Epic Blog Battles of BI – JasperSoft vs Tableau

What happens when you pit a recent industry leader know for rapid innovation against an ambitious upstart that’s leveraging the Open Source model to offer compelling value propositions?  Let’s find out!

Traditional enterprise BI has significant upfront hardware and software costs in addition to higher consulting fees. Among the mega-vendors, Microsoft provides reasonable value for companies that have already purchased Office and/or SQL Server. Small and Medium Business are looking more than ever to Open Source BI options as not only do they offer increasingly robust and fleshed-out solutions, their licensing terms are cheaper and more flexible as compared to those from “legacy” (dare I say it?) vendors. Jaspersoft vs TableauJasperSoft is one of the top Open Source BI tools in the market (Pentaho is another tool positioned in the same space), finding a place in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant over the last few years. JasperSoft provides a comprehensive BI platform. The JasperSoft Enterprise Edition has a reporting server, ad hoc query, in-memory analysis, dashboarding, a reports library, OLAP and ETL. Due to its embeddable architecture and relaxed GNU General Public License terms and conditions, JasperSoft earns more than half of its business from OEMs, SaaS providers and other companies that integrate JasperSoft into their software offerings or internal applications.

Tableau, though not Open Source, is the undisputed leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and is loved by business users / dashboard consumers across the globe for its visualization capabilities.  In this respect, a head-to-head between these JasperSoft and Tableau might seem like an apples and oranges comparison – but we find more and more existing and potential clients approaching us with the same! It ties back to my previous point that large scale implementation of traditional enterprise BI is expensive for SMBs – presently, both Tableau and JasperSoft offer relatively low TCO (for small implementations / no. of consumers) and are hence mentioned together. So let’s get cracking:

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Among other things, the 2013 Gartner BI Report states the following about Tableau and JasperSoft:

Tableau: Tableau’s user counts grew by 75% from last year, but the platform is still largely departmentally deployed, albeit across multiple departments, with just below the survey average for user deployment size. Tableau’s products often fill an unmet need in large organizations that already have a BI standard, which makes them frequently deployed as a complementary capability to an existing BI platform. As a result, Tableau is still less likely to be considered an enterprise BI standard than the products of most other vendors. Given the success of Tableau and other interactive visualization vendors, leading traditional BI platform vendors – including Microsoft, MicroStrategy, IBM and SAP – delivered their own data discovery capabilities in 2012, mostly in the image of Tableau’s functionality, and are integrating and bundling data discovery capabilities with their BI and analytic platforms for free, or at a low cost, to proactively meet their customers’ business user ease-of-use requirements – and, more importantly, to defend their installed bases from the adoption and expansion of Tableau and the other data discovery vendors.

JasperSoftJasperSoft earned below-average scores for ease of use for end users and developers. Despite these results, JasperSoft customers still report below-average BI platform ownership costs. Moreover, its customers maintain a positive view of the vendor’s future, and report successes with JasperSoft’s product (as defined by expanded usage) over the past year. One explanation for this paradox is that the value organizations derive from JasperSoft’s lower cost deployments is in line with their level of investment and expectations.

I hope I’ve managed to compile and lay down an error-free and high-level view on JasperSoft vs Tableau – do give us a shout if you feel any edits/additions can be helpful and we’ll edit the post to reflect the same.  A final word about JasperSoft though – while JasperSoft’s price differentiation is important, it has also consistently experimented with product and service innovation, the latest example being JasperSoft for AWS, a cloud analytics server available on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace, which you can buy by the hour, paying only for what you use. Its recent acquisition by TIBCO may well be the first step towards Open Source BI’s future dominance.

This blog is authored by Farid Jalal, Business Analytics Expert at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit www.bridgei2i.com

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.