What users are saying about

9 Spokes

1 Ratings

Birst

176 Ratings

9 Spokes

1 Ratings
Score 7 out of 101

Birst

176 Ratings
Score 6.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

9 Spokes

Good for letting your investors, employees and others know at a glance how your company is doing. The interface is clean and organized well. I just wish more of the app's functionality was available for testing and implementation. "Coming soon" is not really encouraging when we already have been waiting for a year or more.

Birst

Birst is a great tool for supporting well-governed analytics data modeling. It has a good balance between the effort required by an IT/ETL specialist and business analysts and reports writers.Birst does not shy away from the challenges of data governance and stewardship vs the dangers of "quick and easy" departmental or project specific analytic projects where business rules are "invented" vs managed and data cube chaos can quickly become a big IT problem.

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

9 Spokes
9.0
Birst
6.9
Customizable dashboards
9 Spokes
9.0
Birst
7.7
Pixel Perfect reports
9 Spokes
Birst
6.7
Report Formatting Templates
9 Spokes
Birst
6.3

Ad-hoc Reporting

9 Spokes
7.0
Birst
7.0
Drill-down analysis
9 Spokes
7.0
Birst
7.5
Formatting capabilities
9 Spokes
Birst
6.7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
9 Spokes
Birst
6.5
Report sharing and collaboration
9 Spokes
Birst
7.3

Data Discovery and Visualization

9 Spokes
10.0
Birst
6.7
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
9 Spokes
10.0
Birst
7.3
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
9 Spokes
Birst
7.1
Predictive Analytics
9 Spokes
Birst
5.8

Access Control and Security

9 Spokes
9.0
Birst
8.2
Multi-User Support (named login)
9 Spokes
9.0
Birst
8.3
Role-Based Security Model
9 Spokes
Birst
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
9 Spokes
Birst
8.0

Mobile Capabilities

9 Spokes
8.0
Birst
7.5
Responsive Design for Web Access
9 Spokes
6.0
Birst
7.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
9 Spokes
10.0
Birst
7.5
Dedicated iOS Application
9 Spokes
Birst
7.8
Dedicated Android Application
9 Spokes
Birst
7.6

Report Output and Scheduling

9 Spokes
Birst
7.7
Publish to Web
9 Spokes
Birst
7.9
Publish to PDF
9 Spokes
Birst
8.0
Report Versioning
9 Spokes
Birst
7.4
Report Delivery Scheduling
9 Spokes
Birst
7.4

Pros

  • Grouping several apps in one place for easy viewing.
  • Clean dashboard interface that looks uncluttered when viewing several apps at once.
  • Setting up the apps is a breeze when the platform supports them.
  • Easy to create visualizations
  • Very attractive visualizations
  • Connect to many data sources

Cons

  • Integration with apps that are listed. Some of them are not supported yet and it seems the wait is taking longer than I'd like.
  • iPhone support. It would be nice to have this in the app store. Not available as of 04/25/2018.
  • Terrible documentation and training resources. Sometimes not enough documentation, sometimes it is WRONG! Often we are told to post our issues to the Birst user forum, as if we should be able to figure out our own problems rather than Birst troubleshooting their own product.
  • Sometimes when there are bugs we are told they will only be addressed by voting on them as feature requests, not addressing the bugs. Some feature requests are years old.
  • When using Birst Connect there is a lot that can go wrong on the Birst side of things completely out of our control, and then we are waiting on technical support to resolve. In particular the space can get "locked" if we try to process while it's already processing. I've also experienced where a staging table was deleted in the user interface, but not the backend of the tool, so it failed until the support team manually removed it.
  • Birst technical support is very weak. They often do not answer the phone, and they always ask to go on a call with you after submitting a ticket, no matter if we've provided extensive documentation within the ticket.
  • The ETL features are incredibly hard to use, though very powerful. As someone who has an understanding of database theory I found the fact that the training refused to teach to "primary keys" and "foreign keys" and "facts and dimensions" and instead made us learn a whole different terminology of "levels" and "hierarchies" very confusing.
  • Processing is entirely mysterious to us. There's little explanation of what is happening when it is processing, which makes it hard to troubleshoot when things go wrong.
  • Terrible or non-existent error messages. When a scripted source fails to execute the log in the scripted source doesn't even generate an error message. We've also found that the error message "data format is not correct" doesn't actually mean that, but can mean a whole bunch of other things related to the model.
  • Birst does not allow snowflake data structure more than 2 levels deep. This is a problem as our data warehouse is a snowflake, so we always have to flatten our tables.
  • Even though the visualization tool makes nice views, it is not as robust as even years old versions of Tableau. In particular I've found I often export my data out of Birst and into Tableau when I want to visualize two or more attributes.
  • Birst sends its users to the user Forum, but half of the issues on there have not been resolved. There's a person whose job it is to reply whether the users have figured out a solution. Why is this our responsibility to figure out their tool?
  • Very, very little support for using Live Access to connect to data. Some of the Birst support staff don't even know how to use it.

