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Cloud-based sales and finance software provider NetSuite thinks business intelligence should be as easy as finding an answer by searching Google.

The company announced today that it will now let customers set up a free “express” version of Birst’s cloud-based business intelligence tools. Birst is all about Google-like search queries and recommendations based on previous searches.

The deal could improve the user experience in NetSuite and perhaps raise standards for analytics inside enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software.

And the move is validation of Birts’s approach to answering questions with data and visualizations. The implementation will increase Birst’s visibility as the company competes with lots of cloud-based business intelligence companies, including Bime Analytics, DataRPM, and Domo.


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Plus, the deal provides opportunities for Birst to sign up more paying customers, under a new revenue-sharing agreement. People who use the free version of Birst on data sitting in NetSuite can pay to visualize data from other sources as well, Birst cofounder and former chief executive Brad Peters told VentureBeat via email.

The integration has already proven valuable for one company, Jive Software. They used Birst “on top of NetSuite and other sources to identify and remove bottlenecks in their lead-to-cash time,” Peters wrote.

That’s an example of data helping companies bring in revenue.

(We’ll be talking about how companies use data and technology to drive growth at our DataBeat conference next week in San Francisco.)

Birst started in 2004. It announced a $38 million venture round in August. In the past, Birst has formed partnerships with Salesforce.com and Marketo, among other software providers.

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