Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Score 8.2 out of 10
Microsoft BI (MSBI)

Overview

What is Microsoft BI (MSBI)?

Microsoft BI is a business intelligence product used for data analysis and generating reports on server-based data. It features unlimited data analysis capacity with its reporting engine, SQL Server Reporting Services alongside ETL, master data management, and data cleansing.
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Recent Reviews

Casual User’s POC

8 out of 10
February 08, 2020
Microsoft BI is being used for report generation to monitor ongoing technology projects and business initiatives. We have two users who …
Continue reading
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Popular Features

View all 28 features
  • Formatting capabilities (48)
    8.3
    83%
  • Report sharing and collaboration (48)
    8.3
    83%
  • Customizable dashboards (48)
    8.1
    81%
  • Report Formatting Templates (46)
    8.0
    80%

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Video Reviews

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Pricing

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Power BI Pro

$9.99

Cloud
per user/per month

Power BI Premium

4,995

Cloud
per month

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visithttps://powerbi.microsoft.com/pricing

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services
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Features

BI Standard Reporting

Standard reporting means pre-built or canned reports available to users without having to create them.

8.3Avg 8.1

Ad-hoc Reporting

Ad-Hoc Reports are reports built by the user to meet highly specific requirements.

8.2Avg 8.0

Report Output and Scheduling

Ability to schedule and manager report output.

8.3Avg 8.3

Data Discovery and Visualization

Data Discovery and Visualization is the analysis of multiple data sources in a search for pattern and outliers and the ability to represent the data visually.

8.2Avg 8.1

Access Control and Security

Access control means being able to determine who has access to which data.

8.4Avg 8.5

Mobile Capabilities

Support for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

8.3Avg 7.9

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

APIs are a set of routines, protocols, and tools for used for embedding one application in another

8.1Avg 7.9
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Product Details

What is Microsoft BI (MSBI)?

Microsoft BI (MSBI) benefits from the ubiquity of SQL server and the set of tools built around the database, including an ETL layer, master data management, data cleansing, report and reporting.

The reporting engine is SQL Server Reporting Services which does not have the visualization capabilities of visualization tools like Tableau or Qlik. Excel has historically been the platform visualization tool. Power BI for Office 365 has done much to improve the discovery and visualization capabilities of Excel.

Microsoft now offers Power BI cloud as the visualization platform with geospatial 3D, natural-language query generation, and self-service ETL along with charting and other data visualizations that can be uploaded and shared through the Power BI service.

The Power BI platform also provides live access to on-premises Microsoft SQL Server instances, and self-service access to third-party cloud sources including Salesforce, Marketo, Zendesk, and GitHub. Mobility is supported through a native iPad app, an iPhone app.

This new platform is viewed by Microsoft as a visualization layer sitting on top of their earlier generation of installed SQL-based technology.

Microsoft BI (MSBI) Competitors

Microsoft BI (MSBI) Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Microsoft BI is a business intelligence product used for data analysis and generating reports on server-based data. It features unlimited data analysis capacity with its reporting engine, SQL Server Reporting Services alongside ETL, master data management, and data cleansing.

Oracle Analytics Server and Spoom are common alternatives for Microsoft BI (MSBI).

Reviewers rate Pixel Perfect reports highest, with a score of 8.7.

The most common users of Microsoft BI (MSBI) are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews

