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Mark Madsen

Open source is becoming a required option for consideration in many enterprise software evaluations, and business intelligence (BI) isn't exempt. This blog is the interactive part of my Open Source expert channel for the Business Intelligence Network where you can suggest and discuss news and events. The focus is on open source as it relates to analytics, business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. If you would like to suggest an article or link, send an e-mail to me at open_source_links@ThirdNature.net.

About the author >

Mark, President of Third Nature, is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade, Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of Clickstream Data Warehousing and lectures and writes about data integration, business intelligence and emerging technology.

Actuate is sponsoring a webcast about open source BI on February 19 at 11:00 Pacific / 2:00 Eastern. My portion of the presentation will cover topics like who (in general) is using open source BI, reasons for doing so, and some of the challenges faced. I'm not completely done yet but the goal is to help people who want to use open source BI better frame the discussion as they look to sell the idea.

For example, several times I've had to get involved with legal departments when buying support or pro versions. Corporate review of contracts is relatively straightforward, but if the legal department has never seen an open source license they can require some help. They're used to seeing standard clauses, and many times these are not present with open source since they don't apply. To a contract lawyer that can be a red flag, so you need to be prepared to help educate them about what is and isn't present in an open source license and explain what's going on. Otherwise you run the risk of having them reject the contract.

Once I'm done, Actuate is going to talk about embedding BI into applications with BIRT and then adding scalability and availability features. I previewed their talk and it will be interesting and much more technical than mine. Worth sticking around for, in other words.

Posted February 6, 2009 5:00 AM
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