The Birst BI iPad Business Analytics Tablet App has cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) analytics dashboards. Birst says App-based, subscription-model data analytics is faster and costs less versus on-site installations. IBM-SPSS cloud computing analytics, the SAS analytics cloud solution and KnowledgeCLOUD analytics from Angoss Software are also available. Wynn White, Birst’s V.P of Worldwide Marketing, talks about Birst’s cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) analytics platform.
Question 1: What does your website tagline “SaaS Business Intelligence (SaaS BI)” mean? Can you explain the term SaaS? [Nice website, by the way].
Mr. White: Birst.com is about to see a major overhaul to bring us into a 2012 look and feel, which should make it a LOT nicer.
When we speak of SaaS BI, we’re speaking of a new generation of BI that was built to harness the power of software-as-a-service (now more commonly referred to as “cloud”)—one that is robust, multi-tenant, and unifies the traditionally silo-based BI technologies. This allows Birst to greatly reduce complexity which speeds deployment and reduces overall costs. It also allows us to make BI much more widely available to organizations for which the traditional expense and complexity made it beyond their reach.
I think it is important to note that the benefits of SaaS BI are not simply in the delivery mechanism of the solution, but how the product was designed and built. Designing and building a product for a SaaS model forces one to tackle challenges around building for scale, ease-of-use, security, and a number of other factors. We increasingly refer to Birst as “built and engineered for SaaS” since those benefits are available to our customers through our traditional cloud-delivery method or through our on-premise virtual appliance that we made available with Birst 5 last fall. However our customer chooses to deploy, they still realize the same SaaS values and economics from our solution.
Question 2: What does Birst do? And for how long have you been in business?
Mr. White: Birst provides an agile business analytics platform that addresses the full analytic needs of an organization—everything from the underlying data consolidation, aggregation, and its ongoing management through to the discovery of that data via dashboards, reports, ad hoc queries, and mobile delivery. It is not a simple charting engine for one or two data sources, nor does it assume that IT had already built a data infrastructure ready for analysis. It gives an organization the ability to transform raw data into analysis-ready information, empowering business users to make meaningful business decisions.
Birst was founded in 2005.
Question 3: Can you provide links to one or two videos that talk about Birst’s business analytics products/services?
Question 4: And what about webinars and whitepapers? Can you provide links to one of each that you think every business analytics professional simply must see?
Birst, Business Analytics and the Cloud
Question 5: Your website states that “Birst delivers the industry’s first comprehensive business analytics suite available in the Cloud or on premise behind the corporate firewall”. What does the Cloud bring to business analytics anyway? Better performance? More complex data analysis? Faster sharing of analytical results? More effective data privacy protection?
Mr. White: Cloud delivery offers users a more consumable App—available anywhere, on demand BI solution. Also, the business model is often times more advantageous to organizations: a pay as you go model, no large up-front cost, OPEX vs. CAPEX. But as described in Question #1 above, it’s more about designing and building the product for Cloud or a SaaS model where much of the benefit lies (see above for explanation of the value).
Question 6: What types of data can Birst’s Cloud business analytics solution be used on? Social media? Point-of-sale (POS)?
Mr. White: Yes, Birst supports social media or POS data as well as operational data from ERP, CRM, RDBMS’ and Big Data from Hadoop.
a) And, as a follow-up, can different data from various sources be combined in a Birst Cloud business analytics universe?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, this is core to our value proposition. We have ETL capabilities that put data from numerous sources into a star-schema datawarehouse under the covers. A semantic layer sits atop of this.
Question 7: What about a predictive model – can a business analyst develop a predictive model, view the results, and then deploy it within the Birst Cloud environment?
Mr. White: Birst allows Designers to create linear regression models, but more advanced predictive modeling requires professional services to implement.
The Birst Mobile for iPad App
Question 8: There’s a Birst mobile for the iPad App, I understand. Please talk about how it works? Can analytics be viewed in real-time? And are we just talking raw, pre-canned reports or can users actually roll through data like they could on, say, a desktop or server version of an IBM-Cognos data cube?
Mr. White: Birst Mobile for the iPad is a native iOS app that provides full access to Birst dashboards. It allows analytics to be viewed in real-time and supports filtering and drilling into details (which is what I you mean by “roll through”)
Thanks very much for taking the time to share your thoughts about the Birst Cloud business analytics solution. It has been informative.
Marketing Ideas: Marketing Analytics Interviews, Marketing Analytics Presentations · Tags: BI Tablet App, Birst Business Analytics iPad BI Tablet App, Birst.com, cloud-based Tablet App, iPad tablet BI app, iPad tablet cloud App