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Open source BI grows in general popularity

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsMonday, December 21, 2009

Lately both Jaspersoft and Pentaho have made announcements regarding customer wins and general popularity of open source. Now many organizations include open source BI solution providers in the mix when evaluating overall BI solutions.  In some cases, this involves net new projects or general expansions, and in other cases, projects and solutions being evaluated relate to replacing traditional BI for more dynamic and interactive solutions.  Because of open source’s lower cost models and focus on interaction with customers, developers, and community, they are perceived as easy to deploy and maintain.

Add to this the increase in commercial open source BI solutions that move focus away from the developer and to the business user, and open source BI starts to look a lot like more traditional BI solutions with subscription licensing that models itself after SaaS based solutions.  This cost model in general is becoming more popular as companies are less willing to invest heavily at the beginning of a project that may not offer the expected return. 

The expansion and maturity of open source BI provides organizations with more options.  Because of the broad usage of open source, many well-known companies already use solutions such as Jaspersoft and Pentaho, meaning that finding customers for organizations looking at either of these solutions should be simple.  With a large customer base and broad developer community, open source BI also provides constant updates and the ability to collaborate with other organizations on projects or to help with overall customers. This enables businesses to get faster returns on their investment as well as identify more return on their investments.  In addition, because open source platforms are generally more easy to integrate with internal systems, organizations can get up and running quicker, leading to additional value due to the perception of quick time to deploy.

Overall, open source BI is becoming a definite opponent of traditional BI vendors.  Add to this the growing popularity of Software as a Service and newer entrants targeting solutions to smaller companies with lower price points, and the face of BI is changing to accommodate a broader range of organizations and their business requirements.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.


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