Metabase – easy, open source way to ask questions and learn from data.

By | 30th July 2018

After 7 months of working with Metabase Dashboards at customer sites, I though it was about time I started talking about it! Our product page is here, the product showcase will be along once time permits.

With the demise of Crystal Dashboard (Xcelsius), I spent some time looking at alternative products. The obvious first choice was to stick with SAP and promote Lumira. However, the simple to use Lumira Discovery is being dropped too. That leaves the more complex Lumira Designer (aka Design Studio). I may revisit Lumira Designer, once I’m confident it has a definite future, but for the time being it’s being ignored.

Next option was Microsoft’s Power BI. If the only consideration was beauty, this would have been first on my list! It’s a great product, and one I plan to work with, but you need to be confident that the licensing model works for you. Price goes from free (very limited personal use), to cheapish with limited sharing, to thousands per month for the full product. Even then, there is no way to simply send your completed visualisation to a third party (exporting to PowerPoint and copying the images doesn’t count).

When it came to the combination of price, ability to share, data exploration, visualisation quality and future roadmap, Metabase was the standout winner.

Dashboards can be easily embedded in a web page. You can setup schedules to send information via email or Slack.

Add to that the wide range of deployment options: cloud or on-premise, pretty much any operating system.

The current limitations are a limited choice of colours and fonts. Changes are on the way, but as it’s open source, you can recompile with your own preferences. Alternatively, ask us and we’ll do the work for you. The other major limitation is relatively poor support for Internet Explorer. It’s an old browser and even Microsoft are pushing away from it. I’ve used Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge with Metabase and they all work very quickly.

Did I mention? It is free!

To get started, you can visit the Metabase website, take a look at our product pages, or contact us using the form below for more information.


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