What users are saying about
183 Ratings
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Top Rated
630 Ratings
183 Ratings
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Score 7.2 out of 100

Microsoft Power BI

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Top Rated
630 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 100

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is great for reporting of any type. The dashboards I create for my executive team are crisp and easy to understand. I often get complements on it, and suggestions on what other reports or data could benefit from Power BI. Power BI is still dependent on data sources, so if my data source connections break, then the report is no good. This isn't something that you can create and forget. It needs eyes on it to ensure the data is correct
Richard Crane | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Pixel Perfect reports
Birst
7.5
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Customizable dashboards
Birst
7.8
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Report Formatting Templates
Birst
6.8
Microsoft Power BI
8.4

Ad-hoc Reporting

Birst
6.9
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Drill-down analysis
Birst
6.9
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Formatting capabilities
Birst
7.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Birst
6.1
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Report sharing and collaboration
Birst
7.5
Microsoft Power BI
8.7

Report Output and Scheduling

Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Publish to Web
Birst
8.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.9
Publish to PDF
Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Report Versioning
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Report Delivery Scheduling
Birst
8.1
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Delivery to Remote Servers
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.2

Data Discovery and Visualization

Birst
6.9
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Birst
7.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Predictive Analytics
Birst
5.7
Microsoft Power BI
8.0

Access Control and Security

Birst
8.1
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Multi-User Support (named login)
Birst
8.7
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Role-Based Security Model
Birst
8.1
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Birst
7.5
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.9

Mobile Capabilities

Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Responsive Design for Web Access
Birst
7.9
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
Dedicated iOS Application
Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI
8.1
Dedicated Android Application
Birst
7.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.2
REST API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Javascript API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.4
iFrames
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Java API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.2

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

  • Engaging dashboard displays with drag and drop modules to convey data in a meaningful ways.
  • Familiar Microsoft "Ribbon" type interface that creates an integral feel with the rest of the Microsoft suite of products.
  • Built-in mobile optimization window and associated Mobile applications that allow viewing from any location connected to the server.
Rick Botha | TrustRadius Reviewer

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

  • It is such a powerful system that it can come across as intimidating for some without some Excel knowledge
  • I'm not a database analyst or administrator, so calling the data in can be difficult (not necessary the fault of the software, but something that could be difficult for teams without someone with database knowledge)
  • It can come across as confusing, when there is both a local Power BI and online Power BI components. They don't necessarily do the same functions. You'll definitely want to know how to use the online version as this is how you'll publish and share the results of your findings, but the local one has a lot of capabilities that don't appear to be directly available in the online version (and if so, it's not immediately apparent).
Steffany Winkelmann | TrustRadius Reviewer

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 10.0
Based on 1 answer
I find it helpful and easy to use
jim paroly | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Birst

Birst 6.3
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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI 9.0
Based on 3 answers
PBI is very easy to use because of its similarity with power pivot and excel. DAX is the basic foundation language to be mastered to quickly build reports. Custom measures have been introduce to write instant DAX functions (But doesnt work all the time and need a understanding of DAX to debug). Easy to chart multiple charts and also third party charts
Rohit Acharya | TrustRadius Reviewer

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support Rating

Birst

Birst 5.3
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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation Rating

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI as I said earlier is unfortunate in relation to the panels but compared to Tableau.Although Microsoft Power BI has a general interface easier to understand in my company because we already have a signature with the package Office 365 that the integration of the same is excellent.
Gabriel Oliveira | TrustRadius Reviewer

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft Power BI

  • I'm using the free version, so the only investment was the time spent to learn how to use the product (which as an Excel user, was very short).
  • I use Excel to store every single bit of information about all the projects I do, and being able to see them visualized helped me see some redundant steps I was taking.
  • No negative impact at all for me.
jim paroly | TrustRadius Reviewer

Screenshots

Microsoft Power BI

Pricing Details

Birst

General

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

Microsoft Power BI

General

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

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Birst
7.2
Microsoft Power BI
8.6

Likelihood to Renew

Birst
9.0
Microsoft Power BI
10.0

Usability

Birst
6.3
Microsoft Power BI
9.0

Reliability and Availability

Birst
4.1
Microsoft Power BI

Performance

Birst
7.5
Microsoft Power BI

Support Rating

Birst
5.3
Microsoft Power BI

In-Person Training

Birst
9.1
Microsoft Power BI

Online Training

Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI

Implementation Rating

Birst
5.3
Microsoft Power BI

Scalability

Birst
6.0
Microsoft Power BI

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