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100 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
100 Ratings
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Score 7.6 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
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Score 7.9 out of 101

Add comparison

Likelihood to Recommend

Pentaho

Pentaho will work great to embed analytic content with full features of Machine Learning capabilities. It supports many machine-learning frameworks and can be easily integrated. So, you also can connect with many data sources and have no worries about it. In our case, we are using it to help us create many day-to-day jobs and transformations that our internal users need. But to achieve this, we need to train our team to be able to understand the main concepts of how this software works.
Ilham AB profile photo

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

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Pentaho
7.0
Microsoft BI
8.0
Pixel Perfect reports
Pentaho
6.8
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable dashboards
Pentaho
7.2
Microsoft BI
7.9
Report Formatting Templates
Pentaho
7.0
Microsoft BI
8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

Pentaho
6.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Drill-down analysis
Pentaho
7.1
Microsoft BI
8.2
Formatting capabilities
Pentaho
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Pentaho
6.3
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report sharing and collaboration
Pentaho
5.0
Microsoft BI
8.9

Report Output and Scheduling

Pentaho
6.7
Microsoft BI
8.2
Publish to Web
Pentaho
6.2
Microsoft BI
8.3
Publish to PDF
Pentaho
7.6
Microsoft BI
8.8
Report Versioning
Pentaho
6.6
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pentaho
7.0
Microsoft BI
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers
Pentaho
6.2
Microsoft BI
8.1

Data Discovery and Visualization

Pentaho
6.2
Microsoft BI
8.1
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Pentaho
6.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Pentaho
6.6
Microsoft BI
7.9
Predictive Analytics
Pentaho
5.9
Microsoft BI
8.0

Access Control and Security

Pentaho
7.4
Microsoft BI
8.4
Multi-User Support (named login)
Pentaho
7.6
Microsoft BI
8.4
Role-Based Security Model
Pentaho
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Pentaho
7.4
Microsoft BI
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Pentaho
7.1
Microsoft BI
8.5

Mobile Capabilities

Pentaho
6.2
Microsoft BI
8.2
Responsive Design for Web Access
Pentaho
5.7
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
Pentaho
6.5
Microsoft BI
8.4
Dedicated Android Application
Pentaho
6.5
Microsoft BI
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Pentaho
6.1
Microsoft BI
8.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Pentaho
6.1
Microsoft BI
7.8
REST API
Pentaho
6.8
Microsoft BI
7.9
Javascript API
Pentaho
6.4
Microsoft BI
8.3
iFrames
Pentaho
5.2
Microsoft BI
7.7
Java API
Pentaho
6.0
Microsoft BI
7.5
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Pentaho
5.6
Microsoft BI
7.8
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Pentaho
6.4
Microsoft BI
7.4

Pros

  • Easy to create simple jobs and transformations
  • Mature data access and data transformation capabilities
  • Suitable for complex analytic use cases
  • Consume data from many sources
Ilham AB profile photo
  • 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.
Haibo Yang profile photo

Cons

  • Most of the companies use star schema in their Data Warehouses but they are not the pure star schemas. There are the bridge tables, group tables but when using Schema Workbench to design a cube, it gets very painful for the developers to accommodate such schema in it. To do this, I have to go to the XML file and add the new elements. I would love to see the feature where Schema Workbench can accommodate the bridge tables as they are the part of star schema too.
  • When it comes to ETL, I have found PDI to be the best tool, but at the report side, it is not as good as the other tools available in the market. Especially the users always complain about the graphs in the Pentaho Analyzer. I think. the UI needs a lot of improvement.
  • PDI is slow reading the JSON files. There is a fast JSON input step available in the marketplace but I think I would be great if Pentaho can make the JSON reading even faster.
  • When I export the repository, I see the files names are encoded with UTF-8 encoding. It would be great, if the spaces and the special characters can be preserved while exporting a BA repository.
Nikhil Karkare profile photo
  • Report Builder 3.0 shipped with MSSQL 2012 is a nice free tool but our client users sometimes encounter problems such as the tool automatically shut down without saving the changes being made. We haven't implemented the new RB with MSSQL 2016 yet thus cannot comment on the latest version.
Haibo Yang profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Pentaho8.8
Based on 11 answers
We have moved to homegrown ETL and have matured as a company as to what we need from a BI tool. Our focus is now rich and intuitive data visualization with blazing speed. Our customers had already used MicroStrategy/Tableau in the past so that bar was already set very high. Unfortunately Pentaho could not give us a better if not similar experience as the tools our Customers had already used.
Deepak Paramanand profile photo
Microsoft BI8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft is widely adopted and it does get the job done. For legal reasons, support perspective and resourcing it is often the tool of choice and, of course, the technology is there to support the day-to-day business.
Julia Gusman profile photo

