BI Trends

The Real Implications of the Birst Acquisition

By Brian Brinkmann
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On April 25, Infor announced their intention to acquire Birst. It’s too early to say whether the team at Birst is celebrating, but I’m sure Birst’s customers are not.

I won’t bore you with all the things you expect a [now former] competitor to say here—things like “innovation will suffer,” “customer support and satisfaction will decline,” “Birst will essentially disappear from the analytics market,” and “Infor will force a reprioritization of Birst’s software roadmap.” Oops, I said it.

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The far more interesting point is what the acquisition says about the direction the BI market is headed.

Standalone analytics applications are dying, and embedding BI into applications people use every day is the next big opportunity.

Infor purchased Birst to bolster analytics within its ERP applications. Sound familiar? Workday purchased Platfora for that reason, Salesforce did the same with BeyondCore, and Oracle did the same with OBIEE f/k/a Siebel Analytics f/k/a nQuire whose founders started Birst (thanks for indulging my trip down memory lane).

Our research shows a decline in the use of standalone analytics applications like Tableau. In fact, the 2017 State of Analytics Adoption Report found that adoption of traditional standalone analytics tools has peaked and is now in a two-year decline. Why? It’s pretty simple: It’s inefficient and it’s not what most people want.

Nucleus Research estimates that toggling between applications can take up as much as 1 to 2 hours of an employee’s time each week. On the other hand, embedded analytics is adopted three times more than traditional standalone BI.

More importantly, it’s not what people want. People need analytics in context of their jobs to make truly effective decisions and take action. For most of us, that means in the business applications we use every day for sales, operations, finance, marketing or HR. Standalone analytics applications simply don’t do that.

[Warning: blatant pitch comes next] To all you Birst customers and prospects, we would welcome you to the Logi family. With over a decade of experience helping application teams drive revenue from their embedded analytics, Logi has proven its capacity to deliver innovation at a rapid pace. For those seeking to power their application with an independent analytics platform with a bright future, now is the perfect time to see three ways Logi compares to Birst and give Logi a try.


Originally published April 27, 2017; updated on June 6th, 2018

About the Author

Brian Brinkmann is the VP of Product Management at Logi Analytics. Brian has over 15 years of analytics and BI software experience. Prior to joining Logi Analytics, he held senior product strategy, management, and marketing positions with MicroStrategy, creating BI applications for marquee customers such as Nike and Franklin Templeton. Brian holds a MBA and a MEM from Northwestern University, as well as a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton.