Open source BI tools provide great value to Linux users for managing their business. Business intelligence tools are popularly known as BI tools. It doesn’t matter whether it is a brick-and-mortar business organization or an online business; they have to work with a lot of data for business intelligence.
Business intelligence consists of some strategies for the data analysis of any business. However, it is not possible to process these huge piles of accumulated data manually. The open source software developers have created some computer programs for business intelligence.
Business intelligence tools are not always a standalone program. Instead, they are a group of tools that can retrieve and analyze business data and make reports accordingly. With the spreading of cloud computing, the BI tools nowadays don’t always need resource-heavy individual installations. Instead, most of the BI tools are available for all the major operating systems. No matter whether you are running Linux, Mac, or Windows, open-source business intelligence software will get you covered.
Best Open Source BI Tools & Software
Open source BI tools are free to use and can be modified to meet the requirements of any individual organization. Besides, these open source business intelligence software provide a more secure environment for sensitive data. Business Intelligence tools can be of different types. For instance, digital dashboards, spreadsheets, reporting, querying tools, activity monitoring, and data warehouses are all kinds of business intelligence tools.
It’s your job to find out the kind of tool you will need to manage your business. To make that easier, we have included the 20 best open source BI tools and software that will help you play with data.
Pentaho is probably the most popular open source BI tool available for enterprises. It can analyze data, create reports, build workflows, and mines data from different sources. This suite has a community edition that is completely free to use.
This is very helpful for small online businesses and college students who are struggling with their start-ups. You can either go for the full package or opt-in for individual modules. The tools are accessible from any browser using their web platform.
Key Features of Pentaho
- Has an advanced report creation tool for data reporting.
- The integrated design studio helps the managers to mark up reports for easier understanding.
- You can add a layer of custom metadata to your existing data sources so that you can find them easily.
- Pentaho Data Integration solution has included Kettle to extract and load data to access data warehouse.
- The advanced graphical tool can create ROLAP schemas for data analysis.
JasperReports is a widely used reporting engine for business intelligence. It can automatically create print-friendly easy to read reports from the extracted data. It is a part of the Jasper Business Intelligence Suite. The other tools of this suite can easily be integrated with JasperReports for more productivity.
You can even embed this tool into any Java-based software of your organization for getting print or web reports. The JasperServer will let you import these reports for further interactions.
Key Features of JasperReports
- The reports support a wide variety of output formats, including PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV, etc.
- The JFreeChart library helps you integrate different visual elements like a chart, graph, bar, etc. for making it easy to understand.
- JasperReports supports comprehensive tools for custom variables and analysis.
- There is no virtual limitation for the length and size of the limit. This is why you can make reports with a longer time frame.
- The additional tool, iReport, is a graphical report designer that will customize the report for your business organization.
- This tool supports Unicode, which is a great feature if you want to work with a variety of local languages.
RapidMiner is a well-known data mining tool that uses machine learning for the analysis of the database. This tool was formerly known as YALE. There are both a command-line version and a visual editor available for this tool. This tool is highly effective for mining data from high throughput scientific apparatus.
The visual interface of this tool is very easy to use. It also has a plugin or extension feature for integrating new variables without knowing much technical stuff. This feature helps to make custom algorithms for mining data that meets the requirement of your business organization.
Key Features of RapidMiner
- It supports Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) to discover data that helps forecast different situations based on many what-if scenarios.
- It uses the Java environment and XML for data description to use this tool on any platform.
- It has full integration with the Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis (WEKA), which helps mine data with the help of open-source machine learning.
- It has built-in more than five hundred modules for different tasks, including validation, visualization, preprocessing, forecasting, etc.
- This tool provides Java API for integrating RapidMiner with your business intelligence software.
4. Talend Open Studio
Talend Open Studio is an open source BI tool for extracting, loading and transforming data. It is a Java-based tool and runs on the Eclipse RCF development environment. The graphical user interface of this tool is very easy to use, which consists of a graphical designer and a metadata repository for files.
Talend Open Studio supports scalability, which helps to gain more productivity from analyzing data for your business. The users can write scripts to make components for extending the functionality of this BI software.
