Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB Book Review

If you have not visited PackT Publishing‘s website for technical book, you are missing out.  I now have purchased my 7th book and have recently had the opportunity to review one of their videos and now Bo Borland’s Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB book.  

A couple things I’ve loved about the PackT books I’ve purchased, they tend to have great walk-throughs and screenshots of what you are working on.  Visual learners, like myself, really appreciate the extra time it takes to add this into technical steps.

Having administered and developed Pentaho Spoon ETL (Extract, Translate, Load) jobs and transformations to dashboards report, I had a solid understanding of Pentaho; however, my knowledge in Big Data is relatively immature.  The book starts off with a great overview of what Pentaho and MongoDB are, and why you’d used MongoDB.  Then the book closes Chapter 1 with installation instructions with a complete step-by-step walk-through.  

Using Pentaho‘s InstaView to extract the data from MongoDB and further enrich the data is the primary focus of Chapter 3 through 5.  This is a straight forward approach on extracting Big Data from MongoDB and building a working data model to analyze.   

By far Chapter 6 and 7 were most impressive and my favorite.  These chapters went over how to utilize Pentaho’s Report Designer (pixel perfect reporting tool) to extract data, build a report, and advance features such as prompting and adding sub-reports.  The Report Designer is a very complex tool, but Bo does an amazing job breaking down the interface and features that makes it easy for a beginner.  The best part is that you can easily translate building reports from MongoDB to queries of any other data source.  

If you are looking at a starting place to learn about using Big Data, Pentaho’s Report Designer or Spoon with InstaView, this book is excellent.  I’m excited about what I’ve learned about MongoDB and am planning on exploring the possibilities of using this tool further.



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