What users are saying about
184 Ratings
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866 Ratings
184 Ratings
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Score 4.8 out of 100

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

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866 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

Birst

Birst is well suited for an organization looking for a cloud-hosted analytics solution that is contained within one package. It is able to connect to a very wide variety of different data sources, and has options for either light or involved ETL procedures, depending on the users experience with preparing data. As with any BI project, it would not be suitable for an organization where there is no dedicated team to maintain and manage the project.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

The Microsoft BI suite of tools, largely composed of tools within the SQL Server suite, provide a full range of end-to-end feature/functionality for businesses of any size. Some flavor of the tool features is available whether using standard or enterprise editions, making the tools accessible for even smaller businesses. Scalability has become excellent over the years, particularly for SSIS and SSRS
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Birst
7.6
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.3
Pixel Perfect reports
Birst
7.8
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.1
Customizable dashboards
Birst
7.9
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.7
Report Formatting Templates
Birst
7.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0

Ad-hoc Reporting

Birst
7.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.1
Drill-down analysis
Birst
6.7
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5
Formatting capabilities
Birst
7.6
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.2
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Birst
6.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.6
Report sharing and collaboration
Birst
7.5
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.2

Report Output and Scheduling

Birst
8.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.9
Publish to Web
Birst
8.7
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Publish to PDF
Birst
8.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5
Report Versioning
Birst
7.4
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Report Delivery Scheduling
Birst
8.3
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0
Delivery to Remote Servers
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.6

Data Discovery and Visualization

Birst
7.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Birst
7.4
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Birst
7.7
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Predictive Analytics
Birst
5.8
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0

Access Control and Security

Birst
8.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5
Multi-User Support (named login)
Birst
8.8
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.2
Role-Based Security Model
Birst
8.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.2
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Birst
7.4
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.9
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.6

Mobile Capabilities

Birst
7.9
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.1
Responsive Design for Web Access
Birst
8.4
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5
Dedicated iOS Application
Birst
8.3
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0
Dedicated Android Application
Birst
7.2
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Birst
7.6
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.9

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
REST API
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.8
Javascript API
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.7
iFrames
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0
Java API
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.7
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Birst
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.5

Pros

Birst

  • Birst is an platform that provides connectors to some of the applications we use, but also allows us to bring in data from disparate systems to perform ETL and integrate all of the data for analyses. It makes no assumptions about your data, which is good for us, as we have a lot of customizations to many of our systems.
  • Birst is making inroads towards a more modern UI.
Sean Keesler | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

  • 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.
Jason Leidig | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Birst

  • Birst prices are fairly expensive. License plus cost of users can add up pretty quickly
  • Depending on the size of data, rendering of reports can take a little bit. Need faster processing of data
  • Takes a little time to understand how to build reports, not the most intuitive UI
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

  • The race to perfect gathering of Non-Traditional datasets is on-going; with Microsoft arguably not the leader of the pack in this category.
  • Licensing options for PowerBI visualizations may be a factor. I.e. if you need to implement B2C PowerBI visualizations, the cost is considerably high especially for startups.
  • Some clients are still resistant putting their data on the cloud, which restricts lots of functionality to Power BI.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Birst

Birst 9.0
Based on 36 answers
We have been able to overcome any of the drawbacks we've found with Birst easily and it has fulfilled almost all of our analytic needs to date. Having seen their roadmap it would be highly unlikely we would move away from this platform any time soon. You simply can't beat the functionality that Birst provides for the price and the things I see coming out of the company solidify that our decision to choose Birst was the best possible choice. We have never regretted the decision.
Brian Flood | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Birst

Birst 6.1
Based on 11 answers
I would like to see additional usability put into the ETL scripting. Recently, Birst added a nice function reference inline to formula creation which has kept me from having to return to documentation so much. The same in ETL would be very beneficial. The interface problems related to the Flex framework are being addressed in a rewrite to HTML 5, but for now they are still a hindrance to a higher usability rating.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 8.6
Based on 16 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Birst

Birst 4.1
Based on 12 answers
We frequently experience -103 errors due to us using the Live Connect functionality, which does not seem to handle even minor interruptions in connectivity, and treats all future connection attempts or data requests as errors, even if the issue does not exist any longer
Tim Welch | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 9.5
Based on 4 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Birst

Birst 7.5
Based on 12 answers
Everything runs very fast and smoothly. The only process that I wish was faster would be processing the data after uploading new data or making changes to the existing data model. It can take 15-20 minutes (roughly) to upload and process new data once you start getting into 10's of millions of rows. Given my experience with how long it takes me to pull the same data using SQL Server Management Studio, I don't think Birst is unreasonably slow - but for me to give a higher rating, I would want it to be unreasonably fast
Brett Mooberry | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 7.0
Based on 4 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Birst

