When It Comes to BI and Analytics, We Have a Different Point of View
Brad Peters and Paul Staelin founded Birst in 2004 after a highly successful run at Siebel Systems as product leaders of the Siebel Analytics team, later to become Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE). OBIEE later became a market share leader by being one of the first ground-up, server-oriented BI platforms that served an entire enterprise, not just a department or desktop. During that time Paul and Brad were struck by the 9, 12 and even 18 months timeframes and effort it took to apply that era’s BI platform technologies in order to deploy enterprise-caliber analytical applications. They felt that while such platforms were powerful, their deep fragmentation and excessive configuration caused an unacceptable deployment timeframe and that data-driven businesses of the future would demand a better way.
Brad’s vision in the development of the Birst platform was to bridge unique experiences from both an application point of view and a BI platform point of view. While others in the BI industry focused on extremely simple, or trivial desktop data sets and “dumbing down” BI, Birst’s goal was to confront enterprise application data complexity head-on. The diversity and “any-to-any” relationships of data, not data scale, was really the enemy of speed and agility. As a result, Birst created proprietary techniques that made the development of analytical applications far more automated. This allowed them to take broad sets of enterprise application data, and make it “analytically ready” at a rate never before possible, allowing Birst to deliver enterprise caliber applications in a rapid and agile fashion.
During the early years of the company, the initial deployments of Birst were a diverse set of purpose built, analytical business applications that delivered analytics on top of some of the most rich and high volume transaction systems.
In 2009, after 6 years of pragmatic and highly successful enterprise-scale deployments, Brad decided the platform was ready to open up for anyone to develop generalized analytical applications. By leveraging now-patent-pending automation technology, tested at scale, the Birst system could rapidly adapt to the different types of use cases and datasets that are found in every major organizations without prior compromises between enterprise scale, scope and speed.
Birst is unique in this perspective due to its origins in deploying holistic, enterprise-grade analytical solutions, versus trying to build up from a limited desktop approach, or string together collections of low-level point products. Our investments in analytical data automation, intuitive user experience and modern multi-tenant architectural thinking is a groundbreaking approach that is thought leading and unique in the marketplace.
Birst’s modern 2-Tier approach can now deliver enterprise-grade capability, governance and scale, while enabling distributed line of business operations to achieve the speed, self-service and functional agility that they crave. As a result, Birst is deployed at 1,000s of global corporations today.
At Birst we’re giving business meaning to data – by enabling business users to analyze all of their data, from all types of sources, to solve real problems. Fast.
We are not trying to make BI simpler, or dumb it down, or just do a piece of it, but do the whole thing, do it right, and bring automation to it to make it a lot more productive.Brad Peters, Chairman, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Birst
Our Leadership Team
Founded by analytics experts. Managed by industry veterans.
Jay is Birst’s CEO. Jay brings more than 25 years of experience in the software industry to Birst and has been a pioneer in building SaaS software companies. Prior to joining Birst, Jay served as the President of Worldwide Field Operations at Jive Software. Before leading the Jive field team, he spent five years at SuccessFactors, where he was Vice President of Enterprise Sales, propelling revenue from approximately $100 million to over $350 million, leading to the company’s eventual acquisition by SAP. Previously, Jay was a senior executive with Mercury Interactive. During his six years at Mercury, Jay helped grow the business from approximately $300 million to over $1 billion before the company was acquired by Hewlett Packard. In addition, Jay has held sales leadership roles at Oracle Corporation, Network Associates and Siebel Systems. When not working or spending time on the road with customers, Jay enjoys spending time with his wife Gigi and their three sons. He also likes cars and Notre Dame football.
Jay holds a BA degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Brad Peters is the Chairman and Chief Product Officer of Birst. Brad spent the last dozen years building analytics products and solutions. Prior to working at Birst, he helped found and later led the Analytics product line at Siebel Systems which forms the basis of Oracle’s current OBIEE product family. Recognizing the limitations of enterprise analytics offerings and the revolutionary power of Cloud technologies, Brad founded Birst in 2005. Brad started his career as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley in the New York M&A practice. Brad regularly blogs for Forbes.com where he writes about Cloud and business software related issues.