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst9.0
Based on 36 answers
Administration overhead is minimal and keeps TCO down. Product flexibility actually lends toward a gradual replacement of other existing architecture if present.

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst3.5
Based on 6 answers
It can be clunky, but there have been noticeable improvements with each new release. It's obvious that they are working hard to improve the usability

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst4.2
Based on 6 answers
We had a few instances when data didn't process as planned. However, we have worked with Birst and found solutions

Performance

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst7.5
Based on 6 answers
Sometimes I wish the data would load faster. Not sure if that issue is on Birst's end, though

Support

9 Spokes5.0
Based on 1 answer
Support was helpful in the beginning but no longer needed because I didn't use the software as much. The experience that I did have with support was very friendly but not enough to give a good review. If the support team was called for initial setup, video chat or messenger app was used.
Birst4.7
Based on 14 answers
There are a few technicians I know by name that are particularly good, but until the main staff gets in at 9AM PST they are not very helpful at all.

In-Person Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst9.1
Based on 4 answers
I went to their annual user conference (Birst Forward) and their standard training class (Birst Boot Camp) this year, and both were excellent. Very educational, and I got all of the personal attention I needed to get my questions about my specific answered. I've also reached out to the trainers after those events to ask more questions, and they've been great about getting back to me with answers

Online Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst8.0
Based on 2 answers
Birst has been a solid provider of BI tools in the years we have used them. They have grown with us and have shown they are investing in their service by providing new tools.

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst5.3
Based on 6 answers
Our initial implementation was rocky. Without writing a novel, there were a few main issues. The professional services company was decent, but not great. We also did not have adequate resources on our end to provide the services company what they needed (an expert on our database, etc.). As the project manager, I definitely tried to do too much with the initial implementation and was very guilty of "chasing squirrels", as I've heard it called. All of this lead to us running out of professional services hours we had paid for, without a working product. After that unsuccessful first attempt, Birst sat on the shelf for a bit before we got our new (and current) CSM. He called us to see how things were going. After learning that the product wasn't in use and how poorly our first go at it went, he bent over backwards to get us up and running, first with spreadsheets, and then with our database, all at no additional charge to us. Combine this with the training I've received, and we've got a working product up and running without the use of a professional services company. We are definitely one of their smaller clients, and I was surprised at how much work they put into turning the project around for us

Breadth of Deployment

No answers on this topic
Internally, 12 users are viewing metrics and dashboards. In the embedded software, 30+ users and growing.

Alternatives Considered

I actually chose QuickBooks (currently using) and Method (used for a month) before deciding that 9 Spokes is just good for looking at a few apps in one place. I'll keep checking back with them to see if they have improved. I wouldn't be surprised if 9 Spokes improves their product within the next 6-12 months.
Birst was the only tool that did the following:
  • robust enough ETL for our data warehouse team
  • data would remain within our data warehouse and not within the tool's proprietary store, in case the company went out of business.
  • allow us to distribute reports within the company within their tool
  • embed reporting as iframes
  • relatively easily to build reporting
  • connect to many different kinds of data.

Collaboration and Sharing

9 Spokes7.0
Based on 1 answer
Access control capabilities are OK. Ease of sharing is great because the app design is made special for that purpose. I haven't dove that far into the app enough to generate reports. Formatting is very flexible because 9 Spokes allows the user to customize how the info is displayed. Security or lack thereof is not a factor for me so I am unable to give feedback on security.
Birst6.7
Based on 25 answers
Access control is really good. We have a broad range of users and the ability to share relevant data to specific audiences is critical. We use the report scheduler extensively and produce several reports that have a large audience. The ease of that process is really good

Data Integration

9 Spokes5.0
Based on 1 answer
I gave 9 Spokes a five because the range of data sources is minimal. Ease of merging data from disparate sources is pretty good for the ones they do support. I just want to have more apps available for arranging on their nice looking interface. Perhaps next year my review for 9 Spokes will be better than 5
Birst7.5
Based on 76 answers
Ability to connect to multiple data sources, ability to handle data complexity, data aggregation, data refinement

Scalability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Birst6.0
Based on 2 answers
we can see that loading a lot of data can cause a noticable slow down in performance. Birst support indicated that they don't really consider anything less than 30 seconds to be an issue, but that is not the case for our customers, so we have had to change some of implementation to address this

Return on Investment

No answers on this topic
  • By utilizing just the basic functions of Birst, we have been able to provide critical, time-sensitive data to our leadership. This could not have come at a more important time for our company.
  • The flexibility offered by Birst, through dashboards and mobile app, has allowed us to extend our offerings to other departments in our building and not just limiting our service to C-level users.

Pricing Details

9 Spokes

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details
9 Spokes is free to use - that’s joining, using the smart dashboard and connecting your apps to it. You'll only pay for any new apps you decide to purchase, but you can trial most of the app recommendations for free! If you want to purchase an app, we'll direct you to the app's website so you can sign up with them. If you sign up to a plan, you'll pay the apps directly and then you can connect the app to your dashboard.

9 Spokes More Information

Birst

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Birst More Information