MSBI - Bang for the Buck
April 26, 2021

MSBI - Bang for the Buck

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

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft BI (MSBI)

The Microsoft BI stack is being used as the enterprise BI software by our organization. The full stack of BI tools (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS) are being leveraged to provide reporting and analytics to the business. It allows us to provide standard reporting, delivered ad-hoc or via e-mail, exception based notifications, and analytics. Additionally we leverage SSIS for data warehouse ETL as well as EDI.
  • Single vendor provides a true end-to-end solution from data storage to end-user consumables.
  • Visual Studio provides a single IDE for database, ETL, reporting, and analytics development.
  • Rich feature set across the tools with 15-20 years of maturity.
  • Reunification of installers to simplify the process for both server installs and developer (SSRS now split out, BI tools not all within one package).
  • Ongoing Visual Studio instability.
  • Better server to server deployment options for SSRS.
  • As it came "in the box" with necessary SQL Server RDBMS purchases, the ROI for the BI components are high as there was no incremental cost.
  • Has provided standard reporting for most of the organization available via highly formatted PDF or Excel versions.
  • Has provided ad-hoc analytics using SSAS in conjunction with Excel.
Each of the solutions has their pros and cons, but Microsoft's BI offerings provide the best "bang for the buck." Few solutions available offer the breadth of feature functionality in a single package, with BI and database generally being sold as separate offerings. However, even if using only the BI tools (say as an existing Oracle customer), the value proposition still holds up. As subscription licensing has evolved, Microsoft has remained at least competitive, and generally a far better cost option than competitors. Ignoring price, the overall feature set is on par with virtually any other BI suite on the market. Of course, there are some aspects of other tools that I with MS would incorporate (such as a true semantic layer such as Cognos Framework Manager), but when taken as a whole across feature set, price, support, community, etc. it is the best overall value.

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

The Microsoft BI tools have great usability for both developers and end users alike. For developers familiar with Visual Studio, there is little learning curve. For those not, the single Visual Studio IDE means not having to learn separate tools for each component. For end-users, the web interface for SSRS is simple to navigate with intuitive controls. For ad-hoc analysis, Excel can connect directly to SSAS and provide a pivot table like experience which is familiar to many users.
For database development, there is beginning to be some confusion, as there are now three tool choices (VS, SSMS, Azure Data Studio) for developers. I would like to see Azure Data Studio become the superset of SSMS and eventually supplant it.
Microsoft support in my experience has always been very good. This is from a standpoint of submitting tickets as well as having accessibility to resources at Microsoft which have included free architectural review sessions, road mapping, and training provided at Microsoft's facilities. In addition, the user base is huge and there are no shortage of sites to ask and find answers to technical questions. The major knock is that historically, MS has been slow to respond to feature requests. That has begun to change, but tools such as the MSBI suite still lag behind the rapid development seen with tools such as Power BI.
The Microsoft BI suite of tools, largely composed of tools within the SQL Server suite, provide a full range of end-to-end feature/functionality for businesses of any size. Some flavor of the tool features is available whether using standard or enterprise editions, making the tools accessible for even smaller businesses. Scalability has become excellent over the years, particularly for SSIS and SSRS.

Microsoft BI (MSBI) Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
8
Customizable dashboards
6
Report Formatting Templates
7
Drill-down analysis
9
Formatting capabilities
8
Integration with R or other statistical packages
8
Report sharing and collaboration
9
Publish to Web
9
Publish to PDF
9
Report Versioning
8
Report Delivery Scheduling
9
Delivery to Remote Servers
9
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
8
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
8
Predictive Analytics
7
Multi-User Support (named login)
9
Role-Based Security Model
9
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
9
Single Sign-On (SSO)
9
Responsive Design for Web Access
8
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
7
REST API
7
Themeable User Interface (UI)
7
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
5