Should I choose Palo?

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  • Should I choose Palo?

    Hi all,
    I've been evaluating Palo and watching these forum boards for a week or so, and it's been really great for helping me figure out what Palo is capable of. Generally, as a non-IT person (although I'm a "website hobbyist") I am pleased with the ease of use of the system. The modelling interface in Excel is easy, and the web interface has lots of potential for the project I have in mind.

    What I'm eager to find out is how easy it is to build dashboard-style spreadsheets without needing to do much "coding", or in this case Excel formulas, I guess. I'm a pretty advanced user of Excel, with the exception of Macros as I have never been able to get a grip on Visual Basic stuff. I certainly don't mind using Excel formulas, but are they easy to use and modify? It seems like a bit of a learning curve to get a handle on. (I haven't dug in to the documentation too extensively yet, but I will once I get a chance. Rather, I'm interested in an experienced person's perspective on how difficult it is to learn.)

    I'm also interested in using Pentaho alongside Palo. Since I got this idea from a YouTube video of a Palo/Jedox evangelist, it seems like it's probably pretty easy to do and/or well-supported. Is that the case? I'm hoping it will be possible to combine Palo elements (such as budget/planning spreadsheets) into Pentaho-designed dashboards (in order to use fancy charts, etc).

    A simple question, but any general commentary would be welcome.

  • Hi jonlachlan,

    i've come to palo business after an experience in controlling. So it is useless to tell you how much I worked with Excel. Since I discovered Jedox/Palo, it opened lots of wider possibilities that were not possible only with Excel

    From my point of view, if you feel confortable with Excel you will not have any problems with the Palo Excel Formulas.

    For what I know, Pentaho is more in the relational reporting sector, for instance when you have to list bills or some stuff like that. In Jedox/Palo we work rather on agregated level. With Pentaho you will need (at best) a datawarehouse, what is not very easy to create especially when you are a non-IT person.

    hope it helps,


    Post hoc, non est propter hoc
  • Dashboards: It depends on your visualization requirements - Palo can build similar dashboards to what you can build on excel on the web, on excel you continue to use your excel graphs. Much of building graphs are same as what you do in excel i.e graph is based on underlying data in worksheet.
    Try it yourself.
    Within palo worksheet if fancy charts are needed with modern HTML5 then you would have to use external libraries with widget integration- yes it involves coding.

    If you plan to use xmla connection between palo community edition and business analytics or report designer its worth to check this link…page=Thread&threadID=2855
    i.e with CE it won't work.

    Mondrian is purly for reporting BI needs with poor writeback capabilities.
    So if you are looking for Planning & budgeting free open source OLAP option then there is only Palo. That narrows it down :)

    Best regards,
  • Thanks everyone for the comments! I appreciate your thoughts and experiences.

    After browsing the documentation I see that yes it's very simple to use the formulas. I think the test cube I made (my first cube ever, by the way!) had so many dimensions that I became intimidated by the length of the formulas -- but of course the first several arguments of the formula are database, cube, and then the "page selectors" (i.e. the high-level dimensions), and then finally references to the column and row headers. So simple!

    Regarding extending via external libraries, I'm a Plug-and-Play kind of guy. I tend to opt for platforms that are easily modified or enhanced through Plugins. I appreciate that it's possible, and I could be convinced to tweak some code, although if I needed to write any functions from scratch, I'd feel like I was just spinning my wheels at that point. I would rather wait six months for another OSS (either free or low-cost) package to catch up with their features. Or, if nothing is really available, then I'll scrap my plans altogether. I only adopt software for my organization when/if it's simply download, install, connect and administer. I know that's not a luxury that everyone can afford, but in my case I'm bringing technology solutions to an office that is happy to do things the old way for as long as it's necessary.

    It's disappointing that all data connections are not available "except through excel pivot tables". That seems like it is hurting Palo CE in the long run (and in turn Jedox Suite). Pentaho seems to be the leading open source reporting/dashboard solution, as they seem to have reached a critical mass where companies are opting to be Pentaho-embedded only as opposed to standalone. And tools like Talend, Saiku and SpagoBI all seem to be driving the BI field "in my direction".

    [Removed some of my other ramblings. I'll update this post as I evaluate further.]

    The post was edited 1 time, last by jonlachlan ().