Microsoft Power BI Reviews

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Reviews (1-25 of 91)

James Anderson | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 10, 2020

Microsoft Power BI - The good is getting better

Score 10 out of 10
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We are using Power BI in our Medical Economics department to help visualize the contracts that we negotiate with the health insurance companies. We use it to understand how those negotiated rates perform over time. We compare the insurance companies' rates to each other in various ways with different metrics.
  • Data organization.
  • Ease of data conversion.
  • The relational database only allows one true join so you have to get creative.
  • I want more positional controls.
Microsoft Power BI has been well suited in 3 main areas for us. First, it does really well at organizing disparate data and combining it all together. The second thing it does well is that it has the capability to modify or transform your data based on logic. Finally, the out of the box visuals cover pretty much everything you need for reporting.
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Richard Crane | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 30, 2019

Power BI is So Easy and So Good

Score 10 out of 10
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We started using Power BI a few years ago to spin up some simple reports from various sources. The great thing about the reporting is the automation. As long as I know where the data is coming from, and the source is something I can use for Power BI, I can create excellent, professional reporting that helps us make daily business decisions. It's also very reliable. Most often if there's a problem with our reports, it's due to the data source, not Power BI or its connectors.
  • Reporting, reporting, reporting. Power BI is great for reporting. I can create a number of different charts, views, and dashboards for a number of different audiences. It's very helpful for executives to see the big picture, but dynamic enough to take the same data sources and create detailed reports on very specific elements.
  • Power BI is easy to use. We went from manual data entry and report creation in Excel to Power BI. There was a learning curve, but I was able to find enough training online to get started.
  • Automating the report creation is wonderful. It takes all the manual work out of my old daily processes. My supervisors and bosses have been impressed too. They think it's magic, which makes me look good.
  • I can't automate a data source if the source requires a login and password to get into the resource. In the past we got around this issue by having vendors email us an exported .csv file, but for some sources that doesn't work. Maybe there's a better solution for this, but I don't know what it is.
  • There are still some more advanced features that I'm trying to figure out, like machine-learning type of reports. It's not quite up to that level of reporting, but I also think if I had more skills or creativity i may be able to figure it out. Just need some more time with it.
Power BI is great for reporting of any type. The dashboards I create for my executive team are crisp and easy to understand. I often get complements on it, and suggestions on what other reports or data could benefit from Power BI. Power BI is still dependent on data sources, so if my data source connections break, then the report is no good. This isn't something that you can create and forget. It needs eyes on it to ensure the data is correct.
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Marco De Angelis | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 30, 2019

Power BI: powerful and easy tool to build complex data model

Score 10 out of 10
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Microsoft Power BI is used by the entire IT department and by other users with personal objectives, like Excel. Power BI is used on top of other software to create business models where the software standard reports do not cover our needs and to integrate diverse data source coming from diverse software.
  • Create data models.
  • Use dax language.
  • Manage production and test environments.
  • Build and share model incrementally.
Microsoft Power BI is easy to learn and use. With a little effort, you can integrate a lot of different data sources and, very importantly, you don't need to have a big infrastructure, thanks to Microsoft Cloud. It is also well suited for personal use, to extend Excel functionalities and analyze big amount of data.
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Nishant Arora | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 13, 2019

A highly efficient data visualization tool from Microsoft

Score 10 out of 10
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I work as an information and communication technology specialist and my role requires me to work on support tickets created through ITSM. I use Power BI for visualizations based on the tickets data which includes information related to per user resolutions, region-wise sorting, most common issues, top performers, etc.
  • Visualizations
  • Getting correct data from Excel formats
  • Comparisons from different sheets
  • ArcGIS map still requires a lot of improvements.
  • Live Data feed
Microsoft Power BI works well with most of the database formats and where the requirement is to visualize the data with multiple aspects. It gives the ability to get the maximum of the data by doing some analytics and answering some questions as well.
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Shreshthi Mehta, PMP®, PHR® | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 09, 2019

