Pentaho Better Together Tour – Bywaters

On Wednesday I and many others attended the Better Together tour at the IOD in London. There were lots of interesting things mentioned, and I hope to post again on this – but this is primarily about Bywaters.

Details of the tour are here:

And there is also a case study for bywaters here:

Bywaters is a great case and somewhere I worked for a few weeks.  What makes them so interesting is two things:

  1. Sasha is incredible enthusiastic about Pentaho, and at one point called PDI “The most significant development in the IT industry in the last decade.”
  2. Their solution is picture perfect.

What do I mean about that last point?  Well everything they do is done right, and they get the best out of the entire Pentaho platform.  They’ve also done it with a minimum of Professional assistance.

So; They use PDI for the data extraction – a relatively simple set of transformations that do have to do the usual bit of data cleaning and enrichment.  The transformations run frequently so the data is up to date – and typically only take 10-20s to complete.

They also use PDI for near real time SMS alerts – Quite nice!

Anyway, PDI populates a proper star schema in an incremental fashion.  Tick! Another good point.

There’s then a Mondrian cube which quite a complex security framework most of which is maintained automatically by another PDI job.  (Devised by Nelson – see his talk at PCM13 for details!)

Then on the front end a combination of Analyzer, PRD and CTools is used to build a custom solution that is dedicated to their customers.

All in all a very nice solution – No hacks, Nothing unnecessarily complex – just the perfect BI implementation – and its great to see Sasha and the team now reaping those rewards!