(1-25 of 72)
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Lakhan Suri | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
In my organization, we are using MSBI to create, maintain and deploy reposts. We use all three component of MSBI like SSIS, SSRS, SSAS. We use ETL packages to maintain Dataware hosts using SSIS. We create reports using SSRS and analyze the data using the SSAS tool
  • Create packages to move data and perform different data related tasks using SSIS
  • Create reports to summarize the data in an understandable form using SSRS
  • Analyze the data provided by teams and create data cubes and reports to understand the data properly using SSAS.
  • It should be an open source tool for a vast variety of implementation.
  • You need to buy a licensed server to maintain MSBI
  • Need a proper course or content to learn concepts, which sometimes creates difficulty.
The interface is good, and even we can use drag and drop functionality to create packages and reports and other tasks.
Al Mubassir Muin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft Power BI is a beautiful and powerful data visualization tool that we use. It is a robust business analytics tool with excellent visualizations. Excel files, OneDrive, and third-party tools like SQL databases are all supported. We can use the Query revised feature to edit and transform our data, accessible anywhere. It makes it simple to import data from Excel or other sources. Many options are available for visuals, including custom visuals added to any report. With these data visualization charts, real-time automation is possible. For non-technical users, the Power BI desktop has the best part: it is simple to use. Basic visualizations can be created using a variety of drag-and-drop options. Microsoft Power BI has been fascinating to observe how visuals interact between pages.
  • Easy customization of workspaces for different project groups via a dashboard and a drag-and-drop interface.
  • Easy report generation and data attribute comparison across applications. Perfect for data-only devices.
  • Visual Studio integrates database, ETL, reporting, and analytics development. Large technical user community and rich tool feature set.
  • Costs are high compared to the competition, and it could be more user-friendly.
  • As a browser-based app, it doesn't have as many eye-catching charts and graphs as some others, and some browsers are better than others at running it.
  • Most of the tasks require a pro version, and proper training is necessary to use it, but you can learn how to use it.
Microsoft BI works well with Microsoft's ecosystems, especially SharePoint and SQL Server. Even large, complex datasets can be manipulated and turned into useful information. The platform's lists feature can fill any relevant data gaps when used with SharePoint. Its user-friendly graphical user interface makes it simple to quickly and efficiently display data. Aside from that, the reporting tools are first-rate.
Microsoft's Business Intelligence (MSBI) has a built-in site that allows you to vote on user enhancements and bugs. A priority list will help the development team quickly identify and address the most pressing issues. MSBI developers have a large online community that helps with technical issues. Customer service and data support have been excellent throughout this entire experience.
Aononna Tazin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
With Microsoft BI (MSBI), we can create our own data sets, goals, and records with no difficulty. We have a wide range of options and features to choose from when it comes to sifting through vast amounts of data. Our organization uses its interactive and engaging layouts are the most impressive feature. This tool makes it simple to view and determine data. This site’s design is excellent, allowing us to see what would have been hundreds of lines of text in graphs and tables. To generate comprehensive documents, we adopt it to figure out large measures of SQL, Excel, and other application-related data. We use it to help our clients make more informed business decisions that lead to increased revenue.
  • An end-to-end solution that connects multiple data sources and a single vendor is ideal.
  • Excellent tools for visualizing data. Using Visual Studio, I could develop database, ETL, reporting, and analytics projects all in one environment.
  • Easy to use compared to other data analytics solutions, with powerful analytical and trending tools and easy access to our data and views.
  • It has limited visual options, and Microsoft BI (MSBI) isn't the best for advanced modeling and analysis.
  • Excel proficiency is required before diving into PowerBI, and reshaping and reorganizing data is possible but not easy.
  • Additional training and tutorials for Microsoft BI (MSBI) would be helpful for organizations with a large number of users and better pricing options required.
Microsoft BI excels at presenting complex and large data sets in a manageable and informative manner. This program's user-friendly graphical interface makes it simple to view data. Other than that, the reporting features are above average for this type of software. It's widely used with Microsoft products, but it doesn't work well with other programs. With limited physical resources, the free version is recommended for minor data work.
We have a positive outlook on Microsoft as a company in general. Microsoft's support team is quick to respond and fix issues. Minor issues can be solved quickly and easily, thanks to videos provided by the support team. Step-by-step instructions are available from Microsoft to help us get up to speed on the tool's features.
Nilufa Hossain | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I can connect to Oracle, Snowflake, SQL Server, Excel, CSV, text files, and create custom visualizations with Microsoft Power BI Desktop. Our team can generate reports and analyze data with all of their BI tools at their disposal (SSAS SSRS and SSIS). The best feature of Power BI is its appealing and interactive layouts. Power BI simplifies visualizing and interpreting data. It is possible to use drag-and-drop relationships and data visualization with the Microsoft BI stack to solve many client data problems. Anyone, regardless of skill level, can get up and run with their first project, even with no prior knowledge of SQL. We’ll assess various options based on the client’s licensing agreements. The Microsoft BI stacks are the best choice.
  • Comparatively easy to use compared to other data analytics solutions, collaborating with other colleagues on data work is simple.
  • Using Visual Studio for database, ETL, reporting, and analytics development save time and money.
  • Transfer of data from one application to another via Excel and comparison of data attributes between applications
  • Dashboard functionality, as well as Python support, are available, allowing you to add additional charts and graphs.
  • Only the pro version allows me to complete most tasks, and there aren't many options for customizing the interface.
  • Browser-based, so some browsers won't work, and the price isn't as competitive.
  • It doesn't have as many visually appealing graphs and charts, and it's not as intuitive to use as some others, but we can get used to it.
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.
It was a pleasure doing business with everyone at Customer Service and Data Support throughout the entire process. Support staff can provide videos to help with minor issues right away. They encouraged user feedback on MSBI’s website. This raises the most pressing issues to the top, where the development team can then focus on them.
June 03, 2021

