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MIcorosft BI - Gather, share and take action on your dataMicrosoft BI is a great tool to allow for the visualization and communication of data to my whole team. Microsoft BI is being used in conjunction with many operational KPI's to better drive action and responses to improve or address issues that arise. The main problem solved by BI is the ability to gather and bring together information from multiple sources and unify this data.,Bringing data together from multiple sources Allows for graphical representation of data to improve communication up and down the management chain. Tracking of data for use in the future,Could be more user friendly Improve the learning curve for new users Allow for better integration with mobile app.,4,SAP Access Control,8,6,Microsoft 365 BusinessPower BI will put an S on your chestIt is currently being used at a program level by project controls to provide project performance data to the project team. Engagement with Power BI allows the different stakeholders for the project to engage with performance data providing them the opportunity to be more responsive to issues and opportunities. It keeps everyone that is a part of the project on course and helps drive collaboration with the team members.,The layout of Power BI is very intuitive. Someone that is familiar with Excel and working with Charts and Graphs in that environment will find the learning curve a rather short one to start using Power BI. I like the way Power BI fits an assortment of users and how the functionality that you engage is replicated in Excel, that being Power Query and Power Pivot. So what you learn in one tool can be readily applied towards the other which allows you to more effectively apply your training. I appreciate how Microsoft is working to develop tools that go a long ways to empowering the end user. Prior to Power BI I would have had to consult with a "BI" professional to develop a dashboard. With Power BI I don't have to consult with anyone, I can work to put together the dash board I want and using a tool set that is really robust and allows me to engage an enormous amount of data. It's provides a great deal of flexibility and the types of data I can connect to. Updates...Microsoft is working diligently to keep Power BI current with monthly updates. They do a really good job of listening to the end user, if there is functionality not currently present just give them a month or so. Just to be clear, even though it's easy to get going right out of the gate with Power BI it provides plenty of opportunities to create some really sophisticated reporting solutions. With DAX in Power Pivot and M language in Power Query, you are provided with plenty of head room to do some really amazing things in Power BI. Training...there are resources across the web for learning and growing your skills and Power BI. And what's even better is the majority of those resources are free. Data engagement, when presenting the data to the end user Power BI goes a long way to allowing that end user to engage the data and begin to identify root cause by simply interacting with the graph/chart/data set. It allows for really fluid engagement. Prior to Power BI so many times during the presentation of data we often times ended the engagement with that data with more questions than what were answered. With Power BI, more often than not, the end user is able to get answers to the questions by simply clicking on the data in the graph/chart/dataset to see the details. This tool really does have the capacity to make you look like a rock star.,The desktop version is free, monthly updates, free training resources...what's not to love. I'm sure that someone with a higher degree of technical learning will be able to better articulate some negatives for Power BI, I'm just not that guy. I have nothing but appreciation for Power BI.,10,10,10A Very Powerful and Innovative BI and Virtualization Tool: MS BIPower BI is a dashboard, data query and, data modeling tool. You can report your data as quickly and easily as with other competitors. With machine learning ability you can easily query, model and report your data. With the AI supported insight ability, you can drill down to the problems. If you want more analyzing tools, you can do it with the R scripts in Power BI.,User experience (UX) is the top priority for Microsoft in Power BI. It has incredible abilities to query data from the source, such as machine learning. Query, design, and reporting is in one tool. There is no need for additional tools. It can get data from all resources, even in the reporting frame structure. There is no need for a table structure anymore. If you have unstructured data in any resource, machine learning can recognize/learn how to capture it and get data as you wish. If a data requires editing with some Excel operator (mid, left, find, etc), you no longer need to write any command. Power BI is doing it for you with machine learning technology. You just give some example about what you need in data and it recognizes/ learns how to get it and then populate it. Power BI has a lot of dashboard charts, very different range, very different purpose and you can find what you need. Charts look so pretty and configuration is so easy too. If you want to create a report (using a chart), you can type what you need while you are talking to a friend. Power BI creates it simultaneously as you are writing.,Actually, there is one thing I can say. If you are working with huge data, depending on your computer configuration and only with the desktop (free) version, it is a little bit slow.,10,QlikView, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform and Tableau Desktop,10,10,Micro Focus PPM (formerly HP PPM), Xmind, SAP Analytics CloudIdeal for Data Analytics and Visualization, but not for noobsWe use Microsoft Power BI for one of our client's project data management. He has a database of mobile app users who sign up for the premium account and Power BI is used to analyze the data and build a graphical representation of the given data, which is very convenient when you need to create a presentation or something (or simply want to see your data presented visually.),Data analytics features - you can filter the data according to a billion (it feels like) ways and make sure your data is just what you need. Graphs, charts, and everything else visual - not only you can analyze your data according to filters and everything, you can also make it look good and understandable without having to look through a ton of numbers. It can handle quite large amounts of data input, so this makes it a good addition for the projects that require big data. Works well with other Microsoft products (including .NET projects).,It's not very user-friendly (at least, not if you use it every single day and can tell where a feature is located when you wake up in the middle of the night). It takes some time to get the hang of it. Sometimes it feels like there is just a bit TOO MANY features. I mean, they are all awesome, but it's easy to get lost.,8,9,7Microsoft BI - Good choice for departmental deployments and limited budgetMicrosoft BI is being used as part of a departmental implementation, especially for self-service capabilities. We build our solutions using different Microsoft BI components or tools such as Reporting Services, Integration Services, and Power BI Report Server.,Self Service Capabilities Easy to use Integration with MS Office,Data Quality Capabilities Performance issues in Power BI with some source systems Data Governance features,8,Microsoft SQL Server,7,7,IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy Analytics
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Microsoft BI
593 Ratings
Score 7.8 out of 101
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Microsoft BI Reviews

