Five weeks ago, Infor announced an agreement to acquire Birst Inc., a pioneer of cloud-native analytics and data visualization.
Now that the details of the acquisition have been completed, I’m pleased to welcome the Birst team to Infor, excited about the still-untapped potential for Birst’s comprehensive business intelligence (BI) platform—and thrilled about the value this generates for 65 million Infor CloudSuite™ users and counting.
Infor isn’t the only company to esteem BI. According to the 2017 Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study, nearly 50% of executive management teams see BI—specifically cloud BI—to be critical or very important for their data needs. What helps Birst stand alone in the market is the company’s deep commitment to delivering analytics that are instant, smart, automated, and connected.
This networked approach is reflected in how complete the Birst platform is. By combining data discovery tools and machine learning to generate not only rich analytics, but also operational reporting—at scale from across the enterprise—it brings structure to data that may have been sitting in disparate systems. Diginomica’s Derek du Preez describes it as “a fabric that sits on top of [data] silos, tapping into them and linking them all together to provide predictive insights.”
This virtualized BI ecosystem is designed with the end user in mind. From educational content to help customers move to a connected data prep model to the broad choice of self-service analytics interfaces it offers, Birst has prioritized the user experience. Judges at the UK Cloud Awards 2017 called out Birst’s “strong emphasis on customer support, in particular, the degree of usability,” when naming the platform Analytics Product of the Year.
Birst’s accomplishments in democratizing data have only just begun, I believe. With access to data from the millions of subscribers who use our industry CloudSuites, the Birst platform will generate even sharper business insights and make it easier for users to consume meaningful analytics from a trusted source. Just as Infor has set the standard for integration with Infor ION, or collaboration with Infor Ming.le, Birst will become the enterprise standard for analytics as a dedicated business unit of Infor.
What that means for Infor customers is deeper connectivity to data through a scalable architecture that allows for seamless sharing across departments. No matter what size your organization, every employee will have access to a single version of the truth. As Southard Jones, Birst vice president of product strategy, told Wired a few years ago, “When the CEO and the sales manager can ask the same question and get the same answer, you are empowering everyone to run a data-driven business.”