Microsoft BI

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI being used by Master Data Management team like Vendors data, Customers data, Sites data, Bank, Bank Accounts, Customer Mandates, Employees, and Products data within our organization. It solves the problem of master data attributes like payment terms, tax codes etc., discrepancies within the applications of our IT landscape.
  • Dashboard capability.
  • Comparison between data attributes of various applications.
  • Data load through Excel.
  • Integration between different data sources and MSBI.
  • Dashboard features.
  • Performance.
When it comes to applications support no one can beat Microsoft. They are available 24/7. Replies to the support incidents are quick and effective. Support personnel are competent, they really know their product, and solve the incident tickets with accuracy. That is the reason why Customer satisfaction index is high.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Microsoft Power BI for the data management of our projects. Some of our projects include collecting data of users who signup for webinars and Power BI is then used to analyze that data and provide us with a graphical representation of it. This is very convenient to embed in presentations, etc.
  • Easy display of data.
  • Compatible with most Microsoft products.
  • Cloud connectivity.
  • Can be more user friendly.
  • Proper training required to use.
Microsoft BI is suited for small data mining dashboards, data analysis, etc. However, when big data is involved, usually spanning in TBs, Microsoft BI is less suitable for that.
I have never had to use the support, so I can't comment on that but based on the usage of other Microsoft products I expect it to be top-notch
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The Microsoft BI stack is being used as the enterprise BI software by our organization. The full stack of BI tools (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS) are being leveraged to provide reporting and analytics to the business. It allows us to provide standard reporting, delivered ad-hoc or via e-mail, exception based notifications, and analytics. Additionally we leverage SSIS for data warehouse ETL as well as EDI.
  • Single vendor provides a true end-to-end solution from data storage to end-user consumables.
  • Visual Studio provides a single IDE for database, ETL, reporting, and analytics development.
  • Rich feature set across the tools with 15-20 years of maturity.
  • Reunification of installers to simplify the process for both server installs and developer (SSRS now split out, BI tools not all within one package).
  • Ongoing Visual Studio instability.
  • Better server to server deployment options for SSRS.
The Microsoft BI suite of tools, largely composed of tools within the SQL Server suite, provide a full range of end-to-end feature/functionality for businesses of any size. Some flavor of the tool features is available whether using standard or enterprise editions, making the tools accessible for even smaller businesses. Scalability has become excellent over the years, particularly for SSIS and SSRS.
Microsoft support in my experience has always been very good. This is from a standpoint of submitting tickets as well as having accessibility to resources at Microsoft which have included free architectural review sessions, road mapping, and training provided at Microsoft's facilities. In addition, the user base is huge and there are no shortage of sites to ask and find answers to technical questions. The major knock is that historically, MS has been slow to respond to feature requests. That has begun to change, but tools such as the MSBI suite still lag behind the rapid development seen with tools such as Power BI.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I dont use it right now but , I used it during my research assistantship to generate beautiful visualizations for big data. At the time I was researching about covid has impacted people using twitter data and BI tools really shined in [how] easily they could connect with various platdata platforms easily.
  • Powerful analytics tools
  • Great visualization features. I really liked visualizations based on map
  • Ability to connect with multiple data sources
  • Tight integration with Microsoft services
  • Awesome user interface
  • Steep learning curve depending on your background. For me it was easy but I saw some people struggling with it
I think Microsoft Business Intelligence tools are really suitable for data analysts and managers who aim to generate dashboards and reports quickly. It easily integrates with data sources of any type such as databases , cloud storage systems , csv files or json file. The dashboards can be easily put into PowerPoint presentations which makes it suitable for faster presentation workflow , especially for managers.
I have not much to say about this since I never really encountered a breaking bug. I would however mention the awesome resources available online to learn Microsoft BI.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We implement Microsoft BI solutions to clients across North America. Clients are constantly coming to us having issues gathering their data from disparate sources in order to make meaningful decisions with their information. Depending on the client and their licensing agreements, we will then evaluate options, and the Microsoft BI stack tends to be a leader of the pack to solve many client data issues.
  • Great traditional ETL data gathering tools.
  • Large technical user community.
  • Excellent data visualization tools.
  • 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.
If the client you are dealing with already has existing Microsoft licensing agreements, selecting the Microsoft Stack may be a no-brainer. However, truly understanding the client's needs is the most important place to start versus selecting the technology stack. B2C clients that need a visualization tool may need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a data visualization tool, as costs for licensing are high at the time of writing.
MSBI natively has a site that allows you to vote on user enhancements and bug fixes. This allows the largest nagging issues to float to the top and the development team can prioritize accordingly. As mentioned earlier, the large community base of MSBI developers assist technical resources in handling technical questions.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are using Microsoft BI (MSBI) to visualize our data better and provide detailed insights on KPI. It also helps in building dashboards, which help key stakeholders analyze and make decisions on a regular basis. We have been able to use the tool as a starting step for our customers to provide them with useful insights and data. Data is the key thing that everyone wants. Some of our customers are even ready to pay more if we are able to provide them with detailed information.
  • Dashbaords
  • Data collaberation
  • Multiple connectors
  • GIS data
  • Easy formula writing
  • Needs to be easier to share and collaborate
Most suited when you have multiple data sources that need to be collected to build one single landing dashboard and you want insights with graphs and visual representations. It's easy to manage and learn, and the transition from Excel is not too difficult.

