Infor Birst or Microsoft Power BI: which solution will you choose?

A cloud version of Infor’s ERP LN system is now available too: Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise (Infor CSIE). When switching to the Infor CloudSuite, additional functionalities are included, for example Birst, Infor’s business intelligence solution. The question we answer in this blog is whether Infor Birst is the solution that you’ve been waiting for.

First things first: what is Birst?

Birst was founded in 2004 as a consulting company implementing BI solutions. The company launched it first cloud-based BI platform in 2007. Birst continued to expand and improve its production line. In 2017 it was acquired by Infor to extend the BI capabilities of the ERP system Infor LN.

In 2015, Birst was first recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI and analytics platforms. The Gartner Magic Quadrant offers a visual overview of leaders, newcomers, visionaries and niche players in the field of BI and analytics platforms. We have not seen Infor again in the Quadrant since 2022 due to fierce competition from Microsoft.

Infor Birst vs. Microsoft Power BI

The undisputed leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant is Microsoft, offering a wide range of tools, with Power BI being seen as the front-end and is comparable to Birst. Gartner provides an extensive comparison of the two platforms.  

The image below shows a difference in ratings but mainly highlights a significant difference in user numbers.

The Birst community is many times smaller than Microsoft’s Power BI community. A market analysis on Enlyft shows that Birst has a 0.23% market share, while Microsoft Power BI occupies almost 15% of the market. Enlyft also reveals that more than 100,000 companies are Power BI users These figures are based on worldwide use. In the Dutch market, the difference is even greater. Consequently, there are few users and almost no consultants/developers for Birst in the Netherlands. This means it is very difficult to make modifications to a Birst-based BI system in the Netherlands. 

Benefits of Infor Birst

Both Infor Birst and Power BI are powerful business intelligence tools. Both can be used for reporting and analysing data from Infor LN. Each platform has its own strong points and advantages. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of Birst.

One of the key benefits Birst has over Microsoft Power BI is the built-in connectivity with Infor LN. Birst has a dedicated connector for Infor LN, making it easy to integrate data from Infor LN into reports and analyses. This reduces the time and effort required to unlock data and transform it in Infor LN and therefore cuts the implementation time.

Another benefit of Birst is the possibility of modelling and transforming data within the platform. This offers advanced capabilities for data modelling, so complex data from Infor LN can easily transformed into usable insights and reports. Moreover, Birst has a powerful and intuitive ETL (extract, transform, load) function that allows data from various sources to be integrated and transformed.

Birst: in practice

While the comparison between Birst and Power BI may indicate advantages for Birst from an ERP LN perspective, in practice this is not quite the case. The link that Birst uses with ERP LN runs through the Infor Data Lake, which can also be used by other BI products.

In terms of cost: Birst starts at $30,000 per 20 users per year; for example, see This is the whole tool, including data extraction tools. The entry-level price for Power BI is initially considerably lower: $10 per user per month, $2,400 for 20 users per year. When setting up a data warehouse solution in Microsoft Azure (cloud) or Microsoft SQL Server (on-premises), the cost difference compared to Birst is of course less.

A good alternative

The alternative to Birst is iqbs BI for Infor. This is a ready-made BI solution with reports in Power BI and it is based on the Microsoft data platform. Like Birst, the platform offers built-in connectivity with Infor LN (for both the on-premises and the cloud version of Infor LN). All the stated benefits of Birst are therefore also available on the Microsoft data platform.

Microsoft: in practice

We have supplied many clients with a Microsoft BI solution on their Infor ERP. Would you like to know how they rate it? The our clients’ stories, for example the one by SafanDarley.

“The main advantage is that at iqbs they understand both the BI tool and the ERP system that we use as well as the data model behind it. In addition to helping us make greater use of the data from our system, they also have a deep understanding of our business.”

Would you like to discuss the possibilities some time?

Are you looking for the best BI solution for your organisation?  We are happy to share ideas with you. Please feel free to get in touch with is for a chat. We will happily discuss the options with you.