Simplified metrics using Power BI

Score 10 out of 10
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Power BI is being used by HR and IT departments. We use it typically to run weekly and monthly reports and for data analytics. It is hugely helpful in saving time as we can build in formats within the tool and schedule the metrics to run weekly/monthly. Weekly/ monthly data cuts are not required.
  • Saves time as regular reports do not need to be created every time.
  • The tool has several grafts and charts that can be created by the click of a button.
  • It is easy to analyze data by dwelling deeper in each data set.
  • Can be interfaced with several systems.
  • The system is useful in data analytics but there is a learning curve.
  • It is difficult to understand the linking of datasets while organizing data in the beginning.
  • You need to work with an IT person to interface Power BI with existing systems.
  • While the tool runs the required metrics, it does not tell a story to connect all the metrics. Human intervention is required in this phase.
Within the HR department we receive report requests from other departments on a regular basis. We have used Power BI to create a process where the reports are automatically delivered to our clients. This saves a lot of time for both of us.
Like I mentioned before, there is a learning curve to understanding this tool. It needs practice. Microsoft organizes free in house training for Power BI. Anyone can sign up and learn. The training materials are very useful and the staff is very knowledgeable and polite. The information can be obtained within the tool updates.
Read Shreshthi Mehta, PMP®, PHR®'s full review
Thomas Young | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 09, 2019

Decent, but far from awesome

Score 8 out of 10
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Power BI is used for 2 main reasons. First, the software is used for data visualization. Second, the software is used for analytics, including some minor advanced analytics. The software helps provide real-time information on time series and other data to ease the process of making decisions. It is also used for communicating data with colleagues.
  • Integration with other Microsoft products.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Calculations are easier than most other BI tools.
  • Functionality is limited.
  • Is clunky to use with R.
  • Graphics are not top of the line.
Power BI is well suited for first-time users of BI software who like the Microsoft look and feel. It’s relatively easy to make work for small projects. The software is not suited for advanced analytics projects where the user cares about speed and accuracy of real-time model performance.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 21, 2020

Power BI: Best BI tool for companies that use Microsoft products.

Score 10 out of 10
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Microsoft Power BI is used across the whole organization. In my department, I developed a Power BI based solution to better visualize the workload allocation for the engineering team in Brazil.
There is also a dashboard for observing the ongoing projects status and stages. Every department uses Power BI with different data sources but all solutions are targeting data visualization and ease of implementation.
Microsoft Power BI is a quick-to-implement software that makes it easier to deal with large datasets and create relationships between different data sources.
  • Importing data sources: Very intuitive way to import data, with pop-up wizards to guide the process.
  • Creating charts and graphs: It is possible to create charts and graphs just by dragging data fields, no programming required.
  • Power BI online is still very limited and also requires that every user has a pro license to see published dashboards.
  • If you need to make advanced changes to the imported data, it is required to learn the M-Query, which is a Power BI programming language.
Best Suited: Visualization of data that is not easily accessible through Excel, data which are not yet treated and not refined. Microsoft Power BI makes it easier to showcase this data. Power BI is best used to display analytical information for untreated data, it has visuals that do statistical analysis and can be used with Artificial Intelligence to obtain more valuable information from different datasources.

Less Appropriate: Small data sources, which do not require a second software to display information in a visual way. Using/buying Power BI for small data sources is overkill and is going to generate unnecessary expenditures.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 15, 2019

Nice dashboards and easy to adapt when you know Excel.

Score 8 out of 10
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I have used Microsoft Power BI to create automated reports, dashboards for our clients finance department. The reports were consisting of financial targets, actual and forecasts. Along with the reports, we used formula generation functionalities and made auto calculations. It is a good reporting dashboard when it comes to display most current values along with auto calculations. Before Power BI, excel reports or ppt presentations would be distributed within the organization. With Power BI, the dashboards and data visualization became more professional looking.
  • It has a free version offered with Microsoft Office 365. So businesses with this type of license can enjoy it free.
  • Good dashboards, auto calculation and database connection capabilities.
  • Easy to learn and use when you have familiarity with Excel. You can reach free training material on many platforms.
  • Well integrated with other Microsoft programs (Excel, Access)
  • Expensive if you want on premise version. Choose the best fitting license.
  • There are some functionalities that require detailed learning. You need to have good experience with Excel, database connections, DAX.
  • Data quality matters. If you have uncleaned data, then your work on Power BI can be frustrating as it is poor on providing suggestions.
  • You may encounter with performance issues when your data is big.
It actually depends on the size of the organization and person who will work with Power BI. If you have a big organization, need many reports and need dashboard visualization. Choose it. But be sure the user has good knowledge on Excel, database connections and DAX. If you are a small business you may want to stay on Excel. In any case you can try.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 18, 2020

