viernes, 28 de noviembre de 2014

Pentaho Business Analytics Cookbook

I had the opportunity to review the book Pentaho Business Analytics Cookbook published by Packtpub. I have been delayed with this review because most of the time was consumed by the master I have been studying.

But now that I read it, these are my comments:

Pentaho Business Analytics Cookbook is a book that gives you a good overview of the Pentaho Platform, for both the enterprise and community version. For each major part of the platform, except Pentaho Data Integration and Weka, it give you a set of recipes to accomplish the most common tasks. These are the topics covered in each chapter:

  • Chapter 1: Getting Familiar with Pentaho User Console
  • Chapter 2: Configuring Your BA Server Instance
  • Chapter 3: Defining BA Server Data Sources
  • Chapter 4: Defining Business Models with the Pentaho Metadata Editor
  • Chapter 5: Creating Reports Using Pentaho Interactive Reporting
  • Chapter 6: Creating Analysis Reports
  • Chapter 7: Creating Reports Using Pentaho Report Designer
  • Chapter 8: Creating Dashboards
  • Chapter 9: Scheduling Content
  • Chapter 10: Working with Pentaho Mobile BI
  • Chapter 11: Customizing Pentaho BA to Meet Your Business Needs
For example, in chapter 2: Configuring your BA Server Instance, the author gives you an overview of the BA Platform and recipes for managing Pentaho solution files, users and roles. These are things that every Pentaho operator should accomplish day by day.

All the recipes given are well detailed and written with proper images and steps. This is a great book if you plan to be a Pentaho devop.

From my perspective, the book allowed me to:

  1. Understand what's new in Pentaho 5, how is the UI organized, how the Pentaho solution is managed on it.
  2. Grasp a very good understanding of how to use Pentaho Metadata. Pentaho Metadata is a powerfull business abstraction of the physical db model, sadly I never saw a detailed guide about how to use it. The recipes given in the book are quite accurate explaining how to use it.
  3. Know what is the Pentaho Interactive Reporting. As this feature is only available in the Enterprise version I have never used it.  It also give you a good understanding of how WAQR can be used.
  4. See how is the Ipad mobile version of Pentaho.
It also cover some few recipes about using Saiku in Analytical Reports and CDE in Dashboard edition.

I hope this review would be useful for Pentaho newbies,

All the best,


domingo, 10 de agosto de 2014

Quick update

Hey, a quick update,

I decided to resign my job in Colombia and go to study overseas. I am currently studying a Master of Information Technology - Distributed Systems in The University of Melbourne, Australia.

I just been in Melbourne 3 weeks and everything so far is very interesting and challenging.



miércoles, 19 de marzo de 2014

Pentaho for Big Data Analytics

Despite I'm currently not an active community user of Pentaho, mainly because right now I'm focused on network and it managament, I still follow the evolution of this great platform. In the last years there have been great new improvements:

 - The acquisition of Webdetails with all the useful Ctools
- The integration of connectors to several NoSQL technologies allowing the use of big data in all the components of the platform (BI Server, Kettle, Mondrian, etc).

 Recently I got the opportunity to review the Pentaho for Big Data Analytics book published by Packt. My expectations on the book were quite high. I hoped the book would help me to stay updated with the latest improvements of Pentaho and clarify a lot of the marketing buzzword around Big Data.

What I found was the following:

 - The book intention was to give a broad overview of Pentaho components and spend a lot of chapters setting up Pentaho platform: One would expect that if someone buy this book is because he already have a background of Pentaho and want to detail the relationship of it with Big Data.
 - The Bigdata theory and examples were oriented to using Apache Hive: It is explained how to handle files in HDFS and how to handle Big Data analysis through Apache Hive (which at the end is a SQL layer over Hadoop). While the examples and theory are a good introduction to the topic, there a lot of issues not handled: How to do a map/reduce job directly to Hadoop? What about other NoSQL technologies like MongoDB, Reddis, etc?
 - There are very good examples about how to use Ctools: Handling the CDE, CDF and CDA tools is not easy at the beginning, so the "Visualization of Big Data" chapter is very helpful for this.

I think the book is worth of read if you are a new user of Pentaho and Hadoop, want a introduction about how to install, run them, etc, and need the first steps to handle data through Hadoop.