Battle of the Apps: EazyBI versus Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence

|

EazyBI versus Custom Charts for Jira

Welcome to part three of Battle of the Apps, a series of short articles comparing various Jira reporting apps with our own Jira reporting add-ons, Custom Charts for Jira and Custom Charts for Confluence.

In this article, we tackle the EazyBI Atlassian add-on.

In part one we compared native Jira reports and in part two we compared Rich Filters.

EazyBI Overview

EazyBI is a reporting app for Jira and Confluence that allows users to import data from your Jira and Confluence instances, as well as external data sources, to create powerful custom reports.

EazyBI screenshot

Strengths of EazyBI

  • EazyBI is an extremely powerful tool, comparable to full BI tools like Tableau. The ability to create complex calculations and manipulate your Jira data means there are very few reports you can’t build with EazyBI.
  • Data can be pulled in from other sources, not just Jira. This means that from your Jira dashboards you can see reports from external systems.
  • EazyBI has a robust demo environment, similar to the Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence playground, with pre-built reports that you can import into your own environment.
  • Within EazyBI, users can create dashboards that are more flexible with display options (like columns) than the native Jira dashboards.
  • Reports are interactive, so users can drill into specific pieces of data to see it in a different way without editing the configuration.
  • EazyBI pulls your data into a separate database, which can potentially decrease the performance impacts of displaying reports.
  • EazyBI support is very helpful when building reports.

Weaknesses of EazyBI

  • With the power that EazyBI has comes a lot of complexity. To get the full functionality out of the tool, users must be at least passably familiar with the multidimensional expressions (MDX) query language and multidimensional data cubes. Learning how to create a basic report can take hours, and building complex ones can take weeks.
  • Reports cannot be built directly from dashboards. Users have to enter the app separately to build their reports before adding them to dashboards as a separate process.
  • EazyBI reports look fairly dated.
  • Data is imported into a separate database for performance reasons, which means that information is not real-time, so it is always slightly out of date.
  • For Server and Data Center instances, your administrators are responsible for maintaining the separate database.

How Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence Wins

Admins are constantly being asked to update and maintain existing reports because no one else in the company has the time to spend hours or days watching tutorial videos and learning the custom scripting language to generate their own reports. EazyBI is an incredibly powerful tool, but unless you are a developer yourself, or are able to hire or utilize a team of developers to help you, you may find yourself contacting the EazyBI support team regularly asking for advice. This might be fine for a small number of people in a company, but it is not efficient for everyone who wants to make a simple pie chart or bar chart to spend hours or days learning such a complex app.

Even though companies may have powerful tools like EazyBI available, often very few people are actually using them. The support team and project managers would instead skip EazyBI and work with Excel or the built-in Jira reports, either because they didn’t know that EazyBI was available or they didn’t know how to use it.

Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence and EazyBI can work alongside each other as they have different target users. Custom Charts is designed with great user experience and simplicity at its core. It’s simple, pretty, and enjoyable to use, which is very important for business users, beginners, and other non-programmers who want to build reports for themselves without needing to ask for help. The reports look modern and were designed to move away from the Windows 95 aesthetic common with existing reporting tools.

Jira reporting tools learning curve comparison

You can visualize the above chart as a mountain slope where some super-experienced climbers may make it past the steep initial ascent, but many inexperienced climbers won’t even attempt it or start but quickly turn back.

Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence is designed to be the best of both worlds. There is a very shallow learning curve allowing users to build charts and reports in seconds that look good and can be easily maintained. There are a lot of customization features that empower individual users and help to democratize the data in your Jira instance.

The real power of Custom Charts for users is the editor built directly into the Jira dashboard. No additional set up, extra permissions or separate databases are needed. Manual import of data and reporting on out-of-date information become a thing of the past. Simply add a gadget to any dashboard and get started:

Custom Charts for Jira two dimensional bar chart editor

To put it simply, as I see it, EazyBI is designed for 10% of users in any given company, Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence is for the remaining 90%.

Christopher is a self-confessed nerd who’d probably take the cake on Mastermind if Star Trek: Voyager was his specialist subject. He writes fiction about time travel, conspiracies and aliens; loves roller coasters, hiking and Christmas; and hates carpet, rom-coms and anything with chilli in it. He’s written extensively for technology companies and Atlassian partners and specializes in translating complicated technical concepts, specs and jargon into readable, benefits-driven copy that casual readers will understand.