Is open source Business Intelligence a recession 'bounce-back' strategy?

Even if you don’t take books on laissez-faire free market economic theory to bed, it can’t have escaped your notice that we’ve been going through a global economic slowdown in recent times.

Despite an emergency budget from our chancellor, the road ahead looks uncertain for many businesses many of which remain manifestly ‘open’ to new business efficiencies if they present themselves. But which technologies should we look to?

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Brian Gentile, CEO of open source Business Intelligence (BI) company Jaspersoft suggests that at least part of the answer here lies in adopting tools for effective monitoring and gathering of critical information into well-defined metrics

Jaspersoft’s Gentile says that many traditional BI solutions only serve the enterprise and do not actually deliver the information needed to make strategic decisions. He also says that, “Open-source software presents a more cost effective option as the majority [of options] are offered free or at minimal cost.”

This viewpoint rather appears to ignore considerations for support and maintenance that will ultimately always be paid for and are, for the most part, very much a necessity.

There may be a more convincing argument for open source BI if we look at the level of flexibility offered compared to closed products. “The very nature of open source allows a company to adapt the solution to meet its exact needs. Developers, can modify the functionality of tools to ensure they deliver the exact information sought after and can scale them to suit any size of business.”

Jaspersoft may be arguing themselves into a corner here – how many small businesses that are looking for open source BI dashboard-based analytics happen to have a small team of software application customisation specialists up their sleeve?

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