Top 10 Free and Open Source BI Tools in 2020
Free and open-source BI tool has high search volumes on tech forums. They play an essential role in the business area.
- 1 What are the Benefits of Using a Free and Open-source BI tool?
- 2 An In-Depth Look at the Most Powerful Free and Open Source BI Tool
- 3 FineReport
- 4 Tableau Public
- 5 BIRT
- 6 KNIME
- 7 Databox
- 8 Metabase
- 9 Seal Report
- 10 Pentaho Community Edition
- 11 SpagoBI
- 12 Report Server Community Edition
- 13 Summary
- 14 You might also be interested in…
What are the Benefits of Using a Free and Open-source BI tool?
Full-service BI tools can get expensive quickly, but free and open-source BI tools can help you control your budget.
Some of the free BI tools has its paid version. Although compared to the paid version, not all free BI tool provides stunning data visualization; they offer easy-to-understand charts that can meet your basic needs.
Open-source capabilities make everyone can access to the source code to customize it, to develop a specific feature to make your requirements.
I listed 10 BEST Free and Open Source BI Tools for you as a reference. Welcome to take full advantage of it!
An In-Depth Look at the Most Powerful Free and Open Source BI Tool
FineReport is a BI tool that is free for personal users, without time and function limits. It adopted popular 3-tier architecture. The most distinct is its reporting capabilities. Because FineReport can be seamlessly integrated with any data source, it is convenient to import data from Excel in batches to empower historical data or generate MIS reports from various business systems. Another distinct trait of this software is its feature of data entry. Users can input the data back to the database via the web reports created by FineReport.
The other prominent features of this software include,
- Open APIs for customization
- Dynamic reports
- Query reports
- HTML5 charts
- Task Scheduler
- Mobile BI
- Report Management
- User Management
- Task Scheduler
Tableau public offers free bi tools for creative people to learn the products with minimal investment, as well as provides a platform to share data visualizations and insights within the world. It is used by potential customers to evaluate both the Desktop and Server applications.
Tableau Public is similar but removes the download functionality.
The biggest cons of the Tableau Public is that any data used in the program is ‘public’ and therefore not secure. And, with Tableau Public, published workbooks are “disconnected” from the underlying data sources and require periodic updates when the data changes.
Birt is an open-source Eclipse-based business intelligence platform for small businesses. It is good at developing dynamic reports with a variety of handy features.
Birt is composed of two main components: a report designer based on Eclipse, and a run time component that you can add to your app server.
One of the platform’s main missions is to create reports that can easily embed anywhere, and that’s exactly what it does.
However, it sometimes doesn’t work when you are continuously changing your report. And it’s data, and property binding requires too much time to fix in the report.
KNIME is an open-source BI tool specialized for data linkage, integration, and analysis. It provides data scientists and BI executives with data mining, machine learning, and data visualization capabilities to build effective data pipelines.
It also can be used to create a predictive model for various business domains and kinds of models, such as classification, regression, and clustering.
When requiring high customization and sophisticated models, the speed is needed. But KNIME is less flexible and slow.
Databox is a free cloud-based BI tool that provides a single interface for marketers, CEOs, analysts to track KPIs and generate reports.
It is best for tracking marketing activities because DataBox supports dozens of one-click integrations with sources such as Google Analytics, Facebook, Salesforce, Shopify.
And data calculation function makes calculate ratios such as visit-to-signup rate, signup-to-paid rate quickly, which can help you identify significant trends.
Besides, Databox can be deployed via the cloud, SaaS, and the web, and offers mobile applications for iOS and Android.
However, it lacks customization and visual effects compared to other bit tools.
Metabase is an open-source business intelligence tool that allows you to manage database, monitor KPI, track bug, filer record, generate dashboards with simple ad hoc queries without using complex SQL statements. It allows users to ask questions about data. The tool then displays answers in formats that make the most sense, whether in a bar graph or a detailed table.
It is also effortless to set up; you can run Metabase on your laptop, or set it up on your servers for your company’s use. You only need to run a jar, login, tell it how to get to your database. The process just takes 5 minutes. The bad news is it’s only available for Macs.
Seal Report is an open-source reporting tool for the Microsoft .Net Framework, entirely written in C#. It offers a complete framework for producing reports and dashboards from any database without coding. Seal Report focuses on easy installation and reports design.
Key features include native pivot tables, HTML5 charts, report scheduler, drill-down navigation, and subreports.
However, Seal Report does not offer a free version or a free trial; the price starts at $778.08 per year.
Pentaho Community Edition
Pentaho from Hitachi Vantara offers a suite of open source business intelligence(BI) products that help IT and business users to do data integration, OLAP services, reporting, dashboarding, data mining and ETL capabilities.
Pentaho’s open-source heritage drives continued innovation in a modern, unified, flexible analytics platform that helps organizations accelerate their analytic data pipelines.
However, if you are not at all familiar with writing script, this program can be very challenging. And the community edition has many bugs that are usually not so easy to solve.
SpagoBI is a 100% open source Business intelligence suite that covers all the analytical areas of Business Intelligence projects, developed by Open Source Competency Centre of Engineering Group in Italian.
Based on open standards, its modular architecture allows easy customization and integration into legacy environments.
It includes engines for reporting, multidimensional analysis (OLAP), charts, KPI, interactive cockpit, ad-hoc reporting, location intelligence, free inquiry, real-time dashboards, mobile, master data management, ETL and more.
However, Spagobi’s architecture requires four components in order to run the complete software. The data works, but there are some issues in connecting to internal databases, even though the software was installed inside the same server.
Report Server Community Edition
ReportServer Community Edition is a free and open-source business intelligence platform under the aGPL. ReportServer’s Dynamic List is a powerful tool to create and manage ad-hoc analyses. TeamSpaces is another distinct feature of this software,
However, to get maximum benefits from ReportSever, it requires you have coding background knowledge.
Besides the benefits of these open-source bi tools mentioned above, we can’t ignore their disadvantages: unable to meet the complex needs, bugs can not be solved in time. You can use the paid version of these bi tools to make up for these shortcomings.
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