What users are saying about

Birst

Top Rated
178 Ratings

Microsoft Power BI

Top Rated
319 Ratings

Birst

Top Rated
178 Ratings
Score 6.8 out of 101

Microsoft Power BI

Top Rated
319 Ratings
Score 8.1 out of 101

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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

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is great at dynamically reflecting real time data. It has wonderful views of data and can narrate a story that is powerful and impressive. Decisions can be made on the overall visuals shown. BI can show you where your sales are picking up while showing you areas to focus on. The quality of your BI dashboard tremendously improves with the overall quality of your incoming data. BI has great capability to share results across the organization in a secure and safe way in almost any computer platform. Mobile phones welcome too!
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Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Birst
6.8
Microsoft Power BI
8.2
Pixel Perfect reports
Birst
6.7
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Customizable dashboards
Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.7
Report Formatting Templates
Birst
6.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.0

Ad-hoc Reporting

Birst
6.9
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Drill-down analysis
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Formatting capabilities
Birst
6.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Birst
6.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Report sharing and collaboration
Birst
7.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.4

Report Output and Scheduling

Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Publish to Web
Birst
7.8
Microsoft Power BI
8.9
Publish to PDF
Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Report Versioning
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
7.7
Report Delivery Scheduling
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.4

Data Discovery and Visualization

Birst
6.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.3
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Birst
7.2
Microsoft Power BI
8.6
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Birst
7.0
Microsoft Power BI
8.8
Predictive Analytics
Birst
5.7
Microsoft Power BI
7.5

Access Control and Security

Birst
8.1
Microsoft Power BI
8.1
Multi-User Support (named login)
Birst
8.3
Microsoft Power BI
8.5
Role-Based Security Model
Birst
8.1
Microsoft Power BI
7.7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Birst
8.0
Microsoft Power BI
7.9
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
8.3

Mobile Capabilities

Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.1
Responsive Design for Web Access
Birst
7.0
Microsoft Power BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Dedicated Android Application
Birst
7.6
Microsoft Power BI
8.0
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Birst
7.4
Microsoft Power BI
8.2

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.2
REST API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.7
Javascript API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.5
iFrames
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.1
Java API
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
6.5
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
7.6
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Birst
Microsoft Power BI
6.9

Pros

  • 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
  • Data blending from several different files is a big hit with our Power BI users. We have so many excel and CSV files and many of them are not clean, so making use of the data cleaning and blending saves us from countless pivots and lookups to just get data worthy of analyzing.
  • The visualizations are top notch, and available without additional cost. Everything is in vibrant colors and crisp, clear lines that whatever your produce is clearly pleasing to the eye. From mapping down to pie charts, the visuals are well done.
  • The Beta preview is very helpful, not all software allows you to preview or use things in beta, but Power BI has a wonderful set of tools and visualizations you can add into your work with very little effort or complexity.
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Cons

  • 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
  • UX sometimes can be overwhelming, can be more intuitive
  • Free features always can receive more attention to gain client fidelity
  • Solutions like Power BI can always do better with their Mobile version
Litzi Saraí Gordils Ortuño profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Birst9.0
Based on 36 answers
It is easy to deploy, making changes is easy, and as a result maintenance is inexpensive. The upcoming features (maps, additional HTML) will improve the capabilities and make it even better.
Eric Lagace profile photo
Microsoft Power BI10.0
Based on 1 answer
I find it helpful and easy to use
jim paroly profile photo

Usability

Birst3.4
Based on 6 answers
Nowhere near as user friendly as other tools. Part of the problem is combination of Flash and HTML options, although this is configured at a user level rather than a dashboard level. As the features in each option are not the same, this can mean users working in one format cannot utilise dashboards that are more suited for the other format.
Tim Welch profile photo
Microsoft Power BI8.8
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 profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Birst4.2
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
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Performance

