Birst Enterprise BI & Analytics


 

Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model virtually without compromising data governance. Birst also offers a unified semantic layer that maintains common definitions and key metrics.

Birst’s two-tier architecture aligns back-end sources with line-of- business or local data. Birst’s Automated Data Refinement extracts data from multiple sources into a unified semantic layer. The solution also supports blending of data in both top-down and bottom-up manner.

Birst allows users to access self-service analytics through executive dashboards, reporting, visual discovery, mobile tools and predictive analytics. Birst Open Client Interface also integrates with Tableau, Excel and R.

Birst’s is packaged in three available formats: platform and per-user fee; by department or business unit; by end-customer (for embedded scenarios).

 

Birst - Interactive dashboards
 
  • Birst - Interactive dashboards
    Interactive dashboards
  • Birst - Data visualizations
    Data visualizations
  • Birst - Modern analytics
    Modern analytics
  • Birst - Android view
    Android view
  • Birst - iPad view
    iPad view
Supported Operating System(s):
Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic)

27 Reviews of Birst

 

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Software Advice Reviews (26)
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Showing 1-20 of 26

John from Apex Supply Chain Technologies
Specialty: Software / Technology
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

April 2017

April 2017

Birst in IoT

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

The user community is amazing. Post a question and get five ways to make it happen within an hour!

Pros

Easy to install and manage. Great support from Birst and the Birst community. Good BItools getting better every three months.

Cons

Lookng forward to seeing the new predictive analytics in 2017. Need this to go to the next level. Same is true with mobile. Demo at Birst forward looked promising.

 
 

Stephanie from Greystar
Specialty: Real Estate
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

April 2017

April 2017

One Stop Shop

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Birst has been a great way to bring together the data from the many platforms that our company uses.

Pros

We can develop reporting for our end users and they can have a one stop shop and don't have to wait for an analyst to gather all the data for them.

Cons

Designer needs improvement for our business use.

 
 

Laura from Greystar
Specialty: Real Estate
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

April 2017

April 2017

Agile BI solution with superior data modeling and visualizations

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Pros

With Birst, our organization was able to consolidate disparate data systems into one location and customize content.

Cons

While Birst has various modules and features available, select modules/features require extensive training to master.

 
 

Rick from Daxko
Specialty: Software / Technology
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

April 2017

April 2017

Solid Data Visualization tool

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Birst has proven to meet or exceed our expectations in most areas. The visualizer and dashboard tools are simple to use. The admin tool is in flash and it is a little clunky at times, but it gets the job done and the complexity is hidden from our end users which was a key goal for us.

We are embedding it in our software and we were looking for a solution that excelled in visualization while also providing scalable management capabilities. Birst provides the full breadth of what we need while most other tools only provided a part of our full needs.

Pros

Visualizations and Dashboards. Flexibility on configuration and data management

Cons

Admin tool is flash based for now.

 
 

Deborah from Musco Lighting LLC
Specialty: Manufacturing
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

April 2017

April 2017

Birst as a Single Software Solution

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Birst has continued to evolve within its nitch; focused deliverables.

Pros

Ease of going from simple to complex. Integrated end to end solution. Birst has always said their success is measured on our success.

Cons

The cons are being eliminated by many of the new features, Pronto and Smart. While the Community is a great place to share and resource to seek answers, sometimes when you need that quick How To question answered you don't have the time to wait, it would be nice to have the Help Me now feature.

 
 

Norman from Zodiac Aerospace
Specialty: Manufacturing
Number of employees: 10,000+ employees Employees number: 10,000+ employees

March 2017

March 2017

Great value, better potential.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Having a fully integrated data store and data warehouse is a great value. Data connectivity is also very powerful while simple. Lastly Visualizer's interface is very intuitive and easy for adoption.

The capability to carve out a topic, build it and deploy stand-alone supports great time-to-market. The Network BI capability allows you to come back and merge, enhance. Very flexible.

Pros

Capability and options. You will have a hard time finding something this platform cannot do.

