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).

Supported Operating System(s):
Mac OS , Web browser (OS agnostic)

32 Reviews of Birst

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  • David from Freelancer

    June 2018

    Easy to use if the data its simple, when the data turns complex its another history

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money

    A new tool that needs to improve some things...keep going

    Pros

    Have many features to improve the time to make the works functional.
    Very good performance in the gathering of data, security and possibility of learning.
    Good price.

    Cons

    The option of paste some data its impossible .
    not very intuitive
    sometimes features don't work as advertised at first

    This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.
    Review Source: Capterra
  • Eric from HDMS

    Specialty: Healthcare / Social Services

    Number of employees: 51-200 employees

    June 2018

    Tons of Features, Fantastic Support, Frustrating omissions of basic development functionality.

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support

    It may seem like we don't like the tool, but it is very good. The cons are mostly pain felt by the developers. End users will not notice an issue. Make sure you know that your end users will not be able to create any complex reports easily. BQL is very useful but there is no way a non-Developer will be able to just pick it up and go. A lot of these issues may be resolved in 2018...especially the egregious use of the defunct Flash technology. The tool does so many things that we use it exclusively to do everything from data modelling, report creation , security, dashboards, etc. And you cannot overstate the importance of their terrific customer support - especially the Birst Community. So the Cons is a long list of relatively minor quibbles. yur developers will grumble, but overall, it is an excellent tool.

    Pros

    Dragging and dropping reports are easy - provided the requirements are easy. Star and Snowflake, import data or Live connect. There are easy ways and more complex ways to process data. Fantastic support and community. BQL (Think Birst Metadata SQL) is flexible and powerful. API is easy to use and can write scripts to automate common functions.

    Troubleshooting Reports is made easier by a part of the Admin tool that lets you see the BQL and resulting SQL query. You can find the problems very easy.

    Cons

    This list is long, but not everything is a big problem, more an annoyance that makes what should be easy/common things difficult.
    1. Copy/Paste of Objects is impossible. Imagine your dashboard, you create a button, get the shape exactly as you like it, set the shadow just right and are ready to use it. Now you need 5 more just like it. Unfortunately, you can't use Copy/Paste...you have to build EVERY object by hand from scratch. They do not allow you to pull the XML and do the copy/paste that way. It's not just the buttons, it is everything. It makes development take many times longer than it needs to be.

    2. Dashboards can be copied, but it will not also copy the embedded reports. You need to make copies of the reports separately and then manually associate them with the copied Dashboard. Again, this copy/paste is BASIC functionality simply not available in Birst.

    3. They still use FLASH for the Admin screens - this includes the data model. Also, only one person can be in the admin tool at a time. If you need to make changes to the data model and do some work on user security and add some custom subject areas, you need to make 3 copies of the space and so the work separately, then use the commands like the one below in order to copy your work to another space. It is not intuitive and it is easy to use the wrong variable and overwrite all the work someone else was doing.
    copyspace 7e32c981-9c92-4ee7-9a3b-a396017a531f 3cfbdcfe-6675-4b24-8e72-ef930c799e90 copy spacesettings.xml;settings-basic;settings-membership;settings-permissions;color-palettes;custom-subject-areas;SavedExpressions.xml;DrillMaps.xml;dashboardstyles;connectors

    4. Some admin functions are incompatible with each other, but there is no way to know that outside of breaking your environment and then being told not to do that in the future. There is no way a casual user can use the Admin tool. It takes extensive training. For instance, you cant use the GUI Data Model (Data Flow) creator and refine it with the "Manage Sources" admin screen. That will break the space without throwing an error. You have to use the "Manage Local Sources" screen when using the Data Flow GUI. It can get very confusing especially for new users.

    5. Sometimes you can pinpoint a HEX Color, in other cases, you have only a choice between 5 predetermined colors. Sometimes you have a choice of 5 fonts, in others you only have an opportunity to make the predetermined font larger or smaller. Most times, your options are so limited, it is better to turn the function off.

    6. To go along with 5, you do have the option to use Designer that gives you a pixel perfect layout, but it still has significant limitations and requires extensive training.

    7. If you have requirements for ADA approved readability, you will not be able to have nice looking reports because the fonts are Small/Med/Large and everything will have scrollbars, etc.

    This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered
    Review Source
  • Shradha from Starcom

    March 2018

    Analytical solution for every data scanario

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    It is a complete automated Business Intelligence tool with cloud connectivity. Their USP is that it can access both governed and ungoverned data.

    Cons

    It doesn't have as many features as other business intelligence tool but it is affordable than the rest.

    This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.
    Review Source: Capterra
  • Gayasuddin from Infor

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    Number of employees: 5,001-10,000 employees

    February 2018

    Birst your Business!!

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    N/A

    Overall experience with Birst is good as a developer. Great visualization capabilities and faster analytics with huge amount of data. Happy Birsting!!!

    Pros

    Developer as well as User friendly interface.
    Built in modelling ,drag and drop analytics.
    Easy connect to data.

    Cons

    Complex BQL
    Date fields handling
    Less visualizations
    Themes
    Slow response in IE
    Less available fonts

    This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered
    Review Source
  • Alice from Cariuma

    Specialty: Retail

    Number of employees: 11-50 employees

    February 2018

    Easy to use for simply data

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    N/A
    Pros

    The Visualiser is simple to use for basic analytics, once everything is set up. I can pull out data very quickly and zoom into areas that I'm interested in finding out more.

    Cons

    Creation of dashboards is rather technical and will require someone very familiar with the data structure and BIRST to do so. Not something someone can do immediately, on the fly.

    This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.
    Review Source
  • John from Apex Supply Chain Technologies

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    Number of employees: 201-500 employees

    April 2017

    Birst in IoT

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    April 2017

    One Stop Shop

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    April 2017

    Agile BI solution with superior data modeling and visualizations

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    April 2017

    Solid Data Visualization tool

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    April 2017

    Birst as a Single Software Solution

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    March 2017

    Great value, better potential.

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    February 2017

    Birst is a fast rising star

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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

    January 2017

    Birst Review froma more technical point of view

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    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.

  • augustin from KEYRUS

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    September 2016

    Easy of use and added value

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

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

  • Leslie from iTalent Corporation

    Specialty: Consulting

    August 2016

    Powerful Networked BI Capability and Friendly Data Visualization

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

  • Douglas from objectBusiness Inc.

    Specialty: Consulting

    August 2016

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

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

  • Adam from Vertafore

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    August 2016

    Birst OEM appliance client building software for insurance

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

  • Deborah from Musco Lighting LLC

    Specialty: Manufacturing

    August 2016

    An Integrated Business Intelligence Solution

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

  • Bob from Yosemite Analytics

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    August 2016

    Birst - Cloud BI & Analytics

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

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

  • Freek from VANAD Group

    Specialty: Software / Technology

    August 2016

    Birst Benelux Review

    Ease-of-use
    Functionality
    Quality
    Support
    Value for Money
    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

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