What users are saying about
183 Ratings
183 Ratings
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Score 6.9 out of 101

Likelihood to Recommend

Birst

If you are looking for "Instant BI", Birst isn't that tool. If you want to roll your own solution using a single application to perform all of your ETL, reporting/dashboard, like to get deep in the weeds and have a lot of control of how your data is processed, this is going to make you smile.
Sean Keesler profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Birst
7.0
Pixel Perfect reports
Birst
6.9
Customizable dashboards
Birst
7.6
Report Formatting Templates
Birst
6.4

Ad-hoc Reporting

Birst
6.8
Drill-down analysis
Birst
7.2
Formatting capabilities
Birst
6.7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Birst
6.1
Report sharing and collaboration
Birst
7.3

Report Output and Scheduling

Birst
7.8
Publish to Web
Birst
8.2
Publish to PDF
Birst
7.9
Report Versioning
Birst
7.4
Report Delivery Scheduling
Birst
7.6

Data Discovery and Visualization

Birst
6.7
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Birst
7.2
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Birst
7.2
Predictive Analytics
Birst
5.6

Access Control and Security

Birst
8.1
Multi-User Support (named login)
Birst
8.5
Role-Based Security Model
Birst
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Birst
7.8

Mobile Capabilities

Birst
7.3
Responsive Design for Web Access
Birst
7.2
Dedicated iOS Application
Birst
7.5
Dedicated Android Application
Birst
7.4
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Birst
7.2

Pros

Birst

  • Birst provides a very scalable and high-performance BI Platform. Setting up a new project "space" is simple, fast and easy to manage.
  • Birst provides a deep and comprehensive ETL and query capability to perform most any data transformation.
  • Building out Dashboards is easy. Building new reports with the Visualization tool is easy and powerful.
David Strutt profile photo

Cons

Birst

  • 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.
Robin Filan profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Birst

Birst 9.0
Based on 36 answers
We have been able to overcome any of the drawbacks we've found with Birst easily and it has fulfilled almost all of our analytic needs to date. Having seen their roadmap it would be highly unlikely we would move away from this platform any time soon. You simply can't beat the functionality that Birst provides for the price and the things I see coming out of the company solidify that our decision to choose Birst was the best possible choice. We have never regretted the decision.
Brian Flood profile photo

Usability

Birst

Birst 6.4
Based on 11 answers
We have been using Birst for 10 years .We like a lot of things it offers but especially the ability to create new data sources and build reports/dashboard on top of that data very fast and relatively easy. What we dislike is a way how some of new features/modules have been designed and developed and lack of consistent focus on product stability. Since Birst became part of Infor, a lot of things changed for the worse (product reliability, tech support,...) We hope that this is just a phase that will be over soon.
Sanja Prstojevic profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Birst

Birst 4.1
Based on 6 answers
We frequently experience -103 errors due to us using the Live Connect functionality, which does not seem to handle even minor interruptions in connectivity, and treats all future connection attempts or data requests as errors, even if the issue does not exist any longer
Tim Welch profile photo

Performance

Birst

Birst 7.5
Based on 6 answers
Everything runs very fast and smoothly. The only process that I wish was faster would be processing the data after uploading new data or making changes to the existing data model. It can take 15-20 minutes (roughly) to upload and process new data once you start getting into 10's of millions of rows. Given my experience with how long it takes me to pull the same data using SQL Server Management Studio, I don't think Birst is unreasonably slow - but for me to give a higher rating, I would want it to be unreasonably fast
Brett Mooberry profile photo

Support

Birst

Birst 5.2
Based on 18 answers
When we have an issue that is stopping our business from proceeding, I want answers sooner than later. While Birst does have a published response time for each case level, we always wish it could be quicker. What response improvement could there be with a larger support team?In response to first question: Blackhole of issues - Birst needs to improve upon closing issues that resolution was dependent upon code fixes or enhancements, perhaps someone to add a comment on all case tickets at least every 60 days.Escalation - I always have the ability to electronically or via phone escalate a ticket. I also have my Customer Success Manager through whom I can escalate topics.
Deborah Stillwell Judy profile photo

In-Person Training

Birst

Birst 9.1
Based on 4 answers
I have attended two different training sessions. The first one was my initial training on the system. It was well paced, clear and concise. If there were questions that were not able to be answered by the instructor, he took down the question and actually followed up and provided us a response quickly.The second session was specific to the dashboard and report design components. This training was very good though there were some attendants who had little or no experience and their questions slowed the class.
Timothy Humphreys profile photo

Online Training

Birst

Birst 8.0
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.
George Sanchez profile photo

Implementation

Birst

Birst 5.3
Based on 6 answers
Have clean data! Birst flexibility allows - Start small, then introduce functionality and complexity along the way. If you try to present all the functionality [bells and whistles] and wow them, but bad data is uncovered, the end user blames the new application and turns away.
Deborah Stillwell Judy profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Birst

Birst provide a much better web UI and end user experience and distribution mechanism than both Tableau and SSRS. Power BI simply did not have the full complement of features that we needed at the time of our selection to be competitive and Pentaho was too custom and would have required an investment in professional services that we could not afford. SSRS is good for data dumps, but creating user friendly visualizations is not practical. Snowflake ended up as our EDW platform, and we integrate that with Birst to provide a complete BI stack for our end users.
Marci Augustine profile photo

Scalability

Birst

Birst 6.0
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
Tim Welch profile photo

Return on Investment

Birst

  • Being a manufacturing company we tend to lag behind technologically. But having all the data for different ERP systems in one place has been an eye opener for the executives. It has lessened the need to convert some legacy ERP systems.
  • Having such a simple reporting tool is a great asset to some of our sites that have traditionally had trouble gathering data from AS400 systems.
Andy Olson profile photo

Pricing Details

Birst

General

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

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