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LATEST THINKING


Get data insights out into the open through visualization software

Open source tools are changing how businesses solve problems. Learn how to take advantage.

Overview

To capitalize on the explosion of data, enterprises must be open-minded about open source software. By 2016, at least 95 percent of all IT organizations will be utilizing open source tools and methodologies for software development projects, according to Gartner.

Given the importance of data visualization, it’s critical to expand in-house data software development skill sets to include open source data visualization tools such as D3.js.

Such open source, web-based tools can provide companies with more flexibility, data interactivity and customization options than proprietary vendor data visualization solutions.

At the same time, open source projects are not turn-key solutions. To produce the best data visualization results, a blended approach often works well, using vendor solutions for data exploration and open source platforms for data explanation.

 Building open source data visualization tools into business intelligence and analytics processes enables greater flexibility, interactivity and customization options. The result? Deeper insights.

Why Accenture?

THE CASE FOR OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE

The open source movement is the greatest innovation in proprietary software development over the past two decades. Think of it as a more accessible and affordable development ecosystem, supplanting what historically was a largely disjointed field.

The open source software community includes coders spread across the globe who use distributed project management tools to coordinate and streamline project development. The most well-known example of these is the Linux operating system.

In recent years, the open source community has been particularly active, creating tools for:

  • Data processing—Hadoop and Apache Kafka, Storm, Spark and Samza.

  • Data analysis—Plyr, Dplyr, Scipy, Pandas and Pig.

  • Data visualization—D3 and Leaflet.

As data processing analytics and visualization grows increasingly important in day-to-day operations, business leaders must find ways to add open source methodologies into software development cycles.

Specific Services

MAKING OPEN SOURCE WORK IN THE ENTERPRISE

An open source data visualization platform offers many upsides. At the same time, it’s important to be aware of potential drawbacks. Here are some issues to consider:

  • Increased innovation opportunities—The creative nature of data visualization and virtually unlimited ways in which that data can be displayed in different pictorial formats.

  • Broader compatibility—Using open source software can enable companies to leapfrog vendor-imposed usability limitations.

  • Accessible documentation and support—A lack of vendor support may be a concern for some, though various development communities post documentation, resources and best practices.

  • Accountability for code issues—In general, defect density is lower in open source software than for its private counterparts.

  • Required technical expertise—Open source software development requires highly-skilled employees familiar with programming languages such as JavaScript.

Read more about matching data visualization tools to your business needs.