What users are saying about
112 Ratings
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710 Ratings
112 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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710 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 101

Likelihood to Recommend

Apache Spark

The software appears to run more efficiently than other big data tools, such as Hadoop. Given that, Apache Spark is well-suited for querying and trying to make sense of very, very large data sets. The software offers many advanced machine learning and econometrics tools, although these tools are used only partially because very large data sets require too much time when the data sets get too large. The software is not well-suited for projects that are not big data in size. The graphics and analytical output are subpar compared to other tools.
Thomas Young profile photo

Microsoft BI

If the client you are dealing with already has existing Microsoft licensing agreements, selecting the Microsoft Stack may be a no-brainer. However, truly understanding the client's needs is the most important place to start versus selecting the technology stack. B2C clients that need a visualization tool may need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a data visualization tool, as costs for licensing are high at the time of writing.
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Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.8
Pixel Perfect reports
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.5
Customizable dashboards
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.7
Report Formatting Templates
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.0

Ad-hoc Reporting

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.3
Drill-down analysis
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.9
Formatting capabilities
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.3
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.0
Report sharing and collaboration
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.7

Report Output and Scheduling

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.9
Publish to Web
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.1
Publish to PDF
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.4
Report Versioning
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.7
Report Delivery Scheduling
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.2
Delivery to Remote Servers
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.0

Data Discovery and Visualization

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.9
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.2
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.7
Predictive Analytics
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.7

Access Control and Security

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.2
Multi-User Support (named login)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.2
Role-Based Security Model
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.0
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.4
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.3

Mobile Capabilities

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.1
Responsive Design for Web Access
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.0
Dedicated iOS Application
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated Android Application
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.9
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.1

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.7
REST API
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.6
Javascript API
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
8.2
iFrames
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.4
Java API
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.9
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.5
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Apache Spark
Microsoft BI
7.4

Pros

Apache Spark

  • Rich APIs for data transformation making for very each to transform and prepare data in a distributed environment without worrying about memory issues
  • Faster in execution times compare to Hadoop and PIG Latin
  • Easy SQL interface to the same data set for people who are comfortable to explore data in a declarative manner
  • Interoperability between SQL and Scala / Python style of munging data
Nitin Pasumarthy profile photo

Microsoft BI

  • The layout of Power BI is very intuitive. Someone that is familiar with Excel and working with Charts and Graphs in that environment will find the learning curve a rather short one to start using Power BI.
  • I like the way Power BI fits an assortment of users and how the functionality that you engage is replicated in Excel, that being Power Query and Power Pivot. So what you learn in one tool can be readily applied towards the other which allows you to more effectively apply your training.
  • I appreciate how Microsoft is working to develop tools that go a long ways to empowering the end user. Prior to Power BI I would have had to consult with a "BI" professional to develop a dashboard. With Power BI I don't have to consult with anyone, I can work to put together the dash board I want and using a tool set that is really robust and allows me to engage an enormous amount of data. It's provides a great deal of flexibility and the types of data I can connect to.
  • Updates...Microsoft is working diligently to keep Power BI current with monthly updates. They do a really good job of listening to the end user, if there is functionality not currently present just give them a month or so.
  • Just to be clear, even though it's easy to get going right out of the gate with Power BI it provides plenty of opportunities to create some really sophisticated reporting solutions. With DAX in Power Pivot and M language in Power Query, you are provided with plenty of head room to do some really amazing things in Power BI.
  • Training...there are resources across the web for learning and growing your skills and Power BI. And what's even better is the majority of those resources are free.
  • Data engagement, when presenting the data to the end user Power BI goes a long way to allowing that end user to engage the data and begin to identify root cause by simply interacting with the graph/chart/data set. It allows for really fluid engagement. Prior to Power BI so many times during the presentation of data we often times ended the engagement with that data with more questions than what were answered. With Power BI, more often than not, the end user is able to get answers to the questions by simply clicking on the data in the graph/chart/dataset to see the details. This tool really does have the capacity to make you look like a rock star.
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Cons

Apache Spark

  • Memory management. Very weak on that.
  • PySpark not as robust as scala with spark.
  • spark master HA is needed. Not as HA as it should be.
  • Locality should not be a necessity, but does help improvement. But would prefer no locality
Anson Abraham profile photo

