Reviews (1-25 of 96)
- For end users, Birst has a friendly UI that allows them to naturally interact with reporting data via web browser.
- For properly modeled data, the visualizer tool makes it easy do build quick visualizations.
- Surfacing data on dashboards with global filters allows users the flexibility to view multiple metrics with the same lens.
- Data modeling is a particular challenge for both novice and experienced data engineers. The ETL tools are insufficient to meet even 1/2 of our needs, and as a result we have a separate platform for data warehousing and use the back end of Birst solely for data exploration projects.
- There are occasionally delays in the UI when applying filters that often lead users to think that something is broken when in fact they just need to wait a few more seconds for the UI to change, even to let them know that it's still updating.
- Customer service, while it has improved, is still poor relative to other vendors that we work with. I often feel that both our CSM and our support technicians are defensive and try to push the responsibility for sub-optimal experiences back on us, and while it sometimes *is* the case that it is an issue on our end, more often it is not and even when it is we shouldn't FEEL like that. None of our other vendors take this approach, and even when the problem is on our end, they support us getting through it in a much less defensive way.
There are two use cases:
1. The Data warehouse team has modeled the data into a data mart in the data warehouse. In this case we use a Live Access connection to create a report.
2. The data warehouse team has not modeled the data in the data warehouse yet, so the data is ingested with Birst Connect and then transformed with Birst ETL. The data is reloaded through Birst Connect by kicking off automated Windows Task Scheduler.
- Easy to create visualizations
- Very attractive visualizations
- Connect to many data sources
- 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.
- 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.
Birst covers, among other things,
- Queue performance
- Workload per hour / quarter-hour
- Lost call overview
- Service level rate
- Answer call rate
- Customer wait time overview
- Agent performance
- Work time overview
- Agent behavior
- Department / address / region performance
- IVR performance
- Cost-Benefit Analysis regarding ad-based campaign numbers
- Closed hours analysis
- The multi-tenant capabilities of the product is really great.
- Its relatively easy go get started with the product.
- The support is great.
- The flow of new features and improvements are constant.
- The customer success program is good.
- Its fairly complex for "normal" users to master/use the product (normal being supervisors, IT professionals etc.).
- The administration part of the product could be better, easier to use and manage.
- Connects directly to many types of external data sources, enabling us to plug into data where it already exists
- Visualiser provides a user friendly interface for non-tech users to build their own databases
- HTML dashboards look far better now than the original Flash versions
- Connectivity between the live sources frequently drops and does not reconnect automatically
- Cannot add dynamic titles to reports - so although can create a dynamic text box, this title cannot be exported along with the report
- Designer runs query as soon as an attribute is dropped on screen - would be useful if you know you need to add another 4, to be able to disable the query execution until all items have been added
- Data/data source import (from different sources DBs, txt and xls files, ....) and setup is very easy and fast
- Very good Dashboard performances (Dashboards/Dashlets built in Visualizer and Dashboards 2.0 )
- Powerful data preparation tools
- More stable new releases
- All modules related to data upload and processing need to be improved to better support more frequent uploads and data processing
- Prompts creation and maintenance need to be more user-friendly and provide performance improvements
- Admin module needs improvements in performances as well as data source/catalog maintenance area
- End-to-end solution, from raw source data, ETL, warehousing and reporting, Birst is able to do everything we need in one package instead of needing to develop and maintain multiple technologies
- Intuitive report development. The drag and drop creation of reports is simple. More complicated queries are easy to generate.
- Very user-friendly and interactive. A lot of nice features are available both for developers and end users to streamline the process of preparing and consuming data
- Rich API which allows us to programmatically interact with Birst
- Unable to develop snowflake schemas
- Occasional slowness of the dashboards due to load on the cloud server
- Report distribution sometimes fails, with not all recipients receiving reports on time
- Spaces will occasionally get stuck in a processing or copying state, which means we have to wait for Birst Support to release it before we can proceed with publishing new data
- Tabular visualisation
- Exporting into excel
- Updating. It has been very slow
- Easy to use. People find it difficult and not intuitive
- Maintenance. Difficult to address errors and find a solution
We adopted BIRST to be used as the enterprise BI solution so all departments with enterprise BI needs would use BIRST.
We use BIRST Cloud solution.
- Being a cloud solution the platform upgrades are not a pain point anymore.
