TrustRadius
Microsoft BI platform reviewEasy development tools with ability to support large data.,Features of the predictive analytics are not the best in the industry yet.,9,,10,Rapid report development, simple web-based reporting tools, easy support, common development techniques.,60,5,SQL Server Data Warehouse and Microsoft BI platform allow us to collect data from transactional sources, transform to reportable format, and aggregate to a level that can be used to measure business operational metrics.,,Implemented in-house,9,Self-taught,Yes, it was a simple deployment due to ease of the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) UI.,9,No,8,9,9,7,Microsoft SharePoint,Defined price versus value, and finalized support terms.Thoughts on MS BIOverall 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.,9,10,8,7,We use Microsoft BI products to publish accounting reports and automatically generate general ledger journal entries to distribute departmental expenses.,Implemented in-house,7,In-person training Self-taught,5,Yes, the product was fairly easy to learn without training. There are some professionals that could use this approach as well depending on their learning styles. With all the information available, I generally recommend this approach.,4Best TCO of any comprehensive database and analytics platformThe Microsoft Business Intelligence stack has come a very long way since its inception. For value and TCO there's really no comparison. Where other vendors charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for database systems, ETL tools, MDM solutions, reporting portals, etc. Microsoft ties all this functionality and more together for the price of just one of those components. Developers that know the toolset well are readily available worldwide and at a lower cost than those with expertise in competing platforms. In partnership with both Dell and HP, Microsoft has recommended reference architectures running on commodity hardware to create highly performant, highly available warehousing and OLTP systems. The SharePoint layer adds a rich user interface and collaboration platform for analytics, data discovery, reporting (both ad-hoc and scheduled) and data driven subscriptions.,The Microsoft platform - today - comes up short in cross-platform delivery. While efforts are being made to port the Power BI tools to HTML5, so far these tools are only available with this rendering engine in the online (O365) version of the platform. Silverlight is a dying technology, and it can be frustrating to explain the design and interop limitations of the end user facing dashboard tools. For true styled enterprise dashboarding where the look and feel of the artifacts is important (external audiences), it's often necessary to turn to a Microsoft partner tool such as Dundas to augment the stack. These problems will resolve themselves over time, but right now Microsoft comes up short in this area. The MDM solution in the Microsoft toolset, Master Data Services, is effectively a blank slate. This is both a strength and a weakness, in that you can model any data domain imaginable without being pushed in a particular direction but having some basic customer or other key domains available either via Codeplex or otherwise would be helpful. Additionally, record lineage isn't handled well OOTB in MDS and this key function shouldn't require a custom implementation.,10,,10,Traditional "canned" reporting. Online transaction processing systems. Data warehousing. High availability. Self-service analytics. Collaborative decision making.,,Implemented in-house,9,Online training In-person training Self-taught,8,8,I'm always an advocate of self-learning. Training is an opportunity to catch things you missed and get answers to questions that have arisen through your use, not a primary vehicle for mastering a tool.,No,7Tools and IntegrationETL and Cube reporting through Excel are the two main functions where Microsoft BI excels.,Without Sharepoint, web reporting is not very robust. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides limited functionality but, without Sharepoint integration, Microsoft BI doesn't match up well against other products.,8,,9,Financial month-end reporting. HR Resource and Manager reporting Ticket resolution and project management tracking. Data is pulled from 4 different systems and loaded into SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) for reporting. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) - Used for data integration across multiple systems.,No,Vendor implemented Implemented in-house,8,In-person training,8,Yes,9Build a highly automated and flexible BI solution for your organization!Analysis Services by far outperforms in-memory ROLAP type systems - this allows for very fast ad-hoc drill-down and discovery of huge data sets. Don't believe otherwise - I can assure you it is true. Of course, you have to know what you are doing on the data modeling side in order to get there. Analysis Services's ability to integrate with Reporting Services and Microsoft Excel is extremely attractive to business users, especially analysts who are very familiar with the powerful analysis tools already in Excel. The performance of reports built on Analysis Services is really a stand-out feature as well. Integration Services is hands-down the most flexible and powerful ETL tool you have ever used. Just try it - there is no one else even close. You will be able to pull data from anywhere, push data to anywhere, and build just about any workflow you can think of around those processes. It is also an all-around great automation tool for your BI environment. Reporting Services has both a feature-rich developer-oriented authoring environment (Visual Studio / BI Development Studio) as well as a simplified end-user authoring tool (Report Builder). It has an enormous collection of visualization components built in, as well as an even bigger set of 3rd party controls to allow you to create just about any report you can imagine. The ability to extend Reporting Services with .Net code (if you have the developers) expands your options even further.,The report authoring solutions in Reporting Services could be better, especially on the Report Builder (end-user oriented) side.,Greatly reduced reporting project development time (and associated costs). Significantly larger pool of experts to assist on large / ad-hoc projects. Faster availability of critical business data to our users (due to decreased development time as well as performance of overall system - we are able to keep the data very fresh). Significantly increased ETL / data integration capabilities means that more legacy and external system data is making it into the data warehouse.,10,10,Forcasting Asset Management Pricing Sales Reporting Customer Satisfaction Reporting Detailed Account-level Cost and Revenue Reporting,,,Implemented in-house,10,Online training Self-taught,9,I have been working with this BI stack since before the 2000 version (even though it didn't really get pulled together until the 2000 version). Because of this, I have been steadily picking up more exposure to and experience with the parts of the stack as they were introduced and evolved; and, I was in a position to be able to build solutions with the stack all along the way. Since that may not be your background with this tool, I would highly recommend getting some training before diving into a big project built with Microsoft BI. You will want training in: (1) a data modeling methodology for multi-dimensional data (i.e. Kimball method) so you can use Analysis Services, (2) Analysis Services itself, and (3) Integration Services. SQL Server and Reporting Services are a little easier for the average developer to pick up (in my experience). But if you can, get the whole end-to-end integrated training from Pragmatic Works and you'll be building complete solutions much more quickly than you expected.,No,10
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Microsoft BI
594 Ratings
Score 7.8 out of 101
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Microsoft BI Reviews

