Flexible end-to-end solution
Price Hatfield | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated May 01, 2016

Flexible end-to-end solution

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

5.17, cloud version

Modules Used

  • all

Overall Satisfaction with Birst

3coast began tool review and selection for a new business consulting partnership that was taking shape about 3.5 years ago. I reviewed what was available in the market at the time, and ultimately selected Birst for one reason: time to delivery. It alleviated the pains traditionally associated with gathering company- or enterprise-wide data streams and turning them into scorecard and actionable information. The drilling capabilities out of the box made me wonder why I had been building SSRS reports all of these years.

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.
  • N/A - see below

There isn't a single tool that does everything Birst does. It's an end to end solution with unrivaled flexibility.

  • Choice of back end databases (including Redshift, HANA, Microsoft, Oracle, Infobright, etc).
  • Choice of visualization (built-in dashboarding or external ODBC connections to the semantic layer).
  • Choice of deployment (cloud with data centers in US, EU, and Singapore, or the same architecture on a private appliance).
  • Choice of architecture (rip-and-replace, side-by-side to collect new data and continue leveraging existing data warehouses via Live Access).
Administration overhead is minimal and keeps TCO down. Product flexibility actually lends toward a gradual replacement of other existing architecture if present.
Internally we've adopted the product company-wide. Executives are doing cost analysis and offering reviews. Staffing department is using it to track phone usage and effectiveness. Services department is tracking their ticket queues for response time and resource utilization.
*Some* ETL scenarios are easier to handle before the data is uploaded to Birst, but in general, it's more effective to map exceptions to other dimensions and provide triggered reports so the source system can be corrected.

Built in connectors for SalesForce, Marketo, Google Analytics, etc. Java-driven ODBC client for connecting to any database. Live Access for handing off queries to existing analytics cubes. Full API access if you have something more bizzaar.
Common interface makes distribution of reports/dashboards easy. Easily exports to Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, etc. Use of single sign on enable it to be embedded in other interfaces. Unfortunately, there's no support in the tool for encapsulating a dialog around the dashboards/reports.
Birst is not for someone just looking for a visualization tool. If you just need reports, move along. It does enable other interfaces (Excel, Tableau) for governed data and mashups. If you need a business intelligence solution, Birst does wonders to cut the man-hours necessary. Full appreciation of the product comes from folks that have been through that sort of exercise and understand the underlying work. Departments sometimes need the infrastructure without the IT overhead, which is one use case. Another is small teams having to provide support for large organizations. The most value is really found by larger organizations that have found traditional tools require too long to turn around, and the business is moving faster than those requirements can be met.

Birst Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Predictive Analytics
Multi-User Support (named login)
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Responsive Design for Web Access
Dedicated iOS Application
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

Birst Reliability