There are plenty of business intelligence tools to help you analyze, visualize and report business data, and get useful business insights to make better business decisions. However, if you find them to be expensive, you might try some of the open source business intelligence tools instead. Here’s a list of top 10 open source business intelligence tools for you.
Top 10 Open-Source Business Intelligence Tools
BIRT (stands for Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool) is an open source business intelligence tool that allows you to create data visualizations and reports for your business.
You can also embed them in your web pages and applications. It features a visual report designer, a charting engine and a runtime environment to generate reports.
It is an on-premise deployment, so you need a dedicated IT team to manage it for your organization.
Pentaho (now Hitachi Vantara) is one of the most popular open source business intelligence tools that allows you to easily do data integration, ETL as well as data visualization.
It is a one stop solution for all your complex data needs. Since it is so comprehensive, it is fairly difficult to get started with.
You will need trained IT professionals for its setup and management. Also, they do charge for customer support.
Nevertheless, it is a feature-rich offering meant for large businesses as well as enterprises.
Spago (Knowage) BI is another open source BI platform that supports data analysis & visualization, reporting, business intelligence, predictive analytics, forecasting, data integration and ETL.
It is suitable for large businesses as well as enterprises. Spago BI is also an on-premise deployment. So you need trained IT professionals for its installation and management.
Metabase is a popular open source business intelligence solution. It allows you to query, visualize and analyze data using a drag & drop interface as well as SQL queries.
It is suitable for SMBs as well as large enterprises. It is also an on-premise solution that requires you to install JAVA and other dependencies.
So you need IT professionals and software developers to manage this software. It is useful if you must have an on-premise BI tool.
Helical Insight is a BI tool that offers 2 editions – Community and Enterprise. Its community edition is free to use and open source.
It is a feature-rich BI platform that features data visualization, dashboards, scheduled reports, exports, user management, multi-tenancy, and API.
It even provides a search like interface that allows you to ask questions to your data, and retrieve reports and charts.
Microsoft Power BI is a paid business intelligence tool but it provides a free version with a limit of 1GB data per user, and daily data refreshes.
It supports a vast range of data sources such as relational databases, cloud services and spreadsheets. It features data visualization, dynamic filters, dashboard reporting.
Like Helical Insight, Jasper Reports also provides a free community version. It allows you to develop web-based reports and access them on desktop browsers as well as mobile devices. You can also embed them in your web pages, mobile apps, or web applications.
It also serves as a repository of all your reports, charts, and dashboards. Its reporting server supports multiple concurrent users as well as user role management.
KNIME is a data analysis and visualization tool that comes with 1,000+ modules. It also provides hundreds of examples to help you explore its capabilities.
However, it is more focused on data analysis and visualization, and less on dashboard reporting. So it is mostly used by scientists, researchers and data analysts.
RapidMiner is a powerful data analysis tool that allows data scientists to build complete data analysis workflows and business intelligence systems.
It features data integration, data preparation, ETL, reporting, analysis, data visualization and business intelligence under one roof.
It offers a free version, that supports a single user deployment, with premium plans starting from $2,500/year.
Seal Report is a simple, easy to use and open source dashboard reporting framework for Microsoft .NET framework.
It allows you to easily create reports, charts, data visualizations and dashboards from any database. It features pivot tables, HTML charts, web report servers, and dynamic SQL sources.
It also allows you to schedule email reports or generate them in folders.
Problems with Open Source Business Intelligence Tools
While it might be tempting to go for Open Source Business Intelligence tools to apparently ‘reduce costs’, there are various hidden costs and problems with these tools, that you need to be aware of.
First of all, since they are open source, they are all on-premise deployments, and not cloud-based solutions. So you need trained IT professionals to help you install and manage these BI tools in your environment, on a regular basis.
Secondly, most of them charge for customer support. So once you have setup your BI system, you will incur regular costs for their customer support.
Third, since they are open source projects, they are very likely to be abandoned or sold out, due to lack of revenues or interest. If their developers get busy with other projects, you will find that these tools stop releasing updates. In such cases, you are stuck with all their bugs and issues.
Since choosing a business intelligence tool is a long-term decision, be careful before going for an open-source business intelligence tool. In most cases, paid tools provide the convenience of better support, more frequent updates, and a hassle-free experience.
If you are looking for an easy to use, powerful and affordable business intelligence and reporting tool, try Ubiq today.