Microsoft BI
594 Ratings
Score 7.8 out of 101
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Boris Skylar profile photo
March 10, 2015

"Microsoft BI platform review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Support

8
Microsoft support in general is good, did not have any issues.
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

Support

4
My past experience with Microsoft technical support was not really favorable. While they were friendly and somewhat responsive, they were not helpful with the types of issues we faced.
Read Stephanie Grice's full review
Jacob Saunders profile photo
November 04, 2014

Microsoft BI Review: "Best TCO of any comprehensive database and analytics platform"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Support

7
While support from Microsoft isn't necessarily always best of breed, you're also not paying the price for premium support that you would on other platforms. The strength of the stack is in the ecosystem that surrounds it. In contrast to other products, there are hundreds, even thousands of bloggers that post daily as well as vibrant user communities that surround the tool. I've had much better luck finding help with SQL Server related issues than I have with any other product, but that help doesn't always come directly from Microsoft.
Read Jacob Saunders's full review
Shawn Lee profile photo
November 04, 2014

Microsoft BI Review: "Tools and Integration"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Support

9
Response time is very prompt. Most of the time the support person is very knowledgeable.
Read Shawn Lee's full review
Sean Brady profile photo
September 06, 2013

Microsoft BI Review: "Build a highly automated and flexible BI solution for your organization!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
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Support

10
I am basing this rating not on Microsoft's paid premium support, but rather on the resources available (both from Microsoft and 3rd parties) to BI consumers. There is such a huge community working with and building solutions with the Microsoft BI stack (SQL Server) that I have always been able to find a solution (or at least a workaround) to any problems that have come up.
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June 02, 2014

"Review by a Microsoft BI consultant"

Score 9 out of 10
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Support

7
Quick response. Lots of blogs and support forums are there to get the answer myself
Read this authenticated review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (19)
8.1
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