What is most valuable?
ETL process is excellent as well as the admin tools to set it up. Creation of the meta-data layer has been well thought out by the Birst design team. Working with the front-end Dashboard, KPI and Dashlet tools is a snap. Easy to learn and use. The Mobile version is coming on strong in 2017. Just reviewed the product with the Product Manager and it's the way forward for being used on the go.
How has it helped my organization?
Prior to using Birst, Apex did not have BI readily available to the customers. Now we have three tool sets, each matching one of our product lines. The customers are able to see patterns and trends never before available. It opens up their eyes to changing their business to increase profitability.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see stronger in-built permissions capabilities. Everything we need to do can be done and passed to the product using an API. It would be nice if we could define the rule set within Birst. The addition of easy-to-use predictive analysis is coming in Birst 6, which is a missing piece right now.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have used it for one year.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
We are running the Birst appliances on AWS. A bit of learning to install the first one in North America but after that, the EU was done in half a day.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We are running Birst against a large data set, millions of new rows each day. To date, it has performed well; no complaints on our end.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is why we went with Birst. It had the robustness built in to take us to where we wanted to be. We looked at several popular tools and liked them, but Birst was the ultimate choice.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service is fantastic! We don't use Birst support often but when we do, they have been highly responsive. We've built a relationship with several of the support team members, which has been helpful when we want advice on making changes on the admin side. Technical Support
I rate technical support the same as the customer support. Outstanding! The technical team is there for support or advice to get you where you need to go. I never experience a long wait for any technical issues; never had any pressing technical issues.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not previously use a different solution. This is the first venture into BI for Apex. In the past, the customers relied on a limited set of reports built into the OLTP application. Birst takes the reporting data to a whole new level.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup was straightforward. As an appliance customer, we were in control of installation with assistance from Birst. It installed easily in less than a day.
What about the implementation team?
We installed in conjunction with Birst support. There were pre-install webinars to make sure everything was ready and the install took less than half a day.
What was our ROI?
We're seeing uses for the BI beyond the impressive visualization provided to our customer. Sales now has a new, clean, powerful tool in their belt. Support can easily get to data never before available. The impact of Birst has been felt company-wide.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Birst is a reasonably priced tool with a wide array of capabilities. Make sure you understand the depth and breadth of the product when comparing it to other BI tools. Much is easy to do, which hides the complexity present in competitors' products.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did review many other products and liked features of each. Qlik, Sisense, and Spotfire were three others seriously considered. In the end, it came down to feature set and price.
What other advice do I have?
Fantastic user community. We use it daily for advice or to offer advice. Birst employees regularly add information, tips or tricks. The best user community we've ever been involved in.