Using Power BI for reporting dashboards

Score 9 out of 10
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I personally use Microsoft Power BI to build monthly reporting dashboards and show system usage analytics & metrics to our leadership team.
  • Allowing various datatypes/sources
  • Simple and intuitive UI
Microsoft Power BI works well if you are able to connect to your data sources as an automated data feed. It is more challenging to use if you have to manually import your data sources every time you want refreshed data.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 01, 2019

Great software for data visualization

Score 9 out of 10
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It is currently used for reporting and expected to replaced all the copy-paste jobs and cleaning data. User can create dashboards with data sources and the refresh data whenever needed. Much more efficient and faster to generate same reports every month/quarter. Many trainings available and it's free for standard users. So it's great for colleagues to try it and learn it at no cost upfront.
  • Connect to various data sources (online and offline)
  • Ease to use and start training with no cost
  • Best feature is to create template report and refresh it with new data every month
  • Connection to SAP Business Warehouse or Oracle needs additional add-ons
  • It's like Power point, difficult to put all charts in the same size or put in one line
  • Can only insert 1 online data source at a time. If you have 1 online data source, cannot add additional sources in dashboard
Best case: design dashboards with queries/data sources and then update them whenever you need. Live connection is also possible (depends how fast is the connection/back-end data). It is the best for data exploration and visualization.

Not so appropriate: when you need to do tons of calculations with back-end data or clean it in advance, other program like Alteryx would be more appropriate. Power BI is more for data visualization.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 19, 2019

Microsoft Power BI - Easy Analytics

Score 9 out of 10
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Microsoft Power BI has enabled people at all levels to have easy access to data and analytics across the organization. It increases visibility to live and historic data and helps people make better decisions
  • Drill down to lower-level data
  • Visualize performance trends
  • Ability to join data from different sources
  • Improve geographic map visuals
  • Need SQL query editor
  • Write custom python code
Well suited for exploratory analysis and visualization. Less suited to created advanced predictive modeling and fast high volume data.
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Rick Botha | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 26, 2019

Beautiful Reports and Useful Data, but configuration is not easy!

Score 6 out of 10
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Microsoft Power BI is used primarily by the Project Management department at the company to keep track of all the project metrics within the whole company, covering everything from capital expenditure projects, to customer orders, and product development projects.The different departments that aren't authoring the data and reports have access to the reports to use within their planning and departmental reports. The problem that Microsoft Power BI addresses is that everyone has clear and easy access to well displayed dashboards that display key metrics on a per project basis.
  • Engaging dashboard displays with drag and drop modules to convey data in a meaningful ways.
  • Familiar Microsoft "Ribbon" type interface that creates an integral feel with the rest of the Microsoft suite of products.
  • Built-in mobile optimization window and associated Mobile applications that allow viewing from any location connected to the server.
  • Initial creation of reports, even from processed data sets is not simple.
  • The on-premises reporting (crucial for a defense industry company) is extremely expensive, as it is only included in the Power BI Premium package.
  • User training is usually required to ensure that full functionality of the dashboards and their built in features are utilized.
Microsoft Power BI is well suited to the following scenarios:
  • Where a lot of data is available and, if processed, and displayed well, it will benefit efficiency and productivity across the organisation.
  • Where the results of processed data are used to convince clients of completed work.
Microsoft Power BI is not well suited to the following scenarios:
  • Where small organisations need to display their data for internal use, using a self-administered solution.
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Steffany Winkelmann | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 25, 2019

