Heroku is a powerful platform for application development. Users can build and deploy on the cloud, and you can effortlessly scale up once your app takes off. And behind every app, you'll find an equally powerful database: Heroku Postgres

If you're building Heroku apps, you'll find them to be a rich source of operational and customer data. Add in the right Business Intelligence (BI) tools, and you'll be able to derive insights about the inner workings of your organization. 

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Heroku Postgres?
  2. How to Integrate BI Tools with Heroku Postgres
  3. 8 BI Tools That Integrate with Heroku Postgres
  4. How Xplenty Can Help You Get the Most from Heroku Postgres 

What Is Heroku Postgres?

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Postgres is a powerful object-relational database (ORDBMS) that offers a much richer functionality than you'll find in a traditional relational database like MySQL. 

An ORDBMS allows you to define object and table inheritance, which means that its data behaves like the objects in an object-oriented programming language. This opens new possibilities when building applications around a Postgres database. 

It also makes it easier to perform complex analytical operations on your data. That's great when you're dealing with complex data structures, such as creating a 360-degree customer view. It's perhaps one reason a major company like Salesforce is so invested in Postgres  they acquired Heroku in 2010 and continue to develop Heroku Postgres. 

How to Integrate BI Tools with Heroku Postgres

If you're looking to use the BI functionality within Salesforce, there's a special add-on called Heroku Connect. This powerful extension deals purely with Salesforce-Heroku integration. It's the optimal way to create a one-to-one connection between the platforms. 

If you want to integrate with other systems, such as a data warehouse or a data lake, or if you want to build more complex infrastructures, you'll need an Extract Transform Load, or ETL. This is an automated process that: 

  • Extracts data from the Heroku Postgres database.
  • Transforms the data so that it's ready for your BI team.
  • Loads the data to a central repository, such as a data warehouse.

With an automated, cloud-based ETL, you can make your Heroku Postgres data available instantly for your analysts. They can then use BI tools to study the data, derive insights, and help you make the right decisions. 

8 BI Tools That Integrate with Heroku Postgres

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There are dozens of business intelligence and analytics platforms on the market that will help you understand your data. Here are eight of the best for working with Heroku Postgres data. 

Tableau

Tableau is one of the best out-of-the-box analytics solutions. It takes a few minutes to set up and install Tableau, and then you're immediately ready to produce detailed reports. Tableau offers rich visualization tools and is supported by a vibrant global community of users. If you're building basic Heroku apps, this is a great way to explore your Heroku Postgres database.

Looker

Looker is a terrific solution for big teams that want to collaborate on BI and analytics. This cloud-based platform makes it easy for anyone to access data, whether they're on desktop or mobile. You can use Looker to establish complex data-driven workflows that run automatically or trigger a new task for team members. It's well-suited to scenarios where you're working with Heroku Connect and have substantial data flows between Salesforce and your Heroku applications. 

Periscope

Periscope Data, now known as Sisense for Cloud Data Teams, is more suited to intensive data science work. Periscope offers a robust set of data integration tools that help analytics experts unearth insights from the most complex data sets. While there's a steep learning curve with Periscope, it's ideal when you have access to in-house data science expertise. It's a good choice for organizations that use the full ORDBMS capabilities of Heroku Postgres. 

QlikView

At the other end of the scale from Periscope, you have QlikView. This platform is best for organizations that don't have a deep bench of data scientists to call on. Instead, you'll find a simple and user-friendly platform that allows you to generate rich reports, even if you don't know any SQL. It's great for companies that want to produce actionable reports as soon as possible, rather than conduct deep investigations of their data. If you've used Heroku to deploy an app within a tight deadline, this might be the right BI tool for you. 

Dundas BI

Dundas BI also offers a user-friendly business intelligence experience, but with a rich and varied library of visualization tools. Dundas users can create an extraordinary range of BI reports, ranging from beautiful print documents to interactive mobile experiences. It's a great multi-purpose tool, and you can script custom queries when you need something a bit more sophisticated. 

Mode

Mode is a hybrid solution that supports tech-savvy and non-technical users alike. Experienced developers can customize their queries and visualizations in SQL, Python, and R, giving them full control over their reports. But there's also a user-friendly front end that allows anyone to perform complex analyses. Like Heroku itself, it's a great fit for organizations that have limited in-house tech resources.  

Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft stands out as one of the best BI tools for visualization. This platform allows you to combine data from multiple sources and use this information to build pixel-perfect visuals that really stand out. You can also use Jaspersoft to build interactive models that you can then embed in a webpage or display on mobile. It's ideal for a business that wants to use business intelligence findings to influence decision-makers or for consultants who need an impressive way to communicate the outcomes of a Heroku app. 

GoodData

GoodData is perhaps the most user-friendly way to bring artificial intelligence capabilities into your BI and analytics operation. Users will find a friendly interface that lets you build complex queries and sophisticated reports. Behind the scenes, there is a cutting-edge machine learning engine that can find hidden patterns within your data. Like Heroku, GoodData is highly scalable, which makes it ideal for a growing enterprise. 

How Xplenty Can Help You Get the Most from Heroku Postgres 

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Xplenty is a low-code, cloud-based ETL platform. This means that, with just a few clicks, you can connect your data sources, data repository, and chosen BI tool. Your analysts can get working in minutes, even if you don't have the support of an elite data science team. 

ETL helps BI by getting data to the right place and in the right format. ETL's transformation layer allows you to standardize and validate information before it reaches the BI tools, ensuring a reliable level of data quality. 

Best of all, Xplenty offers a wide range of automatic integrations, so you can connect instantly to Heroku Postgres, as well as all of the BI tools mentioned above.

Ready to explore how Xplenty can help you with your Heroku Postgres database? Contact our team to schedule a demo of our service today.