Unveiling Metabase

TL;DR: Open Source Business Intelligence. Installs in 5 minutes, usable by everyone in your company, download it here.

At some point, you get tired of rewriting the same system at every job. You ask around, and it seems like everyone else has written one too. Each of the top tech companies wrote one (or several) of their own — HiPal at Facebook, EasyData at LinkedIn, Sherpa at Google, AirPal at Airbnb, Avocado at Yammer and more. The initial requests vary — a desire to keep track of how many videos get uploaded every week, to look up a user and see all their transactions, to quote ad inventory to potential buyers, or pull up a list of inactive accounts.

At the heart of all these questions is the desire for non-technical coworkers to be able to pull information out of the company’s databases on their own.

Rather than reinventing the wheel you think “Let’s see what the 1000 vendors in the space have been up to since last time I looked”. It becomes quickly apparent that the landscape is strewn with products that only work in demo mode to the C-Suite, are so complicated that training and certification is a revenue stream or are so overspecialized that they have to be matched with 10 other tools to get a day’s work done.

Despite this overwhelming flood of vendors, tools, jargon, acronyms and overhyped startups, if you want to take the information in a database and let everyone in your company access it, you’re left deciding whether you want a complicated unusable solution that costs you thousands of dollars a year or a complicated unusable solution that costs millions of dollars a year.

Like others who have either started or worked in tech startups, we’ve grown used to reaching for open source software when we need an operating system, blogging software, a web server or a programming language. Despite some points of light, the open source BI options are uniformly hard to install, hard to configure and targeted at experts.

And so, a year ago, we found ourselves having to write the system again. It needed to be secure, easy to install, play well with modern deployment patterns and most importantly easy to use by our non-technical coworkers. We’ve been testing it with the companies we worked with in the Expa portfolio as well as a select number of outside companies. With over a year of running Metabase in production, we’ve learned a lot about how to get information out to those on the front lines of growing companies and poured it back into our product.

Today, we’re open sourcing Metabase. We intend it to be the obvious first step for every company to get the data so painstakingly collected to those most able to make use of it. Get it from www.metabase.com/start, install it in 5 minutes, and make everyone in your company smarter.

It’s 2015, stop paying for basic BI.

-The Metabase Team