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Golden Labradors, Choc-chip Cookies and Open Source Business Intelligence

It might be just me that has this problem. But my folks had a golden Labrador called Jasper and I used to be a big fan of McVities chocolate chip Jaspers with my morning cuppa.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor on

It might be just me that has this problem. But my folks had a golden Labrador called Jasper and I used to be a big fan of McVities chocolate chip Jaspers with my morning cuppa. So naming a software company Jaspersoft, kind of throws up images of country walks and biscuit dunking for me. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing though eh?

Despite me mentioning walkies and cookies every time the good people from Jaspersoft PR call me, they insist on turning the conversation round to open source business intelligence (BI) – and so, inevitably, the theme of this blog will follow suit.

For a company that may not be the first thought in your head when you think of BI, Jaspersoft claims to produce, “The world’s most widely used BI software, with more than 10 million product downloads worldwide and more than 12,000 commercial customers in 100 countries.”

BI behemoths or BI boutiques?

To be serious now, Jaspersoft has a nice take on the quite interestingly fragmented topography of the BI landscape. Given the acquisition-hungry lumbering of the IBM, Oracle and SAP behemoths - there are hardly any mid-size BI vendors to point to these days. So that just leaves us with the BI boutiques.

While the big guys have processing power, R&D budgets and sheer corporate reach on their side, is there a place for the smaller BI player to provide a more bespoke solution I wonder?

The paradox here is that Jaspersoft was always in the boutique vendor category, but has grown to have the largest BI community in the world – if you believe the company’s own stats.

So if the company is as successful as it claims to be then why is this so? When you think of considerations for successful BI deployment you wouldn’t typically put low cost of delivery at the top of the ‘must have’ checklist. Although delivery is important you would more likely check off accuracy of operational reporting and analysis, provisioning for end-user queries and the existence of good reporting tools and intuitively presented dashboards first.

The confluence point of both open source delivery (and development) cost advantages, with analysis and reporting tools to rival the behemoth’s product range is the sweet spot here. The aforementioned doggy-cookie company will no doubt tell you that they are already at that very point and that is what is driving their success. But I will leave it open with a link to their site here for you to decide.

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