Less appropriate when you have data in various different formats and it not 100% clean. The licensing can be a pain if you are thinking of sharing the dashboards with external members.
They have amazing update information through videos and newsletters. You can find a lot of training on their platform, which is helpful as well. They have monthly updates and the team makes sure they update their documents regularly. It is easy to reach out to the Microsoft BI (MSBI) team for any help or suggestion that you may want through their forum or chat boards.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We currently use Microsoft BI to power the dashboard and analytics behind our performance management platform. Previously, this was done manually by each division in their own silo, making it difficult for upper management to translate disparate information from different sources into useful business decisions. With the help of Microsoft BI, we were able to warehouse data from a variety of sources across different business units into a centralized location and extract powerful reports and dashboards to assist with strategic decision making.
  • Powerful analytical and trending tools.
  • Compatibility with different data sources (including non-Microsoft).
  • Attractive dashboard visuals.
  • Seamless integration into a Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Pricing is not as competitive as alternatives.
  • Online / Cloud versions are lacking in features.
  • Desktop (free) version has limited features.
Microsoft BI will fit seamlessly into Microsoft ecosystems, especially when used with SharePoint and SQL Server. Larger companies with big data sets will be able to justify the high cost of ownership. The platform works well when used to drive strategic decision making and can compensate for gaps in relevant data when used with the lists feature in SharePoint.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Microsoft PowerBI to analyze data from our CRM and invoicing system (Connectwise with a SQL backend). Connectwise has a large number of built-in reports and a custom report writer but it was falling short of our needs. We engaged an outside consultant to create a large set of reports and views using PowerBI. Our managment teams uses it weekly. The ability to view them online without any special software of "running" of reports make it so much easier to use than other platforms we've used.
  • Easy to access the data and views you have created
  • Simple filtering of data views
  • Ability to view live or near live data
  • It runs in a browser and some browsers work better than others
  • Sometimes you start getting wacky results and you have to refresh the page to reset the views
It works great for our purposes. I highly recommend hiring a consultant to set it up for you though. I don't think we would have gotten very far had we tried to setup the reports and views ourselves. We're very happy with the results we've seen so far. We've been using it for about 3-4 months.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have deployed the Microsoft BI tool company-wide now. It is very simple to use and better than other tools available. You can easily create and share dashboards. It helps an organization in multiple ways by creating very interactive dashboards, and its possible to present complex data in a more presentable way.
  • Creating amazing dashboards
  • You can create a variety of reports and can be scheduled automatically.
  • You can integrate big data in Microsoft BI.
  • It gets hanged while developing complex report which hampers productivity
  • You require pro version to do most of the task
Microsoft BI is best suited for creating interactive dashboards, and you can connect various data sources and analyze the data. I don't have any scenario where it is less suitable
February 08, 2020

Casual User’s POC

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI is being used for report generation to monitor ongoing technology projects and business initiatives. We have two users who generate reports but many consumers.
  • Reporting
  • Data analysis
  • Intuitive use
Microsoft BI is great for reporting on large data sets.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have a BI team that manages the applications and the resources and connects the multitude of data sources into its data warehouse for analytics and reporting. We create multiple dashboards for different departments as they need. One business need we use it for is wait times in clinics. We can determine what days of the year are the busiest to ensure we don't incur any staffing issues and then use the data to promote wait times on market billboards externally for potential patients.
  • Able to connect to multiple data sources.
  • Canned reports are great and custom reports are better.
  • Can be costly to implement. Not cost effective for SMB. No mid-market tier pricing.
  • Knowledge in programming a plus.
Microsoft BI is great for data warehousing and consolidation.
November 20, 2019