Power BI - Excel on Steroids and So Much More

Score 9 out of 10
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Previously, we had no real business intelligence. We had all sorts of data in our database, but we had no way to make sense of it aside of downloading and manipulating it in Excel, but this proved difficult to process many hundreds of thousands of rows of data. Microsoft Power BI has helped us make this process so much easier by connecting to our database directly and run queries directly in the system and make beautiful charts based on that data, to make sense of what's going on.
  • Beautiful graphical models of your data
  • Fast processing whether you're working with local data or pulling it from your database
  • Very easy to share reports within your organization
  • Surprisingly fairly easy to learn
  • It is such a powerful system that it can come across as intimidating for some without some Excel knowledge
  • I'm not a database analyst or administrator, so calling the data in can be difficult (not necessary the fault of the software, but something that could be difficult for teams without someone with database knowledge)
  • It can come across as confusing, when there is both a local Power BI and online Power BI components. They don't necessarily do the same functions. You'll definitely want to know how to use the online version as this is how you'll publish and share the results of your findings, but the local one has a lot of capabilities that don't appear to be directly available in the online version (and if so, it's not immediately apparent).
Well suited for organizations that have a lot of client data. It doesn't necessarily mean you have a lot of clients, but rather that you've collected a large set of data-points that you can analyze, cross-compare, and report on and need higher functions than Excel. It would also be better-suited for organizations that have someone (preferably in-house) who can import & process that data into meaningful reports for other teams to use and build off of.

Less appropriate for smaller organizations that don't have someone in-house or don't have the strong ability to learn how to maximize on the abilities of this tool set. It requires knowledge of interacting with databases and someone who understands how to analyze and interpret business intelligence data. Also not very appropriate for organizations that don't collect much data on their clients, even if they have many clients.
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Gabriel Oliveira | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 06, 2019

Microsoft Power BI review: A way to optimize and improve visualization

Score 9 out of 10
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Power BI is being used to create dashboards and company data reports. Currently, it is used in the financial and IT areas. We are working on planning to have a vision of what is to come, planning everything about the company through the visual representation of these sensitive data. And with it, the tool can generate great visualizations that we can take to meetings.
  • Similar to office 365 applications such as Excel and Access, that is, it facilitates the usability of those who already have advanced knowledge of these tools.
  • Optimal ways of presenting data.
  • Data collect.
  • Control panel.
  • Sometimes the table relationship is not no simple to set up.
  • Certain elements are very limited, in the visual part mainly.
  • The tool is unnecessary in relation to the panel interface compared to Tableau.
The recommendation for a company would be that with this free/low-cost tool for desktop it can help a lot in making decisions and thereby get a result that you can visualize if your company is on the right path. The user will also get some more creativity about the creation of the panels.
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Guillermo Villamizar | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 15, 2019

Power BI: Great solution for reporting and dashboards!

Score 8 out of 10
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Power BI is actually being used by our entire organization. Each type of user has access to different views or reports, and they don't have to manually make the reports on another tool such as Excel, although later they can export it to Excel so they can manipulate the information or send them to another person.
  • Reports and dashboards complexity were greatly reduced.
  • Easy drill-down on selected information.
  • Different types of views for the same information.
  • The licensing cost might be a little high for some companies.
  • It consumes a lot of resources.
  • It's not very user intuitive on first use.
The fact that we don't have to use Excel to create awesome visual charts makes this a complete time-saver. Instead of spending hours and hours updating spreadsheets, Power BI integrates with other programs we use in the organization to pull the raw data automatically, and it looks awesome as well.
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Chris Widner | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 13, 2019

Look like a genius with your reports with PowerBI

Score 9 out of 10
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As we are trying to understand the overall health of the organization there are various metrics around revenues, costs, etc that we want to be able to slice and dice. We have some contracts that are such severe outliers (both positive and negative) that they can greatly skew our numbers. We use PowerBI to better understand our metrics and quickly manipulate the inputs into our reports.
  • Easy to create beautiful charts that make the data very easy to understand.
  • Ability to quickly add/remove certain contracts from the dataset and see the differences with and without these contracts.
  • Mobile view is really nice too!
  • Can be difficult to import certain data sets like MySQL that is on-prem.
  • Takes a bit of getting used to using. Once you're using to it you look like a genius with how fast you can create reports.
  • Pricing can become a bit much at scale.
PowerBI is great for scenarios where you have raw data and quickly want to get insight into the trends within that data. If you're a small company or working on a small team that will consume this data you can move quite quickly and have everyone on the same page.

