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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jos and Roland have done a great job explaining the tools and technology of the Pentaho BI Platform in the context of building real world Business Intelligence applications. They have taken some very complicated and technical concepts and presented them in an easy to follow case study. The case study they chose is simple to understand yet filled with the same kinds of real world complexities that make BI applications difficult to deliver.

The "Getting Started with Pentaho" section has all the information and documentation you wish you could find neatly arranged on the Pentaho community site. They do an excellent job explaining the entire Pentaho application stack from collecting data to presenting information. The book could have stopped here, being the Pentaho missing manual, and still have been worth buying.

The next section, "Dimensional Modeling and Data Warehouse Design" is an very good introduction/refresher on hows and whys of building data warehouses, data marts and OLAP cubes. Again they have taken a subject that is broad and complex and presented it in a way that is easy to understand and apply. Where appropriate, they refer the reader to other resources available for more in-depth coverage of specific topics.

A data warehouse is useless until you can reliably get good, complete and accurate data into it. The section on "ETL and Data Integration" is another section that could easily stand on it's own. After an introduction to ETL and Pentaho Data Integration, they show how to populate the database used for the case study including populating time dimensions. Other real world topics touched upon include; change data capture, data validation, data cleansing and issues with generating dimension tables.

The last section covers transforming data into information via metadata, reporting, analysis services, data mining and dashboards. Each topic is covered by an introduction, explanation of the tools available and examples using data from the case study.

I like the way Roland and Jos combine general BI knowledge with tutorials on the Pentaho applications and tie it all together with an interesting case study giving you a chance to stop and play as you follow along. I also enjoyed the many side notes with tidbits of history and pointers to other resources. Overall I found this book both informative and enjoyable.

I'm a fifteen year veteran of building BI software, one of the original Pentaho developers and am currently the Pentaho community guy. I'm not affiliated with Jos, Roland or Wiley and receive no benefit from this book beyond the satisfaction of having Pentaho software be so well represented.

Doug Moran
Pentaho
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been involved with statistical analysis & algorithm creation for 30 years, DW/BI for 15, and Pentaho (the product, not the company) for 5 years.

Jos and Roland do an excellent job of presenting the possibilities of data warehousing, reporting and online analytical processing (OLAP) in general, and in the specific, using Pentaho and other open source tools, to build their teaching example. This would be an excellent text for a university course in data warehousing or data analytics.

This is more than a book about Pentaho, this is a wonderful introduction to the world of data warehouses, data marts, business intelligence, data mining and dashboards, using the open source Pentaho BI suite, and associated open source tools such as Power*Architect, to provide hands-on experience with the concepts being explained.

The first chapter dives right into showing the potential of these concepts, by having the reader download and install Pentaho BI Suite in its simplest configuration (right out of the virtual box), and then examine the examples of various types of reports, slice-and-dice (OLAP, Cubes, Pivot Tables) and dashboards that are included with the Pentaho download. Within a maximum of two hours, and for all of $31 (the current price on Amazon), one has a business intelligence solution running on their favorite computer, and should have their mind churning with all the things they can do beyond any spreadsheet, to capture, understand, analyze and share their new-found insights of the data with which they must work every day.

Any developer tasked with adding reporting, analysis and dashboards to their web-app or enterprise software, any business person who considers themselves a power user, and any student considering a career in statistics, business analysis or software development, should reward themselves with this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have worked on Microsoft BI platform for a long time. I wanted to try out pentaho... but so many dependencies like Linux, MySQL, Tomcat etc were too much for me to handle. In my last attempt I couldn't even install the product.

However this book is so well written that even a person like me who doesn't know an iota of Linux/MySQL/Tomcat/Java was able to install and get up and running with a few hours of work.

The book introduces some tools which are very useful to everyone (like Power*Architect). The book explains Data warehousing and Pentaho tools very well. If someone wants to start PentahoBI then this is THE book to have.

Thanks to the authors for such a wonderful creation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Roland Bouman and Jos Van Dongen took 6 months out of their family life and created this. And cutting to the chase, every Pentaho learner should thank them for that.

Pentaho is a very complex application due to many factors. For starters, the BI field is, by definition, a very sensitive field; the fact that pentaho started by combining distinct successful open-source projects - mondrian, kettle, jfreereport and weka - doesn't help when we want to learn exactly what's what. There are so many distinct applications that gets confusing to know what each thing is for.

All this makes the learning curve a very steep one. Until now. Trough over 600 pages Pentaho Solutions does a great job explaining all the Pentaho stack, where each of the components fit it and when to use what. And it doesn't stop there; It's impossible to do anything in Business Intelligence without some very solid knowledge of Data Warehouse. While this book is definitely not about it (this one is) still gives the novice reader the key concepts needed to read the book and go through the practical examples that are used.