Cons

In some areas BIRST excels, but in others you can still find some rough edges.

 
 

Roie from Credorax
Specialty: Banking & Financial Services
Number of employees: 51-200 employees Employees number: 51-200 employees

February 2017

February 2017

Birst is a fast rising star

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

I'm a Birst Cloud customer for over 3 years now and through time they have much improved and advanced in technology, performance and ease of use.
They are constantly are adding new features , their support and services are great and mainly - they listen to what you have to say.
Their community is bringing people and employees together, sharing ideas and solutions. Thumbs up

Pros

fast pacing environment, adding constantly features

Cons

Nothin special, but there's always space for improvements

 
 

Sarah from Publicis Media
Specialty: Media & Communications
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

January 2017

January 2017

Birst Review froma more technical point of view

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Birst is a suitable tool to review data without implementing the data in a data warehouse. it is possible to establish real-time connections to several databases or do the modeling directly in Birst. In some situations, you can see that the tool is still in its infancy but the support always finds a solution, however, it looks likes (as long as the source of interruption is critical to your business).

In my opinion, the admin area (modeling) is the least developed area compared to the visualization frontend and still runs (until Birst 6) on the flash basis with sometimes causes synchronization errors between the database and the front-end.
You can do modeling as you like with some limitations in the schemas. Birst can process star and snowflakes but has some problems with multi-fact tables and different aggregation levels in one table (data mart design. in Cognos they call this feature "Determinants").
Nevertheless, it is easy for anyone with a little modeling knows how to build a simple model and report their data. A person who does not anything about SQL or data would have a lot of troubles with modeling which isn't a disadvantage in my opinion but should be noticed.
Birst is pretty limited when it comes to "security" in different ways:
You can set a data security on row level and assign user groups or variables to it but it's pretty complicated for nondatabase developers or architects. our analysts (who do some modeling) had a hard time understanding the security until this task was assigned to us architects. This should be made simpler for every third-class technician to understand.
You are able to grant a user access to the admin area or deny it. you cannot grant access to just some features like upload images and add users. In my opinion, this a limitation and always requires a space admin to do stuff that a normal visualizer can't do.
If you want a user to import images or something then he must have space admin permissions and therefore he can make changed on the model which contradicts to a row level security if set.
The user management really is limited. you're missing a lot of creation/deletion functions and you must always access a space command window to do so. therefore you have troubles to mass create/delete users without using the API. You have to do a lot of extra work to manage your users efficiently.

The frontend is pretty good and you can do a lot of visualizations. You can choose between simple charts from "visualizer" or build pixel perfect reports from "designer". You can add both report types to a selection of dashboards.
Dashboards can be secured via user groups but only for space admins which always involves a space admin a slightly contradicts to a self-services solution.

All in all, Birst is an ETL and visualization tool that allows you so simply add files to your data warehouse and do some reporting. As more complex, your model becomes as more limitations you face while modeling. If you use live access connections the SQL's created are executed on the corresponding database. therefore you face fewer limitations than modeling within Birst.
we personally prefer to model with live access. Even if the tool is on some parts in its infancy the Birst community and support is pretty awesome and without this the tool wouldN't be satisfying but it exists and therefore I grant 4 of 5 starts for this tool.

Advice to Others

If you're looking for a full self service tool for end customers you should take a look at Birst 6.

 
 

augustin from KEYRUS
Specialty: Software / Technology

September 2016

September 2016

Easy of use and added value

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

Birst is an all in one product that cover BI problematics from data gathering to data visualisation without forgetting performance, security and user experience. Lots of technical aspect are simplified because there already packaged into Birst.
Ultimately it's a real time saver in my projects.

Likes Least

The End user data blending functionality can be limited because you can't make lot of refinement on user's Excel import data.

Recommendations

The ease to create new dashboard is really impressive and simplicity to gather data and make them available to end-users are key factors for projects success.

