My nephew and niece-in-law are committed vegetarians. Their diet, though, is generally not very visible to me except when we go out to dinner or the extended family gathers in the Outer Banks for vacation. I feel a bit guilty watching them prepare their veggies as I gorge on steamed crabs and grilled tuna. Twice a year, however, they go off the vegetarian wagon by design, enjoying grilled pork chops or big hamburgers for special treats. As I think about my current analytics situation, there might be something for me to learn from their lead.

A devotee of open source software, I sometimes feel like a BI vegetarian. OpenBI works with the Pentaho and Jaspersoft BI platforms, the R Project for Statistical Computing, open source relational databases MySQL, PostgreSQL and Infobright, and distributed computing platform Hadoop/MapReduce. So far, with the exception of databases, we've pretty much been OSBI purists. Indeed, though not the case with us, with many in the OS space, a complete open source software stack is the only choice. There doesn't seem to be a middle collaborative ground for OS and proprietary. You're either a BI vegetarian or not.

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