Key Features of Talend Open Studio
- It features an advanced business modeler with a very user-friendly job designer for your growing business.
- The metadata manager helps create and manage metadata to integrate your business data piles with other analysis and reporting tools.
- Talend Open Studio Has a built-in library of over 400 components for extending the features.
- Almost every feature has got built-in impact analysis tool to measure the risks involving in the new model.
- Drag and drop metadata and component searching feature is a very useful feature for business personals.
This is an open source BI tool that is very versatile and straight to the point. The community edition of this tool is more generalized and free to use. But if you want more customizations and flexibility, then you can opt for the enterprise edition, which will cost you some bucks. This software can easily integrate with the Jasper BI Suite along with some other popular business intelligence software.
Key Features of ReportServer
- The user interface is very smooth and fluent. It gives a flexible environment even for beginners.
- It is a web-based software suite, and for this reason, you can run it inside your browser from anywhere.
- It features an advanced ad hoc reporting tool that can prepare real-time reports based on the user’s needs.
- ReportServer has built-in support for exporting reports in Excel file format.
- The scheduler is a very useful feature that can create and publish reports in the predefined schedule.
- Being a web-based BI tool, it supports collaborative works through the integrated TeamSpaces feature.
Metabase is an open source data analytics tool. This tool helps the business personals get answers from different queries based on their user data. It can even visualize the data and reports in an attractive way that will make the presentations easier. Metabase works with a wide range of database solutions, including Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, Amazon Athena, Yandex ClickHouse, Oracle, etc.
Metabase has one of the simplest installation systems. You can deploy Metabase in your preferred cloud with just one click. You can even install it on your personal computer for personal reporting.
Key Features of Metabase
- It supports Docker’s image for running into any service of your choice.
- One-click installation feature supports popular services like AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Heroku.
- It can run locally on any operating system, including Linux, through the Java environment.
- Unlike most other BI tools, the user interface is very clean with modern gestures.
- It supports integration with Slack for collaborative team works.
- You can even rename, annotate and edit different properties of data for the ease of use of your human workers.
You may have heard the name of SpagoBI, a very popular open source business intelligence tool. Knowledge is the successor of that tool that inherits every good property of Spago. It provides a wide range of data analysis that is supported by many popular analytical engines. Like any other business intelligence tool, it provides all the common features.
But what’s interesting is that it also provides some new features useful for emerging businesses like location intelligence, collaboration, visual inquiries, etc. It also has a paid commercial edition that provides additional administrative features and direct support from the developers.
Key Features of Knowage
- It has advanced analytical models that can perform many common analytical algorithms and create reports according to that.
- The newer versions have got a graphic design tool that allows interactive analysis and visualizations.
- Even the free and open-source community version has a wide number of administrative tools, including scheduler, menu management, engine configuration, audit monitoring, etc.
- Notification service, e-mail client, search engine, collaborative tools, etc., are built-in with the software suite to boost your company’s productivity.
- The real-time console and gauge dials help the administrators monitor the subtle changes and take actions accordingly.
KNIME stands for Konstanz Information Miner. It is a German business intelligence tool that provides a visual environment for data analysis. This tool can integrate, explore and analyze data for further processing and reporting. KNIME is based on Java and works with the Eclipse Interactive Development Environment.
The modular API support enables this tool to extend the functionalities. It uses machine learning for data mining by using the popular process named data pipelining. It can create data flows and analyze them visually with the interactive visualizer.
Key Features of KNIME
- This tool supports scalability based on the machine’s capability for getting the maximum possible output from parallel computing.
- It has well-defined API supports that can be used to develop plugins for feature extensions.
- The user interface is very easy to use and intuitive that helps even persons with no technical background maintaining this tool.
- The command-line version of this tool helps the veteran executives use this software for batch executions remotely.
- KNIME supports pre-processing and data cleansing with joining, normalization, binning, sampling, etc.
9. BIRT Project
BIRT is an open-source technology platform for data analysis and reporting. It is widely used as a business intelligence software among different organizations. It is a set of Java-based web applications that runs on Java to Enterprise Edition. This tool supports a wide range of modules and styles for reporting. The public API of this tool lets you use the functionalities within your other business intelligence applications.