Microsoft BI
593 Ratings
Score 7.8 out of 101
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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

Pros and Cons

  • Bringing data together from multiple sources
  • Allows for graphical representation of data to improve communication up and down the management chain.
  • Tracking of data for use in the future
  • Could be more user friendly
  • Improve the learning curve for new users
  • Allow for better integration with mobile app.
Read Brian Caulfield's full 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

Pros and Cons

  • The layout of Power BI is very intuitive. Someone that is familiar with Excel and working with Charts and Graphs in that environment will find the learning curve a rather short one to start using Power BI.
  • I like the way Power BI fits an assortment of users and how the functionality that you engage is replicated in Excel, that being Power Query and Power Pivot. So what you learn in one tool can be readily applied towards the other which allows you to more effectively apply your training.
  • I appreciate how Microsoft is working to develop tools that go a long ways to empowering the end user. Prior to Power BI I would have had to consult with a "BI" professional to develop a dashboard. With Power BI I don't have to consult with anyone, I can work to put together the dash board I want and using a tool set that is really robust and allows me to engage an enormous amount of data. It's provides a great deal of flexibility and the types of data I can connect to.
  • Updates...Microsoft is working diligently to keep Power BI current with monthly updates. They do a really good job of listening to the end user, if there is functionality not currently present just give them a month or so.
  • Just to be clear, even though it's easy to get going right out of the gate with Power BI it provides plenty of opportunities to create some really sophisticated reporting solutions. With DAX in Power Pivot and M language in Power Query, you are provided with plenty of head room to do some really amazing things in Power BI.
  • Training...there are resources across the web for learning and growing your skills and Power BI. And what's even better is the majority of those resources are free.
  • Data engagement, when presenting the data to the end user Power BI goes a long way to allowing that end user to engage the data and begin to identify root cause by simply interacting with the graph/chart/data set. It allows for really fluid engagement. Prior to Power BI so many times during the presentation of data we often times ended the engagement with that data with more questions than what were answered. With Power BI, more often than not, the end user is able to get answers to the questions by simply clicking on the data in the graph/chart/dataset to see the details. This tool really does have the capacity to make you look like a rock star.
  • The desktop version is free, monthly updates, free training resources...what's not to love. I'm sure that someone with a higher degree of technical learning will be able to better articulate some negatives for Power BI, I'm just not that guy. I have nothing but appreciation for Power BI.
Read Jason Leidig'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

