We are happy to share some insights on Infor based on our latest market Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. Earlier this year we published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Business Intelligence 2019, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on Analytics and BI focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern business intelligence, we developed specific criteria for each in order to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.
In all of our Value Indexes we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Infor and 14 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our benchmark research on analytics and business intelligence.
Birst operates as an independent subsidiary of Infor. Infor’s backing provides a global presence and financial support that was not available to Birst prior to its 2017 acquisition. The Birst Enterprise architecture supports cloud or on-premises deployments and the data model is designed to access data from a variety of sources in a networked or virtualized approach. Its flexible deployment options and integration with business processes and applications allow organizations to incorporate analytics into varied line of business activities. Additional advanced analytics and collaboration capabilities would make the product an even stronger offering.
The strength of Birst’s Enterprise product is its breadth. The company scored well in many of the categories we evaluate and earned an overall ranking of fourth. Birst’s best rating was in Adaptability where it ranked first due to the product’s flexible deployment and configuration options, including white labeling applications for a custom look and feel. Birst Enterprise is designed to be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure, applications and processes. The product also ranked second in Reliability and the company in TCO/ROI support for it. In terms of Capability, Birst Enterprise ranked fifth overall with comprehensive functionality across many of the areas evaluated.
MOBILE ANALYTICS & BI
Birst provides native applications for iOS and Android, both of which include the ability to operate offline. These applications offer good interactivity and collaboration capabilities such as sharing views. The Birst mobile capabilities were above average in all the subcategories we evaluated. Overall Birst Enterprse ranks second in our Mobile Analytics and BI Value Index. More mobile-specific capabilities such as better location awareness and support for wearables could help improve its strong showing even further.
EMBEDDED ANALYTICS & BI
The Birst Enterprise architecture supports cloud or on-premises deployments and the data model is designed to access data from a variety of sources in a networked or virtualized approach. Its flexible deployment options and integration with business processes and applications allow organizations to incorporate analytics into varied line of business activities. The product also offers robust data modeling options.
Birst’s embedded capabilities were above average in all the subcategories we evaluated. When combined with its other scores, the Birst Enterprise ranks fourth overall in our Embedded Analytics and BI Value Index.
COLLABORATIVE ANALYTICS & BI
Birst Enterprise offers good personalization capabilities, the subcategory in which it performed best. It also offers a variety of capabilities that are helpful in the collaboration process, including document annotation, sharing and publishing. Birst Enterprise ranks seventh overall in our Collaborative Analytics and BI Value Index and eighth in collaborative capabilities. The product scored near average in many of the capability subcategories we evaluated.
Birst does not provide any social-media-style wall posting and discussion capabilities. Offering tools for better coordination among participants in the analytic process such as the ability to assign tasks and track them to completion would also help improve its score.
The category in which Birst Enterprise ranked lowest is Usability where it placed ninth. Some improvements and modernization to the product’s user interface could help improve its performance here. The company would also benefit from improving usability for executives and IT personas. In the Capability category, while Birst was ranked highly, Enterprise lags behind other offerings in advanced analytics capabilities as it relies on third-party integration with R for most of these functions.
This assessment was based on Birst Enterprise 5.31 which was the most recent version available at the end of August 2018. The company announced a new version of the product earlier this year called Smart Analytics; those features have not been considered in this assessment.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and business intelligence software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.