What users are saying about
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677 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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677 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 101
48 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 101

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI

Most suitable scenarios:
-Large scale report automation and distribution.
-Self service BI for internal and external users.
-Relational databases and multidimensional models.
-Comprehensive security & access control.

Less appropriate scenarios:
-Non-relational databases
-Low budget
-Tight timeframe

I'd invite anyone reading this far to think hard on his/her goals with BI. Are you trying to build a solid and endurable BI service for your clients or your own organisation? Or do you just need to have some quick visualisation of the data you have to make strategic or operational decisions in a few weeks time?

Implementing a MicrosoftS BI stack takes time, knowledge, and skills, none of these comes cheaply these days. If your answer to my first question is "yes", go ahead and study Microsoft BI a bit more then make your decision on your own. If you see my second question is most relevant to you, go and grab a web-based BI tool such as SiSense, Tableau, Splunk, and so on. Take the free trial option and see if you can test your ideas fast and at a lower cost. Good luck!
Haibo Yang profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

SAS BI is a great BI tool as it incorporates the advantage of SAS which is proven to be robust over the years. SAS BI is more suitable for a relatively larger organization which is looking for self-service BI tools where most of the users are not technically proficient. Also, since license fee is an on a higher end, smaller organizations will find it hard to afford SAS.
Tapan Jain profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.0
SAS Business Intelligence
7.2
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAS Business Intelligence
7.7
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAS Business Intelligence
7.5
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
6.5

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
7.3
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
7.2
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
7.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
6.0
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
8.9
SAS Business Intelligence
8.5

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
8.7
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
8.3
SAS Business Intelligence
8.0
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
8.8
SAS Business Intelligence
9.2
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAS Business Intelligence
8.9
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAS Business Intelligence
8.9
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
8.7

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
8.1
SAS Business Intelligence
8.2
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
7.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAS Business Intelligence
7.9
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAS Business Intelligence
9.2

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
8.3
SAS Business Intelligence
9.0
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
8.7
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAS Business Intelligence
8.8
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
8.5
SAS Business Intelligence
9.1
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
9.2

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
6.7
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
7.8
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAS Business Intelligence
6.1
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAS Business Intelligence
6.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAS Business Intelligence
6.8

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
7.8
SAS Business Intelligence
7.4
REST API
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAS Business Intelligence
8.0
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.3
SAS Business Intelligence
7.1
iFrames
Microsoft BI
7.7
SAS Business Intelligence
6.3
Java API
Microsoft BI
7.6
SAS Business Intelligence
7.2
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAS Business Intelligence
10.0
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAS Business Intelligence
6.0

Pros

Microsoft BI

  • One Stop Shopping: Single solution provider provides tight integration between data storage, data manipulation, data processing and presentation. Instead of buying an RDBMS from one provider, data processing tools from another vendor, and presentation tools from yet another, the entire application stack is provided by Microsoft.
  • Value: Compared to other RDBMS vendors, Microsoft BI tools are more cost-effective because all the tools needed are included in the purchase of Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint and Office. SQL Server even has a Business Intelligence Edition!
  • Performance: The SQL Server RDBMS is a top-tier data management solution. Ancillary tools like Integration Services (SSIS), Analysis Services (SSAS), Reporting Services (SSRS), PerformancePoint are mature, full featured and include lots of performance monitoring and high availability options. The newer Power BI tools have made tremendous strides in stability and usability since their introduction last year.
  • HDInsight and Azure BLOB storage offer a new paradigm for storing and querying data sets of all sizes. Flat files are stored in inexpensive storage, and HDInsight Hive allows "schema over file" table structures and near-ANSI SQL queries. This provides an inexpensive, very fast way to process data from web logs, large call center logs, and other large data volume data sets without importing into a database. Once the processing is complete, the HDInsight cluster (up to 64 nodes) is dropped, leaving the data intact.
  • Azure Hybrid Scenarios: Microsoft is rapidly migrating their business offerings to Azure. Business Intelligence is no exception.
  • Many new features in SQL Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014 are designed to allow seamless management of both on-premise and cloud-based data,From Infrastructure As a Service (IaaS) options like virtual servers for development and test to Power BI for Office 365 sites that revolutionize how data is shared and accessed, Microsoft is making significant investments in the next generation of cloud-based solutions.
Chris Utter profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