Key Features of the BIRT Project
- It features a report designer that helps you to customize your reports using the visual environment.
- The advanced charting engine generates charts from the derived data that can be exported to other applications for publishing.
- BIRT Project supports different reporting styles, including charts, lists, crosstabs, compound reports, etc.
- It supports data manipulation through sorting, filtering, grouping, and summarizing.
- It supports different file formats and sources for data mining. You can even code on your own to add support for more data sources.
10. Helical Insight
Helical Insight is a Java-based open source BI tool. It has both community and enterprise editions for different types of users. The community edition is free with limited capabilities. But for most users, the community edition will be sufficient. You can run this tool in any operating system with the Eclipse IDE preinstalled.
You will miss some features like custom dashboard designer, ad hoc reporting, and real-time reporting in the community edition. But if you need these features, then you can go for their closed source BI framework with developer support.
Key Features of Helical Insight
- It has user role management and email scheduling feature built-in with this software.
- You can get technical support from their large community forum if you ever face any problems.
- It features XML-driven workflow management for your business organization.
- You will get free community updates regularly for bug fixes and security patches.
- For report creation and data analysis, it supports the backend EFW method for convenience.
11. SQL Power Wabit
SQL Power Wabit is known as the all-in-one business intelligence tool. The easy-to-use software suite has made the SQL Power Wabit stand out from other open source BI software.
The main goal of the developers was to make a straightforward environment for the business personals where they can perform all their business analytics and reporting without much technical knowledge. The community edition of this tool is completely free to use. It has a drag-and-drop report creation tool with advanced features where no coding skill is required.
Key Features of SQL Power Wabit
- Standard reporting feature with custom dashboard editor for creating ad hoc reports for your organization.
- It supports different visual elements like line, bar, and pie chart for making visually attractive reports.
- It has real-time business intelligence reporting with live result-set updates, which is not common among other open-source BI software.
13. ART – A Reporting Tool
ART – A Reporting Tool is a simple yet powerful open-source tool for business intelligence. It is very lightweight with some straightforward features. It is a browser-based tool, and it can run on any platform, including Linux. This tool can quickly deploy SQL query results and publish them when the result is ready.
This Java-based tool needs Apache Tomcat installed on the computer to run. It has great documentation on the internet to get you through the easy deployment process for any operating system.
Key Features of ART – A Reporting Tool
- It can generate a business analytics report via the web browser.
- This tool supports a wide range of report types, including tabular systems, chart formats, etc.
- The reports can be exported as Excel or PDF file formats for further analysis.
- Report scheduling is a very useful feature for business administrators.
- The dashboard is very easy to use and intuitive. You can even get multiple reports in a single dashboard at a time.
Dataiku is a collaborative open source BI tool. It is specially used by data scientists and people who work in data science. Business analysts also get a lot of benefits from this software because of its deep analysis capability. It has both free and enterprise versions. The free version is forever accessible with a maximum of 3 users’ support. Even the free version offers that much flexibility that you don’t have to restrict to a data limit.
Key Features of Dataiku
- Automated ML features enable business executives to perform data analysis without advanced science or engineering knowledge.
- This tool can connect to more than 25 different data sources such as generic protocols and third-party database solutions.
- The drag-and-drop data visualization tool helps users create charts and graphs to make their reports more attractive and easy to understand.
- Apart from installing the local client on your personal computer, you can install Dataiku into any cloud servers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud, etc.
15. Apache Superset
Apache Superset is an emerging data analysis and visualization tool for business intelligence. This open-source BI tool is still in the incubation stage. This project was started by Airbnb Engineering and Data Science which is a part of Airbnb inc. This tool was written in the Python-based Flask framework.
Airbnb normally uses this tool with Apache Druid for its purpose. But Superset can be used with any data source supported by SQL Alchemy. Though it is a developing tool, you will get instant help from the team if you find any problems.
