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Jaspersoft Offers BI Suite Free to Higher Ed

A company that develops business intelligence software is making its software suite available free to colleges and universities to use in the classroom. Jaspersoft, which sells a BI product by the same name, launched the Jaspersoft Scholars Program. The program allows any accredited institution to apply for a free license to the company's enterprise application and to receive access to online support and training.

The suite includes:

  • JasperReports Library, a reporting engine for generating and distributing production reports in Web-based or printed form;
  • iReport Designer, a visual report design environment;
  • JasperReports Server, an end-user tool for creating ad hoc reports and dashboards;
  • OLAP, an interface for analysis of large amounts of data; and
  • ETL, for data preparation prior to integration with other data sources.

The suite of programs is already in use at the University of Arizona, where Jaspersoft's current president and CEO, Brian Gentile, has ties. He attended school and has given presentations there, and his company has participated in an internship program.

"I provide my students with assignments that teach them how to conceptualize data for business and leverage the BI software with an Oracle data warehouse," said Sudha Ram, a professor in the U Arizona's Eller College of Management. "The students' learning curve with Jaspersoft's software is fast, and every semester students tell me they enjoy working with open source tools alongside commercial ones, because when they enter the workforce, they see both in the field and have familiarity with both. It's great to have these tools available to us at no charge."

A professor at Hochschule Karlsruhe, a university of applied sciences in Germany, said he finds Jaspersoft easy to teach. "My students learn how to collect the data, analyze that data, and make informed decisions using open source software," noted Uwe Haneke. "With this kind of expertise, these students are very attractive hires for any enterprise that wants to turn data into information and knowledge, enabling significant cost savings, better decision making, and optimized business performance."

Other institutions already using Jaspersoft in their curriculum also include Carnegie Mellon University and Universite Paris Dauphine in France, among others.

Applicants for the free licensing of Jaspersoft can send e-mail to [email protected], supplying the following information: the institution's name and address, primary contact details, and the intended use of the software.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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