Open Source BI V/s Commercial BI - What to Choose?

More the alternatives to use Business Intelligence (BI), tougher it is to choose which tool to select for BI implementation and why? There are two major buckets: Open Source BI tools and Commercial BI tools. How to choose the apt BI solution? Should we choose a tool with a given quality and cost or should we go ahead with a tool which lets you customize more? As always, the decision of choosing the tool always varies and depends upon the requirements of the organization and various other factors like cost, budget, type of development and so on. As there are two sides of a coin, there are pros and cons of choosing either of the tools, be it open source or a commercial one.

There are certain criteria which have to be taken into account while deciding on the tool:
  • Scalability
  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Security
  • Risk
  • Product Support

Here is our analysis of both these options based on which there can be a consensus of which option to choose.

Open Source BI V/s Commercial BI

Open Source BI tools

These software tools are available for free and allow the users to change the source code. Open source software is there in all BI services, starting from data modelling, reporting, OLAP to ETL. Since it is community driven, there are new features which come from the contribution of the community rather than R&D from the teams. Some of the pros of Open source tools are Easy to get started, Lower in cost and Easily customizable. Some of the disadvantages are not-so-robust features, unavailability of instant help and support. A few Open Source BI tools are JasperSoft, Pentaho, SpagoBI and so on.

Commercial BI tools

Commercial solution is considered to be a comprehensive solution for the organization, wherein the total control lies in the hands of the owner. Though it may look costlier in the start, considering the annual maintenance cost along the years, it turns to be comparable to the open source tools. The major plus point here is the ownership of the software by a well renowned company and hence, a trust worthy support and service anytime required. Also, since the source code is not changeable, it enforces a more stable source code. The disadvantage being the high upfront cost that it offers which might prove to be difficult for companies with lower budget.

SPEC INDIA is running its BI and Big Data division since years and has been able to garner a lot of experience using many kinds of BI tools indulging into many BI services. We would be glad to demonstrate before you any BI requirement of yours.

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