I wouldn't recommend using this to share data across a larger organization unless price isn't an issue. It can become expensive when you're talking 50+ users.
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Peter Baker | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 26, 2019

Wonderful Data Visualisation Platform. Perfect for Smaller Organisations At Lower Price Point.

Score 9 out of 10
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We built out numerous dashboards in order to support the analysis post-data gathering for all our core discovery methodologies.

This allowed us to quickly spin up are variable data sets mid- and or post-project in order to start validating results and identify areas required for cleaning etc. prior to analysis and presentation back to our clients with the results.

The free visual market place really helped bolster the initially limiting range of visualizations it comes with out of the box.
  • Data Links, Visual Aid, and Wizard make the process very simple. We found we needed a two-way link 99% of the time but the default was a one-way link that needs changing each time you import etc.
  • Terminology and usability are similar to Excel and Access making it easy to pick up and start creating for most advanced users of those applications.
  • Very powerful out of the box, and even when using the free service it is incredibly capable if working on smaller data sets.
  • Limited visualizations out of the box, market place does help improve this.
  • Some visuals, such as maps, are a bit limiting by default
  • Method of creation is very different from Tableau or Spotfire increasing learning time when switching platforms.
  • Many statistical elements cannot be visualized or calculated such as Confidence Levels, Intervals etc. This must be added.
This is probably my favorite BI platform I have used to date. It feels a bit younger though, missing some features other platforms have. However, it makes up for this with its low price point for small businesses and great feature set that allows easy elimination of bugs and errors in your dashboards through to the ability to layer visuals on top of each other to get around things like limited numbers of Axis in certain visuals.

There are a few things you have to tweak constantly, tucked away in dropdown menus, that could be much more intuitive actions by clicking on components in visuals, like changing a title, axis name, etc. But the foundations are solid.
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Adriano Rosa | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 05, 2019

A great and interactive business analytics tool

Score 8 out of 10
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Currently, Microsoft Power BI is being used by some departments on our organization. Basically, the financial department, and the IT department. Microsoft Power BI is very useful to build numerous dashboards in order to support post-data gathering for all core processes. Furthermore, Microsoft Power BI can build many possible charts. We can use them to show information or even full interactive presentations, that in Microsoft Excel we could not do. Microsoft Power BI has integration with the other Microsoft business tools, and this is really helpful.
  • The cost of it, really affordable.
  • Power BI has a great integration with other tools like Office 365, Azure, etc.
  • Navigation is very similar to Microsoft Excel, so if you are already acquainted with Excel, you'll have no problems with BI.
  • Great variety of chart types, I think it is around sixteen different ones.
  • If you are not a Microsoft Excel power user, it can be a little challenging to use.
  • Slow performance if you have a huge amount of data to analyze.
  • Has a very bulky user interface.
Just like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power BI has many types of graphs and charts, but when it comes to creating a tableau of information, the data can be transformed into maps and gauges. There is even a KPI visualization and one called R visualization. Of course, the scenario in which the user has advanced experience in Microsoft Excel is the best scenario—Power BI makes data analysis extremely easy for them. And more, you can see the raw data behind the visualization opening Excel.
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Che Odom | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 17, 2019

Power BI is a great reporting tool, particularly for leadership teams that don't want to dive deep, but want accurate and timely information presented to them to make choices

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We use Microsoft Power BI to gather data and present it from our project management software Procore. It is used by two people in our organization to present data to our upper management. It helps to let our leadership have a real up to date high level overview of where each of our projects stand in terms of budget, schedule and many other metrics.
  • Data retrieval/mining
  • Data presentation/visuals
  • customization
  • Ease of use - this tool could be much more intuitive in its design
We love the Power BI integration, so we have seen it built out for specific integrations with specific other software, like Procore, successfully, with little to no effort required by the end user. We feel that if you have data that you would like to dig through and present to a large group in a meaningful way, Power BI is for you.
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Scott Herring | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 13, 2019

