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I currently use Panorama Necto as a viewer on SQL Analysis services cube--what other solutions are out there?

I currently use Panorama Necto as an OLAP Viewer on a SQL Analyis services cube, Panorama offers a good solution but I was wondering what other products where available?

I noticed Qlikview and Tableau are high on Gartner's magic quadrant but I understand these are complete solutions with their own ETL etc. 

Appreciate any help advice you could give...


ITCS user
2121 Answers

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I joined a project related to Qlikview and MS sql server 2008 in 2012 and the customer was a very large maritime company.
We had to add some "tricky" sql tables to fit the Datawarehouse model with Organization Single sign on (I hope that Qlikview 2014 has better native integration with data segregation and single sign on)
After solving this problem each user could easily browse and navigate dashboards (hierarchies).

On the contrary pure excel and powerpivot required extra skilled team, and in any case you will always get additional requirements from users.
BI for a maritime company is a specific task: you need to face hundred of users from all over the world, with a very small time to train and a huge turnover not comparable to a "static" enterprise. Is this your case too ?


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I’m afraid I don’t use SSAS however your colleague is right about Qlikview in that it uses its own OLAP framework.

Kind regards

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If you are already using Microsoft SQL Analyis Services, you must be able to use the Microsoft BI Suite of tools to view the cubes.Every major vendor have their own suite of tools in the BI space.

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Top 5LeaderboardReal User

My advice is Qlikview, is very powerful and not very complex to use, but you will need an IT guy with expertise and skills using and modeling with BI tools.

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I've always used business objects. It's great because you can connect to so many different source systems and combine them in the reports.

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We use Bime

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Qlikview and Tableau are BI solutions , primarily analytical tools that provide insight. However for a complete solution a data warehouse and an etl toolset are required. If you are considering the 2 named vendors for BI then you will need to look elsewhere for the rest of the stack. 

SAP offer a complete solution with Business Objects , Sybase IQ and Data Integrator. This is a fully integrated solution of enterprise quality and so well worth considering. 
Kind Regards
Andrew McSwiggan

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You are right, QlikView and Tableau are complete solutions that includes ETL.

You can of course read a content of your cubes, but I think that better result you will receive when you will work directly with primary data.

You can load a free evaluation version of QlikView and test it at such pattern of your data and compare the result with your actual solution.

I am sure that user acceptance and satisfaction will be better with QlikView.

Similarly you can do the same with Tableau. I am not sure, but I think that Tableau has predefined ETL for SQL Analysis Services, so it could be easier to load data and build the test application.

Best regards,

Petr Kucera

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We work extensively with QlikView and have had great success. With a team of 2.5 people we have built (according to Qlik) the largest Qlikview application across all industries in 3 months with no training and just using the Qlik demos as our learning tools. We current host our solution for our clients and they have instant access to over 10 billion rows of medical data.

We are in the process on adding a new version that will take this to a much more granular level with a lot more data. Check back in several months. We will be pushing 40-50 billion rows which is way outside anything Qlik thinks is viable but we have been on the bleeding edge before and are willing to push the envelope.


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It depends on what he is trying to achieve. I currently work with SAP BI but have also been appreciating Pentaho and birst.

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Yes, based on my recent evaluation and implementation of business
intelligent tools - business object, Qlikview and Tableau,
Tableau is most suitable one to have it. Tableau in general tools highly
visualize and really cool to have. Very user friendly and easy to adopt by
normal business users and IT to develop the reports and dashboard. Tableau
is easy, drag and drop without coding or programming effort compare to
Qlikview. Qlikview need more script to achieve certain function. Due to
that the implementation is shorter than qlikview and BO. Hence, the
implementation cost will be less expensive. The qlikview and tableau
software cost is closer but implement is cheaper.

Qlikview and BO need more hardware resources because of in memory
technology and cube where you need more memory to process.

Hope the above points will clarify your doubt. Thanks

Group IT Manager

author avatar
Real User

Why do you want to move the data out of the cube into another tool. Find one that works over your MS structure. Moving data is timely and costly.

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There is no generic Business Intelligence Tool. It depends on data you intend to collect from multiple sources.
Healthcare service business Intelligence tools differ from other commercial business intelligence tools. Server 
Operating systems and backend database dictate the Business Intelligence tool selection. 
I need more specifications (details of usage, frame work of soft ware and code language) to recommend any 
Business Intelligence Tool or OLAP Tool. 

Thank you,
Bhaskar Vemuri    

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Neither Qlikview or Tableau have there own ETL solutions, but they are
capable of identifying the measures and dimensions for the dashboards. What
I noticed is that the alpha part or description of anything lets say
country name, city are identified as dimensions by these tools where as
any numeric data is identified as measures.

I haven't used Panorma so don't know exactly how it works but worked on
Tableau and it has great visualization. You can give a try to
MICRO-STRATEGY good visualization tool.

For any specific feature if you want I can let you know about Tableau but
cant give any comparison of Panorma with Tableau.


author avatar
Real User

You also may want to consider TIBCO spotfire. Yes, that and Tableau are
complete reporting solutions but depending on your data Infrastructure you
may not need to redo your etl. Just define data connections and in both
products just drag and drop the tables into their data sources interface.
I would need to know your report requirements better to give you more
specific advice.
Finally, the use of 'cubes' is mainly for performance but are high
maintenance in a dynamic environment. Performance can be achieved just as
well with good design and focused implementation.

author avatar

First of all, Tableau isn't a complete solution in that it doesn't do ETL . But both Tableau and QlikView can easily use OLAP cubes as sources for their apps/dashboards/views.
However, depending on what version of SQL Server your organization has and which MS Office version you are running you can go far by Excel/PowerPivot - or even better - using PowerView and PowerMap if you have Excel 2013. QlikView and Tableau are powerful tools, but they can be quite pricey. PowerPivot and PowerView/PowerMap are usually included in the license your organization allready own.

PowerView can be used against OLAP cubes these days, even if it used to be tabular only.

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Check out MicroStrategy's Analytics Enterprise. It has connectors to multi-dimensional cubes and you can download it for a free 30-day evaluation. This is the full enterprise edition, so you have all the power of a myriad of ways to visualize and display your data. Here's a link: http://www.microstrategy.com/us/free/developers.

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As you are using Microsoft Services, the best solution would be to utilize the Excel PowerView tool. It has great visualizations, charts and can be integrated with SQL Cubes easily.

Also go through this post by Richard which has a nice explanation on different Viewers - http://richardlees.blogspot.com/2009/09/which-cube-browser-for-microsoft-olap.html

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Another option is good old Microsoft Excel 2010/2013.
You can link a pivottable object to an SSAS cube and provide standard analytics capabilities such as pivot, drilldown, drillthrough, etc

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Did you try IBM Cognos ?? It is a good tool to use on OLAP/BI.

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For SQL Server Analysis Services cubes you might consider Yellowfin BI or Zap Technology.

Zap is very specific to SSAS. Yellowfin can access SSAS cubes as well as relational sources.

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