Microsoft BI

  • Report Builder 3.0 shipped with MSSQL 2012 is a nice free tool but our client users sometimes encounter problems such as the tool automatically shut down without saving the changes being made. We haven't implemented the new RB with MSSQL 2016 yet thus cannot comment on the latest version.
Haibo Yang profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft BI is fundamental to our suite of BI applications. That being said, Northcraft Analytics is focused on delighting our customers, so if the underlying factors of our decision change, we would choose to re-write our BI applications on a different stack. Luckily, mathematics are the fundamental IP of our technology... and is portable across all BI platforms for the foreseeable future.
Lee Cullom profile photo

Usability

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 5 answers
Usability is great. This product will make most feel right at home. I feel like this question should be asked from two points of view:1. Creator of reports, Data Models, Views etc: Most Advanced users will still rate the usability as very high. Its capabilities are still robust. However when compared to other Enterprise Class products it will not do many of the advanced application queries. 2. End user, Consumer: All end users will feel right at home. Many will be able to create connections to already created data models and other external publicly available sources like twitter, Facebook, World Health order etc... These connections are then in turn very very easily available to publish to SharePoint and Power BI. It took me a while to understand what I think is Microsoft's strategy. This will handle all but the most of robust needs. Much like many American made cars and my favorite Corvette, Microsoft is fast, has it own break downs from time to time but all of these are really to tolerate when the price is considered and the next one up that can out perform it is three to four times as much money makes this an easy one to still recommend
Sean Warren profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Performance

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 2 answers
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can drag at times. We created two report servers and placed them under an F5 load balancer. This configuration has worked well. We have seen sluggish performance at times due to the Windows Firewall.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Support

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.1
Based on 6 answers
While support from Microsoft isn't necessarily always best of breed, you're also not paying the price for premium support that you would on other platforms. The strength of the stack is in the ecosystem that surrounds it. In contrast to other products, there are hundreds, even thousands of bloggers that post daily as well as vibrant user communities that surround the tool. I've had much better luck finding help with SQL Server related issues than I have with any other product, but that help doesn't always come directly from Microsoft.
Jacob Saunders profile photo

In-Person Training

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Online Training

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.5
Based on 2 answers
I have used on-line training from Microsoft and from Pragmatic Works. I would recommend Pragmatic Works as the best way to get up to speed quickly, and then use the Microsoft on-line training to deep dive into specific features that you need to get depth with.
Sean Brady profile photo

Implementation

Apache Spark

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.6
Based on 7 answers
We are a consulting firm and as such our best resources are always billing on client projects. Our internal implementation has weaknesses, but that's true for any company like ours. My rating is based on the product's ease of implementation.
Jacob Saunders profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Apache Spark

Spark in comparison to similar technologies ends up being a one stop shop. You can achieve so much with this one framework instead of having to stitch and weave multiple technologies from the Hadoop stack, all while getting incredibility performance, minimal boilerplate, and getting the ability to write your application in the language of your choosing.
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Microsoft BI

Looking at the visualization portion of BI, there are three types of tools.
  1. Programming packages. Free and powerful, they let you make any diagram, at the cost of difficulty of use.
  2. Specialist software like Tableau and Microsoft BI. This is the best choice in most cases due to ease of use and quality of output.
  3. More generic software offered by the big IT companies, often part of a BI suite. There's really a lot of variety here. Use this when it fits the workflow and you are already using the relevant software. But, personally, I'd still use the specialist software.
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Return on Investment

Apache Spark

  • It has had a very positive impact, as it helps reduce the data processing time and thus helps us achieve our goals much faster.
  • Being easy to use, it allows us to adapt to the tool much faster than with others, which in turn allows us to access various data sources such as Hadoop, Apache Mesos, Kubernetes, independently or in the cloud. This makes it very useful.
  • It was very easy for me to use Apache Spark and learn it since I come from a background of Java and SQL, and it shares those basic principles and uses a very similar logic.
Carla Borges profile photo

Microsoft BI

  • Business users easily learned self service BI with training and what to do and what not to do with self service BI
  • Learning curve for Powerpivot and other office 365 tools for IT team who already knew about data warehousing concepts is steep
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Pricing Details

Apache Spark

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Apache Spark Editions & Modules

Additional Pricing Details

Microsoft BI

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Microsoft BI Editions & Modules

Edition
Power BI$0
Power BI Pro$102
  1. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details

Add comparison