Reporting Tools -- New Reviews Q2 2017

What are real users in the enterprise tech community saying about reporting tools in Q2 2017?

In the review excerpts below, we take a look at new reporting tool reviews on IT Central Station. 

Users discuss the solutions listed below, sharing which features they’ve found most valuable, and where they hope to see improvements in the future:


What are Tableau’s Most Valuable Features?

“I would consider the ‘Create Calculated Field’ feature as the most valuable feature for me”, shares Sai Krishna J, Data Scientist at a consultancy with 51-200 employees.

“It’s one that I’ve used quite extensively. Most of the time, the data we work with will not have all the necessary features that enable us to tell a good, convincing story out of it. Therefore, it becomes imperative that we create them and extract the maximum amount of information possible from the data.”

Where Does Tableau Have Room to Improve?

“There is still room to improve visualization when more than two dimensions are synchronized. Sometimes when you need to use more than one measurement from 2 different data sources, you won't be able to show the values”, explains Milena Manfredini, Delivery Planning & Implementation at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees.

“Also it would be nice if it was possible to have more than one type of masks used on a single sheet, e.g. use traffic light together with text”, adds Manfredini.


What are QlikView’s Most Valuable Features?

“I use both QlikView and Tableau”, shares Bill Cabiro, Director of Development at Strat-Wise Consulting.

“In my opinion”, explains Cabiro, “QlikView has a more intuitive interface for regular users or executives that are not technical experts but the development side is a little more complex. Up to Version 12, QlikView did not provide drag & drop features.

If a user wanted to see something not included in the application the new object had to be created by a power user or developer because QlikView's scripting has somewhat of a learning curve.

On the positive side, QlikView's scripting is a great asset as it functions as an ETL, allowing the integration of hundreds of different data sources into the same visual app.”

Where Does QlikView Have Room to Improve?

Shabaz Shaikh, Software Developer at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees, shares:

“I would like to see JavaScript or jQuery features added to it. Dynamic changes with respect to page scrolling, responsiveness, and actions related to it are what I am expecting in the next version.

Other than these, while adding named CALs in QMC, it would be really great if we could load all of the names from a single file (for example, an Excel sheet) together all at once.”

Oracle OBIEE

What are Oracle OBIEE’s Most Valuable Features?

Peter Cseh, Senior BI/DWH Developer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees, points to Oracle OBIEE’s three-layer repository as a top valuable feature:

“Three-layer repository: With the three-layer repository, the development and interpretation are very simple.

The three layers are divided from each other well both in logical and physical meaning;

The physical layer is used for importing data, creating aliases, building physical joins, setting up connection pools, managing cache and hints for tables.

The business model and mapping layer is used for creating logical columns, fact and dimension tables, hierarchies, measures, using fragmentations and filters, applying business logic.

The presentation layer is used to prepare, group and organize the data for users to view.”

Where Does Oracle OBIEE Have Room to Improve?

“Some of the additional features required are that it should be more user-friendly”, finds Ramesh Nalem, Global Supply Chain Manager at Cisco.

“Sometimes, when we use the drag-and-drop feature it does not drag the object and needs to be user-friendly. It's not available today.

If it would be more flexible, that would be helpful.”


What are Birst’s Most Valuable Features?

Jaya Bhardwaj, Senior Software Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees, points to the admin feature(s) as one of the most valuable:

Birst admin is a great module which helps standardize data to a gold standard. We are able to integrate very quickly and get new data elements into the model.”

Bhardwaj describes one use-case for how her healthcare company is benefitting from Birst’s admin features:

“Our organization is helping a cancer hospital bring insight from their data. We work on highly regulated PHI data.”

Where Does Birst Have Room for Improvement?

“I would like to see stronger in-built permissions capabilities”, writes John Laws, Manager Data Services at a logistics company.

“Everything we need to do can be done and passed to the product using an API. It would be nice if we could define the rule set within Birst. The addition of easy-to-use predictive analysis is coming in Birst 6, which is a missing piece right now.”

SAP Crystal Reports

What are SAP Crystal Reports’ Most Valuable Features?

“We develop many management reports using Crystal Reports. It has reduced the development cost, effort, and provides feature rich reports”, shares Syed Fahad Anwar, Technical Lead/Senior Developer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees.

“Support of crystal report is also very good, in terms compatibility, many vendors preferred crystal reports as preferred report delivery product.”

Where Does SAP Crystal Reports Have Room to Improve?

Angela Meharg, Founder and CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees, discusses the need for improvements to SAP Crystal Reports’ desktop version:

“We would like to see a Crystal Reports desktop version with built-in functionality to edit a single reference that exists in multiple formulas. This would be a big time saver. We would also like to select multiple detail area fields and insert the same summary field for all of them instead of having to do it one at a time.”


What are Sisense’s Most Valuable Features?

Wes Ardoin, Manager, Advancement Information Services at NC State University, explains that because of Sisense’s “build speed of large data sets”, as well as “the ability to share metrics with our entire organization”, he “was able to pull together many different types of data into one place and compare them.”

Where Does Sisense Have Room to Improve?

Admins can’t view all of the dashboards when needed; only dashboards that have been shared with the admins” writes Kirk Dudley, Senior Data Architect at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees.


What are SpagoBI’s Most Valuable Features?

Tommaso Bolis, Salesforce Cloud Administrator & Developer at a software R&D company with 501-1,000 employees, writes:

“Our customers really appreciate the self-service BI functionalities. For us, this is the most valuable feature. It allows them to work more autonomously without the need to engage us.

For example, loading a spreadsheet and being able to make analysis inputs along with the data stored in a DWH without any external support in an easy and guided way.”

Where Does SpagoBI Have Room to Improve?

“As all software and especially the open-source ones have always something that can work better, in this case, SpagoBI is slightly difficult to implement”, finds Andrea Paparello, Senior Project Manager at Indra Company.

“However, in my opinion, it is much better than other open-source solutions and otherwise is in line with what the open-­source market has offered over the years. For this reason, one of the rooms for improvement is certainly the user friendliness of product.”

Read the full collection of reporting tool reviews on IT Central Station.

Related Categories: Reporting Tools

author avatarCEO with 1,001-5,000 employees
Top 5Consultant

Folks - The primary Tableau audience remains the under-served business user. With all respect to Mr. Krishna, his comment is interesting but not representative of the WW user base. And it is hardly a shock to see that he cites calculated fields as a good feature given his title. This type of report is not helpful if the intention was a macro view of the vendors.

“I would consider the ‘Create Calculated Field’ feature as the most valuable feature for me”, shares Sai Krishna J, Data Scientist at a consultancy with 51-200 employees.

author avatarOrlee Gillis

ANGEL, Thanks for your comment.

Please find the link to our Microsoft BI product page:

We would love for you to write a new review of Microsoft BI, which you can do via this link:


author avatarGuillermo (Bill) Cabiro
Top 5LeaderboardConsultant

Tableau's automatic "Data Interpreter" and its "Show Me" feature that creates an automatic sample from a wide menu of visual charts, based on the data at hand, are two of its most valuable and time saving features.