The term open source pertains to a software that is developed with a basic source code meant for free distribution, and intended for public access and modification. This particular model encourages multiple users to collaborate in customizing it to fit a variety of needs. In turn, this creates a more diverse scope of features and design perspective for a more effective solution delivery.
In software development, open source means a constructive evolution of a basic set of codes to come up with another software with a more customizable structure. Programming knowledge is essential in software development of an open source program, making it a complex job for non-technical users. But to be able to come up with an effective implementation of the software within the business, the management should team up with the IT department in addressing specific areas for application of the business intelligence software. The IT will in turn work with the open source software and align it with the company’s vision and areas that call for action. But in some areas of application, apart from businesses, there are open source programs that are intuitive to modify even by inexperienced or non-technical users. But since the focus of this topic is business intelligence tools, let’s just stay within its premise.
On the user end, open source initiates user ingenuity in developing a custom fit solution to present and arising business needs. It makes a flexible and amendable solution finding-tool to move with any path that a business wants to take.Sometimes, inexperience favors a user of open source softwares. The simplified thinking of the user will make straight expectations and results from the open source program, and disregard unnecessary programming for a more efficient use of time in its development. Most open source business intelligence tools are already made user friendly to also accommodate its non-technical users.
Mostly, small and medium scale businesses employ and benefit more from open source BI tools. It is more time consuming and more expensive in the long run for an enterprise to adopt it, mainly because of a large volume of data that has to be processed, which is hard to digest by the limited coding of an open source BI tool. But with some of the latest open source business intelligence tools available, there are some who are built to be enterprise ready.
An open source business intelligence tool has all the other basic capabilities of its proprietary counterparts, except that it just contains a simple coding algorithm, which needs user intervention in order to function within a user defined range. However, since it has evolved from an open source program, it comes with a set of functions which can already be used for business applications. With its open source nature, you can further customize the other features to make it custom fit according to your business type or model followed.
Using open source business intelligence tools advocates the use of business technologies in an open setting, where there is a free exchange of ideas and expertise. It also makes a competitive number pool of developers, expert guides and specialized consultants to address after-acquisition questions and inquiries. Using open source BI software will sustain innovation and future advancements in the development of business intelligence tools, with valuable inputs and initiatives from different experienced analysts, developers, experts, companies and organizations that have a common vision for a flexible and efficient partner in their jobs and businesses.
Since it evolved from an open source platform, the high cost of licensing over use and distribution is omitted, making it more popular with software developers. Without the said lucrative cost of licensing, this will make an affordable option for small, medium and emerging businesses. However, even it emerged from an open source nature, it is not totally free.