Birst

Top Rated
178 Ratings
Score 6.8 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.
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SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform

It's well suited if you have a smaller team who are looking to develop more collaboratively and enable easy sharing, scheduling etc. of reports and documentation. It can also be expanded to a wider organization but there are complexities (such as security - where we decided to just leverage the database security and open everything up at BI file/folder level). For a larger organization, it certainly isn't quick to implement and with SAP changing their strategy so much, you will soon be out of date. Analytics cloud is certainly something you should look at first.
Josh Anderson profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Birst
6.8
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.7
Pixel Perfect reports
Birst
6.7
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.8
Customizable dashboards
Birst
7.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.2
Report Formatting Templates
Birst
6.3
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.1

Ad-hoc Reporting

Birst
6.9
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.5
Drill-down analysis
Birst
7.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.4
Formatting capabilities
Birst
6.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Birst
6.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.6
Report sharing and collaboration
Birst
7.3
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.4

Report Output and Scheduling

Birst
7.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.7
Publish to Web
Birst
7.8
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.7
Publish to PDF
Birst
8.0
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
8.0
Report Versioning
Birst
7.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
8.0
Report Delivery Scheduling
Birst
7.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.9
Delivery to Remote Servers
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.8

Data Discovery and Visualization

Birst
6.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.5
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Birst
7.2
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.5
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Birst
7.0
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.8
Predictive Analytics
Birst
5.7
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.0

Access Control and Security

Birst
8.1
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.5
Multi-User Support (named login)
Birst
8.3
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.1
Role-Based Security Model
Birst
8.1
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Birst
8.0
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.3
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.8

Mobile Capabilities

Birst
7.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.6
Responsive Design for Web Access
Birst
7.0
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.9
Dedicated iOS Application
Birst
7.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
8.0
Dedicated Android Application
Birst
7.6
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
7.3
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Birst
7.4
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.0
REST API
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.2
Javascript API
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.0
iFrames
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.0
Java API
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.4
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
6.4
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Birst
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
5.8

Pros

  • Birst is a cloud based BI platform and hence all our data is hosted on the cloud platform. Zalora had lot of data users who used to query the database, all these loads where shifted to birst and helped our in-house databases to function smoothly and concentrate on other critical processes.
  • Birst report scheduling functionality has been very useful for our company. reports are scheduled to emails to several operational heads to help them monitor action items and help to improve our operational KPIs.
  • Birst has been flexible with the number of users who can access the tool. Most of the BI platforms currently charges companies based on the users who would use the BI tool.
  • Birst is useful in performing time based KPIs such as YoY, WoW, MoM, Qtr-o-Qtr etc. There are several functions available which helps to perform time based calculation.
  • Birst is very useful in performing aggregations at different level (and different dates) as its based on star schema.
  • As all the reports are in cloud, birst reports can be easily shared with one another and acts as a report repository
  • Birst helps to maintain single source of truth and helps enforce standardized definitions for all our KPIs
  • Visualizer report rendering is of high quality and quite fast for simple data requests and pull
  • Birst provides snapshot functionality which is extensively used in our company to maintain the price logs and changes of all our merchandise.
Rohit Acharya profile photo
  • Very good scalability and a real must if you have an SAP as the main ERP system in the production across several factories.
  • Very good vertical integration with other SAP tools and even other main ERP solutions.
  • A good choice for a publicly traded company, where a robust auditable system is a prerequisite for getting transparency into internal.
Viktor Mulac profile photo

Cons

  • Birst being a cloud based platform is a both a blessing and a curse. as the data scales the performance of the tool deteriorates. although simple KPI reports can be quickly obtained, load intensive functions such as STAT or LET becomes hard to perform.
  • The customer service is rather poor when the problems at hand are tough. The turnaround time for some of the bigger problems can go on for months without an alternative solution
  • The processing time for each space is not consistent. outside US servers the processing time is very time consuming. Our APAC spaces in birst gets updated data by afternoon of a working day.
  • The scheduled reports might not come in time if the server is busy. We have had instance in which the scheduled reports would come a whole 24 hours later than the scheduled time.
  • Birst is a very difficult setup for change. If the data in the company is changing constantly then birst is not the tool to be held with. after implementing best practices, we were able to bring down the processing time of birst live to max 25 mins.
  • When the size of the data scales, powerful functions such as STAT (bring data at a different level and aggregates in the report) and LET are hard to perform. We have had instance in which STAT would run for more than an hour to render reports
  • Birst designer are still in FLASH and the vizualiser which is in HTML5 lacks several critical functions like scheduling, notifications, saving expressions and managing them. this leaves the customer to use the designer module instead of the vizualiser module, however the support for designer has been removed without keeping in mind that the visualizer component is incomplete.
  • Plug n play analytics is hard to perform unless you have certain technical knowledge. Data in flat files or excel files cannot be analyzed or visualized instantly like it can be done in tableau or any other BI Platform.
  • External Inputs cannot be made on the report. External parameters and data cannot be blended with the existing report. For example, if we had to increase our discounts by x% how much would our sales be? these kind of questions are hard to perform.
  • The syntax of each module in birst is different. This shows lack of team work within birst. for example. In designer module the ubiquitous if statement is denoted by IF and in Admin it is denoted by IIF. this would lead to end user being confused.
  • Certain important critical functions such as Report bursting, querying sample data and parameterized reporting are available only to the admins and not the end users.
  • Most of the code change requests in customer service tickets are still pending to date and some of them are unresolved.
  • Birst has quite a bit of learning curve as it has its own syntax. one would need to be educated to understand the different types of expressions which exist in birst.
  • Birst lacks search functionality in designer and searching in visualizer is rather tedious if you have several KPI named similarly
  • The Pivot Control functionality is rather poor and pathetically mimics the pivot of excel
  • Advance analytics is not possible. Different statistical models cannot be implemented. this would require data to be pumped out to perform advance analytics
  • The Tableau-Birst connect is limited to 500GB, hence if the data scales the ODBC connector would not be useful
  • The Data logs thrown out by birst needs to be more intutive and detailed. this would help new users to better understand the problems and troubleshoot it effectively
  • Usage tracking of birst is tedious which would require a separate space to be created just to track users.
  • Renewal costs are expensive given the price per BI Platform is coming down in recent years with more and more products coming online.
Rohit Acharya profile photo
  • The Platform Search tool can be troublesome to establish in a clustered deployment.
  • Issues that are repaired in on release, should not resurface in a future release. This is rare but annoying when it occurs.
  • Some of the developer tools require more documentation that what is provided.
No photo available