Microsoft BI review

Hrishikesh Kardile | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI has transformed the reporting process at JCT. It is being used across the whole organization due to ease of access to data and drilldowns. The company has created tools to give visibility of detailed level data to folks working at corporate as well as in the field.
  • Ability to drill down.
  • Automated refresh of data.
  • Ability to visualize data on charts and maps.
  • Need access to detailed map visuals.
  • Use Python or R scripts.
  • Need ability to input data.
BI is well suited where organizations want to automate the reporting process. Less suited where organizations want advanced analytics to supplement their BI.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI is used by a few data teams in my organisation in conjunction with other business intelligence tools. One of the primary reasons for using Microsoft BI is its simplicity, user friendliness, and good palate of visualisation options. Unlike most other standard BI tools in the market, Microsoft BI does provide a good array of graphical representations - thereby making it a good choice for reporting purposes.
  • Good range of visualisation features.
  • Very easy to setup and get onboard.
  • Handles data integration from multiple sources decently well.
  • Not advisable to use Microsoft BI as a standalone primary tool for data management.
  • The process of moulding or repurposing data is not easy.
  • Integrating Microsoft BI with non-Microsoft tools is a huge pain.
If your primary use case requires the use of several visualisation options and graphical representations, then Microsoft BI might be a good option to use. However, if your data management needs do not revolve around reporting, then it is better to go with other standard business intelligence tools available in the market like Oracle BI or Tableau.
Thomas Young | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI is used across many departments within the organization. Due to the availability of other software tools, Microsoft BI is only used in certain parts of the business. Microsoft Power BI is used for automated data reporting and interactive visualizations. The software is also used for some analytics processes.
  • As with most every other Microsoft product, Microsoft BI makes setting up and analyzing data about as easy as it gets.
  • Creating graphics is very easy.
  • Connecting to multiple data sources works just fine.
  • Simple reporting and integration with other Microsoft products is great.
  • Microsoft BI is not top of the for advanced analysis and modeling.
  • Reshaping and restructuring data is doable, but not super simple.
  • Customizing visualizations is sometimes difficult to impossible.
Microsoft BI is great if you and your team have used Microsoft products for a long time. Connecting Microsoft BI to your current processes will be a breeze. The software also makes it easy to create executive dashboards and automated data reporting. For simple financial reporting, Microsoft BI is as easy as they come.
February 05, 2019

Great BI tool

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have been using a number of Microsoft products in our company and decided to go with the Microsoft BI platform due to its easy integration with Microsoft Office suite. We wanted to incorporate a business intelligence tool into our enterprise to get a full 360 view of our mission-critical data. Microsoft BI helped fill that role.
  • Report generation from our back end data warehouse has become way more streamlined using this tool.
  • By using the Power Pivot and Power View it has enabled us to access and mash up data from a variety of sources. Plus it can easily be shared with other users through simple Office applications.
  • The implementation time for Microsoft BI can be fairly lengthy. It's definitely longer than some of the other products we evaluated.
  • The upfront investment in terms of capital and time is fairly large with this tool. It requires a compliant Microsoft SQL server in the back end to leverage most of its functionality.
It's a great tool that offers full benefits of self-service BI with very little need for interaction with the IT department. The Power BI Desktop and Mobile application, in particular, has added a lot of value for our business objectives.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use it in various pockets across our organization. We use trend analytics, reports, and interactive dashboards all the time, but the real workhorse is the Marketing cost data aggregation toolkit. We also connect PowerBI with SQL integrated OLAP databases, enabling us to leverage data housed within SAP with extracted data to create visual dashboards to track various KPI metrics on a daily basis.
