June 22, 2011 – Commercial open source business intelligence provider Pentaho is focusing on the “business” part of BI in the latest update of its enterprise software.

Pentaho BI 4 Enterprise Edition features a new Web-based report designer, drillable charts and extended chart properties, increased access to data warehouse and big data sources, added sorting and visualization capabilities, and a revamped interface based on tablet and mobile device views. Other enhancements like customized user interfaces, increased access to data warehouse and big data sources, and mass distribution of personalized content, are focused on developers and administrators, according to a briefing from Pentaho.

But by and large, the new release focuses on ease-of-use for the non-technical user, says CEO Richard Daley. Daley says the aim of the new release is to streamline operations for users on the business side – a “whole new community” for Pentaho – with interactive capabilities still in demand from developers and the more than 42,000 active members of its online open source community.

David Menninger, Ventana Research VP and research director, says there is still work to be done to extend drag and drop capabilities on sophisticated customizations in the new release. However, the overall investment and upgrades in usability put Pentaho in line with what Menninger says he is hearing from enterprises that are considering new or updated business analytics for users of varying skill levels.

“The specific usability enhancements not only make the product more visually appealing, but they make it much easier for business users to create their own reports and ad hoc data visualizations,” he says.