TrustRadius
Agility is the name of the game
https://www.trustradius.com/business-intelligence-biBirstUnspecified6.8182101
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February 01, 2017

Agility is the name of the game

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Birst

We use Birst to deliver analytical and operational dashboards/reports to sales, marketing, finance, HR, corporate strategy, legal and customer aupport. Data sources include Oracle ERP, Salesforce, Jobvite, third party data providers, various database repositories, flat files, etc. Our Birst solutions provide varying levels of the organization's visibility to corporate metrics, sales revenue performance, pipeline management, headcount analysis, support indicators, etc.
  • End-to-end S/PaaS BI platform: ELT, data warehouse repository, semantic layer, reporting. Using the UI, command window or web service calls we can create, clone, refresh all or any part of the platform. This means we can manage the environment with greater agility, smaller team size and no need for specific DBA, Sys Admin, etc. type skills. The team can focus on their core competency as BI specialists.
  • The automated semantic layer, created as you add data sources and map them to facts/dimensions, allows us to be more agile than typical on-premise solutions, or former on-premise solutions that have been ported to the "cloud", and so we are able to greatly reduce the time-to-value for the customer. This in turn, leads to better user engagement and support.
  • Birst's Networked BI functionality allows us to define dimensions/facts in one subject area (Birst language: Space) and reuse them in others. This feature means we do not need to create a large centralized warehouse, nor involve DBAs to create database specific links across schemas/databases (the feature is a simple configuration). Development time on subsequent subject areas can be greatly reduced whenever you can reuse existing dimensions/facts.
  • The new release of Birst 6 allows business users to create their own sandbox environment in which they can import and analyze their own datasets, linking this to already curated (IT managed) information from the Birst subject areas (spaces). Once they have generated information that has value to a broader audience, this can then easily/quickly be linked back into the curated subject areas.
  • User administration could be greatly improved. Most user administration tasks (creation, security assignments, etc.) are singular i.e., one action at a time. If you want to batch these activities up, it is up to you to have scripts or create your own mini app to do this.
  • ELT development is still using old Flash technology and still requires a lot of coding. It would be nice to have a GUI approach to defining load and transformation processes.
  • There is a need for supporting multi-developer teams e.g. ability to lock objects being worked on, check-in/out, version control, etc.
  • Previously we used a large BI vendor product. The product was costly, the IT team was large, delivery was slow and the business disengaged from the project after 18 months. Birst came in and transformed business satisfaction and engagement because they saw results quickly.
  • Birst's simple UI has also meant finding and equipping business super users to own their on dashboards/reports has been very successful.
  • Birst has now become an integral part of both the financial and sales cycles, due to the timeliness it can deliver trustworthy and consistent information to the business.
Cloud first strategy: Oracle did not have a cloud BI solution.

Single end-to-end platform: Domo and GoodData relied upon third party ETL.
Birst has many application connectors out of the box. There is also JDBC and many other data source connection types.

We have not come across a scenario too complex.

Transformation development is code based. Would be better if more of a GUI.
Birst has pretty good access controls and users can share reports by saving to shared folders, but there is yet no collaboration feature (I believe this is on their roadmap). Report distribution via email is sufficiently good, though needs some improvement e.g., ability to batch up multiple reports into a single email. Report bursting is good e.g., a single report being split into multiple emails based upon its content.
We have not come across a scenario as yet that Birst was unable or not suitable to address. We cannot opine on potential data size limitations (we process 2gb files daily, interfaces that return several million rows, very fat data sets, etc.)

We could see larger installations with many complex subject areas and multiple developers needing to work in the same subject area, as being challenging. Having said that, we have a reasonably large implementation and manage with just two BI specialists.

Birst Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
8
Customizable dashboards
9
Report Formatting Templates
8
Drill-down analysis
9
Formatting capabilities
9
Integration with R or other statistical packages
7
Report sharing and collaboration
2
Publish to Web
8
Publish to PDF
8
Report Delivery Scheduling
8
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
9
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
7
Predictive Analytics
5
Multi-User Support (named login)
5
Role-Based Security Model
8
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
8
Responsive Design for Web Access
9
Dedicated iOS Application
10
Dedicated Android Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
8