Pentaho update to BBBT

July 24, 2012

Pentaho had the privilege of briefing the Boulder BI Brain Trust (BBBT) on July 20, 2012. The Boulder BI Brain Trust is a gathering of leading BI analysts, experts, and practitioners who attend half-day presentations from interesting and innovative BI vendors. After a very interactive morning presenting to the group, Pentaho CEO, Quentin Gallivan and SVP of Products, Jake Cornelius sat down with Claudia Imhoff, president and founder of the BBBT to discuss some of her questions from the morning about Pentaho.

The result is an excellent update about Pentaho products, technology and overall direction. Listen to a podcast of this interview to learn the following about Pentaho:

  • How Pentaho is differentiated?
  • What are the market forces for business analytics and how are they converging?
  • How is Pentaho meeting changes in market?
  • Overview of the Pentaho platform
  • What’s the reason for the BI embedded analytics trend?
  • What are some Pentaho big data customer examples?
  • What’s in the near future for Pentaho and its products?

Listen now: Claudia Imhoff interview with Pentaho leaders Quentin Gallivan, CEO and Jake Cornelius, SVP of Products


What’s new in Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition 3.8

March 16, 2011

It’s release time once again and I’m pleased to announce that Pentaho BI Suite 3.8 is available for download! This release is packed with new features empowering you to add more interactivity to your Pentaho-based solutions and improve performance and efficiency when working with larger and larger data volumes. In today’s blog, I’ll highlight just a few of these exciting new enhancements:

Guided Analysis
Building upon the hyperlink feature introduced in Pentaho Reporting with our 3.7 BI suite release, Analyzer Reports and Action Sequences now also provide the ability to create contextual hyperlinks to other pieces of Pentaho content or external URLs. You now have complete flexibility to provide information consumers with guided paths to additional detail or related content found in another report.  For example, with a couple of clicks you could create a summary level Analyzer Report for users to explore and analyze product sales, then enable hyperlinks on product names which link out to a detailed inventory report to ensure there are enough units on hand for your top selling products.

Dashboard Content Linking
Pentaho Dashboard Designer also receives a dose of interactivity with a feature we call content linking.  Content linking allows you enable one dashboard element drive the filtering of another element of the dashboard.  This feature is integrated with nearly all dashboard components including filter controls, dashboard charts, data tables and any items embedded in a dashboard widget such as a Pentaho report or Analyzer view.  This can be used for a variety of use cases including the creation of chained parameters, where selections in one filter control are used to drive the available selections in another filter control, or allowing dashboard consumers to click on the slice of a pie or a bar in a bar chart and have that drive the filtering of other widgets on the dashboard.  Be sure to check out the new dashboard samples, Product Sales Performance and Product Performance Dashboard, which illustrate the content linking feature along with the new, expanded set of filter controls including radio groups, check boxes, calendar pickers, button controls and more.

Data-less Design Mode for Analyzer Reports
Since its introduction just over a year ago, Pentaho Analyzer’s elegant combination of power and simplicity has driven exponential growth in use of Pentaho Analysis.  This includes deployments to larger user communities and the development of bigger, more sophisticated Mondrian cubes. Based on feedback from Pentaho customers, we’ve introduced the notion of a data-less report design mode, referred to as ‘auto-refresh’ in the user interface.  This allows users to design or modify the layout of an Analyzer report without querying the underlying RDBMs until the designer is ready to query.  This can help reduce database traffic for deployments to large user communities or reduce the design time for reports that depend on large queries.  Try it out by clicking on the Disable Auto-refresh button on the Analyzer toolbar, designing your query using the Field Layout panel, then clicking the Refresh Report button to issue the query.

Simplified Hadoop MapReduce Job Design
Also included in the 3.8 suite release is Pentaho Data Integration 4.1.2.  While this is primarily a patch release containing important product fixes and performance improvements, we’ve also added a few new features that simplify the design of transformations used to compose MapReduce jobs for Hadoop.  This includes dedicated steps for MapReduce Inputs and Outputs allowing you to simply choose which fields to use as your OutKey and OutValues, rather than having to explicitly filter and rename fields in the stream down to the key-value pair fields you pass back to Hadoop.  Finally, the Transformation Job Executor step now provides the ability to specify a transformation for use as a Combiner, thereby enabling you to optimize the performance of your PDI-based MapReduce jobs.

We hope you enjoy this exciting new release, get started today by downloading your copy at http://www.pentaho.com/download/.

Jake Cornelius
Vice President of Product Management
Pentaho Corporation


Is Excel costing you more than you think?

