Seeking advise on going with Birst, BOARD or Pentaho as an OEM platform solution where we could end up with 1,000's of users over time.


  • Any good or bad experience with any of these 3 possible vendors?
  • Anyone switched from one to a different one of these?
  • Any feedback on using their internal Professional Services group to build out a significant portion of our initial project to get to market sooner?
  • Possibly seeking external consultants with experience to build out our initial project and even consult long-term. Please connect.
ITCS user
2424 Answers

author avatar

Bruce, have you made a decision about which solution is the best fit for your needs? I would love to hear your feedback.

author avatar

I would recommend you to for Pentaho as it is open source and I think for 1000 users Pentaho is descent and cost effective.

author avatar

You can look at our BI & Data Analytics Platform 'pi'. We have replaced the BI Platforms mentioned above at few of our customer locations and will be glad to have a demo arranged for our BI Tool.
We are a company based out of India.

+91-98663 97166

author avatar

I'm not famialiar with these BI Tools, but I could advise you to use
It's really easy to use and for Non IT they could adopt it easily.

It can handle big data with a best performance and with their concept of
chipset technology to fetch data you can really the difference.

And for IT Team, it gives the end user the independance in term of

author avatar

Full disclosure - I work for Pentaho. We provide a fuzzy matching step in
our comprehensive Data Integration solution (
If you find that data challenges are a big part of your embedded/OEM
analytics project and you need to automate data preparation and integration
workflow, I'd suggest you look at Pentaho Data Integration. We are most
likely the only OEM/embed analytics vendor you will find that also has a
robust data integration and ETL solution for blending data, working with
Big Data, and more. As for advanced +/- filters for comparison, I imagine
that is something we could accommodate with calculated measures in our
business analytics tool, but I am not sure.

author avatar

I'm working with pentaho tools from 5 year and I've built small and big projects with it. Pentaho is a complete platform, because you can:
- build ETL
- build OLAP cube
- create flat report
- create OLAP analisys report with drag&drop
- manage user access with different role
- schedule and send report to managers
- and other
I projected, built and maintained OLAP projects for telecomunication companies (Telecomitalia Spa), automotive companies (Tomasi auto) and food retail companies (Frescomercato), and I can guaranty that all works fine.

author avatar

Key to our situation are a number of elements that I did not go into since I was asking for specific feedback on three specific options. A couple of those were found to be more difficult which eliminated a number of suppliers including the ones suggested in reply to my original inquiry. Fuzzy matching between many different retailers transaction data and our control data set where there will be significant dirty data. Advanced filters to group data around business rules, such as +/- around different numeric values for comparisons within the group of similar transactions. Any specific feedback on Birst, Board, Pentaho?

author avatar


To be honest, I can't see why you are not looking at Jaspersoft?

In the words of Gartner... Jaspersoft is widely used by ISVs and end-user organizations to embed content in analytic applications and products. The embedded BI critical capability is another example where the collective strengths of the individual products result in a solid score for Tibco overall. It assesses both the ability of the platform to embed content through APIs, SDKs and open standards, and also its ability to consume PMML- and R-based models.

Both of TIBCO's core BI products are used in OEM/embedded use cases, so don't discount Spotfire of course, but if you are looking at embedded production reporting then I would suggest Jaspersoft.

author avatar

Hi, I can't really help you decide between the options you've asked about since I only really have any hands-on experience with one of the tools that you've mentioned - but I can offer some advice, based on our own experience with OEM clients at Sisense (see, for example, here: http://www.sisense.com/case-studies/gap-systems/ ).

From your question it's clear that there are two main issues you are concerned with: scalability and ease of deployment.

In terms of scalability, the first thing you should be worried about is PERFORMANCE. Will the tool continue to work at the same speed and stability when it's running not tens, but tens of thousands of concurrent queries? Which type of hardware infrastructure will this require? Will this force me to limit the size or granularity of the data that my end users see?

Of course any BI salesperson will tend to answer these questions with an enthusiastic "YES", but check to see that they have some support for their claims. Get your R&D \ IT department on the line and try to understand the technology behind each of the products and whether it is indeed built for the heavy lifting you will need it to do.

Ask for a real proof of concept, on your own data and according to the approximate "strain" 1000s of concurrent users would put on the system. If your vendor says this can't be done in a reasonable time-frame - run for the hills. At Sisense we're usually the ones who insist on having a full POC on the prospect's own data before signing a deal - to align expectations, prove our product's capabilities, etc.