- Once the data model is ready, building basic reports/dashboards are really straightforward.
- One single tool may cover all your business intelligence needs, from data ingestion to reporting so it can be cost-saving in terms of licensing.
- Building an analytical ready model does not require highly skilled developers.
- Lack of access to underlying database and use of non standard languages (propietary code) BQL and BIRST scripting.
- Very poor and not user-friendly administrative area. Big dependency on command line tasks (a few drag and drop) and lack of out of the box administrative views (reports and dashboards showing platform's response).
- Small community. Really difficult to find skilled resources in the market and few technical blog articles or videos available.
- Data ingestion capabilities do not scale. Being capable of ingesting data is an added value however, the solution is mainly based on SQL plus scripting (no out of the box monitoring capabilities, difficult to reverse-engineer...).
Depending on the complexity of your company's data and business needs it may or may not be a good fit. I would say it can be a good BI ecosystem for small and mid-size companies with low complexity so they can have data ingestion and reporting capabilities with one single tool.
If you need to integrate data from many different data source;, your environment does change quite frequently, you have many different business areas, the data volume you have is quite big... then it is less appropriate.
- Allows individual teams opportunity to create their own individual dashboard, specific to their clients and needs.
- Splits our costs easily, with an easy to use filter option, making reporting much faster.
- In order to run Birst on a schedule, a ETL had to be created, this would be much more helpful.
- Visually Birst could improve, we use a large amount of visualisations in presentation and have to use a different software to create these
- Lack of stability in the product, we often experience issues where in which Birst is delayed or down. This being rectified would be extremely beneficial across the entire business.
For a software which needs to be frequently updated on a schedule it is not always very suitable. There are some instances where in which Birst is down and we are unable to produce reports on time or with the most recent information.
Our marketing team analyzes time series of marketing spend vs the revenue received attributable to that spend and adjusts digital campaigns to optimize ROI.
The operations team extract student engagement data from our LMS and identifies students at risk of not completing their coursework in a timely fashion so that they can engage with them to identify issues and assist.
- 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.
- The Birst product uses it's own query language (BQL) which we feel has been implemented in different ways in different parts of the product.
- This makes learning the entire product more difficult than it ought to be.
- The Birst idea of grains and hierarchies is hard to get a foothold on. I don't think I completely get it yet.
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.
Our SaaS offering is a mobile application that allows users to fill out advanced forms for data collection on activities they are performing during there work. We collect, extract and transform the data into a Birst data model and provide dashboards and reports to our users using Birst.
We provide dashboards and visualizations that provide insights into Field Operations, Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality, Quality of Work, and Field Coordination for the purpose of root cause analysis across these "areas of analysis".
- 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.
- More visualization options and smarter 'auto' generated views.
- Predictive modeling.
- More contemporary look and feel to the Admin portal using HTML 5.
Birst does not shy away from the challenges of data governance and stewardship vs the dangers of "quick and easy" departmental or project specific analytic projects where business rules are "invented" vs managed and data cube chaos can quickly become a big IT problem.
- Competitive pricing for the features that are offered: We use various two other BI tools for operational reporting and we always have challenges of expanding it for larger audience due to the licensing cost. BIRST scores very well in the pricing department, with 1/5th of the price compared to other tools, this is an easy decision maker to recommend BIRST.
- Being in Cloud: The strength of BIRST is that the product features that are made available but requires zero installation and administration. The overall support resources needed to maintain and manage the application has drastically come down.
- Ease of use and integration with other data sources: Senior management leaders need quite a lot of information, in an easily readable format without having to go into multiple places. With Dashboard 2.0 and Visualizer, the contents now can be presented very intuitively and visually appealing. Users can also subscribe for certain reports to be delivered at various intervals. With multiple data connectivity options, we have successfully integrated many core systems under one single reporting umbrella.
- Better MS-Office Integration: Almost all the Business users have invested in MS-Office products such as Excel, Word and Powerpoint. Currently there is very limited options available for taking data from BIRST and making it to work with these products. More export options would be a welcome feature among these users. Also the ability to connect to BIRST and refresh/download certain reports through excel would be very helpful.
- Powerful Report Designer: The current version of Designer and Visualizer lack certain features to create Complex reports. Few examples are, ability to create multiple tables in a report, link data from two or more queries and be able to show as one data, templates, free style reports rather than just using different bands etc. A light weight client tool for designer reports will help in faster turn around development time as the current web based interface is slow in designing reports for customized layout options.
