Likelihood to Recommend
We used ClicData dashboards in a somewhat unorthodox way: we used "Indicators", or icons within tables to represent data, and the results looked great. The ability to integrate 3rd party HTML into dashboards was valuable (although Clic Data correctly warns that response time may suffer). The ability to start small and release dashboards incrementally suited our needs very well. We also valued the responsive account team getting us quickly pointed in the right direction.
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The Microsoft BI suite of tools, which comprises tools from the SQL Server suite, provides end-to-end features and functionality for businesses of any size. Users who need dashboards and reports fast will benefit from this tool. It’s simple to connect to databases, cloud storage systems, and CSV files of any type. This makes the dashboards suitable for a more rapid presentation workflow because we can easily incorporate them into PowerPoint presentations. Enterprise and standard editions are both available for some tools.
Read full review Pros Ease of use, I can put together a dashboard in about an hour that is used by daily. Support, their support team is super helpful and always has detailed insight. Connectors, they have a huge number of connectors that allow easy integration of your data sources. Read full review 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. Read full review Cons More widgets. Sometimes it takes a while to refresh. Read full review 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. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
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.
Read full review Usability
Like I mentioned before, the ease of use means we not only get very quick results and beautiful dashboards in minutes, it means my team is actually using it because they aren't frustrated in the learning curve or wasting time trying to accomplish simple tasks.
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The Microsoft BI tools have great usability for both developers and end users alike. For developers familiar with Visual Studio, there is little learning curve. For those not, the single Visual Studio IDE means not having to learn separate tools for each component. For end-users, the web interface for SSRS is simple to navigate with intuitive controls. For ad-hoc analysis, Excel can connect directly to SSAS and provide a pivot table like experience which is familiar to many users. For database development, there is beginning to be some confusion, as there are now three tool choices (VS, SSMS, Azure Data Studio) for developers. I would like to see Azure Data Studio become the superset of SSMS and eventually supplant it.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
The product has been reliable.
Read full review Performance
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.
Read full review Support Rating
We've only needed support a couple times in the beginning as we were learning the system and how to display our data in interesting ways. Every time we reached out we got very detailed responses and were connected to someone that you could tell was very interested in making sure we were happy with how things were going.
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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.
Read full review In-Person Training
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Read full review Online Training
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.
Read full review Implementation Rating
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.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
ClicData was the most flexible. It is cloud-based and even has WebService access. You can publish your data for access from other applications. The sheer number of data connectors is amazing. The ability to not only create dashboards, but you can schedule them to be delivered to specific recipients on a scheduled basis via PDF or a static HTML page.
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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.
Read full review Return on Investment ClicData was by far the most reasonable cost-wise, and we were able to get ROI within just minutes of using it. Read full review 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. Read full review ScreenShots