Pros and Cons

  • User experience (UX) is the top priority for Microsoft in Power BI. It has incredible abilities to query data from the source, such as machine learning. Query, design, and reporting is in one tool. There is no need for additional tools.
  • It can get data from all resources, even in the reporting frame structure. There is no need for a table structure anymore. If you have unstructured data in any resource, machine learning can recognize/learn how to capture it and get data as you wish. If a data requires editing with some Excel operator (mid, left, find, etc), you no longer need to write any command. Power BI is doing it for you with machine learning technology. You just give some example about what you need in data and it recognizes/ learns how to get it and then populate it.
  • Power BI has a lot of dashboard charts, very different range, very different purpose and you can find what you need. Charts look so pretty and configuration is so easy too. If you want to create a report (using a chart), you can type what you need while you are talking to a friend. Power BI creates it simultaneously as you are writing.
  • Actually, there is one thing I can say. If you are working with huge data, depending on your computer configuration and only with the desktop (free) version, it is a little bit slow.
Read Celil ÇİYNEKLİ'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

Pros and Cons

  • Data analytics features - you can filter the data according to a billion (it feels like) ways and make sure your data is just what you need.
  • Graphs, charts, and everything else visual - not only you can analyze your data according to filters and everything, you can also make it look good and understandable without having to look through a ton of numbers.
  • It can handle quite large amounts of data input, so this makes it a good addition for the projects that require big data.
  • Works well with other Microsoft products (including .NET projects).
  • It's not very user-friendly (at least, not if you use it every single day and can tell where a feature is located when you wake up in the middle of the night). It takes some time to get the hang of it.
  • Sometimes it feels like there is just a bit TOO MANY features. I mean, they are all awesome, but it's easy to get lost.
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

Pros and Cons

  • Self Service Capabilities
  • Easy to use
  • Integration with MS Office
  • Data Quality Capabilities
  • Performance issues in Power BI with some source systems
  • Data Governance features
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

Pros and Cons

  • The customized colors and presentation
  • Introduces Excel data for graphics
  • Innovate the way we used the data and new elements for analysis
  • Printable graphics is a must
  • The whole concept of the presentation for a company is missing
  • Is not easy make changes to the graphics
Read Yemsi Pino's full review
Reinaldo André Muralha profile photo
October 16, 2017

User Review: "Microsoft BI - Advanced Surveys"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Easy to use.
  • Integration with other systems.
  • Quick development.
  • More advanced reporting options.
  • Reporting tools interface update.
  • Drag and drop functionalities improved.
Read Reinaldo André Muralha's full review
Charles Saulnier profile photo
December 15, 2016

Review: "Microsoft BI - a complete BI offer at last!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Relative ease of use of SSAS cubes for end-users
  • Versatility of SSRS for creating reports and automating their executions
  • Integration with Office 365
  • SSRS Report Builder requires more IT skills than other reporting tools
  • No SSAS actions available in Report Builder
  • Integrated security tools are not readily available; Management Studio works well for SSAS, but no way to keep track of global security attributions unless you build a report on the DB
Read Charles Saulnier's full review
Megan Juell profile photo
November 15, 2016

Review: "Microsoft BI from a Consultant's Perspective"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Database management: Although learning all the features of Management Studio may initially seem daunting, they provide a intricate system to support the entire database environment.
  • Data flow and process management: SSMS and SSIS work together seamlessly to automate processes, allow users to create jobs to kick off their processes, and provide users a log of runtime variables, errors, and warnings.
  • Data modeling: SSAS provides a feature-rich environment to develop both multidimensional and tabular models.
  • There seems to be a slightly different language for every need: T-SQL, MDX, DAX, Excel formulas, Access DB SQL, C#, etc. While there are a wide variety of needs these meet, it would be helpful to have a more common base-language between languages with similar functionality (SSMS's T-SQL and Access' SQL, Excel formulas and DAX).
  • Reporting Services in Visual Studio tends to be a little buggy, especially when dealing with parameterized reports.
  • It would be helpful to have processing time displayed when processing tables from SSMS. I'm often forced to decide between the detailed error log that the processing dialog box displays (with no start/end times) or scripting out the job to XMLA for the gain of process start/end times but a loss of the detailed errors.
Read Megan Juell's full review
Razvan Bulgariu profile photo
February 03, 2017

