What users are saying about

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
47 Ratings
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Score 8.4 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
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Score 7.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

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

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

SAS Business Intelligence
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.0
Pixel Perfect reports
SAS Business Intelligence
7.7
Microsoft BI
7.9
Customizable dashboards
SAS Business Intelligence
7.6
Microsoft BI
7.9
Report Formatting Templates
SAS Business Intelligence
6.6
Microsoft BI
8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

SAS Business Intelligence
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Drill-down analysis
SAS Business Intelligence
7.5
Microsoft BI
8.2
Formatting capabilities
SAS Business Intelligence
7.5
Microsoft BI
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
SAS Business Intelligence
6.0
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report sharing and collaboration
SAS Business Intelligence
8.3
Microsoft BI
8.9

Report Output and Scheduling

SAS Business Intelligence
8.6
Microsoft BI
8.2
Publish to Web
SAS Business Intelligence
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.3
Publish to PDF
SAS Business Intelligence
9.0
Microsoft BI
8.8
Report Versioning
SAS Business Intelligence
8.7
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report Delivery Scheduling
SAS Business Intelligence
8.7
Microsoft BI
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers
SAS Business Intelligence
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.1

Data Discovery and Visualization

SAS Business Intelligence
8.1
Microsoft BI
8.1
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
SAS Business Intelligence
7.5
Microsoft BI
8.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
SAS Business Intelligence
7.7
Microsoft BI
7.9
Predictive Analytics
SAS Business Intelligence
9.0
Microsoft BI
8.0

Access Control and Security

SAS Business Intelligence
8.8
Microsoft BI
8.4
Multi-User Support (named login)
SAS Business Intelligence
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.4
Role-Based Security Model
SAS Business Intelligence
8.6
Microsoft BI
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
SAS Business Intelligence
8.9
Microsoft BI
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO)
SAS Business Intelligence
9.1
Microsoft BI
8.5

Mobile Capabilities

SAS Business Intelligence
6.9
Microsoft BI
8.2
Responsive Design for Web Access
SAS Business Intelligence
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
SAS Business Intelligence
6.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Dedicated Android Application
SAS Business Intelligence
6.3
Microsoft BI
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
SAS Business Intelligence
7.0
Microsoft BI
8.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

SAS Business Intelligence
7.4
Microsoft BI
7.8
REST API
SAS Business Intelligence
8.0
Microsoft BI
7.9
Javascript API
SAS Business Intelligence
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.3
iFrames
SAS Business Intelligence
6.3
Microsoft BI
7.7
Java API
SAS Business Intelligence
7.0
Microsoft BI
7.5
Themeable User Interface (UI)
SAS Business Intelligence
10.0
Microsoft BI
7.8
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
SAS Business Intelligence
6.0
Microsoft BI
7.4

Pros

  • 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
  • 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

  • SAS Business Intelligence is generally slower than other business intelligence platforms. This surprised me because I've been a SAS user for 15 years and have found base SAS to be the most responsive and fastest processing tools around. Not sure why the SAS Business Intelligence is behind the other tools for processing speed.
  • Although SAS Business Intelligence offers many default graphics, rearranging things is not as easy as other business intelligence tools.
  • SAS Business Intelligence needs to work on improving the drill-down capability of the business intelligence charts. The software is behind other business intelligence tools that have been in the market for much longer.
Thomas Young profile photo
  • More than two dimensions. Yes, I know that 2D is the core of Excel's DNA. However, we're starting to deal with higher-dimensional arrays here in analytics land so better visualization support would be cool.
  • UI weirdness. By default, you are flipping back between regular Excel tabs and super-top-secret BI tabs. You create charts in one place, but look at them in the other. That kind of stuff. I know there are a couple of other ways to interact with Microsoft BI, but please figure out the main way.
  • Better hookups to other analytics tools including Microsoft's. Microsoft BI has a good variety of data connections, and I don't expect it to bloom into a full-fledged analytics tool, but it may be a good idea to keep hammering at connectivity with "hardcore" analytics. In my case, Python stuff.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

SAS Business Intelligence9.3
Based on 3 answers
There is no other product that can match SAS. There are some products that can compare to ETL but lack the analytics that SAS has. Others can perform a limited set of analytical procedures but lack the data processing that comes with SAS. Using thin client allows users to access data whenever they have an internet connection.
Erik Larsen profile photo
Microsoft BI8.0
Based on 25 answers
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.
Lee Cullom profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
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

SAS Business Intelligence10.0
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
Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
Microsoft support in general is good, did not have any issues.
Boris Skylar 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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
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

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Alternatives Considered

I have used Crystal Reports, Jaspersoft and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). I would recommended Business Intelligence over SSRS and Crystal Reports. SSRS is very SQL-centric and Crystal Reports is more of an end-user tool. I would recommend Jaspersoft over Business Intelligence for developing a seamless web-based reporting interface but I highly recommend Business Intelligence for end-user ad-hoc reporting.
No photo available
-Tableau is clearly more cutting edge when it comes to data visualization and connecting to multiple data sources (support for MongoDB, Hadoop, etc).-Assuming your data is not that sophisticated, Microsoft BI is a great product. I would say its a good "all around" BI tool. It does a good job in building operational reports. The reports run very fast on the report server. Most IT folks and alot of business folks can get comfortable with this product and build their own reports. You can create a semantic layer for the business users to pull their own data from (and its drag and drop).-Microsoft BI pretty much smokes Crystal Reports, SAP Business Objects and even IBM Cognos (I have limited experience with Cognos but from what I saw, it was pretty horrible to use). When I say "smokes" I mean that Crystal Reports, SAP Business Objects IBM Cognos are like using Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft BI is like using Firefox 2013. Why would you bother using such old products that haven't kept up with the needs of today's analysts? It's not so much about functionality as it is about UI design and a certain level of intuitiveness
Mashhood Syed profile photo

Return on Investment

  • 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
  • Cleaner, more accurate data returned to end users.
  • Better decision making.
  • Increased control over data.
Nathan Patrick Taylor profile photo

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

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