What users are saying about
6 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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631 Ratings
6 Ratings
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Score 9.6 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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631 Ratings
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Score 7.9 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
8.0
Pixel Perfect reports
arcplan
6.4
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable dashboards
arcplan
8.0
Microsoft BI
7.9
Report Formatting Templates
arcplan
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

arcplan
7.4
Microsoft BI
8.4
Drill-down analysis
arcplan
5.8
Microsoft BI
8.2
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
8.9

Report Output and Scheduling

arcplan
8.9
Microsoft BI
8.2
Publish to Web
arcplan
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.3
Publish to PDF
arcplan
10.0
Microsoft BI
8.8
Report Versioning
arcplan
10.0
Microsoft BI
8.2
Report Delivery Scheduling
arcplan
7.8
Microsoft BI
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.2

Data Discovery and Visualization

arcplan
7.1
Microsoft BI
8.2
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
arcplan
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.5
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
arcplan
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.0
Predictive Analytics
arcplan
7.7
Microsoft BI
8.1

Access Control and Security

arcplan
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Multi-User Support (named login)
arcplan
9.0
Microsoft BI
8.4
Role-Based Security Model
arcplan
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
arcplan
7.5
Microsoft BI
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.4

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
8.4
Dedicated Android Application
arcplan
5.0
Microsoft BI
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
arcplan
8.3
Microsoft BI
8.2

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.9
REST API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.9
Javascript API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
8.3
iFrames
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.8
Java API
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.6
Themeable User Interface (UI)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
arcplan
Microsoft BI
7.6

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
  • Wide variety of tools : Microsoft BI possesses a wide variety of tools to cater needs of presentation, performance caching, integration and ease of use.
  • Popular online and location communities : Online and local communities around Microsoft BI is very popular. You can find a lot of resources and helpful information online and within your communities more efficiently and effectively.
  • Tighter and broad integration options : Microsoft BI tools are very well integrated with other Microsoft products (Office 365, SharePoint, .NET Apps, Project Server etc...) and Line of Business (LOB) applications. Being a large player in BI domain, there are various third party components available which compliment MS BI.
Ved Mishra 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
  • Visualization and presentation is an area that may need some improvement. I have used a competitive tool Tableau which has better visualization capabilities against Pivot Charts/Power BI.
  • For ultra large organizations, certain BI solutions require more volume of data to be processed. Although Microsoft Windows Azure, HDInsight and various other big data mechanism can cater to this need, other MS BI tools like Power Pivot, SharePoint etc... need to be more performance oriented.
  • Licensing is one aspect which is relatively more complex as compared to its competitors. Microsoft is now following subscription-model approach in a lot of areas but still there is a scope of improvement in providing more clarity and simplicity when purchasing MS BI tools.
Ved Mishra profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI8.0
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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI7.0
Based on 5 answers
Easy to use. Good User Interface and visualizations
No photo available

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
We are not currently utilizing Microsoft's technical support.
Robert Goodman 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
Be prepared to help business users define their data. We found that different campuses had different definitions for the same thing. This took some change management and negotiating to get each team to come to a common understanding.
Robert Goodman 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
I have been using the open source open standards BI tool 'Pentaho' before moving into the Microsoft space and I must admit I was surprised how much more difficult it is to do development in Microsoft. Having said that the cubes (SSAS) and reporting (SSRS) side does seem more robust and not all that difficult to get your head around. Where Microsoft is lacking in comparison with Pentaho is the ETL tool. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is much more difficult to learn than Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) and even when you know exactly what you are doing it still takes more steps to get the same job done. Regarding the performance it seems that since a lot of the ETL logic gets put onto the database (using SQL statements) it won't make much of a difference which tool you use.
Julia Gusman 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