Mysql · Reporting platforms

any recommendations for mySQL reporting tools?

michael madison founder, ceo and menu-guru at menumodo

February 3rd, 2016

we need to produce Excel-style reports (i.e. no graphs or chats at this stage) on a regular basis for multiple customers.
The report is populated with information from mySQL.
The reports have been custom-built by our developer, and any change are time consuming.

I wonder whether there is an efficient tool with a non-technical GUI that would allow us to build, run, schedule, etc. reports.

Amit Gulati Technical Lead at TuneCore

February 3rd, 2016

We use QlikView at my organization. You can use the tool to graphically generate reports and it has a built in web server to provide role based access to report dashboards as well. Scheduling reports is available as well. Keep in mind, though, that the value you can get from a gui tool is heavily dependent on the structure of your data. If your scheme was not designed with some regard to reporting needs, there will only be so much you can do without at least some SQL work. You may still require some initial investment into creating additional views or aggregations in order to get the full value of a BI tool. But it shouldn't be long before you see a return on the investment. You have the flexibility to import your own custom SQL as well so you can start taking advantage of the other features immediately using your current queries.

Lee Guertin Editorial Research Manager, Online Analytics

February 3rd, 2016

If you have Microsoft Office/Office 365 (which I'm assuming yes since you are using/considering Excel) then try their PowerBI tool. Their "Pro" version will allow you to schedule and publish reports that query databases like MySQL at a low cost, essentially using the Azure cloud services to manage it. $9.95/mo is pretty reasonable. Most of it uses a drag and drop or graphical type of UI as well. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

February 5th, 2016

If you have already the queries written and all you need is to get the result of those queries out, maybe MySQL workbench is just what you need.

Workbench is free to download and use (it's from MySql itself). The biggest challenge will be to set up the MySql connection. Once connected, you just go to the DB and do the query, you can then export these results to Excel from WorkBench itself.

Warning: If you do follow this route of using MySQl Workbench, be sure to connect to it with a limited privileges user, in order to not to do any damages. WorkBench is a MySQL DB tool. It can do everything from queries to delete entire DBs or tables, so be careful. Thus the way to avoid these damages is to create a user that can't to these type of damages.

Cheers!

Lee Guertin Editorial Research Manager, Online Analytics

February 3rd, 2016

I'm in the middle of a licensing negotiation with Tableau right now. It isn't for the faint of heart or for a small budget. You'd need a server license, desktop professional license, and annual maintenance licenses just to even get started. More if you would need to support enterprise level operations or multiple report developers.

Matthew Excell Lead Architect and Technology Strategy Consultant at Watchman Technologies, L.L.C.

February 3rd, 2016

JasperServer will do everything you mentioned (though the post was a touch light on details) and quite a bit more. Web, pdf, Excel and other office exports, etc. Easy to use for anyone who can write sql queries - there is an almost wysiwyg editor (Jaspersoft Studio) for the reports and a raft of documentation for it. The community edition is free or they have paid editions with additional features like adhoc reporting. No, I don't represent them - but several of my startups and clients have used the evolving products to great effect over the last 15 years.

Lee Guertin Editorial Research Manager, Online Analytics

February 3rd, 2016

I'd say Segment is likely N/A here. My org recently evaluated Segment too,

Matthew Excell Lead Architect and Technology Strategy Consultant at Watchman Technologies, L.L.C.

February 3rd, 2016

It sounds like we've had a different experience with JasperServer - and I would mention that I actually have junior sql people in multiple organizations working very effectively building reports in JasperStudio - but it is more important that the reporting landscape has matured to the point that there are several good options out there. You are sure to find more than one good solution, actually, that you can weigh from that point.

Shobhit Verma

February 4th, 2016

Great suggestions here !
I would also like to open this discussion to "why not learn SQL"?
I work in finance and 10 years ago, I saw that most people only needed to know Excel to get their work done. Now, some of the most productive teams I know are familiar with SQL pretty well! Times have changed and writing SQL queries is not as hard as creating and maintaining the database (for which you already have Database Administrators).
One of my friend teaches SQL online and regularly creates courses specific to the organisation's needs with 1-1 mentoring. He tells me that people feel more empowered and productive after realising that writing SQL queries is not as hard as it seems.
Once you know SQL, it opens up the possibilities to use many cheaper/free BI tools to server relevant need. He probably helps them find and set up those tools as well. Please let me know if someone needs his contact.

Seth Familian Digital Strategist, Innovator, Educator + Entrepreneur

February 3rd, 2016

Agreed that segment itself won't work for this particular challenge, but their list of analytics tools (for integrations) is comprehensive, and will likely uncover other tools that plug-and-play on MySQL.

Seth Familian Digital Strategist, Innovator, Educator + Entrepreneur

February 3rd, 2016

+1 on Tableau being too expensive and complex for most SMBs.  Though I've done a lot of custom dashboarding with tools like Splunk, I've lately been leaning towards this more SaaSified and modular approach:
saas-value-chain-for-ETL