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Business intelligence (BI) is a catch-all term that encompasses applications, data, technologies, strategies, and architecture used to collect, analyze, and present enterprise information. The insights received through business intelligence help in further optimization of business workflow and processes.

Open Source Business Intelligence (OSBI) simply stands for business intelligence software whose source code is at public disposal and can be redistributed or modified. Some of the top open source business intelligence software includes BIRT, JasperReport, SpagoBI. Small and Medium-sized enterprises that cannot afford to spend on other proprietary software can benefit massively by using open source business intelligence.

What is Open Source BI?

Candidly, there is sufficient open source business intelligence (OSBI) and reporting tools that enable companies collect, store up, access and analyze data to make better decisions.

Open-source business intelligence (OSBI) is BI software that is free of cost and open to the people. In this case, though open-source BI is free of charge, most providers entail payment for any personalized technical services and support, which is almost always needed because of the intricacy of BI and BI software. Despite looking into conventional software licenses, the OSBI vendors charge for support, documentation and code which are fine-tuned for specific implementations.

BI tools combine data from across the organization and offer secure and trusted data and insights by means of self-service reporting and analysis. Usage of a good number of analytics features comprising data and text mining, statistics, and predictive analytics reveals patterns and turn the data collected into insights.

OSBI code typically supports online analytical processing (OLAP), reporting, and data mining software as well as bundled data integration, dashboards, and data profiling tools. As it is observed that open source is tantalizing to business managers because of the fact that it does not cost anything to get the code, making use of it requires expert technical knowledge. This would not stop a big organization from using use OSBI to examine and analyze proof-of-concept projects, but it might avert an organization with a small IT staff from adopting the open source model. OSBI vendors package the code in professional or enterprise software suites in order to make OSBI products more user-friendly, that includes technical support, expanded functionality, bug fixes and training.


Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT), JasperSoft, Pentaho, SpagoBI are few examples of OSBI. BIRT has two main components, a visual report designer for creating BIRT reports, and a runtime for generating reports. JasperSoft, popular embeddable open source BI suit, facilitates better decision making through highly interactive, dashboards, web-based reports, and analysis. Pentaho, another open source BI suite that tightly couples data integration with business analytics in a platform that brings together IT and business users to easily access, visualize and explore all data that impacts business results. Lastly, SpagoBI is used to cover the whole BI needs.

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