In terms of DEPLOYMENT - I would recommend against relying strictly on consultants or your vendor's professional services. This is your own product: your own developers HAVE to know all the ins and outs. Relying too heavily on external developers is dicey - what happens when you want to give your app a complete overhaul in the next release, but only the consultant \ vendor really knows the code or data model that they have implemented? In this case you will be, so to speak, "at their mercy".

So I would recommend actually minimizing reliance on consultants and the vendor's developers, and instead opting to choose a product that can easily be white-labeled, customized and modified. At Sisense we have ensured this can be done using standard APIs such as REST and Javascript; and additionally included built-in features that allow you to set up data security, SSL, etc., without needing to write any code of your own.

Again, this is something you should ask the vendor to PROVE as part of a proof of concept, rather than take their word for it, but in the bottom line - I would strongly recommend retaining your developers' independence, rather than going down the consultant \ professional services road.

And if your shortlist isn't sealed shut yet, I'd take a look at the Sisense OEM program: http://www.sisense.com/embedded-analytics/



author avatar

Full disclosure, I work for Pentaho. I read over the other answers on the
thread, and I think first of all it is key to focus on your use case type.
Many of those answers were general business intelligence or data
integration responses. That is useful, but you are specifically looking
for an OEM solution to scale out to a large group of users. That means
your requirements are not 'general BI.' While I am not familiar with
BOARD, Birst's focus is on standalone cloud business intelligence, which
can be great for spinning up prototype BI projects where most of your data
sources are in the cloud. In fact, they are a leader in the hosted/cloud
BI area. While they have an OEM 'powered by Birst' line of business, it is
not their primary focus in the analytics space.

Approximately 1/3 of Pentaho's business is OEM in nature. The reason for
this is our open source heritage, which has created a number of benefits:

1 - Very robust web APIs (including Javascript) for embedding Pentaho into
your applications and tailoring not just your branding but your user
interaction and user experience.
2 - The ability to add your own plug-ins to platform, including new
visualizations and new data integration steps. OEMs often have very
precise requirements in this area, we give them the power to 'go beyond out
of box'
3 - The ability to match your security, authentication, and multi-tenancy
requirements. Examples include ability to provide the right level of
access (including row level security) to customer data that may be
'striped', sitting in the same database.

In addition, we have services included in every OEM deployment in order to
maximize your success. This includes an architecture workshop to define a
proposed solution architecture for your deployment based on best practices,
as well as dedicated OEM training courses for things like
rebranding/embedding Pentaho and customizing security to fit your needs.
This has been tested and proven over hundreds of OEM deployments. We have
a dedicated OEM services team.

Additional ways Pentaho shines against cloud BI providers include:

1) Pentaho has a full GUI-driven solution for data integration / ETL that
can connect to, blend, transform, and orchestrate any data. The major
cloud BI providers have very limited ETL capabilities, and they usually
involve proprietary scripting.
2) Pentaho works extremely well with not just relational data sources, but
emerging big data sources, like Hadoop and MongoDB. We provide no-code
solutions to getting value out of these new technologies.
3) Pentaho includes traditional reporting in addition to visualization,
enabling organizations to report directly off their transactional stores
(normally, cloud providers require that data is pulled into their own
proprietary infrastructure before analysis is done, where there are no
traditional linear-style reporting views available).

Finally, a few relevant OEM/embedded analytics customer examples that
support many of the points made above:

NextRadio: http://www.pentaho.com/customers/nextradio
Ruckus Wireless: http://www.pentaho.com/customers/ruckus-wireless
ATI Nursing: http://www.pentaho.com/customers/ati-nursing-education

Should you want to get in touch with Pentaho, pls navigate here:

author avatar

Why not go for Tableau for quick easy implementation with robust reporting
& BI functionalities.

author avatar

I have used Pentaho. It is very good tool. Great visualization. Never used BOARD, Birst. With 1000 users Pentaho is decent solution. I have used Tableau, Qlikview extensively.

author avatar
Real User

I would go with Pentaho.   BOARD is not around enough companies to hear about how good or bad it is (most big companies with a lot of users like that do not use it).  Birst has some issues but has some success with smaller user bases.

author avatar

Based on my experience, Pentaho can handle good amount of data and rich I flexibility and scaling , so that you can tune the data into the amount you want and portray it the way you want . Plus , it has a good amount of extra connectors and plugins along with Big data , analytic and data mining capabilities.
The quality of support and amount of help through pentaho forums and their official support group has been proven and tremendous .

author avatar

Of the 3 vendors you mention, I have only worked with Pentaho.