 
 

Leslie from iTalent Corporation
Specialty: Consulting

August 2016

August 2016

Powerful Networked BI Capability and Friendly Data Visualization

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

Birst as a vendor has been fantastic to work with as they are passionate, communicate well and always ready to help. The power of being able to have "no more silos" is game-changing for the organization. Love the fact that end-users have a much easier time creating their own visualization versus having to rely on IT.

Likes Least

I am hard pressed to identify something here as I usually find that when I run up against anything causing me a challenge, it is usually a matter of just getting more experience.

Recommendations

Think about your data and whether or not you have siloed information. Almost everyone, even with a data warehouse has some "local" data that end-users would like to include in their analysis. Then, make sure you have an understanding of the requirements/use cases for your end users.

 
 

Douglas from objectBusiness Inc.
Specialty: Consulting

August 2016

August 2016

More than just a visualizer, a complete end-to-end solution.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

The product provides a complete BI environment, from your data sources to the final analysis. Further, nothing is wasted in the process. Metadata is an important configuration component, not just a make-work project to be filed and go stale. This makes the final delivery robust, complete, and CORRECT.

The company itself embodies this complete solution concept by providing support in every aspect of an implementation. Unlike other vendors, their focus is on a well-architected business supported by the software rather than just the sale of licenses.

Likes Least

I least like the learning curve of the more advanced features. They are very powerful and based on standards, but are not often used by typical developers. Although a necessary evil, if you will, and mitigated by the support of the vendor, it takes a few passes to get your team up to speed.

I don't really have anything bad to say about the vendor. Perhaps that they don't have a strong presence in Canada is the only issue that comes to mind.

Recommendations

It's important to realize that this is not just a Tableau competitor. When evaluating they have to consider the significant reduction in support roles for a typical data warehouse.

 
 

Adam from Vertafore
Specialty: Software / Technology

August 2016

August 2016

Birst OEM appliance client building software for insurance

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Likes Best

Birst is a tool that is very flexible and has a UI offering that is very platform independent. They also have designed their product to follow the Kimball methodology for dimensional modeling which helps make the tool easier to understand if you are a seasoned dimensional modeler. They are visibly investing in innovations that are meeting or exceeding the needs of BI Community (Angular, iOS/Android apps, end-user data blending.) They have a very fast development team and release new functionality sometimes quicker than we expect.

Birst staff and leadership know us by our first names. They do try to build a relationship with their clients and not treat you like an accounting revenue stream. Their community is closed but very tight.

Likes Least

Being on the cutting edge, sometimes features don't work as advertised at first. It's usually a good thing to wait for a few maintenance releases after a new major release comes out if you have an appliance.

On the support front, they need not be so quick to recommend that you upgrade to the next release to address a defect, especially if it isn't due out for a few weeks. Sometimes it feels like rely on their community too much to help keep the ship going.

Being an application born in the cloud, there are some unpolished processes that appliance customers need to learn to get things to work from time to time.

Birst is growing and they are ramping up new staff all the time. If you don't feel you're getting the best answer to your question, you need to sometimes push them to get it.

Recommendations

Know what problems you are trying to solve before you engage any BI vendor. We evaluated several major BI vendors in the "Magic Quadrant" and all the sales guys will show you examples that make it appear that their solution is the best. Do your homework and do a POC that is relevant to your use case.

Know the product roadmap and make sure it is aligned with your vision. Birst did an excellent job of communicating their vision for the future and we feel we made the right choice.

Finally, educate your user community on what exactly BI is. There is a large misconception that building a BI dashboard is easy. Using Birst to do this IS somewhat easy, but invest in your data model. Without a good data model, no BI tool can deliver suitable results quickly.

 
 

Deborah from Musco Lighting LLC
Specialty: Manufacturing

August 2016

August 2016

An Integrated Business Intelligence Solution

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

Birst is user friendly whether viewed as an Administrator, Designer, or Dashboard viewer. Being an integrated end-to-end single application solution makes it easy to administer. I have seen this company grow and yet their basic foundation remains the same "our success is judged by your success", they genuinely are driven by making sure each customer is successful in their Business Intelligence solution deployments.

