Excellent BI Stack for an all-in-one solution architecture, however may need specialized platforms for non-traditional datasets
Updated April 22, 2021

Excellent BI Stack for an all-in-one solution architecture, however may need specialized platforms for non-traditional datasets

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft BI (MSBI)

We implement Microsoft BI solutions to clients across North America. Clients are constantly coming to us having issues gathering their data from disparate sources in order to make meaningful decisions with their information. Depending on the client and their licensing agreements, we will then evaluate options, and the Microsoft BI stack tends to be a leader of the pack to solve many client data issues.
  • Great traditional ETL data gathering tools.
  • Large technical user community.
  • Excellent data visualization tools.
  • The race to perfect gathering of Non-Traditional datasets is on-going; with Microsoft arguably not the leader of the pack in this category.
  • Licensing options for PowerBI visualizations may be a factor. I.e. if you need to implement B2C PowerBI visualizations, the cost is considerably high especially for startups.
  • Some clients are still resistant putting their data on the cloud, which restricts lots of functionality to Power BI.
  • We have been able to quickly build data models using the MSBI stack to deliver value to our clients.
  • One opportunity for MSBI is to handle API's better. The MSBI ETL stack works well with relational databases, but with the emergence of data source offerings in the cloud, the capability of non-relational db data sources should be expanded.
A lot of our existing client base has licensing agreements in place with Microsoft, couple that with decision-makers wanting to achieve the outcome with the least amount of additional licensing costs added, and it becomes an obvious path, however, it is very crucial to first truly understand what the client is trying to achieve in the short and long term of their data journey.
The Microsoft BI Stack offers a fairly wide range of data sources. It is relatively straight forward for developers to develop ETL packages to build and design data models using the integration tool. You can also do some light data modeling within PowerBI itself, which allows for quick and flexible data modeling to do quick visualizations for end users.
Power BI is a tool that is meant for in-enterprise sharing. Power BI falls short when trying to share with users outside of your domain. However if all you are doing is within the domain, this is a great tool and it is relatively cost-effective compared to other visualization tools out there.

Do you think Microsoft BI (MSBI) delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Microsoft BI (MSBI)'s feature set?

Yes

Did Microsoft BI (MSBI) live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Microsoft BI (MSBI) go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Microsoft BI (MSBI) again?

Yes

Overall simple to use from a development standpoint. The Large MSBI community base helps with technical resource queries. MSBI on-prem stack should look forward on how to tackle "modern" ETL capabilities, i.e. pulling data from the cloud, API calls, etc. Overall the ecosystem is pretty good for BI implementations at most organizations.
MSBI natively has a site that allows you to vote on user enhancements and bug fixes. This allows the largest nagging issues to float to the top and the development team can prioritize accordingly. As mentioned earlier, the large community base of MSBI developers assist technical resources in handling technical questions.
If the client you are dealing with already has existing Microsoft licensing agreements, selecting the Microsoft Stack may be a no-brainer. However, truly understanding the client's needs is the most important place to start versus selecting the technology stack. B2C clients that need a visualization tool may need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a data visualization tool, as costs for licensing are high at the time of writing.

Microsoft BI (MSBI) Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
6
Customizable dashboards
8
Report Formatting Templates
8
Drill-down analysis
7
Formatting capabilities
8
Integration with R or other statistical packages
8
Report sharing and collaboration
8
Publish to Web
8
Publish to PDF
5
Report Versioning
5
Report Delivery Scheduling
6
Delivery to Remote Servers
8
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
8
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
8
Predictive Analytics
6
Multi-User Support (named login)
8
Role-Based Security Model
7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
7
Single Sign-On (SSO)
7
Responsive Design for Web Access
8
Dedicated iOS Application
8
Dedicated Android Application
8
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
8
REST API
Not Rated
Javascript API
Not Rated
iFrames
Not Rated
Java API
Not Rated
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Not Rated
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Not Rated