Are there any overarching trends in the open source BI industry that stand out?
A lot of the open source vendors, as I mentioned, are trying to compete with other more traditional vendors, which is mainstream BI, so a lot of the same things that they’re tacking are actually the same that other vendors are tackling. Cloud computing and big data seem to be ones that are very big right now, as well as the ease of use and self-service models making it easier for savvy business users or just more business users to handle applications in general.
What are you most excited about in the BI industry these days?
I recently wrote a blog post about seeing a lack of innovation in BI. In a lot of the vendor briefings that I go to, they think what they’re doing is really cool, but essentially they’re developing the same things only separately. But one of the things that I think is really cool is the fact that technology is now really able to do what the promise of BI was ages ago in terms of really getting data and helping organizations make better decisions. And the idea to be able to integrate social media info and data and consolidate different data and then access it on tablets and then create your own applications on those tablets and interact with data in a way that you want – meaning at any level, whether you’re a technical person or a business person that needs to make decisions – that’s one of the things that I think is cool. I think that in terms of the ease of use, certain vendors are still looking at things from a super-user perspective, but others are making it really easy to interact with, they’re doing some cool stuff, and that’s what I like in terms of seeing how data is really transformed into information and making business people’s lives easier.
For Lyndsay’s checklist of considerations and implications of adopting open source BI, read this excerpt from her book.