Birst7.5
Based on 6 answers
Birst struggles with complex data sets coming from SSAS, that resolve very quickly on tools like PowerBI
Tim Welch profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support

Birst4.5
Based on 14 answers
8 out of 10 times I find the answer to a problem before the support team does. Many times I get the wrong answer from them. I don't find that they evaluate problems well before they start working on them. Many times they work from screen prints and logs without ever speaking to me to find out what is going on.
Lee Ann Benson profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

In-Person Training

Birst9.1
Based on 4 answers
Training was very helpful. It occurred early in the implementation process, but I remembered a lot of what we did months later when I started getting hands-on experience
Scott Gabriel profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Online Training

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.
George Sanchez profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation

Birst5.3
Based on 6 answers
Disappointing that it is on a "delivered VM" rather than a software install as 99.9% of other software is provided.
Tim Welch profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Breadth of Deployment

5 users so far...just gettin started
Tim Johnson profile photo
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

  • Birst lacks external modular components power bi has currently. New custom visuals, charts, statistical models created by third party vendors can be added to existing dashboard and enhanced.
  • Birst lacks interactive dashboard functionality and external inputs.
  • Powerbi and Tableau have better CGI and rendering
  • Both Powerbi and Tableau when have good backend infrastructure are very scalable solutions
  • Birst lacks multiple external source intergration in comparison to th
  • Birst has its own backend and as a result the company need not worry about the back end infrastructure. both power bi and Tableau lacks backend.
  • Birst is good at canned reporting and emailing compared to other products
Rohit Acharya profile photo
First of all, Power BI is a fraction of the price of Tableau. Secondly, I found Tableau to be much less user-friendly than Power BI. Tableau is great if your organization wants to completely control BI and centralize it in the hands of highly skilled data analysts and IT teams. Power BI, on the other hand, is more egalitarian in that just about anyone can quickly understand how to use Power BI to create customized data models that are meaningful to them and churn out impressive looking interactive visuals. I highly prefer Power BI over Tableau
Adam Bruckman, MPH, CPC profile photo

Collaboration and Sharing

Birst6.8
Based on 25 answers
Common interface makes distribution of reports/dashboards easy. Easily exports to Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, etc. Use of single sign on enable it to be embedded in other interfaces. Unfortunately, there's no support in the tool for encapsulating a dialog around the dashboards/reports.
Price Hatfield profile photo
Microsoft Power BI8.3
Based on 46 answers
This is not something I've personally had to use, so I can't be specific about it's strengths and weaknesses.
The rating is based entirely on things I've read and heard from others, none of which I can personally validate.
Galen Mosier profile photo

Data Integration

Birst7.5
Based on 76 answers
The BirstConnect product gives us tremendous flexibility in the data sources we are able to connect to. One of the beautiful examples of this is a customer who has a legacy ERP system, a homegrown data warehouse and a modern ERP system. We were able to utilize BirstConnect and the data mapping tool to merge all three data sources into a single reporting engine, something they had previously not been able to do.
Josh Beam profile photo
Microsoft Power BI8.4
Based on 45 answers
It is seamless. For me, I connect Power BI the HALO. And you can switch from the production environment to testing environment fairly quickly. Sometimes the live connects can slow down HALO, but that is HALO's fault (their cubes aren't broken down and separated out properly). Once the HALO team goes in and isolates the HALO cube better, then Power BI resumes its magic without any more connectivity issues.
No photo available

Scalability

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
Tim Welch profile photo
No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

  • Streamlines my analysis
  • Houses all information into one repository that can be accessed by all who need it
  • Shortens length of time to resolving internal inquiries
Tyler Adams profile photo
  • It's a good start for setting up customized dashboards.
  • Available for all users based on Office 365 platform we have in place.
  • Doesn't really allow depth of report - specifically customization of visual displays.
Mark Metz profile photo

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
Additional Pricing Details

Birst More Information

Microsoft Power BI

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

Microsoft Power BI More Information