“Drilling” in to the detail with Pentaho

November 30, 2010

“Drilling”…..(with respect to Business Intelligence applications and Information Technology). Where did that word come from? What does it mean? What can it mean? I am sure you have heard the phrase “Drill down to detail” before, but you may have also heard “Drill Up”, “Drill Out”, “Drill Across”, “Drill In” and “Drill Through” and don’t forget “Drill Anywhere”.

In general, it means to simply move from summary level information to underlying detail data, either within its current data set or even outside to another data set. Its main purpose is to allow one to easily view summarized information in the form of a chart, table or some graphical visualization with the added ability to “click” on a value, series or region and “drill in” to the next level of detail or out to some other dimension. “Drilling” allows business users to make informed decisions quickly without having to page through sheets of raw data.

For example, summarized sales revenue for the year 2010 is $200K, but upon drilling down we see that $175K was brought in by 3 out of 4 regions, leaving 1 region with very low numbers. This now exposes a single region as being an outlier or a entity that needs focused attention. The power of Business Intelligence applications at work, turning raw data into actionable information.

The Pentaho BI Suite can provide “Drilling” in a number of ways depending on which module you deploy. We will explore each of these in this article……….read more about it here at the Pentaho Evaluation Sandbox.



Michael Tarallo
Director of Sales Engineering

Pentaho in the Southern Cone

November 22, 2010

Uruguay is the most eastern country in all of South America, with a population of nearly 4 million, it is the smallest country in the continent as well as home of the first World Cup of soccer, birthplace of Tango and Candombe and holds one of the finest upscale resorts in the world, Punta del Este.

On the past 4th of November more than 80 Yoruguas (colloquial for the people of Uruguay) got together at Hotel Cala di Volpe, just off Montevideo’s riverwalk, to checkout our event: Pentaho in Uruguay. The event began early in the morning, and people just kept walking in till the place was packed. We kicked off with some words from Cognus’s CEO, José Pedro Toma, who focused on explaining how Pentaho is an ideal solution for mid to large size companies in Latin America, where lowering investment costs is mandatory. I went on to explain Pentaho’s features and focus on how the concept of Agile BI can take your average BI project from 6-12 months, to 6-12 weeks. This has been our experience with Pentaho’s latest developments, and we even use Agile BI to do analytics consulting and PoC’s in less than a week. To prove it, we decided to invite 2 of our clients that are using Pentaho on a daily basis.

First off we had the Chilean Superintendencia de Pensiones, a government agency that supervises pension funds of more than 8 million people and which amount to more than $130 Billion. Aside from using Pentaho to build OLAP cubes and deliver on-line reporting, they used PDI as a base to develop a profitability model that calculates daily profit on all of the funds’ financial instruments. Their application processes more than 10 million rows per day in less than 2 hours, and their investment profitability data mart has over 500 million records. All this built just through PDI.

To close the show we had Mónica Cortes, CTO from Winterfoods, who explained how they are using Pentaho in a B2B scenario to gain insight into their salesforce management. By integrating their legacy AS400 systems with Pentaho and Google Maps, they are able to deliver analytic information to the sales management team, but also detailed operational reports to salespeople, without having to incur in expensive per-user licensing. In less than 3 months of development they’ve been so successful, that they’ve decided to migrate their Microsoft based cubes to Pentaho.

Needless to say, the audience was very excited and impressed with the speed and quality of the solutions built with Pentaho. To address this interest we’ve decided to teach a Pentaho BI Bootcamp in Montevideo by the end of the month.

Sebastian Beca
Cognus Chile

Cognus is the largest Pentaho partner in Chile and Uruguay and has developed more than a dozen solutions that combine business conuslting with technological integration based on Pentaho. Superintendencia de Pensiones and Winterfoods are both clients of Cognus in Santiago, Chile. www.cognus.cl

Note on the Illustration:
Inverted America (1943) is a drawing from Joaquin Torres García, an Uruguayan plastic artist and founder of Constructive Universalism.

not without plumbing

November 16, 2010

What sells BI software? Sex and Sizzle! What makes BI projects successful? All of the data work done before any grids or graphs are ever produced. It’s the side of the business most BI vendors don’t talk about as they’d rather just woo and wow people with flash charts and glossy dashboards. Not that there is anything wrong with that – who doesn’t like great looking output? But, if the backend plumbing is either too complicated or non-existent, then it doesn’t matter how sexy this stuff is.

Today Pentaho announced the Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite to help make the “plumbing” as easy and efficient as possible. We’ve enabled people to iteratively get from raw data–from virtually any source–all the way through to metadata and onto visualization in less than an hour. We’ve enabled a new set of users to accomplish this by taking away many of the complexities.

In about 80% of the use cases we encounter, our customers want to quickly create and perform analytics on the fly, do this in an iterative approach, and when satisfied put their projects into production. You shouldn’t need a Ph.D in Data Warehousing to accomplish this, nevertheless many tools require extensive knowledge of DW methodologies and practices. It is fine to demand this knowledge with larger Enterprise DWs (EDW) but why make everyone pay the price – both in terms of software cost and experience/training required.

Now it would be one thing to provide data integration with RDBMSs, another thing to integrate with ROLAP, and yet another to integrate with Big Data like Hadoop, but how nice would it be to have a single Data Integration and Business Intelligence platform to work for all of these? Almost as nice as the Florida Gators winning a national championship but we won’t have to worry about that in 2010…had to digress for a moment.

A big part of our product release today centers around Pentaho for Hadoop integration including the GA for Pentaho Data Integration and BI Suite for Hadoop. Big Data and the whole ”data explosion” trend is just starting, so if you aren’t there today, give it time and know that Pentaho is already positioned to help in these use cases.