Likelihood to Renew

Birst9.0
Based on 36 answers
This is a quick and easy decision due to the selling points I discussed in the previous question. Swift is confident that we can keep up with the demand for reports with a very lean BI team
Daniel Kayce profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform8.4
Based on 22 answers
The institution has decided to move in a different direction, and will be using MSBI for reporting. I have been very happy with the Business Objects suite of tools, and will continue to use them heavily until we make the transition.
Robert Scrimshaw profile photo

Usability

Birst3.4
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
Scott Gabriel profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform9.5
Based on 4 answers
We use this tool everyday to generate 100's of reports over different modules.
No photo available

Reliability and Availability

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
Scott Gabriel profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform1.0
Based on 3 answers
Its available anytime. Depends on the server configuration.
No photo available

Performance

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
Scott Gabriel profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform7.2
Based on 8 answers
Overall, the tool (Web Intelligence 4.2) is fast and solid. One issue is a dependability on JAVA for a full feature report creation/edit capabilities (as opposed to limited HTML option). Second, planned end of JAVA support by major browsers (Chrome is already not supporting JAVA applet).
Dariusz Zyskowski profile photo

Support

Birst4.5
Based on 14 answers
Birst can do a lot of things, but it can be difficult to figure out unless you have someone to answer questions and to help explain new functionality. Thankfully, Birst customer support has been outstanding. As mentioned before, questions are usually answered the same day the support case is created
Scott Gabriel profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform7.4
Based on 6 answers
Very difficult website to use that is not very intuitive. It's hard to reach a good support person that can actually help with the issue. We usually end up solving the issue ourselves.
Carla Simoneau profile photo

In-Person Training

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
Brett Mooberry profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform9.5
Based on 2 answers
Great training with hand-on labs.
Nathan Patrick Taylor profile photo

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
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform8.0
Based on 1 answer
SAP's training is excellent, though it is expensive.
Nathan Patrick Taylor profile photo

Implementation

Birst5.3
Based on 6 answers
I wasn't directly involved with the implementation process, but from what I understand it went smoothly
Scott Gabriel profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform8.4
Based on 7 answers
Choosing the right personnel to deploy and maintain the system is critical to success. Do not underestimate the value of a sandbox and or Development environment. Every aspect of the initial deployment and subsequent upgrade and enhancements should be thoroughly tested by the developers and administrators for expected functionality and compatibility with all interfaces. A Test environment is just as crucial. Initial key user content testing and formal performance testing should take place here prior to the production deployment. This is also where you finalize your operational support plans and system/user security
No photo available

Breadth of Deployment

We currently have 15 users, most of them being end users. Out of the 15 users, only 5 are using this on a daily basis. This number will grow in the near future since we just created our first useful dashboard for our sales team. As we create more reports for teams that are "hungry" for data, we will see an increase in usage
Daniel Kayce profile photo
SAP Business Objects is used across our entire organization. I believe the Finance Department, alone, is making a transition to the new tool, but Business Objects will continue to be used in many other operational areas here at Mayo.
Robert Scrimshaw profile photo

Alternatives Considered

A platform to speed up development and also to provide self-service analytics to our customers.
Stephane F. Tremblay profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects is the only system of its kind that I've tried.
Bryan Arroyo Fernandez profile photo

Collaboration and Sharing

Birst6.8
Based on 25 answers
There isn't a collaboration tool and [you can't] work in the same space with another person because you don't know what other people are doing. The sharing like a shared folder is a good idea
Ricardo Alexandre Bastos profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform6.4
Based on 28 answers
This is rating because our team is very small and hence managing data inside our team becomes easy. Data management and data integrity is good if team size are small.
No photo available

Data Integration

Birst7.5
Based on 76 answers
  • In comparison to other BI tools, Birst can connect only to a limited number of data sources (the most prominent ones)
  • Only standard star schema can be built within birst making it highly de-normalized.
  • Live access is buggy and slow
  • No many to many relationship can be established because of the star schema
  • Performance of report rendering decreases as data scales
  • Birst has good data refinement practices which helps to maintain standard definitions.
Rohit Acharya profile photo
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform7.9
Based on 28 answers
Data source connectivity is good when it is connected with specifically to SAP ERP platform. There are some issues while uploading the data from other ERP resources and to manage the data through disparate sources become sometimes easy or sometimes difficult.
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
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform10.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Return on Investment

  • 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.
Dana Pace profile photo
  • By generating and distributing reports in a timely manner, we were able to save millions of dollars for the company which otherwise would not have been visible.
  • Almost realtime dashboard, saved the company a huge amount by showing the outages and kept the company from buying a tool to do just that.
  • It showed the customers who were not paying the bills and were missing in the system due to some loophole. This was visible by doing reporting on the theft usage of electricity.
No photo available

Screenshots

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform

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

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform

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

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform More Information