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Microsoft BI - Putting the power into your reportingWe 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,7,Torqus Systems POS, UltiPro, Sisense, Domo, Zoho Analytics, Dundas BI, Looker, Qualtrics, Infragistics ReportPlus, QlikView, Tableau Desktop, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform and IBM Cognos,5,9,Torqus Systems POS, UltiPro, Sisense, Domo, Zoho Analytics, Dundas BI, Looker, Qualtrics, Infragistics ReportPlus, IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform, Tableau Desktop, QlikViewOutstanding Report CreatorSeveral 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),10,Whatagraph,10,10,Microsoft 365 Business, Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics CRM), Cisco Aironet Access Points, Cisco Data Center Network Manager, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Oracle Java SE, DameWare Remote Support, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, Citrix NetScalerMicrosoft BI - A diamond in the roughData 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,7,TIBCO Spotfire,9,9,TIBCO SpotfireBusiness Intelligence like you never seen beforeMicrosoft BI is being used by specific departments, providing analysis of different types of data, how resources are being used and even showing how well Support Departments are doing, responding to tickets that are eventually fed to Microsoft BI. There are many problems being addressed, including allowing several types of connections to our data.,Allow many types of connections to our data Makes impressive graphics from the data collected Provides interactive resources and dashboards,Should have support for other operating systems Prices could be a bit better for organizations with more users,10,Zoho Reports,6,10,Microsoft 365 Business, Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer, Google Ads (formerly AdWords)Microsoft BI is great if you're looking for a BI product that feels like the other Microsoft products you useMicrosoft 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.,9,Tableau Online, Tableau Public, Alteryx Analytics, TIBCO Spotfire, MicroStrategy Analytics, Microstrategy Usher, SAS Business Intelligence, SAS Advanced Analytics and SAS Data Integration Studio,9,8,Tableau Online, Tableau Public, SAS Business Intelligence, SAS Advanced Analytics, Alteryx Analytics, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL
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Microsoft BI
617 Ratings
Score 7.9 out of 101
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Microsoft BI Reviews

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Microsoft BI
617 Ratings
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Score 7.9 out of 101
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Reviews (1-25 of 36)

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Shelby Bowden profile photo
January 23, 2019

Review: "Microsoft BI - Putting the power into your reporting"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

5
I think Microsoft BI firmly sits in the average zone for data sourcing. It does very well when sourcing data from Microsoft-related products, but begins to falter when dealing with other, non-Microsoft analytical programs. Anything with Microsoft cloud works great, and if your organization solely runs on Microsoft products, this is a great program.
Read Shelby Bowden's full review
Michael Timms profile photo
January 17, 2019

Microsoft BI Review: "Outstanding Report Creator"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
I use PowerBI to edit reports that I have already ran and make them look awesome. Microsoft PowerBI is perfect for this, as all I have to do is import my Excel spreadsheet, apply a template, and edit the document until I make it look how I want. PowerBI makes it super easy to do this.
Read Michael Timms's full review
Jean Franco profile photo
January 09, 2019

Microsoft BI Review: "Business Intelligence like you never seen before"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

6
There are several formats of data sources allowed and also possibilities to import. But for the real-time data sources, there are only specific sources supported, most of them being Microsoft Products. Unlike other rival products where there are a bigger variety of real-time data sources.
Read Jean Franco's full review
Thomas Young profile photo
January 09, 2019

Review: "Microsoft BI is great if you're looking for a BI product that feels like the other Microsoft products you use"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

9
I have yet to run across a data source that Microsoft BI can't connect to. Microsoft BI easily connects to JSON, SQL, and pretty much every other data source. The software is not the best at merging data from disparate sources. It takes some time to get things up and running with different data sources. Real-time updating of Microsoft BI visualizations is probably one of the best BI tools out there. Works just fine.
Read Thomas Young's full review
Brian Caulfield profile photo
October 19, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "MIcorosft BI - Gather, share and take action on your data"

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

8
I really like how Microsoft brings data from multiple sources together. I think this is one of the strengths of the software allowing for a more complex accumulation of data and information. This results on more complex analysis but again Microsoft BI does a superb job at making this complex data easy to interpret and take action on.
Read Brian Caulfield's full review
Celil ÇİYNEKLİ profile photo
September 07, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "A Very Powerful and Innovative BI and Virtualization Tool: MS BI"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
Microsoft BI uses the Machine Learning tool when gathering data from the web. It can detect page elements and learn what you want to get then find itself a way to get this data.
Read Celil ÇİYNEKLİ's full review
No photo available
January 23, 2019

Microsoft BI Review: "For the IT professional on the go"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

8
The ease of combining data from multiple, non-integrated programs into a single environment where reports can be easily designed and managed is a wonderful ability. The mobile application is also very useful for the IT professional on the go. Lastly, the visualization tools come in quite handy when trying to explain complex scenarios to middle management.
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No photo available
January 23, 2019

Review: "Microsoft BI is the program you've been waiting for!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
Mircosoft BI makes it very easy to bring in data from multiple sources and compile them into a single format that is ready for analysis. It has been a refreshingly easy process to learn and allows data importing from multiple sources and processes things very quickly. They also allow quite a wide range of data sources so you don't have to reformat or adjust documents before importing.
Read this authenticated review
No photo available
December 07, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "Microsoft Business Intelligence is a quick and cheap way to start practicing with data visualization."

