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Birst Review
Creates visualizations, validates the data, and builds custom charts.


Valuable Features:

To a technical consultant like me, this is a great great tool for creating value added visualizations, exploring and validating the concerned data while building custom charts tailored to what the business needs.

Dashboards follow the Birst Value Based Design principles which enables users to start at the top to interrogate and review they KVI (Key Value Indicator), then drill down to explore the data and the drivers of the KVIs.

Apart from the existed Visualisation types, Birst enables the use of interactive dashlets using JavaScript and other scripting languages.

Improvements to My Organization:

We are a golden partner of Birst. We use our Birst expertise to deliver Birst projects to customers. 

In general, Birst as a cloud VI solution is a user-friendly tool that looks really nice and engages users straight away.

Users can now explore data that they couldn't do before, as well as use quick meaningful representations to understand the data and drive business growth. Traditional data exploration tasks that included complicated formulas can now be transformed into interactive dashboards.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to see the following:

  • Better reporting functionalities
  • More charts
  • Enriching chart formatting to include additional properties and styles
  • More advanced charts (advanced waterfalls and heatmaps)
  • A type of chart to be used for time analysis. For example, current vs. last year, last month, etc. Currently, this is possible by using Birst time series or custom expressions.

Since this is something that most companies use and need, it would be interesting to create a chart type dedicated to year by year comparisons. Maybe a four block chart where each one can be configured to show specific time comparisons.

Some examples: Current year vs. last year, current month vs. previous month, and YTD comparisons.

Use of Solution:

We have been using this solution for more than a year.

Deployment Issues:

There have been no serious incidents.

Stability Issues:

There have been no serious incidents.

Scalability Issues:

As the volume of data gets bigger and bigger, so does the extraction/processing of the data and the dashboard rendering. There are always workarounds. The extraction/processing can be improved by using incremental data refresh. Dashboards can be optimized by using filters.

Technical Support:

Technical support has a quick response time and a high quality of service. I would rate them with a 7/10, as there is always room for improvement.

Initial Setup:

This entirely depends on the data and the company's data model.

Other Advice:

Always start from the value based design that Birst depends on. It will help you first define the problem and then understand the data. After this, the process of enabling Birst will be much quicker and enjoyable.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are one of the top partners for Birst.

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