Birst: nuts & bolts of analytics on the cloud

In a fast moving business world today Business Analytics has gained prime significance. Almost all organizations invest heavily in building Data warehouses which can give them an edge to stay attuned with their customer and business needs. However if we take a look at the Gartner’s report more than 70 to 80% of the Data warehouse project fail or never achieve the intended results. Despite having investments in hoards of MPP platforms, reporting and modeling tools, the failure rates are quite alarming. Few important reasons for these failure are lack of understanding of data by IT developing the solutions, complex requirements, Inadequate knowledge or understanding of the technologies used but one that stands out the most is the time taken to deliver an Analytic solution. This solution development still follow the traditional models since the resources available to the solution creators are developed that way. Simple aggregation, drills across various dimensions and star schema creation takes months of development efforts before business can finally see something which they had desired. If this whole lifecycle of solution development is reduced and business can validate the solution much earlier surely investment in analytics will create the desired ROI.

Agility is the buzz word to avoid these pitfalls and that’s where BIRST positions itself. BIRST is a cloud based/on premise BI platform that provides comprehensive framework to consolidate, Model, transform and visualize data with least effort and time investment. Birst is the only SaaS-based BI solution with an integrated ETL, data warehouse automation, enterprise reporting, ad hoc query, and dashboarding.

At the heart of BIRST is an intelligent engine that has capabilities to identify measures from the metadata and create star schemas with just a button click. It also provides the flexibility for the user to define the hierarchy and the grain. It provides a very good interface to view the data loaded and also query the data. From the ETL point of view it provides the script option where in temporary tables can be created if required. The process of moving the data from the source that is enabled on the BIRST to the star schema which may also involve staging is taken care automatically by the BIRST Engine. It also takes care of creation and maintenance of surrogate key. The data flow page which is used to design the flow in BIRST seamlessly creates the relationships and ETL thus making it as a one stop shop for all the needs.

BIRST also connects to variety of databases including Teradata, Oracle, SAP, SQL server, MY SQL through BIRST connect. It also takes inputs such as flat files, MS access and has the capabilities to connect as Live access to Salesforce.

Apart from Data Modeling and ETL, the BIRST visualization layer completes the whole proposition. BIRST not only provides all kinds of regular charts like Line Chart, Bar Chart, Bubble Chart, Scatter Plots, Radar etc but also have features such as creation of Geo Maps and BING maps and that too with very few button clicks. The charts can be altered dynamically by introducing formulas or expression wherever needed. BIRST supports adhoc as well as scheduled reports. BIRST also provides dynamic dashboards where drill ups can be done by attaching multiple charts or reports in a single space. The beauty of the whole process is that Data Modeling to reporting to dashboard can be achieved in a single session.

Ease of implementation, Integration of disparate solutions in a single workspace, Inbuilt intelligence of the engine, strong reporting capabilities and dynamic dashboard distinctly defines BIRST as “The Platform and Solution” that can deliver Agile Analytics and assist transforming the business.