5 Great Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools for Your Business

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This article lists 5 handy open source tools that businesses can use for business intelligence and reporting purposes. Generally, companies rely on firms that provide open source development services to develop custom open source solutions to serve such purposes. But with the rapid growth of big data, there is also a rising demand for tools that could come in handy for enterprises – that which complement their existing enterprise solutions.

The tools mentioned in this article are all open source, providing solutions to having business data analyzed and presented in a readable format. The following list comprises of both business intelligence and reporting tools.
 

JasperReport

 
One of the most widely used open source technologies in the business world, JasperReport finds its use mostly in production environments. Community and commercially-supported versions are available.

The key components include JasperReport Library, JasperReport Studio, and JasperReport Server. The JasperReport Library includes all APIs and Java classes that power the tool. The tool licensed under AGPL also makes it easier to integrate with existing IT architecture of organizations. It features praiseworthy documentation support, a wiki, and other useful resources.
 

SpagoBI

 
SpagoBI is a full business intelligence suite providing many features from reporting to data mining and ETL. What makes SpagoBI unique is the fact that it supports integration with other tools including KeyRock identity manager, CKAN, Orion Context Broker etc. It’s written in Java and licensed under the Mozilla Public License version 2.0.
 

BIRT

 
The open source Eclipse project was the source of origin for BIRT which was released in 2004. The open source platform sponsored by IBM, OpenText, and Innovent Solutions was designed to help create data visualizations and reports.

Its key components include BIRT runtime and report designer, chart engine, chart designer, and chart viewer. It’s also written in Java, licensed under the Eclipse Public License. BIRT runs on all popular platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac.
 

Seal Report

 
Seal Report allows one to generate reports and produce dashboards from any open database. Some of its many features also come with support for Dynamic SQL sources, HTML5 charts, native pivot tables etc. It’s written in C#.

The open source framework requires a recent version of Microsoft Windows to run, along with .NET framework. It’s licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0.
 

KNIME

 
KNIME is an open source analytics platform originally developed to serve pharmaceutical research. Now it’s a widely popular tool across many sectors including banking, automobile manufacturing, and telecommunication.

KNIME provides many features including a web portal and collaboration extensions, and also includes machine learning and WEKA support. The platform, licensed under the GPL, is written in Java and is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac.
 

Conclusion

 
Open source technologies generally have great importance when it comes to software development in the business realm. But it could be just as useful, if not more, in serving other purposes of enterprises especially in data analytics, business intelligence, and reporting.

All the tools mentioned above come with powerful features fit for enterprise use. However, the smarter approach to selecting a tool would be to compare them with respect to the business needs and goals. Because they are open source tools, it’s also possible to seek help from an open source development company to tweak the tool to adapt and align perfectly with your business.

Written by Ajeesh Azhakesan

Ajeesh leads Verbat's Open Source Practice. He helps clients with project inception, team establishment, devising software architecture and quality deliveries throughout the product life cycle on all software projects built using Open Source technology stack at Verbat.

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