Open Source Business Intelligence: Pentaho and Jaspersoft

Here are two products that are used widely for Business Intelligence_ They are open source and both have free preview.

Jaspersoft-For the Enterprise version click on the screenshot while for the free community version you can go to

Interestingly (and not surprisingly) Revolution Analytics is teaming up with Jaspersoft to use R for reporting along with the Jaspersoft BI stack.





Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Time: 9:00am PDT (12:00pm EDT; 4:00pm GMT)
Presenters: David Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Revolution Analytics
Andrew Lampitt, Senior Director of Technology Alliances, Jaspersoft
Matthew Dahlman, Business Development Engineer, Jaspersoft
Registration: Click here to register now!

R is a popular and powerful system for creating custom data analysis, statistical models, and data visualizations. But how can you make the results of these R-based computations easily accessible to others? A PhD statistician could use R directly to run the forecasting model on the latest sales data, and email a report on request, but then the process is just going to have to be repeated again next month, even if the model hasn’t changed. Wouldn’t it be better to empower the Sales manager to run the model on demand from within the BI application she already uses—daily, even!—and free up the statistician to build newer, better models for others?

In this webinar, David Smith (VP of Marketing, Revolution Analytics) will introduce the new “RevoDeployR” Web Services framework for Revolution R Enterprise, which is designed to make it easy to integrate dynamic R-based computations into applications for business users. RevoDeployR empowers data analysts working in R to publish R scripts to a server-based installation of Revolution R Enterprise. Application developers can then use the RevoDeployR Web Services API to securely and scalably integrate the results of these scripts into any application, without needing to learn the R language. With RevoDeployR, authorized users of hosted or cloud-based interactive Web applications, desktop applications such as Microsoft Excel, and BI applications like Jaspersoft can all benefit from on-demand analytics and visualizations developed by expert R users.

To demonstrate the power of deploying R-based computations to business users, Andrew Lampitt will introduce Jaspersoft commercial open source business intelligence, the world’s most widely used BI software. In a live demonstration, Matt Dahlman will show how to supercharge the BI process by combining Jaspersoft and Revolution R Enterprise, giving business users on-demand access to advanced forecasts and visualizations developed by expert analysts.

Click here to register for the webinar.

Speaker Biographies:

David Smith is the Vice President of Marketing at Revolution Analytics, the leading commercial provider of software and support for the open source “R” statistical computing language. David is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the official R manual An Introduction to R. He is also the editor of Revolutions (, the leading blog focused on “R” language, and one of the originating developers of ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics. You can follow David on Twitter as @revodavid.

Andrew Lampitt is Senior Director of Technology Alliances at Jaspersoft. Andrew is responsible for strategic initiatives and partnerships including cloud business intelligence, advanced analytics, and analytic databases. Prior to Jaspersoft, Andrew held other business positions with Sunopsis (Oracle), Business Objects (SAP), and Sybase (SAP). Andrew earned a BS in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Matthew Dahlman is Jaspersoft’s Business Development Engineer, responsible for technical aspects of technology alliances and regional business development. Matt has held a wide range of technical positions including quality assurance, pre-sales, and technical evangelism with enterprise software companies including Sybase, Netonomy (Comverse), and Sunopsis (Oracle). Matt earned a BA in mathematics from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

The second widely used BI stack in open source is Pentaho.

You can download it here to evaluate it or click on screenshot to read more at

Software Lawsuits :Ergo

The latest round of software lawsuits makes things more interesting especially for Google. There are two notable developments

1) Google’s pact with Verizon for Even more Open Internet -From

A provider that offers a broadband Internet access service
complying with the above principles could offer any other additional or differentiated services. Such other services would have to be distinguishable in scope and purpose from broadband . Internet access service, but could make use of or access Internet content, applications or services
and could include traffic prioritization.

2) Oracle’s lawsuit against Google for Intellectual Property enforcement of Java for Android. ( read here

I once joked about nothing remains cool forever not even Google (see ) and I did not foresee the big G beating itself into knots on its own.

It is hard to sympathize with Google (or Oracle or Verizon) but this is a mess that is created when lawyers (with a briefcase) steal value rather than a thousand engineers can create value.

Interestingly Google owns the IP for Map Reduce – so could it itself sue the Hadoop community over terms of royalty someday-like Oracle did with Java- hmmmmm interesting revenue stream

All in all I would be happy to see zero tiers on an internet (wireless or wired) and even Java developers to make some money on writing code. Open source is not free source.

R Oracle Data Mining

Here is a new package called R ODM and it is an interface to do Data Mining via Oracle Tables through R. You can read more here and here . Also there is a contest for creative use of R and ODM.

R Interface to Oracle Data Mining

The R Interface to Oracle Data Mining ( R-ODM) allows R users to access the power of Oracle Data Mining’s in-database functions using the familiar R syntax. R-ODM provides a powerful environment for prototyping data analysis and data mining methodologies.

R-ODM is especially useful for:

  • Quick prototyping of vertical or domain-based applications where the Oracle Database supports the application
  • Scripting of “production” data mining methodologies
  • Customizing graphics of ODM data mining results (examples: classificationregressionanomaly detection)

The R-ODM interface allows R users to mine data using Oracle Data Mining from the R programming environment. It consists of a set of function wrappers written in source R language that pass data and parameters from the R environment to the Oracle RDBMS enterprise edition as standard user PL/SQL queries via an ODBC interface. The R-ODM interface code is a thin layer of logic and SQL that calls through an ODBC interface. R-ODM does not use or expose any Oracle product code as it is completely an external interface and not part of any Oracle product. R-ODM is similar to the example scripts (e.g., the PL/SQL demo code) that illustrates the use of Oracle Data Mining, for example, how to create Data Mining models, pass arguments, retrieve results etc.