Review: "Microsoft BI is the perfect Dash-boarding product"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Drill down function from higher level to more granular levels work perfectly, other products do not provide this functionality
  • User-friendly graphics
  • Data access is almost instant
  • Charts configuration are not so easy
  • Database table connections are not so straight forward
  • Requires too much hardware power
Read Razvan Bulgariu's full review
Haibo Yang profile photo
September 26, 2016

Microsoft BI Review: "Think hard on your BI goals"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
  • 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.
Read Haibo Yang'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

Pros and Cons

  • EASY visualization of business data. Excel is the killer app so anybody remotely good at basic office tools knows how to make PivotTables and PivotCharts. If you don't, it's really easy to learn; give it a try... People think big data visualization is hard but it's not for most business use cases.
  • FAST visualization of business data. There are BI/Analytics tools out there, some of them beginning with the letter S, that are slooow. I do my taxes waiting for them to run basic queries/filters/charts. Microsoft BI (and Tableau, etc.) create compact data models to allow for pretty fast data loading and slicery.
  • FREE or at least REALLY CHEAP visualization of business data. Who has MS Office on their business computer? Oh, everybody. If you don't have Office Pro, pony up for that or get the monthly license. The bigness of data you can run on your own machine is fairly big; don't use cloud if you don't need it. By comparison, who enjoys throwing thousands of dollars away on bloated legacy BI software? Well, too many companies, apparently.
  • 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.
Read Alexander Lubyansky's full review
Jasmeet S Babra profile photo
October 24, 2016

Review: "Microsoft BI- Multiple sources, One solution"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • I like how the dashboard is customizable to your own preference.
  • Its a Microsoft tool so it works perfectly with Excel.
  • It's an easy to learn and use tool with minimal training required.
  • The mobile app works perfectly with the dashboard view of your data.
  • More training resources for new users.
  • Better integration with SRSS.
  • I feel it still has a long way to go as far as Tableau is considered.
Read Jasmeet S Babra's full review
Alina Hera profile photo
October 17, 2016

Microsoft BI Review: "Clean and Clear Data Analytics"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Great dashboard
  • Great integration with other Microsoft programs
  • Great visualizations
  • It is best for simpler analytics
  • Not intuitive to use for first time users
Read Alina Hera's full review
Micah Jones profile photo
July 12, 2016

Review: "Microsoft BI is Worth a Look for Business Intelligence"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Connections to third parties is really nicely done.
  • Graphically it is a clean experience with nice color screens
  • Integration with Microsoft products is tight.
  • They need a lot more tutorials. Using the application is not very intuitive so better training would help greatly.
Read Micah Jones'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

Pros and Cons

  • Wide variety of tools : Microsoft BI possesses a wide variety of tools to cater needs of presentation, performance caching, integration and ease of use.
  • Popular online and location communities : Online and local communities around Microsoft BI is very popular. You can find a lot of resources and helpful information online and within your communities more efficiently and effectively.
  • Tighter and broad integration options : Microsoft BI tools are very well integrated with other Microsoft products (Office 365, SharePoint, .NET Apps, Project Server etc...) and Line of Business (LOB) applications. Being a large player in BI domain, there are various third party components available which compliment MS BI.
  • Visualization and presentation is an area that may need some improvement. I have used a competitive tool Tableau which has better visualization capabilities against Pivot Charts/Power BI.
  • For ultra large organizations, certain BI solutions require more volume of data to be processed. Although Microsoft Windows Azure, HDInsight and various other big data mechanism can cater to this need, other MS BI tools like Power Pivot, SharePoint etc... need to be more performance oriented.
  • Licensing is one aspect which is relatively more complex as compared to its competitors. Microsoft is now following subscription-model approach in a lot of areas but still there is a scope of improvement in providing more clarity and simplicity when purchasing MS BI tools.
Read Ved Mishra's full review
Robert Goodman profile photo
January 15, 2016