Likes Least

For a while Birst was deploying new features and functionality at too rapid of a pace. They have now created more of a strategic phased deployment cycle and it is easier to manage the testing and migration to new versions.

Recommendations

1. Quick Start, Intuitive? [Birst has a quick start, simply upload an Excel spreadsheet and you can test drive in Discovery]
2. Software Upgrades? evaluate frequency and who owns the upgrade process, are you forced to migrate to new version or can you remain on an older version. [Birst handles the cloud updates, individual companies test in their environment, but can remain on the previous version until the release of next version]
3. Advanced Expressions/Calculations - what is the coding language - does it take a programmer/developer to design all reports & charts? [Birst uses a friendly BQL internal language; but even a non programmer can pick it up easily. Birst is further expanding more of an auto prompt, drag & drop coaching utilities]
4. Staffing: does it require a programmer/developer to manage the datawarehouse and handle designs? [I am a Business Analyst with no coding background, I am the Birst Administrator, Designer and only need outside IS assistance when bringing in new fields of data.]

 
 

Bob from Yosemite Analytics
Specialty: Software / Technology

August 2016

August 2016

Birst - Cloud BI & Analytics

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

What is unique about Birst is the way it allows customers to achieve the "Holy Grail" of BI - namely, providing both Governance and Agility in the same product. It does this in an easy to set up and use multi-tenant cloud environment, taking advantage of the use of virtual "spaces" which allow you to provide users with the right level of access to the right data, whether they are more advanced users or more casual users, whether they are located at the company HQ or in a remote location, etc. Birst calls this "Networked BI" and it is well worth looking into if you haven't yet.

Birst also is unique in the way it allows you to combine many different kinds of data sources, some in the cloud and some on-premise (if you want) into one Unified Data Model and then use that to create and populate what they call a User-Ready Data Warehouse. They use something called "Automated Data Refinement" (their own patent-pending technology) to create this data model and data warehouse for you with a minimum of effort on your part, saving you a lot of time and money, and making it much more feasible to keep the data model and data warehouse updated over time.

In terms of visualizations, Birst has a nice tool called Visualizer which is very easy to use, and a tool for more advanced users called Designer, which allows you to create pixel-perfect and very customized reports. Birst also fully supports the use of other front ends such as Tableau and Excel, which can access your many data sources using the User-Ready Data Warehouse created using Automated Data Refinement.

The company itself is easy to work with and is staffed with very knowledgeable people who are eager to help you succeed.

Likes Least

The online help is usually quite helpful, but there is some room for improvement in the search capability and some of the content.

Recommendations

Whether evaluating Birst or another product, I would recommend you get your hands on it and make sure it works with your data and with your people, i.e. let your admins, data modelers, dashboard creators, and end users try it so they will be able to see in advance how it will make their jobs easier. It should not take long at all to get a data model, data warehouse, and some dashboards created using Birst.

 
 

Freek from VANAD Group
Specialty: Software / Technology

August 2016

August 2016

Birst Benelux Review

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Value for Money

Likes Best

The product has a lot of USP's like Cloud, Networked BI, low TCO, etc. The ease of use and the possibility to prototype with data warehouses is unique in the BI market. Birst as a vendor is flexible and easy to approach on all levels.

Likes Least

New releases of products are often not stable. Some bugs are fixed and new ones are created. It's not possible to have multiple developers working in the Admin module. Birst as a vendor should consider a clear price strategy for partners, enterprises and mid-size organizations.

Recommendations

Don't focus on the visualizations, but on integration and virtualization of data features.