The chapters are very well organized. They are in the same order as the topic appear when we are implementing a Pentaho solution. In the end the 600 pages even feel short, so many concepts it introduces. Don't expect to become an expert in pentaho; You won't master any of the components with this book only; you won't be a OLAP guru, a reporting wizard or even a etl master. But you will definitely know where to search for.

In my opinion, the ones that will benefit the most with this books are those guys with emails ending with [...]. It's so difficult to start playing with pentaho that a lot of newcomers feel scared and abandon it, resulting in a loss of potential user. This book changes all that. I wish I had it when I started playing with pentaho over 2 years ago. And I'm glad I have it know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am working with BI shortly and I am already using Pentaho products.
Great thanks for such an open source solution. Book is great for beginners when need to start using pentaho. It guides readers through enabling process when trying to use this software solution. From installation to using. Also having this book reader can save some time when browsing on Pentaho Comunity forums and looking for some solution when trying to fix some problems. This book is giving all what is need to have it working.

From developer BI perspective I would welcome more technical information about setting modrian solution over not 100 % star DB schema's. Also this book is using MySQL as target DB BI. But is does not mention about performance and DB tunning towards MySQL configuration. Also I missed information about non-functional aspects of Penatho BI. Like logging configuration, auditing configuration and so on.
It is part of enterprise edition but basic info would be welcome.

The clustering functionality in PDI (Pentaho Data Integration) is mention just slightly as last chapter. I think such an great feature of PDI deserves more pages and examples how PDI could be setup to bring more performance and scalability.

It is great book and saving a lot of time when starting with Penatho. For the guys who are already using and working with it I would consider it before buying cause many info from this book are available on community forums.

Anyway Many thanks to authors for writing such a book for this valuable Pentaho community.
Ivan Budzel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a very straightforward, easy to understand and very readable book. It covers the open-source Pentaho solution in detail, including the installation, the use of (in various environments) and the features of the Pentaho BI Solution from very simple examples and reports to extremely complicated, multi-section reports, for any company-wide reporting needs. There are numerous examples included and it comes with 2 sets of company reports: the BI Developer examples and the Steel Wheels company reports. This book covers extensively Data Warehousing concepts and their use in Business Intelligence, Data Marts and enterprise reporting systems. In addition, this book covers the installation of MySQL and its integration with Pentaho BI.

This book shows you in depth how to develop reports, how to do roll-ups of various kinds, how to create charts, how to create reports in pdf, html and csv formats. This book is very easy to read and understand. This is the only book I was able to find that covers this subject in depth, so I highly recommend it for anyone planning to use Pentaho BI product!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book and I find myself periodically reaching for it when encountering some problem with Pentaho.
This book covers all areas of the Pentaho BI stack - some in more, some in slightly less detail (for example the data mining chapter was quite light but it is understandable, there are other specialty books for that).

The book is written in a very readable and hands-on style. Besides Pentaho, it contains introduction to various general Business intelligence and related subjects (e.g. data warehousing, SQL)- useful if you need a refresher in any of those areas.

Couldn't recommend more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had downloaded the Pentaho BI Suite, I installed it and start using it. My knowledge was limited to how to use the programs that came with the Pentaho BI Suite. I had a BI project that I was working on, I spent much time searching for answers to problems that I came across using the BI suite.

One day I came a cross the book, I purchased it and what it gave me was the big picture view of each program in the BI Suite. It also had many examples on how to work with each tool, this help me tremendously in completing my project.

I recommend this book, it gives the reader the knowledge of how the tools in the BI Suite works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
An excellent book for Open Source Business Intelligence System. The book provides a spectrum of available open source applications, starting from OS all the way thru dashboards.

I was able install & configure almost all the applications such as MySQL, data model tool, database programming tool, data quality tool, ETL tool, data analysis tool, BI tool and dashboard suggested in the book.

One of the few books benefited me immediately in many ways, specifically in developing DW using MySQL, data cleansing tool, Pentaho ETL and Pentaho BI.

This book will be one of my few reference books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a great alternative to gouging your eyes out trying to understand Pentaho by reading the community documentation. It spends a lot of time talking about data warehouse concepts and design, but connects that discussion to actually using Pentaho to accomplish concrete tasks. Has good explanations of how to run and configure the various tools. All in all, after reading this book I felt confident I could actually do something real with the Pentaho BI suite. Saved me man-weeks of pain. Well worth the price.
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