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Top emerging trends for BI in 2012 – Open Source world keeping up!

I am in the process of an ETL engagement with a client who is using Pentaho, an open source BI suite of products. This has made me reach out to my resources and get caught up with the open source world of BI, and especially Pentaho. 

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In doing a follow on to Duane Schafer’s article, I matched the top BI trends for 2012 as presented by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), and how Pentaho is aligning its products and offerings with these emerging trends:

  1. Self Service BI – With the release of Pentaho BI 4 Enterprise Edition, users have access to an interactive reporting module where they can perform simple sorting, filtering, grouping and summary with little or no help from IT.
  2. Mobile BI – Pentaho Mobile BI provides the ability to render BI reports onto mobile devices like the I-pad. What’s more is that the tool allows actual report authoring of such reports from the mobile device as opposed to only being able to view the reports.
  3. Cloud computing – Pentaho offers the ability to access data in a public or private cloud and also integrate data from the cloud with data local to the enterprise. It can also be pre-configured and delivered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for Amazon EC2.
  4. Advanced Analytics – Pentaho offers data mining and predictive analytics capabilities through Pentaho Data Mining, code name ‘weka’,
  5. Big Data – Pentaho Analytics offers support for big data sources including Apache Hadoop, NoSQL and relational analytic databases. There have been enhancements to include native SQL generation and native bulk loader integrations for OLAP tools like Netezza,Teradata and GreenPlum.
  6. Data Visualization – I believe that Pentaho started low on this aspect but has done great improvements with each release to achieve great visualization to end users. Pentaho BI 4.0 now provides the capability to author interactive and professional highly formatted reports and dashboard with new chart types like those used in good visualization tools e.g. tableau. There is also a 3-D visualization plug in for displaying results of data mining and predictive analytics.,
  7. Social BI – Pentaho has been active in the social media space, providing ways to interaction with sites like facebook and twitter. The link below explains one of the processes and shows how to publish content to a facebook wall using Pentaho Data Integration tool a.k.a. PDI.

With many smaller businesses getting into the BI space and companies aiming at leveraging the benefits of BI at lower costs, going open may easily be a trend by itself. Pentaho, being a leading open source provider of BI, is doing a good job of keeping up with the emerging trends.

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Joel Onditi

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