It’s going to be difficult for any supplier to offer more cloud BI capability than Birst. This is truly an enterprise class cloud BI solution with extensive reporting, charting and dashboard tools, combined with a sophisticated data management and integration layer. This includes powerful ETL tools and an analytical data warehouse in the cloud. Data can be extracted from on-premise data sources and Cloud applications like Salesforce.com and the process of uploading into Birst cloud automated. Data from on-premise data sources can be queried in real-time and combined with data from the Birst Cloud data warehouse. Retrieve analysed data from Birst via secure webservice APIs and scheduled reports. Birst provides data extract options for on-premise databases, flat files, as well as on-premise and cloud applications. Data can be integrated from SAP BW, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Marketo, Microsoft Analysis Services, and other operational systems. Birst extracts and loads data into a user-ready data store or connects in real-time with Birst Live Access.
Birst’s Cloud BI platform automates database management activities including creation of time series measures, index management, and optimization of disk I/O for performance. State-of-the-art security measures ensure that all data is transferred and stored securely in the Cloud. Birst Cloud leverages SOC 2 Type II processes and ISO 27001:2005 certification to safeguard system security on installation.
The business user tools include pixel-perfect banded reporting, ad hoc query, data discovery and in-dashboard ad-hoc pivot. Pivot tables, data visualisations, and drill down are all available for end users to access without the need for technical support. Birst offers users the auto-suggesting of proper visualization types based on data combinations. Birst’s logical query language supports custom calculations with look-ups and statistical functions. Birst’s BI layer supports all major styles of business intelligence—including interactive self-service dashboards, visual discovery and pixel-perfect reports to mobile BI. Birst combines ad-hoc analysis of data and banded report writing into a single user interface. Any report or visualization built in the Birst business intelligence platform can be exposed in a dashboard, accessed on Mobile devices via HTML5 or Birst’s Native iPad application or scheduled for delivery by email.
Collaboration and document distribution features strongly and dashboards can be attached with “sticky notes” to collaborate with peers. Reports can be distributed via email, file servers, or on mobile devices. Every report and dashboard can be scheduled, exported to PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, CSV and distributed via email throughout the enterprise.
Birst can be implemented in the cloud or in-house. It comes in two editions – Discovery is the more basic configuration and is lacking some of the data integration tools and analytics capabilities. Enterprise editions the full-blown product with the in-site appliance option. There are actually very few enterprise grade cloud BI solutions, but Birst is certainly one of them with its array of data integration and management tools and powerful business user interface.