In today’s data filled world, it’s impossible to make good business decisions without the right info to back it up. That’s why organizations big and small are leveraging business intelligence (BI) tools—making it easy to extract and understand information. In other words, BI solutions can process your piles of data and turn it into meaningful insights so you can better manage your business.
But there’s a catch. With a sea of solutions to choose from, it can be hard knowing which one will best benefit your business. And while big name vendors like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle provide excellent BI software, they come with a hefty price tag. That’s why organizations are looking to open source reporting software—not only because it’s cheaper, but because of the numerous benefits.
Below we’ve highlighted the top five open source reporting platforms along with their pros and cons—making it easier for you to see which one might better suit your organization.
Recently acquired by TIBCO, Jaspersoft is the most popular and widely used open source reporting software. Made up of several components like jasper report library, iReport report designer, jasper report studio and jasper report server, Jaspersoft focuses on data visualization, reporting and analytics.
Available as a free community edition, it includes a report designer, reporting engine, server repository, report scheduling, mobile BI and more. It also offers community forums and a wiki for support.
Released in 20014 and sponsored by Actuate, BIRT consists of a number of components including Report Designer and BIRT Runtime. It also provides three additional components including Chart Engine, Chart Designer and Viewer. With these components you can develop and publish reports as a standalone solution.
The BIRT Report Designer has a rich feature set and scores high in terms of usability. One important difference to note is the fact that it reports primarily to the web. And although it lacks a Report Server, you can use the viewer on a Java application server and can provide end users with a web interface to view reports.
Pentaho is a complete BI tool which covers a large range—from reporting to data mining. It includes a rich feature set which organizations can use easily, including reports in various formats like PDF and HTML. With more analytic tools than you’ll find in BIRT, Pentaho gives you the power to uncover hidden patterns in your data.
Pentaho also provides a community forum, bug tracker and additional collaboration options.
Driven in part by Jaspersoft’s iReport tool, SpagoBI styles itself as the only 100-percent open source, complete BI suite. Its modular architecture, based on open standards, allows easy customization and integration into legacy environments.
Leveraging the benefits of working with Jaspersoft along with other integrated tools, SpagoBI allows you to dig into and analyze data using OLAP analysis, user-defined KPIs and real-time dashboards. On the other hand, it’s one more piece that needs to work with several other moving pieces—so some users have had trouble making everything run smoothly.
If you’re searching for a free open source reporting tool—Jedox’s business intelligence and reporting platform has a ton of features for data mining, reporting and analysis. They also have a streamlined, free version, called Jedox Base—an Excel plugin that can help you generate reports and perform basic analysis on your smaller data sets.
It’s a great option if you don’t want to spend lots of time coding, lack a support team, or if you’re not sure what value you can get from data analysis and reporting. Although Jedox Base is community supported, it’s smaller than the other options listed here, so support might be harder to come by.
Making the Move to Open Source
Because of its flexibility, usability and pricing structure, open source reporting software is starting to gain traction in the enterprise. Choosing the right reporting software for your business can be a big step. Working with Sprinterra, our team can help you identify, migrate, customize and deploy an open source BI solution that will help you unlock hidden value, make better decisions and more. Contact us today to learn more.