written by
5000fish Team

MongoDB: The Right Tool for Dashboards and Reports?

BI Problems and Solutions 5 min read
Yurbi - White Label Embedded Analytics

MongoDB is undoubtedly on a roll these days.

There are many businesses right now that are currently using or prospecting the use of MongoDB for their data and reporting endeavors. It makes sense why-- it can be quite powerful for certain use cases, mainly when it comes to data organization and storage.

But is it ideal for business intelligence reporting and dashboards? In this quick guide, we’ll break down how MongoDB works and why it may not be the best choice for users who need embedded dashboards and reports typically found in relational databases.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a document-focused SQL-free database that is used mainly for very high volume data storage. Rather than using tables and rows that you would typically use in your run-of-the-mill relational database, it uses collections and documents to organize data.

MongoDB documents involve key-value pairs which serve as the main data unit within the database. MongoDB collections will contain documents and operate as relational database tables.

It is very feature-rich and ideal for organizations or entrepreneurs that want to organize and store their data in a way that makes specific things easy to find.

Why Should I Pick MongoDB Over Other Technologies?

There are many advantages to using MongoDB. To start, the platform has excellent performance levels, as it stores most of its data in the RAM which makes it possible to have a faster query-executing experience.

Just as well, it is extremely fast, has high availability, is very simple and easy to use, boasts a quick setup and UX-friendly environment, and is very flexible. They also utilize sharding for large datasets and offers ad-hoc query support. If you want a database that can scale with your organization, it is definitely ideal for horizontal scalability.

Helpful Use Cases

There are quite a few use cases for this amazing tool:

  • Personalization. With MongoDB, users can personalize customer interactions by building a knowledge base for each individual customer, complete with their history of interactions and valuable information.
  • Real-time viewing. MongoDB makes it easy to access real-time views of your organization that integrates all of your data. The organization of data is definitely its strong suit.
  • Capture value from your IoT. As businesses around the world begin to blur the line between digital and real worlds, MongoDB makes it possible to connect everything involved in one’s IoT to create revenue models, boost productivity, and generate valuable insights.

With these use cases in mind, it’s worth noting that MongoDB might not be the best solution for BI reports and dashboards. This brings us to our next point...

Can MongoDB Be Used for BI Reports, and Dashboards?

The simple answer would be “no.” In general, MongoDB is not ideal for business intelligence reports and dashboards. You can definitely use this software for this use case, but it is important to understand that its nature doesn’t make this very easy.

This platform offers an ODBC connection and a number of different ways to connect and query data, but it is not ideal for very complex queries. One won’t be able to do the same types of aggregation and joining actions that one would do in a typical relational database.

Just as well, indexing could be an issue with MongoDB. This platform offers very fast performance with the ideal indexes in place. If indexing is implemented the wrong way or has discrepancies, you’ll notice pretty quickly that reporting efforts will be extremely slow.

Lack of triggers can also be an issue for reporting, as they lack that ability. As a result, it might be a smarter move to look into a different data collection and analytics platform to complement your use of MongoDB.

Conclusion: Is This Right for Me?

If you’re willing to take advantage of MongoDB’s features in conjunction with another platform that utilizes data visualization and delivers reports for complex queries, then it could be a great choice if the use cases align with your own. If you’re looking for a database that has built-in reporting and dashboard tools, then it may be best to look for a platform other than MongoDB.

To get the most out of it, make sure that your working set aligns in RAM and that you are using compression. It would also be wise to only run a single MongoDB for each server. Ensure that all of your data for a record is stored in just a single document, avoid really hefty documents, and delete any unnecessary indexes.

When integrated with excellent database analytics software, you’ll be able to generate the kind of reports your business needs without having to worry about this slowing to a halt.

How Yurbi Can Help

We have already established the fact that MongoDB is indeed helpful in many businesses with its various use cases, but there are some downsides to using it, and it might affect the way you use it in business intelligence reporting and dashboards.

Now, there’s another question: can I easily create dashboards and reports from MongoDB for my users? And perhaps a third question, can I white label and embed those dashboards and reports within my own SaaS application?

Yes, and that’s Yurbi’s cue to enter the picture.

Now, as stated above, our preference is that you flatten the data in MongoDB to a relational database for reporting and dashboards. But if the use case fits for your specific reporting needs, Yurbi does seamlessly connect to MongoDB via its own provided ODBC connector.

Once connected, Yurbi allows a non-technical user (whether it be internal staff or external users) securely build reports from their data.

We are firm believers in “to see is to believe”, so we will stop here and let Yurbi do the talking through a free live demo you can book at your convenience.

We can also have a meeting to see if Yurbi is a fit for your requirements. What are you waiting for? We’re waiting for you too!

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