What users are saying about

arcplan

6 Ratings

Microsoft BI

599 Ratings

arcplan

6 Ratings
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Score 9.6 out of 101

Microsoft BI

599 Ratings
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Score 7.8 out of 101

Add comparison

Likelihood to Recommend

arcplan

It is very suitable for complete corporate BI solutions. If you see BI as embedding information into your organization and business processes, and thus as more than just a few scattered dashboards and reports, arcplan is your platform. It's less suitable for ad-hoc reporting and data discovery. It can do it (everything is possible), but there is strong competition in this area.
Erik Jansma profile photo

Microsoft BI

Visualization of business data: it's good, fast, and cheap. What more can you ask? With more specialized visualization needs, use Tableau or write code. For complex scientific visualizations, write code.It's also so much easier communicating about the tool and its visuals to other people who don't spend their lives analyzing complex data. "It's Excel for Big Data!" is really quite simple.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

arcplan
7.6
Microsoft BI
7.8
Pixel Perfect reports
arcplan
6.4
Microsoft BI
7.6
Customizable dashboards
arcplan
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.0
Report Formatting Templates
arcplan
8.5
Microsoft BI
7.8

Ad-hoc Reporting

arcplan
7.4
Microsoft BI
8.5
Drill-down analysis
arcplan
5.8
Microsoft BI
8.4
Formatting capabilities
arcplan
6.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
arcplan
9.0
Microsoft BI
8.2
Report sharing and collaboration
arcplan
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.8

Report Output and Scheduling

arcplan
8.9
Microsoft BI
8.4
Publish to Web
arcplan
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.5
Publish to PDF
arcplan
10.0
Microsoft BI
8.6
Report Versioning
arcplan
10.0
Microsoft BI
8.7
Report Delivery Scheduling
arcplan
7.8
Microsoft BI
7.9
Delivery to Remote Servers
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.1

Data Discovery and Visualization

arcplan
7.1
Microsoft BI
8.5
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
arcplan
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.9
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
arcplan
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.4
Predictive Analytics
arcplan
7.7
Microsoft BI
8.3

Access Control and Security

arcplan
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.6
Multi-User Support (named login)
arcplan
9.0
Microsoft BI
8.5
Role-Based Security Model
arcplan
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.5
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
arcplan
7.5
Microsoft BI
9.0
Single Sign-On (SSO)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.3

Mobile Capabilities

arcplan
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.3
Responsive Design for Web Access
arcplan
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
arcplan
5.0
Microsoft BI
8.6
Dedicated Android Application
arcplan
5.0
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
arcplan
8.3
Microsoft BI
8.2

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.0
REST API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.1
Javascript API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.4
iFrames
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.9
Java API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.8
Themeable User Interface (UI)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.0

Pros

  • Endless functionality. With arcplan, you're not limited to a certain set of functions (like with most competitors), but you can think up and add functionality. This includes things like business process management modules, so that your BI really gets embedded into business processes.
  • One core, one skill-set needed, no coding. As an all-round arcplan developer, you can basically do everything. So, even when things get complex, there is no need for external scripts, macros, VBA code, etc. Even the most advanced corporate BI systems are built in arcplan with one skillset!
  • No end user training needed. With arcplan, it's easy to build applications that work purely intuitively. It's also possible to show/hide advanced options, depending on the type of users you define.
  • No data modelling required. Of course, if the business requires it, you can add semantic layers, but you are not forced to do it in all circumstances. I find this a huge advantage over other products, because most business data sources already are logically structured.
  • Multiple data sources can be connected and you're completely free in combining the data in these sources: create your own, or create modules to associate data 'on the fly', whatever you want. You want ETL? No problem. You want to avoid ETL? No problem either.
  • Write-back capabilities: this is critical if you want to really embed BI into your business processes. In BI, information should be actionable: arcplan allows the end user to really take that action.
  • Great developer interface, which makes it also possible for someone with limited technical skills (but high business acumen) to take part in developments.
  • Pricing and licensing. At first glance, arcplan seems not very cheap compared to competitors. However, the licensing model is logical, and there are no hidden costs. Compare that to 'free' products that become very costly as soon as you want to have an enterprise solution.
Erik Jansma profile photo
  • The interfaces of the products are familiar to most people that currently use Microsoft products so its comfortable in that respect
  • Creating a report is easy to do with drag/drop functionality. You also have alot of dropdowns. You can use formulas the same way you do in Excel. They have "expressions" which are like formulas with a mix of SQL.
  • Publishing a report to the server is simple as well. You go to the server and upload the file from your file directory.
  • Setting up subscriptions is simple as well. Anyone can do it with minimal knowledge. Its sort of like creating a recurring calendar event.
  • The hierarchy within SSRS is intuitive. A Project is the top level item. You can add as many reports as you want to a project. Similar to any other IDE where you keep all your files in one project (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSP, Servlet) except in the case of SSRS its all reports.
  • Whether you choose to use 2008 or 2012 the interface is layed pretty much the same. So if you start of in 2008 and then upgrade, you dont have to re-learn anything. Their are slight differences in the two versions but it wont hinder your ability to build a report.
Mashhood Syed profile photo