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

7
Microsoft BI allows for a large number of data sources to be imported and worked with easily. The data can be pulled real time or from a warehouse depending on the customer requirements. We did not pull data from a large number of disparate sources but multiple SQL databases can be connected to easily.
Read this authenticated review
Jason Leidig profile photo
June 19, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "Power BI will put an S on your chest"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
Power BI allows you to connect to a wide range of data sources from Excel workbooks, to enterprise solutions such as SAP, Azure, IBM systems and a myriad of online solutions like Facebook and GitHub and the list of connections is growing rapidly.
Read Jason Leidig's full review
Zee Gimon profile photo
July 14, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "Ideal for Data Analytics and Visualization, but not for noobs"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

9
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.
Read Zee Gimon's full review
Gonzalo Angeleri profile photo
April 09, 2018

Review: "Microsoft BI - Good choice for departmental deployments and limited budget"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

7
Microsoft BI supports a variety of different data sources such as SQL Server, Oracle DB, DB2, Sybase, Excel, Access, Text files, MySQL, Teradata, Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Impala, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Hana.
Read Gonzalo Angeleri's full review
Yemsi Pino profile photo
May 03, 2018

Microsoft BI Review: "Great Graphics presentations"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

8
The data is what really matters on a graphic presentation, and if I'm not allowed to edit or to update this data somehow it's like I'm cutting the progress I've been making and have to it do all over again. This is not a solution. On the other hand, the color and options to present graphics solutions are really nice but could be better. That's my goal.
Read Yemsi Pino's full review
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo
August 07, 2016

Microsoft BI Review: "It's Excel for Big Data. So easy, so cheap, so fast, and powerful enough most everything."

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

8
It's pretty good in terms of range of data sources, the ability to pull from both databases and the hard drive, and the way it compacts/autoformats data. There is still room for improvement in terms of access speed and smarter data formatting.
Read Alexander Lubyansky's full review
Ved Mishra profile photo
February 19, 2016

User Review: "Intelligent big boy Microsoft BI"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

8
Microsoft BI tools can connect to various data sources using ODBC, OData protocols. There are options to connect a range of data sources like Oracle, SQL, IBM DB2, Teradata, Sybase, Informix, Text file and data various other feeds. BI reports can bring data from various data sources and separate data connection. All data is alike once it is imported/connected and available in data-model.
Also, tools and solutions can be modified to fetch data real-time. Minimum download strategy ensures and tool is responsive to latest data changes in the back-end.
Read Ved Mishra's full review
Deanne Damato profile photo
February 12, 2016

Review: "Microsoft BI platform good for Reporting but always changing for the rest of the toolset so use caution for your needs."

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
We are standardized on SQL as a platform so connecting databases and data warehouse cubes is extremely easy. The only other data we strive to connect to is data is SharePoint lists and that is easy as well.
Read Deanne Damato's full review
Steve Wake profile photo
February 04, 2015

User Review: "Why is Microsoft BI Right for Me?"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Data Integration

10
There is no data that I have not been able to get with the Microsoft BI tools. The tools will accept flat files and access any database that has a way to query it, even if that is through a web API. If you need to get some data into a Microsoft BI solution, there is a way to do it. You can go down the custom development route if you have to, but in most cases there is someone else that has tried to do the same thing and shared their solution online for you to use. The Microsoft BI tools are used in so many different companies and scenarios that it is very rare these days that you are first one doing something. There is also the speed factor, depending on the source of the data I have run into more issues with the source systems not being able to keep up with the processing on the Microsoft BI side.
Read Steve Wake's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (28)
7.9
Customizable dashboards (34)
7.9
Report Formatting Templates (32)
8.2
Drill-down analysis (30)
8.2
Formatting capabilities (34)
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages (27)
8.1
Report sharing and collaboration (34)
8.9
Publish to Web (31)
8.3
Publish to PDF (30)
8.8
Report Versioning (27)
8.1
Report Delivery Scheduling (31)
7.6
Delivery to Remote Servers (12)
8.1
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (33)
8.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (30)
7.9
Predictive Analytics (30)
8.0
Multi-User Support (named login) (32)
8.4
Role-Based Security Model (29)
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (32)
8.6
Single Sign-On (SSO) (14)
8.5
Responsive Design for Web Access (24)
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application (19)
8.4
Dedicated Android Application (19)
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (25)
8.3
REST API (11)
7.9
Javascript API (12)
8.3
iFrames (11)
7.7
Java API (10)
7.5
Themeable User Interface (UI) (10)
7.8
Customizable Platform (Open Source) (8)
7.4

About Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 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 Competitors

Pricing

Does not have featureFree Trial Available?No
Has featureFree or Freemium Version Available?Yes
Does not have featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?No
Entry-level set up fee?No
EditionPricing DetailsTerms
Power BI$0
Power BI Pro$10per user per month

Microsoft BI Technical Details

Deployment Types:SaaS
Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No