Power BI - Good, and Getting Better Constantly

Score 6 out of 10
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We have just begun working with Power BI to do some data analysis of our student enrollment and certain operational benchmarks related to program participation and school safety.
  • Ease of constructing graphs.
  • Always updated visuals being offered.
  • Variety of data sources to be able to pull data.
  • Does not allow for parameters to be passed to the system as part of a user interaction.
  • Cannot share data to our shareholders that are outside of our domain.
  • Is not yet a complete solution. Still using other reporting tools in addition.
Quick visual representation of datasets is the strong point here when working with reasonable sized files.
Large dataset files are problematic in quickly giving that representation due to application limitations.
Internal operations being guided by the dashboards is a well suited scenario, but as is the case when working in a collaborative environment, external users will lack your functionality that you have internally.
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Jewemars Christian Riano | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 11, 2019

The Power Of Business Intelligence

Score 10 out of 10
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Power Business Intelligence is being used as a tool for monitoring critical systems, capacity, and system behaviors. It is an essential tool for daily monitoring and operations, it is being widely used in our company as a tool to keep track of data and make sensible data. It also gives us the opportunity to create great visualizations and pleasing presentations in meetings or in data tracking.
  • Visualization
  • Data gathering
  • Dashboard
  • Functionality
  • Integration
  • Visualization Tools
I would recommend this based on the free use of Power BI desktop for personal usage, practice in data analytics and understanding of data structure. It can help a business in operating its daily business or business critical decision also allows users to have a creative aspect in terms of design and structuring of dashboards.
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Maria Carver | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 13, 2019

Data Visualization and Data Analyzes

Score 8 out of 10
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Great platform for data visualization and data analyzes. The organization is migrating to Power BI because of its integration with Microsoft applications. R is very well integrated with Power BI which makes statistical modelling easier to use. Report generation and sharing has become very simple. Very useful to create dashboards for the top management to make data driven business decisions.
  • Intuitive and User-Friendly
  • R Statistical Modelling modules integrated
  • Very well integrated with Microsoft applications.
  • Not very easy to make custom graphs and charts
  • Requires some time to get used to the interface
  • Documentation can be more detailed
For generating value out of data, the dashboards are very intuitive and showcases a great volume of data. Very easy to make decisions out of it. Also, report generation and sharing has become very easy which makes it easier for the top management. Production reports are generated daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 09, 2019

A great tool for the analyst's toolbox and for sharing reporting within a team or department.

Score 6 out of 10
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We have three BI solutions within our business, Power BI, Qlik View and Qlik Sense. Primary management reporting, dashboards and report distribution are done with Sense, basic marketing views are done through View and most power analytics and ad-hoc analytical work is done via Power BI. We find Power BI is best when data resides in several places and mostly spreadsheets. Using Power BI to connect directly into source systems (even Microsoft branded products Azure SQL Server) cause the app to time out. So company-wide we use sense, and functional analysts across all departments have Power BI to dig deeper than Sense can go.
  • Data blending from several different files is a big hit with our Power BI users. We have so many excel and CSV files and many of them are not clean, so making use of the data cleaning and blending saves us from countless pivots and lookups to just get data worthy of analyzing.
  • The visualizations are top notch, and available without additional cost. Everything is in vibrant colors and crisp, clear lines that whatever your produce is clearly pleasing to the eye. From mapping down to pie charts, the visuals are well done.
  • The Beta preview is very helpful, not all software allows you to preview or use things in beta, but Power BI has a wonderful set of tools and visualizations you can add into your work with very little effort or complexity.
  • Power BI lacks in horsepower compared to other tools with more robust ETL components built in. Particularly if you connect to any type of source system database like SQL, you have to either have a SQL View built for you that limits the volume of data your bring in, or have solid knowledge of the SQL table structures to build yourself custom (and correct!) connections to the tables.
  • Security is not as robust as other BI tools, like Qlik Sense. We often need to restrict subsets of data by customer and even functional position of an individual within a customer. Power BI’s security seems to be built for using just within a company, so if you leverage your work outside the firewall there can be issues when figuring out security streams.
  • I do not like the pricing. It’s really a dirty trick, Microsoft goes around and says the product is free. Well, the stand-alone is free, yes, but you have to pay for the “enterprise” version so you can share files. They say it only costs $10 a month/user, which again is a white lie. You need much more IT infrastructure and people to build SQL views and Tabular Models so you can use the tool, and Microsoft does not tell you that. So we find it is a good stand-alone tool to analytics, but a fairly heavy cost structure if you roll it out enterprise-wide as compared to Qlik or Tableau (which are more expensive per license, but require less back-office support).
Power BI is great for power Excel users and what I call “data archeologists” or people who dig up old data and clean it up for modern usage. It strings many files together and lets you customize the connections and format of the data. It does not work well with large data set or pull data from large databases, you will find it timing out unless you limit the data set first with a SQL View or Tabular Model before going after it. Also, large data sets take forever to refresh and update, so if you have a lot if iterations, you will spend a lot of time going out for coffee while the data reloads. Other BI tools allow you to localize the data with the first load (Qlik QVD’s) so you can refresh quicker. Comparatively, a refresh of SQL data on Power BI took 45 minutes, the exact same data set would refresh in 30 seconds using Qlik Sense.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 18, 2019

