How Hadoop and open source BI software affect BI architecture

There’s been a ton of talk lately about Hadoop specifically and open source business intelligence (BI) software in general. How could using those technologies affect our BI architecture and BI development process?

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The impact of open source technologies on your BI architecture and development process depends on the specific technologies and products that you choose.

Hadoop is an open source product that handles “big data,” especially unstructured data such as social network and Web application communications; textual information such as documents; and application, network and security log data.

There are many other open source technologies that also may be great extensions to a BI architecture. These include BI, data integration, data profiling, data modeling, data cleansing and master data management (MDM) tools. Using open source software could require changes to your BI architecture and development processes such as adopting other open source technologies that those tools are built on and having a deeper understanding of the underlying components in order to help you design, develop and deploy open source BI systems.

Make sure you have a sound business case before implementing open source tools (or any other BI technology, for that matter); your business community must need the functionality that the tools offer before you invest in them. But if there is a business need, then exploring the use of open source software in your BI architecture is a good idea.

This was first published in November 2011

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