Birst 5.3
Based on 36 answers
When we have an issue that is stopping our business from proceeding, I want answers sooner than later. While Birst does have a published response time for each case level, we always wish it could be quicker. What response improvement could there be with a larger support team?In response to first question: Blackhole of issues - Birst needs to improve upon closing issues that resolution was dependent upon code fixes or enhancements, perhaps someone to add a comment on all case tickets at least every 60 days.Escalation - I always have the ability to electronically or via phone escalate a ticket. I also have my Customer Success Manager through whom I can escalate topics.
Deborah Stillwell Judy | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 8.9
Based on 23 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

In-Person Training

Birst

Birst 9.1
Based on 4 answers
I have attended two different training sessions. The first one was my initial training on the system. It was well paced, clear and concise. If there were questions that were not able to be answered by the instructor, he took down the question and actually followed up and provided us a response quickly.The second session was specific to the dashboard and report design components. This training was very good though there were some attendants who had little or no experience and their questions slowed the class.
Timothy Humphreys | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice | TrustRadius Reviewer

Online Training

Birst

Birst 8.0
Based on 2 answers
Although I found the online resources helpful, a lack of appropriate examples for certain tasks key to report creation and advanced modeling make the online training/documentation less than perfect. For an inexperienced BI professional, the online training would not enable a streamlined launch of the product.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Birst

Birst 5.3
Based on 12 answers
Have clean data! Birst flexibility allows - Start small, then introduce functionality and complexity along the way. If you try to present all the functionality [bells and whistles] and wow them, but bad data is uncovered, the end user blames the new application and turns away.
Deborah Stillwell Judy | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI) 9.6
Based on 14 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Birst

During the vetting process, we looked at 14 different products (one of them internal) to see if they would fit our needs and whittled it down to this one over a three month period. We did not contact sales for all of them (sales sites were enough to rule out some), but did have a lot of demos with a significant portion of them and reviewed several of the major industry studies as well. We had representatives of both user interests/design and the technical backend on the evaluation process.
The major features we were looking for a product that we could embed inside our own SaaS application, connect to a sharded Postgres database, had multitenancy and allowed for customer generated reports/ self-reporting. Some of the minor "nice to have" features we were looking at was scheduled reports, especially if we could plug it into our own scheduling system (for CAN-SPAM compliance), internationalization, and support.
In the evaluation, Birst hit all of the must-haves and enough of the nice to haves that they made it down to our final two and the trial was the clincher to make it our final choice.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

We have used the built in ConnectWise Manager reports and custom reports. The reports provide static data. PowerBI shows us live data we can drill down into and easily adjust parameters. It's much more useful than a static PDF report.
Bradley Geppert | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Birst

Birst 6.0
Based on 2 answers
we can see that loading a lot of data can cause a noticable slow down in performance. Birst support indicated that they don't really consider anything less than 30 seconds to be an issue, but that is not the case for our customers, so we have had to change some of implementation to address this
Tim Welch | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

Birst

  • Being a manufacturing company we tend to lag behind technologically. But having all the data for different ERP systems in one place has been an eye opener for the executives. It has lessened the need to convert some legacy ERP systems.
  • Having such a simple reporting tool is a great asset to some of our sites that have traditionally had trouble gathering data from AS400 systems.
Andy Olson | TrustRadius Reviewer

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

  • As a SaaS provider we see being able to provide self-service BI to our client users as a competitive advantage. In fact the MSSQL enabled BI is a contributing factor to many winning RFPs we have done for prospective client organisations.
  • However MSSQL BI requires extensive knowledge and skills to design and develop data warehouses & data models as a foundation to support business analysts and users to interrogate data effectively and efficiently. Often times we find having strong in-house MSSQL expertise is a bless.
Haibo Yang | TrustRadius Reviewer

Screenshots

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Pricing Details

Birst

General

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

Birst Editions & Modules

Edition
Basic License$30,0001
  1. Per 20 Users Per Year
Additional Pricing Details

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

General

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

Microsoft BI (MSBI) Editions & Modules

Edition
Power BI Pro9.991
Power BI Premium$4,9952
  1. per user/per month
  2. per month
Additional Pricing Details

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Birst
7.4
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.6

Likelihood to Renew

Birst
9.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.0

Usability

Birst
6.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.6

Reliability and Availability

Birst
4.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
9.5

Performance

Birst
7.5
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
7.0

Support Rating

Birst
5.3
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.9

In-Person Training

Birst
9.1
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
6.9

Online Training

Birst
8.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
8.5

Implementation Rating

Birst
5.3
Microsoft BI (MSBI)
9.6

Scalability

Birst
6.0
Microsoft BI (MSBI)

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