Microsoft Power BI: good free tool for analysis

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Power BI is used by developers for data analysis by creating graphs and reports. This tool is used lightly for quick and easy data visualization when Excel isn't good enough.
  • Cost effective graphing and reports
  • Can create personal dashboards
  • Can export to Excel
  • Slicer tools for data filtering
  • Better built-in functions/formulas. Some are too limited.
  • UI is a little bulky and can be slow to load.
Doing data analysis for Database's data to Excel spreadsheets is appropriate when using Power BI. Excellent for things like comparing data across years/months/days, building aggregates, and/or finding trends in data. This is not for integrating any of this functionality into an application, this software runs on your machine only.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 15, 2019

King of Self Service Business Intelligence

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have about 25 years of data. Microsoft Power BI is being used across the organization by various departments. Our accounts payables team uses it to monitor vendor activity, identify duplicate invoices, and ensure vendor compliance. Our internal audit team runs several reports to identify anomalies.
  • Microsoft Power BI is the best value for money, self-service business intelligence tool available in the market. It is intuitive to use and comes with a library of data connectors.
  • It has fantastic data visualization capabilities and simplified user interface.
  • We store most of our data on the Azure data lake and Power BI works seamlessly with it.
  • Most of our users prefer the desktop version compared to the web tool. Microsoft should put efforts into making the web tool robust and easy to use.
  • The refresh cycles are less if you opt for the free version. We bought an enterprise edition to get over this.
  • Free versions have less storage and are slower.
Our data is stored in an Azure data lake. Hence, Microsoft Power BI is the best fit for us. It works seamlessly. We use other enterprise software from Microsoft's stable. Power BI is well integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem. Our users are well versed with Microsoft technologies, hence feel comfortable using Power BI. There was minimal training required. Further, there is a pool of qualified Power BI experts available at reasonable prices in the market.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (77)
Customizable dashboards (91)
Report Formatting Templates (83)
Drill-down analysis (91)
Formatting capabilities (90)
Integration with R or other statistical packages (65)
Report sharing and collaboration (88)
Publish to Web (84)
Publish to PDF (75)
Report Versioning (63)
Report Delivery Scheduling (62)
Delivery to Remote Servers (43)
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (84)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (77)
Predictive Analytics (64)
Multi-User Support (named login) (75)
Role-Based Security Model (62)
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (68)
Single Sign-On (SSO) (48)
Responsive Design for Web Access (73)
Dedicated iOS Application (55)
Dedicated Android Application (59)
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (73)
Javascript API (32)
iFrames (33)
Java API (27)
Themeable User Interface (UI) (36)
Customizable Platform (Open Source) (26)

About Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics service from Microsoft. It allows users to convert data into visuals and graphics, visually explore and analyze data, collaborate on interactive dashboards and reports, and scale across their organization with built-in governance and security.

Key features

  • Free initial setup with no required training
  • Connectivity with Excel spreadsheets, cloud services, streaming data, on-premise databases, and more
  • Dashboards that update in real-time
  • Natural language processing for data visualization tools
  • Shareable reports and datasets
  • Collaborative framework
  • Remote accessibility
  • Integrates with most applications and services using REST API
  • Publish data directly from service with publish-to-web feature

Microsoft Power BI Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No