Likelihood to Recommend
We have to calculate most all Lab / Pilot / Proposals sizing and results. The automated calculations in [Excel4apps] is awesome, as once you are familiar with them, it is easy to quickly implement them when needed.
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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 Easy to install and maintain. After the initial installation, there is little involvement by the technical administrators. Cloning production to a test environment does not require any additional setups unlike Oracle EBS which does. Loading data and reporting on this data is handled via EXCEL spreadsheets which is the "language" of our financial users. 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 It is possible but difficult to retrieve data or set criteria from different module into a single report or retrieve. If it is more user friendly instead of having to create a complex formula to retrieve the data, this function will be utilized more often. It will be nice to have visual (graphs, etc.) report template available It is helpful if we can retrieve data for a range of date, instead of just YTD, PTD etc. and multi-year data all at once for comparison too. 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
I am not a power user of Excel. So I find Exel4apps a friendlier version of the things that I could do on Excel and making it easier with a magic wand.
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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
I have not needed support yet
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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
Excel4apps is more user friendly and can retrieve data much easier and in a nicer format than Jaspersoft.
is useful and have more visual reporting and dashboard. However, it is usually used for higher level of analyses and review. Yardi is used for specific purpose, which is different than Excel4apps. Excel4apps can pull all the financial data from Oracle, including billing and collections.
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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 Increase team transparency Increased reporting 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