- Custom forms / write ability: Dashboard 2.0 has evolved greatly. If custom forms can be created for users to enter certain inputs, this will make Dashboards even more interactive. Just a wish list.
- Live connectivity to Salesforce.com: This will be a very good feature to introduce especially for Sales team. We have been asked at least 1000 times if there is a way to make the data more live or real time.
- The ability to create a primary space that can be cloned repeatedly creates efficiencies in our development efforts.
- We have a broad spectrum user base in terms of technical ability. Being able to extend or limit groups' privileges allows for optimal control with maximum flexibility.
- One of our primary objectives is to utilize cloud resources. Birst allows us to leverage the technology but does not require the infrastructure allowing Harvest Food Solutions to focus on the solution.
- Mobility is a major part of Harvest Food Solutions product offering. The current mobile capabilities are limited when dealing with single sign on and multiple domains.
- The conversion from Designer to Visualizer has created challenges in features not being migrated.
- Live Access is a key feature for us, but we want to be able to mix Live Data with Historical Data. That is currently not a simple process and requires multiple spaces. A simpler method is desired.
- Self Services Analytics - Business users oriented tools
- Design tools
- Data Modeling tools
- New Self-services platform called Pronto
- Embedding capabilities
- Dashboards and Design tools through JS API
- Single-Sign-On support
- Web services availability
- Query dashboard catalog and permissions
- Manage users
- Data Import and processing for Streaming sources (used by StreamLoader App) – Cloud Friendly
- Incomplete TZ management (one env is one TZ)
- No TZ conversion support at BQL level (No DST support)
- DB physical query generated by Birst does not always leverage the Exasol aggregation capabilities.
- Incomplete I18N support.
- To provide self-service analytics to our customers, its embedding capabilities, self-services tools and ETL capabilities.
- The platform has the disadvantage of its advantages, it does many things for you but not always to your liking so we sometimes had to bypass Birst and work with the DB directly for instance. We also faced challenges to make the platform fit in our context using streaming data sources and the delivery of a single solution into different customers environment.
- Ease of use.. you can bring it multiple sources of data and display in a dashboard
- Columnar database is efficient
- Dashboards have improved from a GUI nature
- I think they can improve the GUI dashlets, but that's not a game changer
- Deployment for multi-tenant environments is much easier than others I have used.
- I like how easy it is to set up many dashboards and views that look standard and professional without a lot of formatting.
- The query speed is very good for large amounts of data if there are adequate aggregates set up.
- Documentation of the product in the help files is outdated and incomplete in many cases. Several features are only documented in the community because enough people have asked questions about a topic. The search functionality in both help and community is really bad.
- Support tickets take way too long to answer and the answers are often inadequate. I have never worked with a company that has so few people on the support team or that took so long to respond. This is my biggest complaint and one that may result in switching products if it is not addressed.
- User administration is scattered into many different places and bulk updates are only available for creating users. There should be bulk updates for adding users to spaces and to groups (possibly do all 3 things in one command?)
- The Data Flow and Manage Local Sources code can't be used simultaneously and there is no documentation as to why. When a use case comes up where you need to switch from one to another it causes big issues.
Birst allows us to connect to just about any data source and transform that data into meaningful, dynamic dashboards that allow our users to be informed and make decisions based on empirical evidence. We are also able to deploy our offerings very quickly due to the Birst architecture (such as being cloud-based).
- Single tool from raw data to end user interface.
- Cloud deployment means quick to get to new clients, and can be accessed from anywhere on almost any device.
- Powerful back end (Admin Module) allows for flexible data transforms and process flows.
- A wider array of user interface components (e.g. more chart types).
- More reliable servers that are providing the end user experience.
- Better documentation and user guides.
Less well suited to time-critical reporting due to current issues with Birst server performance (although this is being addressed).
- Birst has a very good UI dashboard module.
- Visualizer module to explore explore data is very to learn and use, especially for less tech savvy people.
- Birst connect to upload data which provides push mechanism from source system.
- Birst has lot of bugs, need to improve on quality.
- Birst Modeling layer is difficulty to pick up
- ETL functionality is very limited and difficult to work with
- Birst's SQL-like language is conveniently familiar for experienced developers
- Birst integrates well with Salesforce and external CSV data sources.
