Likelihood to Recommend
Fantastic product to embed in any SaaS solution for reporting and data exports. Excellent performance, ability to customize fields and tons of other features out of the box that makes it a well-rounded tool that is easy to use. To top it off their support is amazing for answering technical questions quickly and they provide great examples to learn how to interact with the code. We are very happy with our choice to use Flexmonster!
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Birst is well suited for an organization looking for a cloud-hosted analytics solution that is contained within one package. It is able to connect to a very wide variety of different data sources, and has options for either light or involved ETL procedures, depending on the users experience with preparing data. As with any BI project, it would not be suitable for an organization where there is no dedicated team to maintain and manage the project.
Read full review Pros Birst is an platform that provides connectors to some of the applications we use, but also allows us to bring in data from disparate systems to perform ETL and integrate all of the data for analyses. It makes no assumptions about your data, which is good for us, as we have a lot of customizations to many of our systems. Birst is making inroads towards a more modern UI. Read full review Cons Birst prices are fairly expensive. License plus cost of users can add up pretty quickly Depending on the size of data, rendering of reports can take a little bit. Need faster processing of data Takes a little time to understand how to build reports, not the most intuitive UI Read full review Likelihood to Renew
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.
Read full review Usability
Checks all the boxes! Easy to use, great out of the box feature set and fantastic support team
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I would like to see additional usability put into the ETL scripting. Recently, Birst added a nice function reference inline to formula creation which has kept me from having to return to documentation so much. The same in ETL would be very beneficial. The interface problems related to the Flex framework are being addressed in a rewrite to HTML 5, but for now they are still a hindrance to a higher usability rating.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
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
Read full review Performance
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
Read full review Support Rating
Quick response to questions and feedback, excellent documentation for learning about the product and tons of examples to leverage.
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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.
Read full review In-Person Training
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.
Read full review Online Training
Although I found the online resources helpful, a lack of appropriate examples for certain tasks key to report creation and advanced modeling make the online training/documentation less than perfect. For an inexperienced BI professional, the online training would not enable a streamlined launch of the product.
Read full review Implementation Rating
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.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
During the vetting process, we looked at 14 different products (one of them internal) to see if they would fit our needs and whittled it down to this one over a three month period. We did not contact sales for all of them (sales sites were enough to rule out some), but did have a lot of demos with a significant portion of them and reviewed several of the major industry studies as well. We had representatives of both user interests/design and the technical backend on the evaluation process.
The major features we were looking for a product that we could embed inside our own SaaS application, connect to a sharded Postgres database, had multitenancy and allowed for customer generated reports/ self-reporting. Some of the minor "nice to have" features we were looking at was scheduled reports, especially if we could plug it into our own scheduling system (for CAN-SPAM compliance), internationalization, and support.
In the evaluation, Birst hit all of the must-haves and enough of the nice to haves that they made it down to our final two and the trial was the clincher to make it our final choice.
Read full review Scalability
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
Read full review Return on Investment 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. Read full review ScreenShots Flexmonster Pivot Table & Charts Component Screenshots