After 12 Years of Waiting, Birst Obtains Data Management Patents

Entering its third month as a new acquisition of Infor, the company said the patents will further enable smarter and more efficient preparation, discovery and visualization of data.


Birst, a new-gen analytics platform for sourcing, refining and presenting standardized data insights at scale, at long last has been awarded a couple of patents after spending 12 years waiting for the U.S. Patent Office to complete its approval.

San Francisco-based Birst, entering its third month as a new acquisition of Infor, told eWEEK exclusively July 26 that the patents are designed to further enable smarter and more efficient preparation, discovery and visualization of data.

Brad Peters,  Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Birst business unit inside Infor, told eWEEK that Birst's new technology "goes beyond finding just a single attribute and its impact on a measure. It intelligently discovers multiple attributes that drive a metric up or down. Further, the technology intelligently chooses the right visualization to expose, so that a business user can understand it."

Peters said the company had a choice when it came to applying for the patent: either submit something "very narrow and that could go through pretty quickly, or keep chipping away so the patent could be much, much broader."

Birst decided to go for quality and chip away to get the patent it really wanted, but it took a lot of time to get it.

The patents are "fundamental to the pillars of automation that have been in Birst all along," Peters said. "We're taking the processes that go into automation and trying to make them smarter. Some of this is all the rage now, but it was completely new back then."

Patent No. 1, entitled "Automatic Data Warehouse Generation Using Automatically Generated Schema" (U.S. Patent No.: 9,483,537) refers to the company's Automated Data Refinement (ADR) technology.

Birst Automated Data Refinement uses advanced algorithms to take highly disparate data from many different sources and instantly structure it in a simple, clear and consistent set of business metrics and attributes, so any user, regardless of skill set, can perform analytics.

More specifically, ADR takes non-analytic ready data and automatically creates a cloud data store. This process eliminates traditional ETL (extract, transform, load) processes and enables ETL developers to be more productive and able to respond to the business faster.

The second patent entitled "Constructing Reports Using Metric-Attribute Combinations" (U.S. Patent No.: 9,652,516) refers to Birst's One-Click Smart Visualization.

Birst's One-Click Smart Visualization uses machine learning to intelligently discover the most business-critical relationships between hundreds of columns of data. It uses smart technologies to select the appropriate visualizations and automatically builds and displays a set of visualizations in dashboards.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...