Open Source Vendor Stakes Claim to BI Market Leadership

Michael Vizard

One of the ongoing debates concerning business intelligence software has been around how to drive more adoption. Obviously, there is a wide gap between the number of people using business intelligence applications today and the number of people that could benefit from this software.

The two biggest efforts being made to increase adoption come in the form of a variety of approaches to deliver BI-as-a-service and the availability of open source implementations of BI software. The former approach is still fairly nascent and highly fragmented in terms of the number of vendors in the category, while the open source approach has been led mostly by Jaspersoft.

As a result, Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile now feels comfortable enough to claim that his company's BI software is now the most widely used on the market. Of course, it's hard to track usage of open source software, so let's examine how Gentile backs up this claim.

At the moment, Gentile says Jaspersoft should surpass the 10 million downloads mark for its software around the beginning of the year. No one knows if that software is actually being used, but Gentile does know that by following "heartbeat data" generated by that software, there appear to be about 150,000 commercial production deployments of the company's software, and that about 11,000 entities have bought something from Jaspersoft, ranging from basic documentation to full support. The number of companies paying Jaspersoft for support is still below 1,000, but the point remains that there is a lot of Jaspersoft software out there that probably exceeds the amount of BI software sold by any other commercial BI vendor by a good margin.

Open source software is clearly having a dramatic impact across the entire enterprise software spectrum, but this is the first time we might be seeing an open source application vendor become a market leader.

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Dec 7, 2009 9:04 AM GOOS GOOS  says:

It's great to see the ever increasing interest, coverage and usage of COSS BI.  Open source BI is clearly making an impact on the market and drawing more and more customers away from proprietary BI each and every day.  That said, you need to be cautious when listening so some of the more bold claims being thrown around these days. 

As COSS BI moves through peak of inflated expectations to the through of disillusionment, some of these wild extrapolations from generic download and heartbeat data will only serve to hurt the movement in the long run.  Heartbeat data typically consists of a generic IP address - its impossible to say with any reasonable confidence that the heartbeats come from a viable "commercial" consumer, let alone the that these users are actually "in production".

These statements detract from many of the real world customer success stories out there where organizations of all size and nearly every vertical are lowering costs and achieving success with COSS BI.  I welcome a time when COSS BI vendors focus more on sharing actual customer success stories than conjured up statistics based solely on assumptions, interpretations and extrapolations.

Later this week, Mark Madsen (, in conjunction with the BeyeNetwork will be publishing a comprehensive review of the COSS BI market based on a survey of over 1000 companies.  That will be the first research I'm aware of that will provide true insight in to COSS BI adoption and usage based on objective survey data conducted by a respected 3rd party - looking forward to the findings!


"When drinking the kool aid, beware the distinct aftertaste of snake oil."

Dec 7, 2009 9:22 AM Jake Cornelius Jake Cornelius  says:

Great points!  Pentaho provides a wealth of customer success stories here:

Check them out!

Jake, Pentaho

Dec 8, 2009 4:52 AM GOOS GOOS  says:

The independent research I referred to above by Mark Madsen has been released - very interesting findings on OS adoption and usage:



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