Cons

  • Positioning and marketing. Most BI vendors use a non-technical sales strategy and focus on shiny, sexy dashboards to sell the story. In order to position arcplan fairly and correctly, the technical and business advantages need to be part of a sales story. So, it is not really an easy product to sell to customers, if it has to compete with now-to-wow-five-minute products.
  • Learning/training for developers. It's easy to learn the basics of arcplan, because the interface is logical. But nothing prevents a beginning developer from creating a monstrous application, because there is no prescribed architecture. It really takes some experience to become a good arcplan architect. It's a disadvantage resulting from one of arcplan's biggest advantages.
  • Data connectors: arcplan standard comes with a connector of your choice. Additional connectors need to be purchased separately. Many other products come with a full range of connectors.
Erik Jansma profile photo
  • I have been disappointed in how all the front-end delivery tools have been centered around Excel and SharePoint. I understand it from a business sense but I much preferred the ProClarity interface as a stand-alone ad-hoc reporting tool. Many end-users are intimidated by merely mentioning pivot tables and therefore do not even try to create their own queries.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI8.0
Based on 25 answers
Ease of use and amazing possibilities
Jerome Lambert, PhD profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI7.0
Based on 5 answers
The product is very usable compared to competitive solutions. I didn't give it a full 10 because Microsoft needs to improve their Report Builder module.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Performance

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI7.0
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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
Microsoft support in general is good, did not have any issues.
Boris Skylar profile photo

In-Person Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI6.9
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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI8.5
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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Breadth of Deployment

No answers on this topic
Everyone uses it around my company. Mostly as BI professionals that use it to create BI solutions.
Michał Becker profile photo

Alternatives Considered

acplan beats Qlik on basically everything, including price. It's technically far superior, provides far better security and unlike Qlik does not require coding when things get complex.arcplan beats Tableau and Yellowfin on capabilities. Tableau and Yellowfin are very good at what they do, but capabilities are limited, unless you call the programmers.arcplan beats SAP BO by being one product, instead of a suite with 10 components using 10 different skill sets. And, as a result, it beats SAP BO hands down on implementation costs and efforts
Erik Jansma profile photo
Microstrategy - I went with Microsoft BI because of features, usability, integration capabilities, performance, availability of talent, cost, and end-user (self-service) capabilities.
Sean Brady profile photo

Collaboration and Sharing

arcplan9.0
Based on 2 answers
Security: range of possibilities, like a full AD integrated application framework, or using database security, custom solutions. Ease of sharing data: The Enage module (separately sold) is very powerful, but even standard arcplan enterprise has functions for bookmarking, sharing, mailing etc. There is also a range of possibilities to export reports to PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, Word. There are plenty of options to secure unified formatting, without limiting flexibility. It's therefore also very easy to maintain central layouts. Finally, arcplan comes standard with a scheduler, in which you can automate almost anything, including distribution of reports.
Erik Jansma profile photo
Microsoft BI8.1
Based on 29 answers
Microsoft BI allows users to access a portal where reports and indicators are published. Sharepoint also integrates very well with Microsoft BI, which greatly improves collaboration capabilities. The access through mobile devices improved a lot in the last versions and it is possible to access the reports, indicators, and dashboards natively from iOS.
Gonzalo Angeleri profile photo

Data Integration

arcplan8.0
Based on 2 answers
There are native drivers for data sources and per data source, there may be nice, specific functions and features. Especially on ODBC and SAP, there are great possibilities. The only downside, compared to competitors, is that connectors need to be purchased separately.
Erik Jansma profile photo
Microsoft BI8.6
Based on 28 answers
It has been really simple to connect data sources, both offline and online
Micah Jones profile photo

Return on Investment

No answers on this topic
  • Greatly reduced reporting project development time (and associated costs).
  • Significantly larger pool of experts to assist on large / ad-hoc projects.
  • Faster availability of critical business data to our users (due to decreased development time as well as performance of overall system - we are able to keep the data very fresh).
  • Significantly increased ETL / data integration capabilities means that more legacy and external system data is making it into the data warehouse.
Sean Brady profile photo

Pricing Details

arcplan

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
arcplan Editions & Modules
arcplan
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
Microsoft BI
Edition
Power BI
$0
Power BI Pro
$102
2. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details