of periodic fluctuations. We are a company which sells the systems to many big companies. In the last half-year, I worked for the Polish government postal services, Poczta Polska. They have about 1,000 users. But now, in our system, we have only about 10 users. The product can scale to the number of users.  

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is a problem because the tech support team in Germany is the only group with enough experience. In Poland, we have had many situations where we have had a problem that we needed to address for our customers. Usually, we had to talk with the technical support in Germany to get the issue resolved because the depth of knowledge in Poland is a problem. If you get technical support in Germany they have a very good understanding of the product and the support is excellent.  

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

We sell Software AG solutions and when we talk about process analysis, I think Software AG has the best solution. ARIS (Architecture of Integrated Information Systems) products like Architect, Connect, and Process Mining are very good solutions for process analysis which I have used before.  

We are using only Software AG for our process analysis at my current company. But sometimes a customer will ask about some solution for statistical analysis or for financial analysis, et cetera. When they need this type of analysis we might use another product which we research or which they request.  

How was the initial setup?

It is quite difficult to say how the installation is for common users. This is because we have high competency in our company and many people who know the product well. When I came to our company, I worked with my colleague at the next desk and he knows every answer to every question without doing any research. For people with experience, this product will be easier to install and use.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because we sometimes get data from systems and companies that need different analysis, we need the best application for analysis of the data type. We think the best solution for us when we need to do statistical analysis might be Qlik. I could not be sure without trying to compare, so we did some testing. The Qlik solution has memory technology that acts differently and we see a big difference with using Qlik for this type of analysis when comparing it to MashZone.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice I have for people considering MashZone is that it is very good for specific things. When you have big data you must buy MashZone with Terracotta, because Terracotta is a second Software AG solution with better memory technology. Only using MashZone along with Terracotta will make the processing fast enough.  

I think the biggest problem with MashZone is that even though you have a lot of widgets and the system is simple to develop with, it is not a very fast system. It is a very simple system to use, more simple than Tableau in my opinion. But the biggest problem is speed. It is not fast with processing.  

I think because the system is really designed for process analysis, when we analyze a process for our customers, the MashZone is much better than all other solutions. But the database for processes can not be very big. If there are about 40,000 rows for process analysis — and this is a pretty big analysis — then MashZone is enough. But when you want to analyze something using statistics or for financial analysis, MashZone is not a very good system. This is not really what it was designed to do and excel at.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate MashZone NextGeneration overall as a product as a seven-out-of-ten.  

The reasons why it gets a seven is because of the problems the product has in processing big data. If I try to analyze big data in MashZone, it is just impossible. I changed the server for a better one and it is still is not enough processing power. This is only my opinion based on the version of the software that we are using (10.3). But now they have a new version (10.5) which has some new features that we are very interested in and maybe I will score the product as more than seven when I have the opportunity to use them. For example, in the new version, Software AG claims that now there is a business component for developing our own templates for MashZone. 

For many years now, that was impossible. The template changes could only be made by the IT department in JavaScript. It required JavaScript to make the change. Now it is possible to do it in a different way. It is one less problem.  

The second problem that Software AG said they have tried to address is the speed of MashZone. Prior to this release, MashZone did not have enough capabilities to do proper Gant analysis. Now Software AG says that in new version Gant analysis is better. We do not know for certain because we have not yet put it to the test. For now, when we using version 10.3, that is practically impossible. Of course, something is there to do this type of analysis in version 10.3, but it is very complicated to use.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Mohamed AbdelRhman
Data Teamlead at Elmenus
Real User
Top 20
Raw data aggregation gives us real insight into how different business areas are performing
Pros and Cons
  • "Although Tableau isn't the best for us when it comes to processing and working on live data, it is very good at extracting data for analysis."
  • "Most of the problems in Tableau Online that I have noticed have to do with performance or weird, inexplicable bugs that I can't pin down. For example, you might try unloading some data, and you'll be waiting for a long time without anything happening."