  • Microsoft BI allows us to combine data from multiple sources, build data models, create visualizations, and share the results.
  • Cloud Interactive charts in a cloud that can be easily shared
  • Connectors to popular data sources, allowing us to integrate with almost any system
  • More authentication methods to allow power users to connect directly to Web APIs.
  • It can be quite difficult to setup without guided assistance from experienced users
  • Limits on dataset size.
Microsoft BI is a terrific tool to use when you need to pull data from various sources, and especially powerful in its ability to display the actionable information on a single dashboard. It is the "go-to" solution for the company that wants to move to the next level of pivot tables, dynamic charting and business intelligence reporting.
Shelby Bowden | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Microsoft BI primarily just within our lab group and department due to its very specific and powerful data visualization capabilities. While it is applicable to almost any work involving data analytics, it might seem like overkill for some people. We have found that it does an excellent job in preparing and displaying the more complex data that we deal with.
  • Data display in graphs and tables
  • Compatibility with other Microsoft products
  • User-friendly and informative reporting
  • Data compatibility with non-Microsoft products
  • Data sourcing functionality is poor
  • Offline server functionality impedes out of country work
For large and complex datasets, Microsoft BI excels in presenting the data in a manageable and informative way. Its graphical interface does a great job of quickly and easily displaying data, and the reporting tools are well above average for analytical software. It is also great when used in conjunction with other Microsoft products, but does not do well when paired with alternate programs.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
My company deals with a lot of data, and it is extremely important that we have an efficient, easy to use program with visually appealing outputs. Microsoft BI can do it all. We collect a lot of data in the field and have to look at trends in that data through time. After our own analysis, that all has to be presented to our clients who generally need self-explanatory figures. Microsoft BI has been a great program for us.
  • It is a very user-friendly interface! Doesn't take long to learn and be able to make some great graphs.
  • The accessibility and sharing capabilities are beyond wonderful-- it has made it easy to share between employees before sending out final reports and it is easy to share with clients who need something to look at before the full report is finished.
  • There are a lot of options for data display and they can be as complex or simple as you want and still look amazing.
  • They have a great online resource for help and tutorials. If you don't catch on quickly on your own, it is quite easy to do some reading online and teach yourself.
  • The Microsoft BI app can be finicky at times and it would be great for that to be more streamlined. We sometimes require data to be shown during fieldwork, and a functional app makes a big difference.
  • The program doesn't always remember my settings. This may just be a glitch with the program on my computer, but it would be a huge timesaver if I didn't have to reset my preferences every week.
It is extremely well suited for companies (of any size) dealing with large data quantities who have to compile and analyze the data in a short amount of time. I have found it very efficient for my company, as it allows a lot of flexibility for data display and is so user-friendly.
Michael Timms | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Several people that I know use Microsoft PowerBI. It is mainly used for reporting for several teams, then I am able to access those reports for my own use. When I use it I import Excel sheets in, and use PowerBI to make them more visually appealing and easier to filter. It works like a charm. I have not seen any issues other than the occasional drag with data sets.
  • Makes reports more visually appealing
  • Very good variety of formats for charting information
  • Good cloud connectivity (most of the time)
  • Need to be proficient with Excel before diving into PowerBI
  • Only available with a monthly subscription
  • Steep learning curve for many users (including me)
If you are part of an enterprise that is running daily reports to many users, and you want to up your game by making visually stunning, easy to follow reports, PowerBI is the tool for you and well worth the cost. If you are in an environment that runs one report a month, the cost might not be worth it just for some bells and whistles.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Data modeling, visualization, and analytics.

