Most information professionals know that business intelligence is one of the buzzwords competing for their attention. The idea is that software can process structured and unstructured information and generate answers needed to make decisions. In the past year, open source business intelligence software gained momentum in a number of government agencies and commercial enterprises. One of the higher profile vendors is Pentaho Corp, a privately held company based on open source technology. The company offers a business intelligence suite without a punishing annual licensing fee. If an organization has the infrastructure and expertise to make open source solutions hum, the principal cost savings will be in license fees and maintenance. The other costs will be about the same as the proprietary software's cost. Organizations that are able to make open source software a return on investment success have several common attributes. These include an appetite for using code developed by a community not a vendor's team of programmers.
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