Microsoft BI Review: "Great value for money with Microsoft's BI"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • SQL Server Management Studio provides a nice interface to view, query, and modify the database tables. The interface is user friendly and logical.
  • Microsoft, in general, has fantastic educational pricing. This allowed the TCO to be much lower for our university.
  • Microsoft tools integrate nicely with one another. We are also in the process of implementing SharePoint. We plan to use SSRS (.rdl) reports which will integrate with SharePoint - and also will have the ability to experiment with PowerView (.rdlx) dashboards and PowerPivot (Microsoft's in-memory BI tool).
  • The end-user reporting tool, Report Builder, is not that flexible. We feel that the Cognos Report Studio tool is more robust in this area.
Read Robert Goodman'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

Pros and Cons

  • SSRS Reports allows browser based access on multiple mobile devices to reports and dashboards quickly
  • Focus their strategy on what is offered for the toolset. I believe they are starting to clarify this.
  • Creation of and deployment of new reports is difficult for your average end user who doesn't use Visual Studio.
Read Deanne Damato's full review
Alain Quesnel profile photo
February 10, 2016

"Microsoft BI Review"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Pivot tables
  • Charts
  • Dashboards
  • Interactive mapping
  • Web publishing of dashboards
  • USer access
Read Alain Quesnel's full review
Chris Utter profile photo
March 21, 2015

Review: "Microsoft BI provides the best bang for your buck, now and into the future."

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
  • Power BI maturity: Power BI is a combination of add-ons for Microsoft Excel and a special Office365 hosting site. However, the primary presentation tool, Power View, has a long way to go to catch up with such competitors as Tableau and even Microsoft's current analytics platform, PerformancePoint. To address these concerns, Power BI releases are being scheduled out-of-band from normal version upgrades in order to address requirements of the user community.
  • Office 365: There are currently size limitations, like a 250GB max for PowerPivot worksheets, which might cause issues with organizations who want to utilize very large data sets with Power BI.
  • Messaging: Some of the marketing and best practices around the new cloud-based solutions are unclear, making it difficult for someone who doesn't work in the BI world to understand the benefits and the architecture for such solutions.
  • Multiple data manipulation languages: Currently there are four or five distinct query languages in the Microsoft BI stack: T-SQL for SQL Server, MDX and DAX for Analysis Services, and the Power Query Formula Language for Power Query. In Integration Services, there is yet another language used in some of the tasks. That seems to be a lot to keep abreast of!
Read Chris Utter's full review
Senthil Vallinayagam profile photo
June 10, 2015

Microsoft BI Review: ""MS BI" = $$$"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Some of the rolling metrics calculations are performed using SSAS cubes. Eg: YoY, YTD, etc
  • Slicing and Dicing of reports becomes increasingly simple with the SSAS cubes.
  • ETL operations are made nimble with SQL server 2008 R2
  • Some of the newer aggregation functions that are used in advanced analytics are missing. Eg: lastNonEmpty ()
  • SSAS (from the BI Stack) adapters to interact with MPP are not entirely nimble
Read Senthil Vallinayagam'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