Microsoft BI is currently only used for dashboarding (descriptive analytics), where data relationship is simple, while most of the predictive analytics are done in other tools.
  • Easy integration with other Microsoft products.
  • Great integration with R/Python.
  • Map visualization limit on data count
  • Inability to model data relationship with multiple non unique keys
Dashboarding with simple data relationship.

In the oil and gas industry, it's common to be analyzing geospatial items along with cross-sectional data, and this can easily go over the row limit that Microsoft BI has for its map visualization; this is a shortfall.

For high-level dashboarding, say, aggregated data for management reporting, Microsoft BI is perfectly suited due to its professional layout and ease of deployment. The data modeling aspect in Microsoft BI leaves much to be desired as it doesn't allow for many relationships which are rather common in the data used in our industry; this forces users to create a unique key by having to concatenate columns of interest, which tend to result in untidy data and make maintenance difficult.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Microsoft BI is currently being used across the organization by all departments who have staff interested in tapping the hidden value of their data. It allows users to create their own queries and visualize them without a large time investment to learn the software. Ad hoc reporting is easier to accomplish using MS BI than some of the other data mining software out there.
  • Easy to learn the software.
  • Allows complex queries to be created ad hoc and ran against databases quickly.
  • Gives the users the ability to empower their departments by setting up easy to implement visualizations.
  • Understanding the full scope of the software takes a lot of time.
  • It doesn't handle very large datasets well, importing can take a while.
  • I have not found a way to build scheduled reports.
Very affordable, well suited for anyone who wants to try out business intelligence and data visualization without a large time investment up front to get it going.

Not appropriate for very large databases, it can take large datasets a while to load into BI. Not a lot of granularity provided out of the box, though there are many add ons to provide further functionality available.
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