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Pentaho Documentation

Introducing Pentaho Workflows and Tracks

Overview

Introduces BA and PDI workflows and tracks. This section also prepares you to evaluate Pentaho.

We know you are revved-up and eager to get started working with the Pentaho components. Before you do, take a quick peek at the different tracks and workflows that can help you succeed with a well-planned Pentaho implementation.

The route that you take depends on different levels of expertise, what your unique business needs are, the data that you are using, and business interests when it comes to analyzing, reporting, and working with your data. You might find that you travel one track, and then the other, during your evaluation of Pentaho.

All of the products are integrated to work smoothly together, regardless of which track you ultimately choose. We provide specific details within the workflow discussions, however, here are the high-level use cases for each track.

  • Business Analytics (BA) Track - Great for analysis and reporting. Meant primarily for business users and does not require special skills to successfully use the components involved. This track enables anyone to build Pentaho solutions without using programming or having deep understanding of data structures.
  • Data Integration (DI) Track - Meant for data design professionals and requires a working knowledge of data structures and modeling, as well as extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes. With this track, you can directly manipulate data from multiple sources, making it scalable and efficient for enterprise-wide analysis and reporting.

Each track has three workflows: one for Evaluation, one for Development, and one for Production.

  • Evaluate and Learn - If you used the Trial Download on the Pentaho website and want get a hands-on feel for the components that are best for your implementation, follow the Evaluation Workflow.
  • Develop Pentaho Solutions - After you have figured out which components are best for you and how to use them, the Develop Workflow is the process you use to build, change, and test Pentaho solutions until they meet your production requirements.
  • Go Live for Production - When your solution is working just right, the Go Live Workflow shows how to move your solution from development to production.

Prepare for the Evaluation

This table guides you through the differences between the Business Analytics and Data Integration tracks, and helps you decide which track to follow for evaluation. You may choose to follow one track, and then the other, while you are exploring the software.

Table 1. Pentaho Track Decision Table
Explore Considerations Choose Options
Business Analytics Evaluation Data Integration Evaluation
Expertise
  • No special skills required
  • Knowledge of business requirements and what reports and analysis should show
  • Knowledge of business requirements
  • Understanding of data structures and  modeling
  • Knowledge of extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes
Data Set Description
  • Single source of data
  • Data from multiple sources that have been transformed and joined into a single data mart or warehouse
  • Small data sets
  • Multiple sources of data
  • Data you want to transform and join in one or more data marts or warehouses
  • Large to enormously vast data sets
Reporting Options Offers a wide variety of visualization and reporting options. Offers more limited but focused reporting options that help you visualize and analyze data. BA tools can be used to generate reports based on DI-processed data.
Data Storage Types
  • Relational databases
  • CSV data sources
  • SQL queries
  • Relational databases
  • NoSQL or Hadoop databases
  • Big Data of any types
  • Data from a web service
Recommendation Best used by business analysts, managers, report designers, individual business units within an organization or enterprise Best used by data scientists, data modelers, data integration and ETL developers, individual business units within an organization or enterprise, and enterprise-wide implementations

Now that you have an idea of which track you want to follow for evaluation, choose an evaluation method. This decision table explains the different options for evaluation so you can pick the option that works best for you.

Table 2. Pentaho Evaluation Decision Table
Explore Considerations Choose Options
Hosted Demo Custom Prototype Trial Download
Track Business Analytics Business Analytics or Data Integration Business Analytics or Data Integration
Summary A cloud-based, hands-on, interactive exploration of  Business Analytics reports, analysis, visualizations, and dashboards. Here you can see how easy and fun it can be to use Pentaho. Work with Pentaho analysts and data integration specialists to plan and build a complimentary custom prototype that illustrates what Pentaho can do with your data. A representative will guide you through the entire process. Using our trial software, tutorials, and documentation, install and configure your own work environment. Then, build a prototype to get a complete Pentaho experience from installation and administration, through creating your first data models and build reports, analysis, dashboards, and data integration ETL transformations.
Data Source Pentaho sample data in CSV format Your sample data, including a range of typical data characteristics in CSV format. Your sample data, including a range of typical data characteristics in the format that you commonly use
Hardware/Software Requirements Web Browser Varies, depending on your requirements. One computer that meets the server requirements stated here.
Recommendation

Any evaluator who wants an overview of Business Analytics features.

  • Recommended for Business Analysts and Report Designers.

We recommend that you try out the Custom Prototype or Trial Download after you do the Hosted Demo.

All evaluators, particularly any Big Data or Data Integration evaluators.

Any evaluator who wants to independently work with Business Analytics, Data Integration tools, and Big Data.
  • Recommended for evaluators who want to explore Business Analytics and Data Integration features using their own data.
  • Technical support is available to help if you have questions.