July 15, 2010

A recent trend we have noticed at Pentaho is that an increasing number of customers reaching out to us for their BI solution are using spreadmarts as the default reporting tool and rely heavily on Excel/spreadmarts for storing and gaining insight on their data.  Red Flag! Often overlooked are the many risks that these spreadmarts introduce to your decision making process.  While effective for displaying static data, Excel/spreadmarts are a poor substitute for modern business intelligence.

Last month, Pentaho hosted a webcast to answer the popular question, “How do you save money and time by replacing Excel/Spreadmarts?” The speakers featured experts Rick Sherman, co-author of the TDWI study, “Strategies for Managing Spreadmarts and Migrating to a Managed BI Environment” and Jake Cornelius, Director, Product Management at Pentaho. The attendance and response to the webcast was tremendous. If you missed this webcast, no worries, it is now on-demand to watch on your schedule. Here’s an inside look at some of the highlights:

  • You are not alone! The median company has 30 Spreadmarts. Average = 837!
  • The average costs of spreadmarts to an organization is $780,000 a year.
  • The benefits of allowing business users to use spreadmarts are that they already understand the tool and can do it without IT assistance.
  • The dangers associated with spreadmarts include lack of data consistency, audit trail and data governance as well as the productivity drain due to version control and inaccurate data – see screen shot below. (In this webcast learn how to mitigate this risk and successful strategies for reducing you companies dependency)
  • There is a solution, which allows you to see the difference a managed BI solution will make. In 3 days you can receive an initial proof of value using a set of your own data (check out the Pentaho 72 Hour Challenge).

These are just a few of the highlights from the webcast. To learn more about how to save money and better leverage your data to make smarter decisions watch the on-demand webcast, ‘Modern Cost-Effective BI Will Save your Firm Money and Time by Replacing Spreadmarts.

Watch more of Pentaho’s most popular Open Source BI webcasts on your schedule.

We are listening! This webcast was a suggestion from our customers. What other topics are you interested to learn about from Pentaho? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter – we are @Pentaho.


Top 3 reasons to download PDI 4.0 and BI Suite 3.6

June 10, 2010

Today we announced General Availability of Pentaho Data Integration 4.0 and Pentaho BI Suite 3.6.  This marks a major step forward on our mission to empower users with the most comprehensive, easy-to-use, and integrated Business Intelligence suite on the market today.  All too often, new BI projects end up on IT’s cutting room floor due a variety of factors:

  • Licensing costs – it’s too expensive to add the additional users/CPUs for the project to reach its intended audience.  A single BI project can have licensing impacts on several software products including data integration (ETL), reporting, dashboards, analytics, database, and on and on…
  • Lengthy time to ROI – a classic pitfall of new BI projects is spending weeks or months ‘getting the data right’ before business users have an opportunity interact and provide feedback.  Inevitably, this leads to missed requirements, delayed rollouts, and blown budgets
  • Technical Resources – do you have the right technical resources available and are they knowledgeable in all of the tools and technology involved?  Am I beholden to availability of IT, or can I accomplish this myself?

Our Agile BI initiative is breaking down these barriers by delivering a BI Suite with:

  • All of the functionality you actually need at 20% the cost of a comparable solution from the big guys… bye bye bloat-ware
  • Integrated design environment combining all aspects of a BI solution from Data Integration (ETL) through data visualization; thereby encouraging collaborative, cross team interactions between solution architects and end users and faster iterations… compare that with a with a hybrid Informatica/Data Stage – Oracle/Business Objects/Cognos solution
  • A modern, standards based architecture that deploys in minutes and is easy to customize or extend to meet the changing needs of your business… guaranteed 97% less super glue and duct tape under the hood than comparable proprietary BI Suites

So you’re thinking… enough with the marketing bullets.  Why should I download or upgrade to these new releases? The top 3 reasons:

1. Design Perspectives – New perspectives in PDI’s designer (Spoon) providing one click visualization of data and simple, drag-and-drop metadata modeling for OLAP and reporting metadata

2. PDI Enterprise Edition Data Integration ServerAll the execution and clustering capabilities of our core offering plus integrated scheduling, advanced security, and enhanced content management including complete revision history on all of your jobs and transformations

3. User Console improvements – There are numerous improvements to our visualization plugins including:

  • Support for scheduling, emailing, member properties and dashboard filter integration in Analyzer
  • Configurable auto-refresh intervals on dashboards and dashboard widgets and integration of Dashboard filters with Pentaho metadata data sources

Get started today by downloading your copy from http://www.pentaho.com/download/

Jake Cornelius
Director of Product Management
Pentaho Corporation


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