Usability

Pentaho5.0
Based on 1 answer
I would have liked some hands on help in trying to match what Customers were already used to. Plus having a team of Java/BI folks was difficult to assemble since what required to be done in an object oriented fashion could have easily been done via a SQL construct. This hash of technologies was difficult to manage.
Deepak Paramanand profile photo
Microsoft BI7.0
Based on 5 answers
It's a good rating for people willing to learn and get used to it, but it's not inherently user friendly, especially to people who are not Excel power users.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Performance

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
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.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Support

Pentaho9.9
Based on 2 answers
They were responsive to our questions when we raised issues.They gave us workarounds when required.They were quite knowledgeable when it came to issue analysis and providing fixes.They were forthright in informing us if a bug was not due for release soon.
Deepak Paramanand profile photo
Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
I am basing this rating not on Microsoft's paid premium support, but rather on the resources available (both from Microsoft and 3rd parties) to BI consumers. There is such a huge community working with and building solutions with the Microsoft BI stack (SQL Server) that I have always been able to find a solution (or at least a workaround) to any problems that have come up.
Sean Brady profile photo

In-Person Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Online Training

Pentaho9.5
Based on 2 answers
Course Taken: DI1000 Pentaho Data Integration FundamentalsSetup A week before your class started, the instructor will start sending out class material and lab setup instructions. This is helpful so that you understand how the environment is laid out and can start reviewing the content. Ultimately it saved about a 1/2 day trying to setup with 10 other people online which was great! The CourseThe 3-day course was laid out like many other technical classes with 15-30 minutes instruction and 15-60 minutes of lab exercises. The instructor was very knowledgeable with the functionality from version to version and answered questions as we went along. I was amazed at some of the functionality that was available that I was not using at the time and quickly implemented changes to many existing transformations and jobs. The novice users seemed to catch on quickly and more experienced users explained how some of the functionality was used in their home environments. Towards the end there was enough time so that we were able to ask very directed questions about our own environments. Overall, I really found the class to be informative and deliver enough information to be dangerous. My skills improved and I was able to design better and efficient transformations for the HIE. Course Description: https://training.pentaho.com/instructor-led-training/pentaho-data-integration-fundamentals-di1000
Stephanie Dozier profile photo
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.
Sean Brady profile photo

Implementation

Pentaho5.0
Based on 1 answer
Get the right people in before starting implementation. Start small and build as you go approach is time consuming and involves lot of rework.Evangalize within the organization the capabilities and limitations equally so that correct delivery expectations are set.Set expectations with the Customer that the tool cannot replace proprietary software in terms of stability/usability and that timelines could change given the new ness of the product.
Deepak Paramanand profile photo
Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Alternatives Considered

It has been too long since we did the research (over three years) before choosing Pentaho so I cannot remember exactly which competing products we looked at. In the end, the problem with all the others was that they were too expensive for our small company. Pentaho was reasonably priced and was exactly what we were looking for.Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SAS all provide similar, but very expensive products.
Kenneth Panacy profile photo
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
Sean Warren profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Good client feedback - caters to specific requirements
  • Low learning curve for new staff
  • Good community backup
No photo available
  • Cleaner, more accurate data returned to end users.
  • Better decision making.
  • Increased control over data.
Nathan Patrick Taylor profile photo

Pricing Details

Pentaho

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Pentaho Editions & Modules
Pentaho
Additional 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