Wednesday, 8 January 2014

How to Use Pentaho for your BI Success

Online tips: How to deal with enormous amounts of data using Pentaho

Businesses are exploring serious opportunities for achieving Business Intelligence (BI). Their success depends on managing huge amounts of data (Big Data) from databases or other information (such as: documents, images, and video) and presenting them in reports, charts, and dashboards (visualization) to the management for business analytics. Management’s requirement is to synthesize the main intelligence (from the data) and gain insights using business analytics. Management of the enterprise aims to make timely and appropriate decisions based on the information.
Pentaho for your BI success
Pentaho for your BI success
Pentaho is a one-stop vendor offering a unique solution for thorough big data analysis. Its comprehensive platform is ideally suited to implementing BI solutions in an enterprise. Pentaho is capable of analyzing enormous and often unstructured data sources, including: sensors, application logs, click-streams, social media, operational applications, and documents, in a logical manner and providing practical ideas from the big data. Pentaho offers visual development, technology and tools of high productivity, which makes the big data collection and analysis easier. These tools are compatible with a variety of databases including: Vertica, and Greenplum. Pentaho is also able to manipulate data with all major stores of big data such as: MongoDB,  Hadoop, HBase, Apache and Cassandra. One may either opt for Enterprise suite, or the community edition of Pentaho Big Data tools. Pentaho offers a huge set of server applications, desktop or client applications and various Open Source communities-driven Pentaho server plug-ins.

In an enterprise, BI implementation is a challenging task. There is hardly any defined set of best practices which one may follow to ascertain success in the next BI implementation project. Once you determine a thorough requirements, inventory, BI success depends on your ability to opt for the most appropriate set of tools.  You may then opt to choose Pentaho Data Integration with a core ETL engine. However, if the project includes big data problems, you may prefer to use Pentaho for Big Data PDI Plug-in.

The next important step is to increase the knowledge and expertise of your team members so they are able to use Pentaho most effectively. Your resource team will need to master the applications of Pentaho Dashboard Designer, Pentaho Interactive Reporting, Pentaho report designer, and Pentaho Analyzer. Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho for Big Data Plug-in can be learned easily through eLearning or online training courses. This plug-in supports NoSQL data sources, including HBase and MongoDB and it allows execution of ETL operations in and out of Hadoop distributions such as Apache Hadoop, MapR, Cloudera, and Hortonworks. The option of online training courses and eLearning reduces the expenses required for skill development of resource staff. Without properly capable and trained team members, your business may find it difficult to achieve enterprise goals even while using the most appropriate set of tools for BI implementation project.

Proper knowledge of these tools and expertise with their applications will allow you to increase the technical skills of your team for fully utilizing the benefits of Pentaho Business Analytics Suite. It will also help you in reducing chances of failure while speeding time-to-market process. One should always be prepared to offer solutions to clients. As, for example, if the management of an enterprise is asking for better and more comprehensive SAP dashboards, are your report designers and content creators in a position to use the appropriate tool for desired improvements?

Your reporters and content designers should be trained to provide compelling dashboards and reports to explain all client issues in a comprehensive manner. Use of Pentaho tools will give you the ability to reduce project expenses. Your team will be able to create content swiftly while following best practices to reduce maintenance expenses. Once you have a clear idea about the requirements of your next BI project, you will be able to choose the best set of technology and tools to increase the chances of success. However, you will have to decide whether your resource staff requires any skill improvements. It is necessary to continually engage your team in skill development activities like eLearning or online training so that they may remain informed and able to use any Pentaho server or desktop application along with appropriate plug-in as required for the success of the project.

This Post Contributed by Sameer Bhatia is founder & CEO of ProProfs.com which is a leading provider of Online Survey Software for building, testing, and applying knowledge. ProProfs offer marketers and trainers powerful-but-simple features without requiring them to download or learn expensive software. Sameer has a background in technology with a Masters in Computer Science from USC (University Of Southern California) and is an ed-tech industry veteran. You can find Sameer on Google+ and Twitter.

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