Profisee Review

Great ability to support workflows, excellent out-of-the-box usability, and very good documentation

What is our primary use case?

The client wanted a way to master their clients, which were within a foster care system. The solution would be used for a client that would be a foster care student.

How has it helped my organization?

I felt that their ability to support workflow was really good and this client really needed that as they needed to be able to manage the mastering of those clients through their stewardship cycle. Profisee did a good job with that. 

What is most valuable?

I was really impressed with their out-of-the-box data quality reporting features. There's a lot that they have out of the box that is very, very useful. In some of the other tools, you're on your own when it comes to building the reporting features, although all of the MDM vendors are making that piece more robust. However, I thought that Profisee did a really good job with that.

The product is able to utilize the SQL server toolkit and it has tight integration with the SQL server.

The solution offers lots of good training, including videos, to help you learn aspects of the product. They have all those modules that offer web training. Experts get up and they talk and there are class discussions, and they show you the demos of everything.

What needs improvement?

Profisee needs to better highlight data profiling. At least when I was using this a year ago, the features for data profiling were buried. In other words, they don't pull it out as a key feature, and it really should be. Often, that whole life cycle phase is overlooked, the data profiling aspect.

One of the strengths, like being able to utilize the SQL server toolkit and it's tight integration with SQL server, can be a disadvantage too, as there are some things that they pushed down to the database that makes it difficult when trying to figure out where and how you achieve that functionality. It's buried in the database functionality or in one of the database tools for SQL Server. They need to make it more clear and bring it out more effectively.

If you were to compare it to Informatica, that's where Informatica does a really good job in their tool suite. They've got their whole platform and each one of the tools, they spell out exactly what they do. Even though there is some overlap in functionality, you know what the best practice is and where to do what.

The way training is laid out in their Profisee University, makes it really, really hard to find what you need fast. They'll have these one-hour long video clips and you need to fast forward or rewind to find the actual useful details. There's an index that allows you to just jump to the correct information. That is very frustrating as a developer that needs the information. You can't find the information fast for support at all. They need to be able to articulate their training into something that is searchable. Online training that is text-based and not just buried in a super-long video. A product like SUMADI is a great example of training done right.

When I left that client, I really wanted them to put more emphasis on profiling. I'd have to go back out there to their website and see if they actually have anything of that nature. It wasn't obvious to me, even their best practices with profiling. In Informatica, profiling isn't overlooked at all. In Profisee, it seems it might have been. I'd like more emphasis placed on the tool if possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a year and a half at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It's a reliable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale very well. It's so tightly coupled with the database platform and you've got somebody that is managing your SQL Server environment. They're going to be able to take on managing the growth of that software tool as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. I'm quite satisfied with the level of service provided.

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

I've used a few different solutions such as Informatica and Semarchy.

There are certain things in our tool evaluation between Semarchy, Profisee and Informatica where I thought that Semarchy was the easiest one to stand up with and get it up and running really, really fast. 

If you have users that aren't really technical, then Semarchy is the way to go. If they don't need very sophisticated workflow functionality, Semarchy is a lot cheaper and you can get it up and running right away. Their ability to support REST APIs is really, really simple. So in that way, Semarchy wins. 

I've found, for example, that while Profisee's ability to support workflow was really good, Informatica was even better at that aspect. There are other things like profiling and data quality stuff, Informatica beats everybody hands down.

How was the initial setup?

I'd rate the initial setup at a six out of ten. It's not straightforward, or too complex. If you compare it to a solution like SUMADI, that's quite straightforward, and this is more moderate in the level of difficulty. Some tasks flow nicely and in other areas, you struggle.

It wasn't cohesive. Looking back, there were some things in the DBA that were being a little bit cantankerous, and that was hard to communicate with the client sometimes. Installing and configuring it was not straightforward. They could do a better job if I'm trying to be fair and honest with them. They could do a better job and have a more comprehensive install guide for their product.

There may have been issues associated with the APIs and stuff you had to do on SQL Server. You just had to spend too much time chasing things. 

There are videos, whoever, that cover large aspects of the implementation that are helpful. I'd take screenshots at key points in the video and that would help me figure out what to do. Still, it would be helpful to have a search feature within the videos, so that you could go to the exact spots you needed more easily.

What was our ROI?

The client is doing really well. In fact, they've been published in several IT magazines for their efforts, and also for their Data Cleansing efforts and their Data Stewardship. They've learned how to use the product already. They're comfortable with it. They are in an effort to monetize some of their functionality, and they're a non-profit, so they're doing a lot of really cool things and they're doing a great job with everything. I'm very proud of them.

What other advice do I have?

We handle many aspects of the solution, including initially handling the tool evaluation and then installing it and doing proof of concepts, build-outs, and training of the client.

I'm not sure of which version of the solution we're using.

I'd advise new users to just have fun with it. Master Data Management can be a daunting endeavor. Just take small use cases, and do a proof of concept and take it end to end. That is the best way to be successful. And we made it fun with the users. We would start off with a little animated video as those in the Foster care system are into early childhood development. We showed them a small use case and we walked them through the process. In the end, we just had a lot of fun.

Our biggest lesson was learning how to gain the trust of our client community, especially if they're non-technical. Learning how to gain their trust and make it fun was huge. It's so daunting and typically clients are more concerned about their daily jobs. If you can gain their trust and make it fun they don't resent the process. They got excited and so did we. Just that trust, that initial trust component is key. 

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. The only thing they really need to do is to fix the online training so that users can zero in on specific areas a bit easier. Indexing the videos would go a long way towards solving this one issue.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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