What is our primary use case?

I work in the hospitality industry and I use Tableau Online and Tableau Bridge with our food ordering company. In our specific uses, I have found that Tableau is very good for extracting data, rather than for working live on the data.

Although the process of transferring data to Tableau isn't the best, once the data is already on Tableau, it works completely fine. I will typically make use of layer aggregation and other operations such as slicing and analyzing it by getting right inside the data in various ways.

How has it helped my organization?

Due to the demands of our industry, we always have things that we would like to see more in-depth over different dimensions, such as restaurants, branches, cities, and so on. With Tableau's help, our company can aggregate all the raw data and then analyze by rows, to see, for instance, which restaurant is doing the best by comparing them with one another. It also enables us to easily split areas into zones and use the data to test for not only which restaurants are doing the best, but also where (i.e. in which cities and branches). 

What is most valuable?

Although Tableau isn't the best for us when it comes to processing and working on live data, it is very good at extracting data for analysis. Once you have extracted the data, the aggregate layers you can create, along with slicing and other operations, are very handy. It allows us to really get inside the data, and it is, in my opinion, better than any other tool I have used with the same pricing model.

Of the best analysis features, multi-aggregation layers come out on top for me, because they let you extract raw details while making multiple aggregations on different time levels and different dimensions, and you still manage to get your work done quickly without having to load a lot of data grouped over different dimensions.

Tableau Bridge is also a very good tool, however I can tell that it does need a few fixes and some maintenance. That said, it's still good for its first few years since release.

What needs improvement?

Most of the problems in Tableau Online that I have noticed have to do with performance or weird, inexplicable bugs that I can't pin down. For example, you might try unloading some data, and you'll be waiting for a long time without anything happening.

These bugs always seem to happen when we perform big upgrades or do maintenance work, and we have had to send a lot of tickets for unexplained issues during these times. It doesn't seem to be a problem only for us, but also for customers all over the world, such as in Ireland, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the US, too.

As for future features, I would like to see major upgrades in Bridge and the Flow Tool, allowing us to do more data engineering work. I think it would give Tableau a big edge in the market to look into how to incorporate more data engineering tools into their product. 

Besides that, I would also like the charts to be more realistic and easier on the eyes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Tableau Online for three years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. It's not 24/7, but you can say it's stable enough. In the start, it's more stable, especially compared to our OBIEE problems, which have taken two or three days to solve in the past.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to contact Tableau and ask to increase users or resources. They'll do it in the blink of an eye.

At present, we have 20 users, 12 of which are shift users. The majority of our users in total are board members or high-level managers. 

How are customer service and support?

I wouldn't give their support more than a seven out of ten rating.

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

I have previously used Power BI, Qlik Sense, and Qlikview. I switched because Tableau was better in working with different sources compared to Power BI which was the only one that was truly on par. Qlik Sense and QlikView were easy to use but didn't have most of the features that Tableau and Power BI offered. Then there's OBIEE which I have used for the past two years, but it is quite difficult for non-technical users.

I also didn't like that Power BI is typically coupled with Microsoft Azure, whereas Tableau works well with AWS and Google which are a lot easier. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward. I mean, there's not much setup at all. It's easy for any mid-level user to do it. For example, I just used the documentation they provided and did everything myself. The documentation was sufficient
and the implementation strategy doesn't take more than 20 days.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented Tableau by myself using the documentation they have made available. And for maintenance on one single node, you might need only two to three people involved.

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

For data extraction and analysis, Tableau is better than any other tool I have used with the same pricing model.

What other advice do I have?

My ultimate advice is that you should know what the tool is capable of first and what your needs are. I think it's better to use the Server edition, and not Cloud, because there are a lot of problems in the Cloud version that don't seem to be present in the Server version. As for myself, I will likely switch to Tableau Server next year after doing a bit more research on how to do the changeover.

I would rate Tableau an eight 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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