 
 

Mark from Graydon
Specialty: Banking & Financial Services

August 2016

August 2016

Dazzles at first, disappointing in every day use

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Likes Best

It is simple to understand.
First appearances offer a fresh user interface
Great community.
Good plugins for source systems
Cloud based

Likes Least

Its sluggish performance.
Numerous bugs that give the impression that the product is not well tested
Limited reporting and dash boarding capabilities
Bugs that lead to erroneous results, without giving and error.
Their focus on the US market

Recommendations

Make sure your data mart requirements is simple enough

 
 

Mario from Achievers
Specialty: Human Resources

January 2016

January 2016

Birst is a good BI tool, but it still has a long way to go

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Likes Best

Easy integration with 3rd party data, great visualizations and it comes with ETL capabilities.

Likes Least

Language support is completely manual (need to make a copy and translation of the project for every language needed). Their claim that you just point the tool to your data source and it intuitively builds the data model for you is exaggerated. It works well when the source tables and data are perfect (like the data in the spreadsheet they use for their demo). If column names are not perfectly standardized or different column names are used, the tool won't intuitively figure out anything. Unfortunately, most data sources are not perfect.

Recommendations

Make sure you have a comprehensive list of desired functionality and drill the vendor to make sure they support it. For instance, when I asked the i18n question (language support), they said they supported 10 languages, but when I asked how they handled it they kept avoiding the answer until I cornered them. I found out then that all language support was manual. New visualization tools are very flashy, but since they are still relatively new, they don't have all the functionality of a legacy tool like MicroStrategy, Cognos or B.O.

 
 

James from iRobot Corporation
Specialty: Manufacturing

April 2015

April 2015

Good Tool that is continuing to evolve!

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support
N/A
Likes Best

The ability to support both cloud and on-premises installations with the same code base was a big part of our decision process. We knew we had short term goals and requirements that would keep us from a pure Cloud based implementation, but wanted to be able to easily migrate from an internally hosted appliance to a private cloud, or public cloud offering. The commitment to move to fully HTML5 rendering and data integration capabilities are also core reasons for our selection.

Likes Least

They are moving away from Flash as a rendering layer for the product, I wish this process was more swiftly executed and already complete.

Recommendations

The integration capabilities of the platform are a selling point, but the tooling isn't as sophisticated as tools that may already be installed or available, so I think it is important to assess and derive a custom integration pattern that supports your business needs. By default, Birst has a bias to use the ETL capabilities of the platform to ingest data directly. I think it is worth while to assess this and determine if some level of cleansing/mapping modelling occur into common staging area that is then consumed by Birst. From a rapid development perspective, the native ETL capabilities are compelling. From a heterogeneous tool environment perspective where data needs to be available in multiple tools, alternative approaches would be desirable.

 
 

Raoul from Endowance Solutions
Specialty: Consulting

August 2014

August 2014

Still the best SaaS-based BI Solution

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Likes Best

It's easy to integrate with many other SaaS based platforms and on-premise databases.

Likes Least

Administration and developer tools are sometimes still a challenge, but that has gotten better over the years.

Recommendations

Review the data sources you want to analyze. If they're a combination of cloud and on-premise, chances are Birst is a great fit.

 
 

Kevin from White Software Inc.
Specialty: Accounting / CPA

August 2014

August 2014

Great product but needs improvements.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

Likes Best

This app has been really helpful for me in my day-to-day work. I was able to use this to save time at the office and also make me a much more effective worker. The software is easy to use and has a modern interface. I really like this product.

Likes Least

Sometimes, the app loads too slowly. I want a way to streamline my processes and make things faster. Another issue is the User Interface. Sometimes, it's too confusing. I don't know how to set up certain actions. It would also be nice if common actions were more prominent.

Recommendations

Give this software a real shot, and try to use it for an entire week. The true value of this app is not realized until you've given it enough time to become part of your daily routine. It's also really helpful if you take the tutorial and learn how the app works.

 
 
 
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Dan from Kimball Consulting

November 2014

November 2014

The Future of BI

Ease-of-use

Product Quality

Customer Support

Ease-of-use
Usability
Product Quality
Quality
Support

Birst does it all for less and faster and easier. We are not looking back after settling on Birst. They have truly built a platform that helps pull and transform your data all the way to delivering up succinct and valuable visualizations.

Source: Capterra