  • SAS BI makes it very easy to create interactive dashboards even for someone who is not from an IT background. For some specific requirements, basic knowledge of SQL is good enough.
  • A lot of functions have been predefined which makes it very convenient to create dashboards and reports. One doesn't need to be from an IT or a programming background to understand and create dashboards.
  • It supports other programming languages like R and also has a seamless API integration with various data management platforms.
Tapan Jain profile photo

Cons

Microsoft BI

  • Data compatibility with non-Microsoft products
  • Data sourcing functionality is poor
  • Offline server functionality impedes out of country work
Shelby Bowden profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

  • SAS is relatively expensive when compared to other BI tools and requires a large amount of upfront fee which becomes an issue for smaller organizations.
  • UI for the dashboards looks a little date in comparison to competitors like Tableau and Microstrategy.
  • Integration with other open source software like Python needs to be built in.
Tapan Jain profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft BI's technical integration is ok and an upcoming evolution could be done on this basis. The reporting tools are too Excel oriented. Doesn't give ability for multi-criteria analysis and dynamic dashboards. Report scheduling also seems difficult to put in action.
Frederic Freyermuth ☁ profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

SAS Business Intelligence 9.3
Based on 3 answers
SAS really is the cutting edge in Business Intelligence. That is all they do! They are constantly coming out with new products, product upgrades, and their tech support is second to none. In addition, their support of Education has made our ability to acquire their product possible.
Nicole Jagusztyn profile photo

Usability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
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.
Robert Goodman profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Performance

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
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

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.1
Based on 6 answers
We are not currently utilizing Microsoft's technical support.
Robert Goodman profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

SAS Business Intelligence 10.0
Based on 1 answer
When you call tech support, you are immediately routed to a person who can answer your question. Often they can answer on the spot. However, if they cannot, you are given a track number and then followed up with. There have been times when I have had multiple track numbers open and they will actually TRACK YOU DOWN to ensure that your problem has been resolved. Issues do not fall into black holes with SAS. They are also willing to do a WebEx with you to diagnose the problem by seeing your environment, which is always helpful.
Nicole Jagusztyn profile photo

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Online Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 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 profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI is definitely catching up, especially with monthly updates.
Ivan Leung profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

Tapan Jain profile photo

Return on Investment

Microsoft BI

  • At the moment, the lack of use of Power BI has indered our market progression IMO
  • A large majority of customers keeps the solution once implemented, very few have switched platform
  • Once organizations implement Office 365, the potential for added business with Microsoft BI will really manifest. At this time, the slow adoption of Office 2013 or more recent is limiting the analysis and visualizations capabilities of our average client.
Charles Saulnier profile photo

SAS Business Intelligence

  • Positive Impact: better customer service. We have been able to deliver reports that will help multiple employees and implement any feedback they have on those reports quickly.
  • Positive Impact: increased inter-departmental discussions. We have long had a problem working in silos. Now we are pulling data from multiple departments into one report, and it becomes easy to see how what one department is doing in affecting another. We had a meeting to discuss a preliminary report on course scheduling efficiency. It included data from our Facilities folks and our academic Deans. Once we put the numbers up on the screen, there spawned a helpful discussion about how what one department can do to help another.
  • Positive Impact: organizational transparency. For the first time, our users are exposed to a wealth of data about themselves and other areas of the college. It is starting to make some question the way we do business, and if there is a better way.
Nicole Jagusztyn profile photo

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

SAS Business Intelligence

General

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

SAS Business Intelligence Editions & Modules

SAS Business Intelligence
Additional Pricing Details

Add comparison