Brad received a BS and MS in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Paul Staelin is the Chief Customer Officer and a co-founder of Birst. He is responsible for ensuring customer success across the customer lifecycle and oversees Birst’s Customer Success, Professional Services, Education, Support, Community and Operations teams. Before working at Birst, Paul built and managed Siebel’s Sales Analytics product line, overseeing its growth from start to over $40 million in annual license revenue. Earlier in his career, Paul co-founded emPower Corporation and served as its President for several years prior to its sale in 1999. Paul has also served Sun Microsystems and PictureTel in various product and technical roles. Paul enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis and rooting for the Red Sox.
Paul holds a BS from Yale, an MS from MIT in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller scholar.
Rick Spickelmier, CTO, is responsible for architecture, security, privacy, and big ideas for Birst. Rick brings over 20 years of wide-ranging software development experience, including experience in enterprise architecture, databases, and on-demand applications. Rick has been Senior Director of Technology at Geac, CTO at Extensity, worked in a number of management, architecture, and development roles at Objectivity, and was on staff at the University of California, Berkeley. Rick has participated as a panelist and presenter at numerous conferences and industry events and has authored several books and publications. Rick enjoys gaming, biking, and traveling to places that scare his family.
Rick holds a Ph.D. and an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BSEE from Oregon State University.
Carl Tsukahara is Chief Marketing Officer at Birst and is responsible for all global marketing strategy and execution. A 25+ year veteran of Silicon Valley, Carl Tsukahara was most recently Executive Vice President of Marketing and Products for Evolv, a category leader in delivering predictive analytics for customer service, sales and human capital performance. At Evolv, Carl drove explosive market awareness and product innovation, leading to an acquisition of Evolv by Cornerstone On Demand. Previously, Carl was Global CMO for Monitise PLC (MONI:LSE), a global leader in mobile payments and mobile banking, headquartered in London. He also has held executive management roles at other high growth entities as head of marketing for the Oracle database operation and VP of marketing for Vitria Technology, which eventually led to a multi-billion dollar public offering. As a strategy and marketing consultant, Carl also worked with companies such as Workday, Microsoft, Riverbed Technology, Taleo, D&B, Hyperion and VMware.
Carl also has held operational roles in field sales, corporate strategy and engineering. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sam Wolff is Birst’s CFO. He was previously CFO of BlueKai, which was acquired by Oracle in early 2014. During his three years at BlueKai, Sam helped scale the organization as it pioneered the enterprise SaaS data management platform space. During his tenure, the company grew revenue by over 250%, evolved the business into a leading SaaS platform for marketing applications and expanded into international markets. Sam joined BlueKai after over six years at Yahoo! where he was VP, Finance for the Americas Sales & Marketplaces organization and was recognized as the #1 IR professional in the internet sector in the 2010 Institutional Investor All-America Executive Team rankings. Prior to Yahoo!, Sam held financial management roles at Vail Resorts Inc. and Squaw Valley USA and was a manager in both the audit and restructuring practices at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Sam holds an AB from Harvard University and an MBA from Indiana University. Sam is a past board member and treasurer of the National Investor Relations Institute, Silicon Valley Chapter and is a CPA (inactive).
Dave Dyer is Birst’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales, bringing the power of Birst to organizations around the world. Dave most recently was SAP’s SVP of Financial Services, managing sales and go-to-market functions, following its acquisition of SuccessFactors. His tenure at both SAP and SuccessFactors began in 2006 and spanned several senior leadership roles in the US and internationally. Dave also held management roles for market leaders Siebel Systems and Oracle Corporation. He is an avid sports enthusiast, and frequently enjoys tennis, golf, and boating.
Dave earned an B.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Simon Business School at University of Rochester.
Alex Saleh is Birst’s VP of Business Operations. He joined Birst from Auction.com where he built the company’s Sales Operations function. Before that Alex spent 7 years at Successfactors as VP of Global Sales Operations where he led Sales Ops, Pre-sales Solution Consulting, and Lead Generation. During that period Successfactors grew from $50M to over $350M, and was acquired by SAP. After the acquisition by SAP Alex was named COO, SAP Cloud Sales, responsible for Sales Operations and Presales Consulting across SAP’s entire cloud business. Alex started his career at IBM as an Engineer, and then spent several years there as a Sales Engineer, and Sales Representative. He has held Sales Management positions at Clarify, Nortel Networks, DigitalThink, and was Vice President of Sales at Convergys Learning Solutions. Alex enjoys traveling with his family, and is an avid cyclist, skier and swimmer.
Alex holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts, and MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.