Chris Webb's BI Blog

Analysis Services, MDX, PowerPivot, DAX and anything BI-related

Business Analysis Tool Desktop

with 3 comments

Continuing my occasional series of reviews of SSAS client tools, I recently took a quick look at Business Analysis Tool Desktop from BIT Impulse, a company based in the Ukraine. It’s aimed at the power-user market, which Proclarity desktop used to dominate (and still does, to be honest, despite the fact it died several years ago, but I won’t go off on that rant again), and offers advanced analysis functionality for people who find Excel pivot tables too basic and restrictive.

It makes a good first impression – a nice, modern UI, with a look-and-feel that will be very familiar to users of Proclarity and also Tableau. To start you need to create a ‘workbook’, which contains multiple ‘pages’, which can contain several different types of analysis.

The first page type can contain either a table, a table and a chart, or just a chart. Query building is accomplished by dragging and dropping hierarchies either onto the rows and columns of a pivot table, or onto a ‘shelf’ on the top of the pivot table, and this works very smoothly and intuitively. All of the advanced selection mechanisms you’d expect are present: you can select individual members, entire hierarchies or levels, descendants, and so on.

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Complex filters of either the Rows or Columns axis, or specific hierarchies that have been selected, can also be built up using one or more conditions; similarly you can sort axes and hierarchies easily too, and do Office 2007-like cell highlighting to create heatmaps. Once the query has been executed, there’s a nice feature whereby you can hide some or all of the real-estate connected to query building such as the lists of dimensions and measures and the ‘shelves’; I also liked the way it was possible to resize rows and columns in the grid to make the layout clearer.

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The other page types include a treemap:

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…and a rather cool scatter graph that can be animated to display changes in data over time, and which I spent quite a bit of time playing with:

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Overall, it’s certainly a strong competitor in its sector and worth checking out if you’re in the market for this type of tool – I liked it. I wouldn’t say it was miles better than any of the other tools like it that I’ve reviewed in the last year, but it’s definitely no worse and has its own particular strengths.

Written by Chris Webb

January 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Client Tools

3 Responses

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  1. I think for you it would also be interesting to take a look at http://www.flexmonster.com, they have a pivot charts and table component that works with anlysis services.

    Unknown

    January 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

  2. Hi, Chris…how do you doing?
    I’m trying to evaluate this tool for my own purposes and I couldn’t start to use the tool ’cause I’m not able to configure it…

    what parameter should I use for the “server” information at the connection settings page?
    I looked at the user’s manual but no useful information was provided.

    My best regards

    Cesar

    July 15, 2011 at 1:04 am

    • Hi Cesar,

      I think you’ll have to ask the vendor questions like this – I don’t have it installed any more, I’m afraid.

      Chris

      Chris Webb

      July 15, 2011 at 9:21 am


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