R-ODM is packaged as a standard R source package and is distributed freely as part of the R environment’s Comprehensive R Archive Network ( CRAN). For information about the R environment, R packages and CRAN, see


Present and win an Apple iPod Touch!
The BI, Warehousing and Analytics (BIWA) SIG is giving an Apple iPOD Touch to the best new presenter. Be part of the TechCast series and get a chance to win!

Consider highlighting a creative use of R and ODM.

BIWA invites all Oracle professionals (experts, end users, managers, DBAs, developers, data analysts, ISVs, partners, etc.) to submit abstracts for 45 minute technical webcasts to our Oracle BIWA (IOUG SIG) Community in our Wednesday TechCast series. Note that the contest is limited to new presenters to encourage fresh participation by the BIWA community.

Also an interview with Oracle Data Mining head, Charlie Berger

Business Analytics Analyst Relations /Ethics/White Papers

Curt Monash, whom I respect and have tried to interview (unsuccessfully) points out suitable ethical dilemmas and gray areas in Analyst Relations in Business Intelligence here at

If you dont know what Analyst Relations are, well it’s like credit rating agencies for BI software. Read Curt and his landscaping of the field here ( I am quoting a summary) at

Vendors typically pay for

  1. They want to connect with sales prospects.
  2. They want general endorsement from the analyst.
  3. They specifically want endorsement from the analyst for their marketing claims.
  4. They want the analyst to do a better job of explaining something than they think they could do themselves.
  5. They want to give the analyst some money to enhance the relationship,

Merv Adrian (I interviewed Merv here at has responded well here at

None of the sites I checked clearly identify the work as having been sponsored in any way I found obvious in my (admittefly) quick scan. So this is an issue, but it’s not confined to Oracle.

My 2 cents (not being so well paid 😉 are-

I think Curt was calling out Oracle (which didnt respond) and not Merv ( whose subsequent blog post does much to clarify).

As a comparative new /younger blogger in this field,
I applaud both Curt to try and bell the cat ( or point out what everyone in AR winks at) and for Merv for standing by him.

In the long run, it would strengthen analyst relations as a channel if they separate financial payment of content from bias. An example is credit rating agencies who forgot to do so in BFSI and see what happened.

Customers invest millions of dollars in BI systems trusting marketing collateral/white papers/webinars/tests etc. Perhaps it’s time for an industry association for analysts so that individual analysts don’t knuckle down under vendor pressure.

It is easier for someone of Curt, Merv’s stature to declare editing policy and disclosures before they write a white paper.It is much harder for everyone else who is not so well established.

White papers can take as much as 25,000$ to produce- and I know people who in Business Analytics (as opposed to Business Intelligence) slog on cents per hour cranking books on R, SAS , webinars, trainings but there are almost no white papers in BA. Are there any analytics independent analysts who are not biased by R or SAS or SPSS or etc etc. I am not sure but this looks like a good line to  pursue 😉 – provided ethical checks and balances are established.

Personally I know of many so called analytics communities go all out to please their sponsors so bias in writing does exist (you cant praise SAS on a R Blogging Forum or R USers Meet and you cant write on WPS at SAS )

– at the same time someone once told me- It is tough to make a living as a writer, and that choice between easy money and credible writing needs to be respected.

Most sponsored white papers I read are pure advertisements, directed at CEOs rather than the techie community at large.

Almost every BI vendor claims to have the fastest database with 5X speed- and benchmarking in technical terms could be something they could do too.

Just like Gadget sites benchmark products, you can not benchmark BI or even BA products as it is written not to do so  in many licensing terms.

Probably that is the reason Billions are spent in BI and the positive claims are doubtful ( except by the sellers). Similarly in Analytics, many vendors would have difficulty justifying their claims or prices if they are subjected to a side by side comparison. Unfortunately the resulting confusion results in shoddy technology coming stronger due to more aggressive marketing.

Protected: Analyzing SAS Institute-WPS Lawsuit

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Protected: SAS Institute lawsuit against WPS Episode 2 The Clone Wars

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SAS with the GUI Enterprise Guide (Updated)

Here is a slideshow I made using Google Docs ( which is good except the PDF version is much worse than Microsoft Slidehare). It is on the latest R GUI called AwkWard. It is based on the webpage here

In my last post on WPS , R and Sas I had briefly shown a screenshot of SAS Enterprise Guide with a single comment on how it could do with a upgrade in it’s GUI. Well it seems that the upgrade has been available since March 2009, but probably not applied since no one noticed even once in the Fall Semester here in the Tennessee ( including people from the University who read this blog 🙂 Actually the upgrade was made to local machines but there is also a cloud version but didnt apply the upgrade – where we can use Citrix Server to just run analytics on the browser

Here is a revised update of SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2

SAS Enterprise Guide is a Windows interface to SAS that allows for SAS programming *and* point-and-click tasks for reporting, graphs, analytics, and data filter/query/manipulation. SAS Enterprise Guide can work with SAS on your local machine, and it can connect to SAS servers on Windows, Unix/Linux, and the mainframe.

It doesn’t have decision tree support; that’s provided by a more specialized application for data mining called SAS Enterprise Miner.

And you can easily extend SAS Enterprise Guide with your own tasks. See You do not need SAS/Toolkit. You can use off-the-shelf development tools for Microsoft .NET, including the freely available express editions of Microsoft Visual C# or Visual Basic .NET.

With credit to Chris from SAS for forwarding me the correct document and answers.

It would be great if the SAS User Conferences Archives used slideshare or Google Docs ( PDFs are so from the 90s) for saying displaying the documents at the ( which took the twitter id @sascommunity after two months of requests,threats and friendly pleas from me- only to not use it actively except for one Tip of the Day Tweet, sigh)

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