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 …
Our SaaS offering is a mobile application that allows users to fill out …
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- Drill-down analysis (78)8.080%
- Customizable dashboards (77)8.080%
- Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (72)8.080%
- Formatting capabilities (77)7.070%
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Entry-level set up fee?
- No setup fee
- Free Trial
- Free/Freemium Version
- Premium Consulting / Integration Services
- Tech Details
Infor Birst is a BI product that enables 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)
- Supported: Administration via Windows App
- Supported: Administration via MacOS App
- Supported: Administration via Web Interface
- Supported: Live Connection to External Data
- Supported: Snapshot of External Data
- Supported: In-memory data model
- Supported: OLAP (Pre-processed cube representation)
- Supported: ROLAP (SQL-layer querying)
- Supported: Multi-Data Source Reporting (Blending)
- Supported: Data warehouse / dictionary layer
- Supported: ETL Capability
- Supported: ETL Scheduler
- Supported: MS Excel Workbooks
- Supported: Text Files (CSV, etc)
- Supported: Oracle
- Supported: MS SQL Server
- Supported: IBM DB2
- Supported: Postgres
- Supported: MySQL
- Supported: ODBC
- Supported: Cloudera Hadoop
- Supported: Hortonworks Hadoop
- Supported: EMC Greenplum
- Supported: IBM Netezza
- Supported: HP Vertica
- Supported: ParAccel
- Supported: SAP Hana
- Supported: Teradata
- Supported: Salesforce
- Supported: SAP
- Supported: Google Analytics
- Supported: Pixel Perfect reports
- Supported: Customizable dashboards
- Supported: Report Formatting Templates
- Supported: Drill-down analysis
- Supported: Formatting capabilities
- Supported: Predictive modeling
- Supported: Integration with R or other statistical packages
- Supported: Report sharing and collaboration
- Supported: Publish to Web
- Supported: Publish to PDF
- Supported: Output Raw Supporting Data
- Supported: Report Delivery Scheduling
- Supported: Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
- Supported: Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
- Supported: Predictive Analytics
- Supported: Support for Machine Learning models
- Supported: Integration with R or other statistical packages
- Supported: Multi-User Support (named login)
- Supported: Role-Based Security Model
- Supported: Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
- Supported: Report-Level Access Control
- Supported: Table-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
- Supported: Field-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
- Supported: Responsive Design for Web Access
- Supported: Mobile Application
- Supported: Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
- InsideSales.com / XANT Predictive Pipeline (discontinued)
- Entrinsik Informer
- IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson
- Mediafly Intelligence360
- TIBCO Jaspersoft
- Knowledge360 from Cipher
- Tableau Desktop
- Tableau Public
- Tableau Server
- Chartio (discontinued)
- SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform
- Zoho Analytics
|Deployment Types||On-premise, Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based|
|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|
- Easy Data Warehouse Modeling
- Rapid Report and Dashboard Development
- Convenient Scheduled Reports
- Fixing various bugs
- Improving support
- Quality of life changes
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.
In many cases we are provided with workarounds but not real solutions.
Multiple times we are given the answer "code change" requested so we have to wait for the next release (every 3 months) and in some cases we have to wait for more than one release.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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
- The flow of visualizations.
- Ease of use
- Ability to learn how to quickly use the tool
- Difficulty in the integration of multiple data sources (Excel, JSON, web)
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- You can load data to Birst with the same SQL you use to load source databases.
- Implementation is easy as it is all Web & Cloud based. Only a few components will need to be installed on your local server when you go to production.
- Modeling your data is difficult. It is a very manual process and easy to get one of the pieces incorrect.
- Birst processing of dashboards is slow. They need to work on speeding up the screen and data retrieval.
- The product is unstable. Spaces are prone to corruption causing rework.
- Flexibility of the tool
- Presentation level very appealing and intuitive
- Cloud offering makes implementation easier
- Birst is supported by partners. We have had issues with some of the partner companies. Once identified though they were quick to fix.
- Training scheduling did not align with our schedule and was not very flexible.
- We are regulated and our change process can take some time. When upgrades occur we could use more notice.
- It automatically builds an analytical star model complaint with Ralph Kimball standards.
- It's an end-to-end tool providing any capability needed within a BI project.
- Visualizer is very easy and intuitive to use for users.
- Building ETL processes is very complex due to the multiple technologies and scripting needed (web service calls, Python, BQL, etc.)
- Testing or debugging is very difficult, especially due to the lack of access to the underlying database.
- Multiple bugs are faced during any implementation at any level: a feature working can stop working at any moment (either due to extending the usage of that functionality or due to Birst upgrade breaking old behavior).
- Birst community is small with lots of unanswered threads.
Being a cloud solution helps with adoption of the tool, as there's no need to have an internal support team dedicated to platform maintenance. The usage of Network BI is quite buggy and should be avoided for complex BI solutions. Management of users is very complex in large organisations, as the administration interface is very reduced and Birst support is needed (with the delays it brings).
- Manages data from multiple sources.
- Variety of choices to display data
- Stable platform
- Customer service and support
- User friendly
- Improve Training
- 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.
- Quick visualizations and data insights
- Quick import of excel or csv files for ad hoc or discovery
- When data model correct, ability to connect data to other data
- Dynamic dashboards
- No source control for change control policies
- Does not follow normal Dev, QA, Production deployments meaning you have to copy spaces to promote collections/reports and in other cases have to recreate Custom Attributes, Filters etc from space to space instead of normal deployment procedures.
- Quirky things that happen with no visibility into what happened, missing security settings while swapping spaces, things working sometimes and broken other times
- Better security and roles, Admin functions or search capabilities, more windows style navigation to easily move things around as needed in collections/dashboards.
- Better metadata Admin functions for tracking production level collections and reports, security groups and users within those groups, and easily producing lists of all Measures, Attributes, variables, custom attributes, custom measures, and ways to manage and cross reference these items within reports or dashboards