TrustRadius
Birst Review 4 of 95
Review: "BIRSTed ahead of the competition during the vetting process!"
https://www.trustradius.com/business-intelligence-biBirstUnspecified6.8178101
No photo available
March 23, 2018

Review: "BIRSTed ahead of the competition during the vetting process!"

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Birst

We have embedded Birst into our SaaS offering to be used by our customers as one of their reporting options. We have embedded it both in minor dashlets on single record pages for a quick view of how records are doing and as a larger dashboard for more details and advanced reports. We also analyze some of our own statistics in Birst.
  • 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.
  • Ability to do ad-hoc analysis and scheduled reports
  • Increased adoption, usage and self-service
The outcomes we hoped to achieve were to update our reporting, make reporting more dynamic, and allow for easier self-reporting by our customers. Any misses in the outcomes were not due to the Birst platform, but due to implementation, such as leaving the old reports in place with a user base adverse to change (not forcing them over to the new system) and still needing additional phases of implementation for some of the more ambitious goals.
During the vetting process, we looked at 14 different products (one of them internal) to see if they would fit our needs and whittled it down to this one over a three month period. We did not contact sales for all of them (sales sites were enough to rule out some), but did have a lot of demos with a significant portion of them and reviewed several of the major industry studies as well. We had representatives of both user interests/design and the technical backend on the evaluation process.

The major features we were looking for a product that we could embed inside our own SaaS application, connect to a sharded Postgres database, had multitenancy and allowed for customer generated reports/ self-reporting. Some of the minor "nice to have" features we were looking at was scheduled reports, especially if we could plug it into our own scheduling system (for CAN-SPAM compliance), internationalization, and support.

In the evaluation, Birst hit all of the must-haves and enough of the nice to haves that they made it down to our final two and the trial was the clincher to make it our final choice.
In production, we only use one type of connectivity (database), but in development, we used some of the other types (file). When new major updates to the platform come out we need to update the connectivity software on our end (update our installed BirstConnect and jnlp files). Those only happen once or twice a year, but if we miss that or fail to test it properly there can me some minor issues. Not major, but enough that I would not feel comfortable giving connectivity a full 10.

We do keep an eye on the connection on a daily basis due to some issues we had with the cloud early on during implementation, but those problems all seem to be resolved. There is still an occasional issue where variables in a space passed to the connection query are lost (or even the full schema), but they are few and far between.
Processing your own well-defined datasets seems to work well. Trying to process more dynamic sets where the data is not well defined (customer defined fields) is not impossible, but takes a lot more work arounds and tricks.

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 Feature Ratings

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

Evaluating Birst and Competitors

Products Replaced

Not Sure