Bi Tools

Pentaho Tools

Showdown of BI Tools: Pentaho vs Others

Business intelligence (BI) is the process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data from several sources to determine actionable insights that may be used to refine an organization’s strategic direction. Data in any of its many forms (unstructured, semi-structured, or structured) can be gathered by BI tools, which then clean, prepare, and transform it so that it can be analyzed visually with ease.

Finding a business intelligence solution that works well with your existing infrastructure might be challenging due to the abundance of options available. Features of popular BI tools like Pentaho, Jaspersoft, Tableau, and Birt are compared in this article.

Business Data & Intelligence

The volume, velocity, and variety of data used in businesses today have all increased tremendously. Business Data has grown in importance for a variety of reasons, including customer purchase history analysis and tracking and analysis of past events.

Business Intelligence has arisen as a means for modern businesses to achieve this goal of gaining knowledge from their vast stores of Business data. Business Intelligence is a term used to describe the collection, analysis, and presentation of data across a company to help with making strategic and tactical choices.

The Role of Business Intelligence Nowadays

91% of firms utilize BI tools to manage and analyze data, but 85% of them have challenges in doing so, according to Avanade Consulting, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft. Finding the appropriate technology for a firm was also cited as the most difficult aspect of business intelligence by C-level executives.

The current market situation has resulted in the introduction of numerous BI products. Each business intelligence tool has its own set of benefits and may be tailored to meet the needs of a variety of enterprises.

Present-day BI tools

About a decade ago, before the advent of Big Data, BI tools were more of an oddity. In the wake of the recent economic downturn, businesses have prioritized two things: lowering costs and making wise choices for the company. Open-source business intelligence (BI) products, such as Pentaho, Jaspersoft, and Birt, are often more cost-effective than those from prominent BI vendors like IBM, SAP, SAS, and Oracle.


Pentaho was established in 2004, and the company now provides Pentaho Business Analytics, which is a set of open source software for business intelligence. Enterprise and community editions are both available for this suite. It enables data integration and, with the assistance of OLAP services and interactive dashboards, assists users in visualizing the data they are working with.

Pentaho is a user-friendly platform that enables IT professionals and business professionals alike to effortlessly access and display data. It makes it simple to access data from a wide variety of sources, like Excel and Hadoop, among others. Techniques that cache information in memory make the reporting process very quick.

The output can be created in many different formats, depending on what the user needs. The ability to dive down into the data and apply filters, together with detailed visualizations and infographics that are simple to understand. Integration is as smooth as possible with apps developed by third parties, such as Google Maps.

The supported devices span practically all available operating systems, including Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), OS X, and web-based platforms.

Here are certain drawbacks to note. There is no uniformity in the way that the Pentaho suite products perform their functions across the board. In the beginning, it may be difficult and cumbersome to move around. The metadata layer is difficult to utilize and comprehend in its current state. The documentation is likewise of little use at certain points in time.

There is no structure in place for licensing that is eternal. The purchase of the usage rights must be done on an annual basis at the same price. When contrasted with Tableau’s equivalent features, Advanced Analytics and Corresponding Data Visualization have a long way to go before reaching parity.


It is a business intelligence package that is simple to use and provides interesting visualizations, reports, and a dashboard that allows for different outputs to be enabled. It is compatible with both browser-based and desktop-based user interfaces. Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, and Tableau Public are the three different options that are available.

Tableau software features an easy-to-use graphical user interface (UI), as well as drag-and-drop functions, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. The dashboard features a high level of interactivity and is easily modifiable in order to produce more intelligent variants. The data is synchronized without any problems. The procedure of connecting to databases, files, and spreadsheets only requires one click, making it a very quick operation.

The data visualization almost doesn’t require any formatting at all. Even if they are required, the individualized views and filters can be applied with only a few clicks of the mouse. The process of developing applications has been simplified to make it easier for beginners to get up to speed. The versatility of Tableau to blend data from several sources makes it simple to import data from a variety of sources.

Tableau is lacking in the number of automated procedures that are given for the majority of its applications. It can be highly time-consuming and laborious to manually map data types that are not recognized. Tableau Server has a scalability problem; when a huge data collection is supplied to it, it does not function as quickly as it should. The amount of random access memory (RAM) in your machine that is running the client application is another factor that can hinder performance.


Pentaho and Jaspersoft enter the picture due to the fact that they both offer the distinct benefit of being cost effective, although the variations between them in terms of features are significant. Pentaho has superior dashboard capabilities in terms of functionality, despite the fact that Jaspersoft’s ability for producing reports is, on average, superior to Pentaho Report Designer.

This is due to the fact that Jaspersoft’s Dashboard capability is only available in its Enterprise edition, whereas Pentaho makes it available in its most fundamental package. The intermediate layer known as “Xactions” in Pentaho gives further freedom in terms of the design of plugins and their interface with applications.

The Pentaho Data Integrator is superior to the Jaspersoft Talend in terms of Extract, Transfer, and Load (ETL) tools. This is due to the fact that Jaspersoft’s Talend is lacking in certain features. In comparison to Jaspersoft, the Pentaho Mondrian engine is superior when it comes to OLAP (online analytical processing) analysis.

Users of Pentaho also have access to a vast selection of options in the plugin marketplace, which is analogous to the app stores found on iOS and Android devices. To summarize, Jaspersoft is more focused on reporting and analysis, whereas Pentaho is more focused on data integration, ETL, and workflow automation. Jaspersoft was developed first.


For people who are fluent in Java, BIRT has also emerged as a key tool for business intelligence. BIRT can be downloaded here. BIRT is an open-source reporting system for web applications that is based on Eclipse. It is particularly useful for applications that are based on Java and Java EE because it consists of a report designer that is based on Eclipse as well as a runtime component that can be added to the application server.

When compared to Pentaho and Jaspersoft in terms of their fundamental functionalities, BIRT is on par with both, and it may even have a tiny advantage because it is based on Eclipse. Aside from that, like a standard business intelligence tool, it is anticipated that it would cover a variety of chart types.

Pentaho is responsible for filling in the gaps left by BIRT’s absence of certain chart types, such as Ring, Waterfall, Step Area, Step, Difference, Thermometer, and Survey scale charts. BIRT only supports the majority of chart types.


One of the benefits that organizations who have adopted Pentaho have seen is that it has a shorter integration time and lower infrastructural costs when compared to SAP BIA and SAS BIA, two of the most prominent competitors in the field of business intelligence.

In addition to that, Pentaho users have access to sizable community support that is available around the clock as well as active help forums, which enables them to discuss the difficulties they face and get their concerns answered when using the product. Its infinite visualization and data sources can handle any kind of data, and it comes with a good toolset that has vast use beyond simply the primary product it was designed for.

Leave a Comment