- Valuable to use smaller data sets
- Automatic Extract Creation
- Replace on publish data sources
- Online sync client
- Progressive-loading dashboards.
- Parameter to pass an initial SQL dynamically
- Combine multiple sets with union
- Subscribe and schedule the reports to receive email on data snapshot
- Ad-hoc reports and ease of use for the end user
- Reduces development effort
- Easy maintenance
- Security with role-based access and in line with Active Directory and SSO
- Alerts and scheduling
- Heat maps, geographical charts, 3D charts, drill down/drill up, drill through, cascading effects, and multi-dimensional and canned reports all in one tool
- Embedding into Microsoft SharePoint
Improvements to My Organization:
- The end users need not depend on the regular BI developers for certain quick and ad-hoc reports.
- Generic avoidance of sharing the emails with an embedded Excel etc
- Can be accessed from multiple smart devices
- Snapshot facility to the end user for analysis
- Effective visuals
Room for Improvement:
- Facility to add custom code to the dashboard will be helpful.
- Custom SQL feature is not working as expected from the performance perspective. Irrelevant of the SQL, the engine executes for everything available.
- Archive historical data using extracts
- MeasureName filter can’t be shared across multiple sheets in a dashboard.
- Cascading with relative has restrictions over the worksheets in a dashboard.
- Multiple selection in parameters
- Formatting option for individual filter is not available.
- Using HiveServer2 connector is a big challenge to pull, even with smaller data sets. Not sure if that has been improved with Spark Thrift server connector.
- Not much support for Hadoop / Hive as the backend in the market, connectivity issues not limited to the drivers.
- Few complex report requirements (for dashboards) could not be achieved with better performance (e.g. Dynamic Parameters).
- Reverse engineering from the front end report is not that impressive.
- For massive volumes of data, the performance acutely degrades.
- Permitting external users with no SSO is still a concern.
- Server support on Linux is lacking.
- Caps on report scheduling
Use of Solution:
I have been using this solution for more than three years.
TDS deployment will not encourage editing after the deployment.
With the TDS deployment, a few of the formats are lost. So far, this is not a serious issue.
Approached from the client side, waiting time is reasonable high.
I previously used MicroStrategy, QlikView, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Analysis Services, Panorama, SAP BusinessObjects, and in-house Java-based reports.
The reasons I chose this product were: ease of doing things, faster performance, and it is an all-in-one tool.
Comparatively, basic setup is not a hard task.
Cost and Licensing Advice:
Our use case is met, but the pricing is still a matter of concern.
It is a nice visual and high performance all-in-one BI tool which is becoming more popular with its ease of use and user-friendly features, effective visuals and apt major functionalities of BI.
However, it depends on one’s requirements and budget to balance the need.
We would recommend using it for mid-size datasets to visualize near real-time data, as there is no control over the execution model.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company has a partnership agreement with the vendor.