- Birst's support staff is reasonably responsive, if not always able to provide a satisfactory result.
- Birst contains several sub-systems with similar, but signifcantly incompatible, syntax and functionalities. This leads to confusion and difficulty.
- Birst provides insufficient control over how charts are rendered and how dashboard prompts are displayed and used. This has lead to significant dissatisfaction on the part of those for whom I've developed dashboards.
- Significant parts of Birst resemble a relational database, but cannot be made to function like one. This results in jumping through complicated hoops to construct the fact tables for a multiple-relation data system.
- Ability to have drill down capability
- Real time metrics and dashboards
- Ability to "Birst" out reports to email distribution lists
- Stability of the system seems tp have worsened over the last few 6 months.
- Enhanced graphing capability
- Start-to-end data preparation, warehousing and report/dashboard development minimizes points of failure in an analytics solution
- Easy to quickly develop prototype/proof of concept projects, meaning more productivity
- Solution built for the cloud works seamlessly for users to access data anywhere
- Better documentation of features and user guides - it can be hard to find or understand how to use a feature
- Better feature request system - currently feature requests are sources from the community forums based on votes - multiple requests for the same issue may not individually receive enough votes to get implemented
- More options of chart types - currently limited in what we are able to provide as the best chart types for the data are not available.
- Bringing together data from multiple sources into one platform.
- Great flexibility to simplify and display data.
- There is a large learning curve to achieve full implementation.
- Customization of reports
- Embedded in existing dashboard
- Scalability of reports and amount of data it can process
- Variety of visualizations/graphs to view data
- Variety of filters to drill down to a specific set of data
- 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
- Customer adoption and success are important to Birst. They have positions dedicated to our success, worked to making sure we knew how to solve our problems once we were past implementation, and have regular contact even after. Purchasing the TAM program increases that.
- Attractive reports that render quickly.
- Using the cloud offering we have had spaces malfunction, especially if we try to upload data and process them on a frequent basis. They seemed to have fixed this with one of their most recent releases and with us reducing the frequency we upload data (twice a day rather than every hour), but there are still occasional issues.
- Learning curve - Trying to figure out how to do things in a new system that I could do in seconds in SQL is a bit frustrating. The help, community, and our TAM rep helps with this, but it still happens.
Working with trend data works well. Trying to report on real-time operational data is more tricky due to the time it takes to process your space. I have not used some of their direct connection offerings that might help alleviate that though.
- Birst has proven itself to be easy to navigate for business users.
- Birst provides the flexibility to provide multiple views so clients can easily consume the insights how they prefer to view them.
- Birst has allowed us to "productize" portions of our business intelligence offerings.
- We really haven't run into any large areas for improvement. The roadblocks we have encountered have been resolved with the help of Birst.
We haven't done this yet, but it appears custom or ad hoc reporting might be a little work for advanced users.
Birst Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Birst Networked BI is a BI product that promises to enable a single view of data and eliminate data silos. Additionally, decentralized teams and individual users can augment this shared analytic fabric with their own local data, without compromising data governance. This consistency comes from a unified semantic layer, which maintains common definitions and key metrics, no matter where users sit.
Birst achieves Networked BI through a 2-tier architecture that aligns back-end enterprise data with line-of-business or local, edge data. Birst’s Automated Data Refinement extracts data from any source (data stores, applications, warehouses, big data, and unstructured external sources) into a unified semantic layer. The result is a consistent view that enables users with self-service analytics through dashboards, reporting, visual discovery, mobile tools, and predictive analytics. Birst Open Client Interface also offers integration with Tableau, Excel and R.
Birst goes to market in two primary ways:
- Direct, for enterprises using Birst for analytics on internal data to drive improved business outcomes
- Embedded, for all size companies who offer data (analytics) products, by embedding and white-labeling Birst capabilities into their products
Birst’s product is packaged in 3 available formats:
- Platform and per-user fee
- By Department or Business Unit
- By end-customer (for embedded scenarios)
- Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
- Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
- Has featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?Yes
- Entry-level set up fee?No
Birst Technical Details
|Deployment Types:||On-premise, SaaS|
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Mac|
|Mobile Application:||Apple iOS, Android, Mobile Web|
|Supported Languages:||Arabic, English, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Simplified Chinese, Spanish|