- Combining multiple data sources
- ETL and reporting functionality
- Very simple mobile support (Tablet and Smartphone)
- Better GUI when scripting
- Fix bugs in the software much faster
- Have some kind of version control
- Agility and speed to deploy a datamart or data warehouse very quickly.
- Drill down and drill through capability from summary to detail level data.
- Easy Integration with Salesforce.com.
- More visibility into the backend, troubleshooting still has a large split still between support and professional services.
- Improved multideveloper support (check-in and check-out capability).
- Better versioning of metadata.
- The integration of all the elements of a BI platform into a single tool is a big advantage. All the components are tightly coupled (ETL, business layer, report creation, dashboards), and that makes it easier to manage.
- The fact that it is based on a cloud platform makes deployment amazingly simple. The appliance version can be run on AWS, which gives access to all the capabilities of the Amazon platform.
- The move towards HTML5 is very effective, the reports and dashboards look good and are based on responsive design.
- Coming from a traditional data warehousing background, the data modeling in Birst is difficult to understand. The use of hierarchies, measures, "targeting" of fields needs some time to get used to.
- The transition from the Flash-based tools to the HTML5 tools has not been smooth, and some features still only exist into the Flash tools.
- Maps are not working well at all. It is possible to use the Geo Maps and Bing Maps in the Flash-based tools, but only Bing Maps in HTML5 tools. This is very limiting, and the features available for formatting, adding bubbles and labels, positioning etc. are weak.
We immediately signed up as a partner and haven't looked back. I haven't manually built a data warehouse or been forced to string together reports for real insight since, and implementations for other companies still see a huge rampon the time to delivery of a full-function solution.
- Automated Data Warehouse
- Single interface for admin, design, and consumption
- Reports/dashboards are dynamic and aware of model navigation
- UI is slowly getting sexy, but didn't start there
- Modelling is limited to single user. Waiting for multiuser concurrency in this area.
Birst has been used in Catho as the main access to data, across all the organization. There is a small resistance to change in the internal report but we in the strategic department are trying change that mindset. I see two big problems:
First, the learning curve for a new developer is quite long. There are some paradigms that make Birst a little hard to learn. It’s a very bureaucratic tool.
Second, Catho is a Brazilian enterprise and we use the cloud storage from Birst. But the upload time and the process time is really long.
- The Visualizer, is really easy for the end user
- The creation of Virtual Cubes
- The Data enrichment and cleaning
- Long learning curve, an uncommon paradigm
- Long time to process many lines of data (10kk) data
- Usability needs to get better
- We have data in so many disparate places/sources. Birst allowed us to aggregate all the data together fairly easily so output was unified, consistent and accurate.
- The development tools in Birst allow us to easily adjust, change and create new reports and dashboards quickly. Sales is an 'in the moment' business - we need in the moment data and we get that with Birst.
- Their customer support is top tier. We've been a client for a very long time and still get the same attention and support that we did when they were a much smaller company. And really - no matter the value of product, if you don't have good support from the company, it's about worthless.
- The new upgrade process is a bit clunky and takes a considerable amount of time.
- They've apparently stopped supporting the use of fixed width delimited flat files. That may be a bit of a problem for us in the future - still trying to work through it with them.
- Dashboard presentation and updates. Allows the user to "run" varying reports and see data based on comprehensive prompts. Reduces the time necessary to run "more" reports. Saves time, improves accuracy and consistency in reviewing data.
- Designing reports. Simple reports take minutes yet offer extreme flexibility when used within the dashboard. Reduces response time to internal and external clients.
- Data Management. The process to setup and manage data requires planning and accuracy. Because of this, data is stable.
- Copying Dashboard Prompts (filters). While the product has very flexible prompts and the ability to add them readily, you can not copy prompts from one dashboard page to another. You have to either copy the dashboard or manually add the prompts.
- User Management: The system provides a robust set of security layers for data, users, etc. For user security, the process requires more screens than it appears to need.
- Flexibility in design
- Speed to deployment
- Customer and technical support
- Financial value and ROI
- Comprehensive solution with scalability
- 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
- 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
- Deployment time was fast.
- Since it is on the cloud, my users get 100% availability. and I do not have to take care of it.
- The BI front-End is very flexible. we get great looking reports and dashboards.
- Good mobile device integration. (Apple).
- No future integration with google mobile androids.
- Missing some deep metadata analysis of report consumption by end users.
- Full support, with BI analysis and project management.
- Minimum intervention. just use the platform.
- Intermediate solution.
- Single solution, integrated end to end [ETL, database, Administration, Design, Dashboards presentation].
- Very stable application - uptime is great, software upgrades seamless.
- Administration Tools: users, groups, security, customization very intuitive.
- Quick start.
- Pace of introduction of new features.
- Community sharing portal is an excellent resource of Knowledge Base documentation, and discussions of challenges/resolutions by other customers.
- Community is also used to submit ideas and enhancement requests, so that voting raises top recommendations, Birst listens and responds.
- Birst defines their success as achieved by our success.
- Ability to find things in Think Tank Community, need a better way to keep similar topics grouped, inconsistent tags.
- Community: assumption that this is the first place for answers to issues; which causes time extension for resolution of business challenge.
- Training: need some freebee's like single topic Lunch & Learn webinars
When we compared Birst to other BI tools we had these questions:
- Infrastructure - what is required for hardware/software/connectivity, data storage and ability to handle data growth?
- Security - how do they handle the risk areas?
- Staffing - how many roles are required to support the application, can a non-programmer administer the application and design data visualization?
- Implementation was incredibly quick and easy. I did the full implementation in-house with some help from our Birst support team. No internal engineering support needed.