Pros and Cons

  • SSIS is by far the easiest and most efficient ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) tool available, after trying many different tools over the years there is no tool that is more flexible and easier to develop solutions with. What takes days/weeks or longer to setup in other tools can be done in at least half the time and perform better.
  • SSRS is one of the best web reporting tools available for companies of any size that doesn't require you to re-architect your entire existing database structure. SSRS can connect to all of the major databases and work with data from multiple of them all in the same report. For web reporting that needs to be up and running fast, but be secure and easy to develop on there is no better tool available today.
  • SSAS is for more in depth analysis of your data and it has the same capabilities as all other Microsoft tools to connect to multiple data sources and present the data to the user in standardized format. Most users will love that they can access so much of the companies data in Excel using the PivotTables that they probably already use today, but now you are controlling the data and know that it is the correct data. With the new Tabular capabilities in SQL Server 2012 and up it allows end users to help build the initial version of these complex data structures which can then be migrated over to IT to add security, automation and quality control to the final solution.
  • The development tools for Microsoft BI in SQL Server 2012 and up are in a bit of flux at the moment. Initially with SQL Server 2012 they were all fully integrated and available with the installer, but now they have moved to it being a separate web download that you have know which version you need to get it working correctly with the version of SQL Server you are working on. Thankfully all of these tools still use Visual Studio as the starting point, but it would be nice to see the tools better integrated going forward and still able to be updated on a regular basis.
  • SSRS has not seen any major updates in the last couple of versions of SQL Server and it could really benefit from some of the new advancements that Microsoft has made with the Power BI line of products that are only available if you use the cloud based Office 365 service. It would be really nice to see some of the features that are available in Power BI added to SSRS to make it a more complete web based reporting tool and more accessible to end users as well as IT.
Read Steve Wake's full review
Lee Cullom profile photo
February 03, 2015

Review: "Microsoft BI -- Say GoodBI to the Competition for the Moment."

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Connecting andJoining Multiple Data Sources Together - Multi-Dimensional SSAS
  • Usability in Report Creation for Business Analysts (Excel via Analysis Services specifically), Executives (Performance Point and Power BI) and Power Users (Report Builder)
  • Collaboration (via SharePoint only, before the release of Power BI Designer)
  • Speed of Analysis - Specifically when leveraging SSAS on databases up to 5 TB
  • Speed of ETL processing - Multiple Parallel Sequential Jobs with SSIS/DTS
  • Parallel Sequential job Processing within the SSIS GUI, not using DTS
  • More Options for non-SharePoint portal Integration
  • Reporting Services performance browser rendering time for reports
Read Lee Cullom's full review
Boris Skylar profile photo
March 10, 2015

"Microsoft BI platform review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Easy development tools with ability to support large data.
  • Features of the predictive analytics are not the best in the industry yet.
Read Boris Skylar's full review
Stephanie Grice profile photo
November 13, 2014

Microsoft BI Review: "Thoughts on MS BI"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • Overall it is a robust BI platform that is not difficult for a technically-oriented person to learn and use.
  • I am a huge fan of Analysis Services and actively try to find ways to get data into cubes for reporting. While learning MDX may be one of the more difficult aspects of MS BI, it is powerful and anyone who has prior experience using T-SQL alone to build complex reports can appreciate its power.
  • I have been disappointed in how all the front-end delivery tools have been centered around Excel and SharePoint. I understand it from a business sense but I much preferred the ProClarity interface as a stand-alone ad-hoc reporting tool. Many end-users are intimidated by merely mentioning pivot tables and therefore do not even try to create their own queries.
Read Stephanie Grice's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (19)
8.2
Customizable dashboards (24)
8.1
Report Formatting Templates (22)
8.4
Drill-down analysis (22)
8.6
Formatting capabilities (24)
8.3
Integration with R or other statistical packages (17)
8.3
Report sharing and collaboration (24)
8.8
Publish to Web (21)
8.7
Publish to PDF (21)
8.5
Report Versioning (18)
8.8
Report Delivery Scheduling (21)
8.8
Delivery to Remote Servers (4)
8.5
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (23)
9.0
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (21)
8.8
Predictive Analytics (22)
8.5
Multi-User Support (named login) (22)
8.8
Role-Based Security Model (21)
8.6
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (22)
9.0
Single Sign-On (SSO) (6)
8.5
Responsive Design for Web Access (15)
8.4
Dedicated iOS Application (12)
8.7
Dedicated Android Application (12)
8.5
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (17)
8.5
REST API (5)
8.6
Javascript API (5)
8.4
iFrames (4)
8.4
Java API (4)
8.3
Themeable User Interface (UI) (4)
8.7
Customizable Platform (Open Source) (4)
8.0

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