I belong to a partner in Venezuela, where we have been using Pentaho for a
long long time in our customers, in OEM platforms. Some things to note:

- Pentaho gives you very fine control over large implementations with
many many users, without expensive license costs.
- Pentaho will need a learning curve very more notable, requiring more
experienced developers for complex tasks.
- I am not available at the momento for professional services,
but maybe in a couple of months.

author avatar

OEM... Maybe ypushould look at Jaspersoft as it fits the OEM space perfectly

Andrew Farmer
Senior Solutions Consultant
Tibco Spotfire
100 Pacific Highway
North Sydney
NSW 2060
Mobile +61 497 348 019
Direct +61 294 582 116

author avatar


I don't have experience with Birst or Pentaho, however we have very good experience with Board, this is a very flexible and user-friendly program.
I used it for various projects some for small teams and some with a couple of hundred users. Implementation times are short and over time the end users can build their own solution because no programming language or coding is required.

Best regards,


author avatar

These insights are based on Pentaho 5.3 Enterprise Edition:

The Data integration piece includes a vast range of design/transformation options not found in more expensive applications such as in the most basic Informatica package (additional cost with Informatica will provide the features already included with this version of Pentaho).

We transitioned our ETL framework from Informatica to Pentaho two years ago due to its significant lower cost of ownership and the massive included out-of-the-box features.

Some of the default transformation steps in Pentaho include Big Data options for MongoDB, Hadoop and MapReduce and a large set of connectivity options which are hard to find in other relatively inexpensive tools of this kind.

The flexibility of the tool means a bit of a learning curve due to the many options available which was a bit of a challenge at the start for us but with time and exposure, the tool became reasonably friendlier and more intuitive to use.

We have a very large data warehouse and 500+ users and it has allowed us to quickly develop and deploy ETL at a much faster rate than before. We will be expanding its use and implementing other Pentaho products such as Report Designer, Interactive Reports, and possibly Business Analytics for our Europe market in the coming year.

Good luck!

author avatar

Why not just use one solution. Vertica and Pentaho? Cost?

author avatar
Real User


Never worked too much with these. I did a demo on Pentaho but never really used it in a dev or production world.



Frank Pantaleo | Senior Solution Specialist
Office: (210) 918-9449 | Mobile: 585-298-5258 | frank.pantaleo@siriuscom.com
Brightlight Business Analytics | www.siriuscom.com/brightlight
A Division of Sirius Computer Solutions | www.siriuscom.com
216 RhineCliff Drive,Rochester, NY 14618

author avatar

We've had really good experience using BOARD. For our initial project build out, we actually used a third party developer called Neubrain. Since our initial build out I've primarily been in charge of making changes and customizing the software to fit our needs. The software has been very user friendly and we are constantly developing new uses for it within our organization. Let me know if I can be of any additional help.

author avatar

Our team is also evaluating Data Integration and Business Intelligence platforms, but I suggest that you make sure you consider both aspects separately since you plan an increase in future users. The system needs to do more than connect to any source -- it needs to output seamlessly to any sources since future users may want to expand their analysis to other platforms: SAS, SPSS, Tableau, Qlik, etc. At least one of the products you mention may lock your access to their environment. With the potential future user count you mention, you may want to consider Informatica, Business Objects, one of the IBM/Cognos options for the integration platform to support a wider variety of BI tools for users.

author avatar


We have been using Pentaho as our primary BI Solution as an OEM for clients on our ERP Solutions, and have found it to be the most cost effective and user friendly of the BI Products we identified.

On our scaled implementations, with 500+ users, we utilise HP Vertica for our Data Warehouse and we have not had any major speed issues at this scale

Aadil Aboobaker

author avatar

I'd recommend they look at Sisense.... Pentaho takes a ton of expertise and
time. Board is really limited in terms of data magnitude, blending and the
visulaziations aren't that great and Birst has huge performance issues,
especially when taking concurrency into account. It's also overly
expensive as well.


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