- Vast customization capabilities. Due to the nature of the Birst Cloud Data Warehouse, it can handle just about any and all data sources. Scripting in the warehouse is quite robust allowing for better integration across source systems, data quality and consistency.
- Support is great. Without any internal support from engineering, I rely heavily on Birst support when things start acting up or I just have some simple how-to questions. They are always very prompt and helpful and have great knowledge of the product.
- They're still using some flash components in the product although I'm told they will be replaced with HTML5 versions soon.
- Advanced statistical analysis (i.e. Bayesian) requires separate systems. It would be great to see Birst implement some R functions to allow more flexibility in this regard.
- We use the cloud edition and have grown to appreciate this aspect of the product. Not having to maintain the BI infrastructure has allowed us to focus on our core business.
- We utilize the live access feature to deliver real time operations reporting to our exec and sales teams.
- Support to export to a native excel pivot table is highly desirable.
- The pivot control in the designer is very difficult to use. There needs to be better way to reorder the measures and dimensions.
- User friendly interface - easy to adapt to and start creating valuable reports
- Birst's Customer Success Team - always responds to emails in a timely manner. This is really important to new customers, and Birst has a great, intelligent, and hard working CSM assigned to every customer
- Think Tank - this is a great tool for immediate help and feedback. You can always expect someone in the Birst family to help assist you with any of your needs
- More features in Visualizer would be great. I am currently using designer to complete most of my reports
- A better Geo Map - The Birst standard geo map is not as robust and most of their chart options. A geo map with zip code capabilities would be a great feature
- Faster data processing
- Visualize. It provides clear and actionable graphs and charts. All of which are fully interactive, providing a great end user experience
- Data warehousing
- More intuitive data logs. To help newer users, new to BI, better understand the problems as they occur.
- Features in visualizer and working to create the functionality currently available in designer.
Where in your business are you trying to create value?
What, if any, data tools are currently being used and how are they used?
How do your "consumers" access/use the data?
- Availability 24x7 makes the product attractive. Our users know they can get their information whenever they need it.
- Flexible charts allow our users to select dashboard data based on time periods and other dimensions.
- Adhoc report dashboards allows our users to build and save custom dashboards as needed.
- Some errors are difficult to understand and solve without support. Better help content would benefit admins trying to solve issues.
- The system can have limitations with large amounts of data. Too much data can slow down processing or cause the report to not render a result.
- Report building is quick and easy.
- Creating a data model for a reporting structure and data warehouse is easy.
- Our users can access it whenever they want, whenever they want using either a computer or iPad.
- Birst seems like it can do almost anything either myself or the users can think of. When my users ask me for things I don't know how to do, I typically just say "sure", assuming that it's possible and that I'll figure it out. I'm sure this will come back to bite me one of these days, but it hasn't yet.
- There were a number of "quality of life" issues, I'll call them, when we first got started on the Appliance version - for example, upgrading was very clunky. Those issues have been cleaned up and I have no complaints about them now. Birst seems to do a really good job of listening to their customers and giving them what they want.
- The Birst Mobile iPad app doesn't have the full functionality of the browser-based version, but I understand that this is being fixed with HTML 5. In fact it may already be fixed - I know that some of the HTML 5 implementation is done, but I'm waiting for it to be fully in place before making the switch.
- It combines data from disparate data systems so that it can all be viewed in one place
- The drilling and filtering capabilities are outstanding! We've really been able to get to the lower level of detail that we needed, but could not get, before we started using Birst.
- Once created, Birst updates all by itself. No downloading, exporting, or re-aggregating of data to update reports.
- Report designer user interface is poor. For example, Birst has a feature that allows report designers to build and save custom expressions. This is helpful because, rather than having to rewrite the expression each time it's needed, the designer can simply select it from the saved expression box and drop it into the report. However, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the organization of the expression box. It's not alphabetized and you can't categorize expressions by creating folders. This can lead to frustration when time is wasted just trying to find the custom expression that you need.
- Creating new reports is a clumsy process.
- Data exports are sloppy. This is due more to the lack of flexibility in the designer UI than to the actual exporting capability. For example, when creating a data table, you often need the label to be a larger size than the column because the label requires descriptive text while the column is just a value. However, in the Birst designer UI, you cannot independently change the size of a measure label and the size of its corresponding column--they have to be the same size.
- Easily, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Birst is superior customer service. As a new BI team with limited industry experience, Birst has been there to guide us through setup and implementation, and they are now helping as we move into the more complex capabilities of the product.
- The robust, yet intuitive visualization options have made a great impression at our Executive level. We are gaining trust throughout the organization as Birst is enabling us to respond quickly and efficiently to data needs.
- Moving beyond visualization into data warehousing functionality, Birst is set up to give us all we need as we begin this challenging and necessary process.
- Competitors like Tableau are showing superior display options when compared to the Birst dashboard.
- Birst is very user friendly and allows for easy analysis of complex data
- Takes the time out of building reports, does the background work for you once the modules are set up
- Easy to use and manipulate, helps in the decision making process by making quick analysis based on determined parameters
- Allow for the data to be hot linked to source
- Allow to adjust the chart type w/o write access
- Very sleek, easy-to-use interface
- Can quickly upload all of my data and start making discoveries right away
- Knowledgeable support is always available
- Was hoping for a slightly flatter learning curve
- Would be nice to be able to operate more independently from customer support by providing further embedded help options and documentation.
- Slick customized user interface with the agility to tailor to our changing business needs.
- Professional Services and Customer Success teams are outstanding as they are proactive, responsive, and provide excellent guidance.
- A "one stop shop" providing both the business intelligence solution and the IT infrastructure to support it.
- Dashboard performace can be slow to load at times.
- Documentation could be better allowing more independence, however customer support has always been very helpful.
- Would like to see more functionality in their mobile offering.
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)
Birst Videos (3)
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|