Monday, November 10, 2008

BI for Open Source

There seems to be no shortage of Business Intelligence offerings, even as the industry continues to consolidate. One BI firm, Actuate (NSDQ: ACTU) has put its chips on the open source end of the table. Their next release, v 10, is targeted for shipment in the next two months, and it promises enhanced support for the Eclipse Foundation project called BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools).

The company announced that more than 5 million copies of BIRT were downloaded during the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2008. This tells me that small and mid-sized firms are actively pursuing ways to exploit BI without the enormous upfront costs that Oracle and IBM require.

Of course, downloading the software is not the same as using the software, and firms will still need professional assistance to access and integrate the data. Inexpensive software will not absolve executives from the need to understand what BI can and cannot do, and to guide the initiatives accordingly. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about the benefits of BI and the steps you should take to get the most out of this exciting technology.

More information on the BIRT Project: BIRT on Wikipedia
The BIRT Homepage: The BIRT Project

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