What users are saying about

Microsoft BI

574 Ratings

Microsoft BI

574 Ratings
Score 7.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI

Flexibility, engagement, training resources, updates, cost, implementation, ease of use, support; these are the reasons why I would recommend Power BI. Power BI is best suited for situations where collaboration is needed among several different groups who are working concurrently on different activities. Where there are multiple levels of data that need to be parsed through. It's difficult to think of a scenario where it wouldn't be beneficial other than the obvious.

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.7
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
8.7
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
8.6
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.6

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.7
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
8.9
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.5
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
8.5
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
9.1

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
9.1
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
9.2
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
9.0
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
9.1
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
9.1
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
9.0

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
9.0
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
9.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
9.1
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
8.6

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
9.1
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
9.0
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
9.0
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
9.5
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
9.0

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
8.9
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
8.9
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
9.0
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
8.8
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.8

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
9.1
REST API
Microsoft BI
9.2
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.8
iFrames
Microsoft BI
9.3
Java API
Microsoft BI
8.7
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
9.3
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
9.0

Pros

  • Point 1. User defined automation of report execution and distribution. Microsoft SSRS so far is one of the most user friendly report scheduling and distribution platforms available. Our client users, often non-technical business people, can subscribe to any reports they have access to on the report server and make a customised execution by setting up parameter values, export formats, receipients, etc. etc. Many users use this feature to monitor their action lists and risk profiles on a regular basis. They absolutely love it!
  • Point 2. Extensive programmability. Programmability has always been a great strength of many Microsoft products. Adding to my point 1, take Microsoft SSRS for example, it comes with a great deal of programmability. This means what client users need do in point 1 to set up the report execution and distribution by themselves, can now be programmed and completed automatically. One trick we often do is to program on SSRS for automatically executing and distributing a report using different parameter values to generate different results and then send to the email boxes of tens, if not hundreds of line managers within client organisations. Every line manager will only receive the results relevant to his/her own business unit(s). Once set up, a client organisation can save hundreds hours of work on Excel spreadsheets each month. Clients are willing to pay you a fortune for such a level of automation in reporting process!
  • Point 3. Flexible integration with SSAS. Instead of praising the more techinical features such as partitions and actions shipped with SSAS, I'd make my point 3 to be more business user friendly by emphasising the integration options of SSAS. Excel, Power BI, SharePoint, and third party tools such as Tableau, can all be easily and nicely integrated with SSAS objects. Not to mention since MSSQL 2012 you also have got the choice between Tabular models and Multidimensional models. Your business analysts will love the flexibility SSAS can provide!
  • Point 4. Stability of the IDE. Of course this one is to me when I'm in a BI developer mode. Using Visual Studio to develop SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS objects is a relaxing experience and will be good to the longevity of your developers. Why? Because VS is stable enough to not crash your developers' computers. As a matter of fact, VS has never crashed my OS since 2008...I mean it.. though a few times before 2008...Unlike some other seemingly simpler IDEs which may freeze or overpower your OS while processing your design changes... VS is a powerful yet stable tool and your developers will love it.

Cons

  • The development tools for Microsoft BI in SQL Server 2012 and up are in a bit of flux at the moment. Initially with SQL Server 2012 they were all fully integrated and available with the installer, but now they have moved to it being a separate web download that you have know which version you need to get it working correctly with the version of SQL Server you are working on. Thankfully all of these tools still use Visual Studio as the starting point, but it would be nice to see the tools better integrated going forward and still able to be updated on a regular basis.
  • SSRS has not seen any major updates in the last couple of versions of SQL Server and it could really benefit from some of the new advancements that Microsoft has made with the Power BI line of products that are only available if you use the cloud based Office 365 service. It would be really nice to see some of the features that are available in Power BI added to SSRS to make it a more complete web based reporting tool and more accessible to end users as well as IT.

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI8.0
Based on 25 answers
Flexibility and ease of use! I have not found something that I can't do with the Microsoft BI tools. Some things may be a struggle, but that comes with any tool. The online community support for developers and users of Microsoft is tops as well. If you have a problem you can post in the forums provided by Microsoft or just post on Twitter and you will get an answer from the experts in the field in no time. There is no better community out there for technology that is very supportive and will not bash you even for asking the most basic question. There are plenty of options for support that don't require you to contact Microsoft and that helps save a lot of dollars and time. The tools are keep up-to-date and are constantly evolving.

Usability

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.

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.

Performance

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.

Support

Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
We are not currently utilizing Microsoft's technical support.

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.

Online Training

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.

Implementation

Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.

Breadth of Deployment

Not widely used. It's being deployed across the organization.

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft is a distant me too in a world that is crowded and drowning in BI Me too products. Visualizations 5/10. Micro Strategy, ClickView, Domo, BOBJ etc will kill this product. The issue is cost and speed to implementation. The cost is far less than any of the previously mentioned items. The implementation time could be a fraction of those products. The implementation of this product can be as simple as connecting Excel to the database (Create the relationships that you can do in the dbase or the query in Excel) and pushing to the Cloud. From the cloud based app you simply launch the gateway. The gateway is a breeze for anyone to connect with. The gateway only needs path back and its a breeze. No IT guys needed, no professional services, no firewalls or routing tables to configure. Just plug and play. This feature alone is the key product differentiation in my review. We already had the tables developed and ETL be damned, they all push from the MS-SQL dbase directly to cloud. Is this going to be big and fast in an environment with Data Universe's, API's to other products, and true Enterprise class features. I dont think so. Is it good enough for most small to medium companies or departments? Yes

Collaboration and Sharing

Microsoft BI8.6
Based on 26 answers
It is easy to export anything you build in Microsoft BI to Excel or other tools and then share it from there. With SSRS being a web based reporting tool, that makes it very easy to share reports with anyone that has access to the internet or the network. At this point the weak point in report accessibility is on tablets and smartphones, Microsoft is working to make all of their tools HTML5 compliant, but it is not there yet. Security for all of the tools is baked in and is easy to setup if you already have a Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure. If you are not using Microsoft Active Directory you can still enhance the tools to use your own security tools without a lot effort. I believe that in the very near future this rating will be a 10 as well, once all of the tools are supported on all platforms using established standards.

Data Integration

Microsoft BI8.8
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft Power BI offers a good set of data sources - anywhere from Excel / CSV to JSON to Azure databases. For our client's project, we use the Azure database (the backend of the project is written using .NET) and it's quick and convenient - you simply login and ta-da, you have all your data to manage

Return on Investment

  • Cleaner, more accurate data returned to end users.
  • Better decision making.
  • Increased control over data.

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