Key Features of Apache Superset
- The user interface is very intuitive and easy to use. The dashboards provide an interactive environment for data visualization.
- The advanced role management feature lets you decide the authorities for different features.
- It has a powerful SQL editor and supports almost all the popular SQL databases.
- There are many startups using this tool, which is why you will get great community support.
WideStage is a simple report creating a tool for your business. It is popularly known as self-service business intelligence software. It can create reports from several SQL databases. You can directly download and install this web-based tool from their Github repo. Currently, WideStage is in its second version, and it has got a new and more intuitive user interface with some additional features.
Key Features of WideStage
- It supports many database types, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.
- You can access a variety of security features for access management into your sensitive business data.
- WideStage lets your clients use this self-service tool to create their reports so that your data analytics team can focus on more crucial things.
17. Orange Data Mining
Orange Data Mining is more of an open source data science tool than an open-source BI tool. But if you want a deeper insight into your business data, then Orange is a great option. This tool is mainly used by data scientists and researchers for data mining.
Since it is an open-source tool, your company’s developers can fork it according to your needs and make it an outstanding business intelligence software. Besides, you are getting a wide range of data visualization feature straight out of the box.
Key Features of Orange Data Mining
- It features an interactive data visualization tool that can support hierarchical clustering, linear distribution, heatmap generation, etc.
- It has a visual programming environment that lets beginners dive deep into data without any serious coding knowledge.
- It even supports visual illustrations from the basic concepts of data analysis so that you can use this tool to train your data analysts.
- It supports addons for extending features. You can even create your addons to integrate them with your existing data sources.
18. iReport Designer
iReport Designer is yet another useful open source BI tool from JasperSoft. As the name suggests, this tool will completely change the way you perform reporting in your company. You can easily create sophisticated reports with many visual elements by using this software.
You will get huge community support, just like any other software developed by JasperSoft. You will get this tool bundled with their newly released JasperSoft Studio. But it’s better to use this standalone software if you will need this only for reporting.
Key Features of iReport Designer
- This tool can embed images, charts, bars, graphs, crosstabs, etc., inside your reports.
- It supports a long list of data sources, including CSV, XML, JavaBeans, TableModels, and custom-made data sources.
- You can generate your business report in different file formats, including HTML, CSV, Excel, Office, etc.
- iReport Designer is completely compatible with other JasperSoft open-source software like JasperReports Server.
It is a free and open source enterprise reporting tool desktop. It is a very simple and easy-to-use tool for business intelligence. It can create dashboards for reporting environment and perform reporting based on your company needs.
The developer has included many video tutorials inside their SourceForge repository so that you don’t need to face any problems. If you want your SQL queries to transform into attractive looking easily readable reports, this tool is necessary.
Key Features of Query2Report
- This tool supports a real-time reporting feature with automatic refreshing of query data.
- This will always keep separate the public and personal reporting dashboards.
- It can integrate with different relational database management software.
- The advanced role management system allows you to distribute permissions according to the authority.
DataCleaner is a data quality analysis platform. If you want to analyze your data with some kind of business reporting software, you must transform it into a readable format. DataCleaner is a great BI tool for this purpose. The data profiling engine is powerful, and it can be extended for different features like merging, transformation, deduplication, etc.
Key Features of DataCleaner
- It supports almost any database management software, including Oracle, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc.
- It can read data from your Excel, CSV, TXT, or any other spreadsheet tools.
- The Pattern Finder feature lets you search for any specific patterns in textual data.
- Duplicate finder and merger is a great service that you can get from this tool.
- After data profiling, it can store the filter data to any database server.
Data will always be the determining factor of modern businesses. If your company can derive intelligence from the data, it will surely succeed. The BI software will help you with all the processes, from data analysis to generating reports. The above list of open source BI tools contains tools for different purposes that can accelerate your business.
Sometimes it’s better to go for the proprietary tools with a premium subscription model because of the better technical support. But if you are just starting with your business, then there is nothing wrong with using free BI tools. Besides, most of them are as powerful as the paid tools. I hope this article will help you to choose the best software package for your business. Don’t forget to mention the tool your company relies on in the comment section below.