Pentaho allows you to start down an easy path with Agile BI and then scale up to EDW when and if necessary with enterprise data services. Our engineering team and community have spent significant time and effort to bring these services to market, and today is the official release. Please take a few minutes to read up on the new Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite and attend the launch webcast. Or, go ahead and download the Pentaho Enterprise Data Services Suite and start making easier, faster, better decisions.


150,000 installations year-to-date for Pentaho

November 15, 2010

Our most recent figures show 156,000 copies of Pentaho software were installed so far this year. These numbers are not download numbers, but installed software that has been used. This includes Pentaho servers and some Pentaho client tools. These numbers do not represent only long-term installations, but also do not represent all Pentaho’s software distributions or installations. Since these numbers are not absolutel

An analysis by country of these numbers shows interesting results.

The Long Tail

This chart shows the number of new installations year-to-date for each country. Our data shows new Pentaho installations in 176 countries so far this year. That’s out of a total of 229 countries.

This is clearly a classic long tail. In fact after the first 20 or 30 countries it is difficult to read values from the chart. This second chart uses a log scale. The line on this chart is almost perfectly linear, showing that the distribution by country is pretty much logarithmic.

Read more on James Dixon’s Blog

  • Geographic spread of the installations
  • New Installations Per $Billion GDP
  • New Installations Per 100k Labor Force
  • New Installations Per 100k Internet Users
  • About This Analysis

October in review

November 4, 2010

Where did the month go? There is never a dull moment at Pentaho, which is probably part of the reason Q3 2010 set an all-time high bookings record, eclipsing the previous best quarter by over 50%. We highlight the major news and accomplishments for you on the BI from the Swamp Blog, Twitter, and Facebook, but with all of the innovation, partnerships, and events happening here at Pentaho, we think it’s helpful to have a comprehensive recap of highlights for the month.  To do so, we are kicking off a new series: Month in review. Here’s what happened in October:

Product Announcements

Partnerships Announced

  • Pentaho and IngresVectorWise – for delivering fast and powerful business analytics for business users in medium and large organizations. Watch the on-demand joint webcast titled “Blazing Fast BI with Ingres VectorWise and Pentaho” to understand why it is important to have agility for business intelligence on the front end, as well as in the database.
  • Pentaho and Cloudera –enables business users to take advantage of Hadoop with ability to easily and cost-effectively mine, visualize and analyze their Hadoop data.
  • Pentaho and Amazon Web Services – enables organizations to quickly move data between Amazon Elastic MapReduce and existing enterprise data stores.
  • Pentaho and Impetus Technologies – Leading technology and R&D services provider incorporates Pentaho Agile BI and Pentaho for Hadoop into its Large Data Analytics practice.

New Customer Successes

ControlPay, a European-founded pioneer in freight auditing uses Pentaho open source BI to help create a freight ‘audit trail.’

“We love the flexibility of open source and we like to be in control of our own development. With popular products like Pentaho, you get superior technology because of the wide pool of talent contributing to the code in real time. This means we always have the latest technology and this gives ControlPay a real competitive advantage.”

Read the press release

Glen Conybeare, commercial director of software firm Cognitive Match was quoted in the article, Top 10 IT strategies for smaller businesses in ComputerWeekly.com:

Pentaho’s Analyser is part of the Pentaho BI Suite, Conybeare said he has paid less than £20,000 for Pentaho to provide initial service and support, with the equivalent product from a proprietary vendor in the region of a six figure sum, he said. “The key thing for us is that our clients expect a lot and don’t want to pay a lot for it. So for us efficiency is important to what we do as we can then pass cost savings on to our customers.”

Read the full article here

In the news

More October news highlights


It was a busy month worldwide. You can read a recap of October in Vinay Joosery’s blog, Seen and Heard in EMEA.

The Agile BI Tour made stops in Washington, DC, New York City, Oslo, Barcelona, Seattle, Portland, San Mateo, Kontich, Houston and Florence! See where we’ll be this month.

Pentaho was also busy participating in various Hadoop events including Hadoop World in NYC and Hadoop user groups in San Diego and London.

Pentaho User Groups

We launched a Pentaho User Group program to bring together in person and online, local user communities to share best practices, foster innovation, network and build relationships with like-minded individual.

Groups have already started to form in London, Benelux, Portual, Indonesia, France, and more. Learn more about the Pentaho User Groups, join one in your area, start a new group and spread the word.

Just for fun

Halloween is always a big deal at the Orlando headquarters. To properly recap October, we had to share some photos of the team dressing up for the office Halloween party.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looks like we are off to a strong start for November. Already looking forward to the next Month in Review.
Rebecca Shomair
Director, Corporate Communications
Pentaho Corporation

Pentaho’s Nonstop November

November 3, 2010

From Uruguay to Hong Kong, Pentaho continues to trot the globe at full-speed this month.  We will be attending and sponsoring BI and Data Integration conferences in San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong.  In addition, the  Agile BI Tour continues with information-packed free training seminars in Uruguay, Colorado, Texas, and Orlando.

No matter where you are in the world, Pentaho is coming to a computer screen near you with two featured webcasts this month. Learn how business intelligence is changing the face of Big Data with Claudia Imhoff on November 4th.  Then on November 10th, find out how Marketo, the industry leading Marketing solution, was able to go to market in a matter of weeks with fully embedded business intelligence.

This month we’re not slowing down for a second.  Pentaho is in for a non-stop November, and we hope to see you there!

Agile BI Tour: Data to Dashboards in Minutes

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