Open Source Business Intelligence

Open Source Business Intelligence

Running a successful business with longevity and growing profits year after year takes serious devotion, creativity, and motivation. While these attributes of successful business growth are undeniable, there is also another factor of ongoing success that often goes overlooked or underutilized by businesses-continual analysis of vital business data and reports. Many companies are using leading open source business intelligence (BI) software to obtain business insights via in-depth reporting and real-time data. 

best open source BI tools

However, by using powerful business intelligence (BI) software solutions, many business owners and executive leaders are now becoming extremely data-savvy. BI solutions can help enrich your understanding of the key data components that contribute to profitability and gain deeper insight into what those numbers mean for your business.

What is Open Source Business Intelligence Software?

Business intelligence software is comprised of numerous applications that all work together in a single system to help you mine, analyze, and report on the key data in your company. BI solutions transform raw data into understandable and actionable information that business owners and leaders can use to help guide decisions and drive business growth forward. What makes open source BI actually open source is the ability for anyone to inspect, modify, or enhance the source code.

Open-source BI solutions are designed to be accessed by the public and can be modified based on the company’s specific needs. Free open source business intelligence software sounds too good to be true but you need to have the expert technical knowledge to actually implement it. 

There are two types of deployment for business intelligence software, which are on-premise and cloud-based.

  • On-Premise BI Solutions

On-premise BI solutions are set up on-site, and will require a large, upfront investment to purchase, install, and maintain hardware within your own company facility. On-site solutions are most ideal for companies with large amounts of highly sensitive data. However, you might have to hire an in-house developer to customize the business intelligence software to fit your company’s unique needs. On-premise BI solutions are recommended if you plan on handling highly sensitive data.

  • Cloud-Based BI Solutions

Cloud-based, or open-source business intelligence solutions, offer the same powerful BI tools and features as an on-site setup, but function in a cloud environment that is easy to access, use, and customize. If your business needs for data analysis are straightforward, then an open-source business intelligence solution is ideal. You can get started with less investment, and easily build upon your solution as your business, and your data needs grow.

Best Open Source Business Intelligence Solutions

Integrating a BI solution into your business can be a very complex undertaking. To simplify the process and ensure you choose the best open source business intelligence solution for your business, you need to make sure you thoroughly scour your options and put diligent research into the problems you need to solve or the key business needs you need to meet by investing in this software. Make a list with key members of your organization, and then compare these top, open source business intelligence solutions.

1.  Oracle Netsuite

Oracle’s NetSuite is the best cloud-based open-sourced BI solution on the market right now and can help companies manage all of their business data needs through a single platform It also provides a comprehensive, cloud-based suite of business intelligence tools and features.

Oracle NetSuite is a leader in the industry and offers intuitive, real-time reporting to help businesses stay ahead of any issues that may be identified in such in-depth reporting. Its features allow all companies that use Oracle NetSuite to eliminate operational inefficiencies to accelerate growth and innovation.

This BI solution is simple to implement and easy to scale with its affordable monthly user fees and has important features like:

  • Ad Hoc Analysis
  • Customizable, responsive dashboards
  • App and Desktop access to reporting tools
  • Sales, Marketing, Social and Service analytics
  • Predictive analysis
  • Trend Indicators
  • Secure data and file-sharing capabilities

2.  Birst

Birst is an excellent, cloud-based BI solution that offers the same robust features and data functions as an on-site solution does for a yearly business-wide license. Birst provides extensive user support and can even be accessed via mobile apps. There is an Enterprise edition and Discovery edition to choose from; the Discovery edition gives a quick overview on company analytics while the Enterprise edition does the same plus data mashups, data warehousing, and dimensional database management.

Birst boasts key BI features such as:

  • Automated data storage
  • Easily accessible, visual analytics and reporting
  • Sales, Marketing, Social, and Service analytics
  • Predictive analysis and trend indicators

3.  Tableau

Tableau is a great option for businesses seeking an open-source BI solution, and it has gained much popularity among businesses due to its powerful reporting tools and ease of use. Tableau is ideal for companies that wish to perform complex analyses and create visually impactful reports that are easy to share with others.

Tableau comes with multi-tenancy provisions that can be tweaked to maintain secrecy between departments when working on projects. Tableau is available for a very affordable yearly business license, which is tailored to your company’s user numbers and needs, and offers features such as:

  • Secure file sharing
  • Interactive, responsive dashboards
  • Yammer analytics
  • Predictive analysis
  • App and Desktop access to reporting tools and features

An open-source business intelligence solution can help you gain deep insight into your company’s current performance and future profitability and scalability. If you are able to put in the time and effort to research the options available and choose the right open-source BI system that best fits your business needs and budget, you will ultimately experience much less frustration in the selection and integration process and enjoy a BI solution that fulfills all your data and reporting needs. 

The powerful community of contributors in the open-source BI world create a collaborative experience that would ensure that the software solution stays up to date and isn’t reliant on vendor updates to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the modern digital landscape. Reading open source BI reviews can also provide you with guidance by showcasing the features and capabilities that users like you find most valuable.

Implementing an open-source business intelligence software and having the freedom to customize using the right modifications that fit your needs can improve efficiency to an exponential level.