PowerBI for your dashboard and reporting needs.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 13, 2018

PowerBI for your dashboard and reporting needs.

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Power BI For Office 365

PowerBI is used within our organisation to display various data and metrics in a visual way, but also allows exporting where required to allow users to interact with the data directly in Excel. It is used by all staff at our organisation. For some it is a simple snapshot view of some data to show where we as a company are right now, for others they use it to drill into sales or product data to give them a quick way to see this data without having to use the clunky reports/interface of our ERP system. The product has allowed us to move from just Excel-based reports to dashboards that show visually what is happening. It also provides the option of simple controls to slice and filter the data to requirements. It is simple to use and create visualisations where previously we had to use a separate system for that.
  • Easy to make visual dashboards from SQL queries. Previously we had to use a third party application that had to run on a web server that was so complex to setup and run. PowerBI removes all that.
  • Ability to control who/which group has access to each dashboard or report. Ties in well with the rest of the Office 365 ecosystem.
  • Has many connectors to allow pulling data from various systems, both onsite (via gateway) or external (via APIs), and join the data to create a report/dashboard.
  • Ability to show data but also export the data, if permitted.
  • Easy to show PowerBI dashboards on SharePoint or on other websites via embedded code.
  • Once a report uses a Pro feature, it needs a Pro license, but a lot of these are just basic features and the users are just viewing and not using any of the advanced features. It would be nice to have a Pro / Viewing license and Pro / Interacting license.
  • Limited amount of refreshes per 24 hours period. 5 refreshes as of Dec 2018.
  • The emailing of reports is there but kind of basic. It will do a screen grab of a report, which doesn't turn out very well.
Not directly comparable, but we used Telerik previously to create visualisations and our own dashboards, which worked and looked nice but required much more setup to get running as it needed a web server to display the dashboards via HTML. Otherwise, we just used SQL SSIS to create Excel reports with the data required and emailed out, ugly and painful.
PowerBI includes various options for connecting to external data sources or services, via APIs, or to on-premises servers via a gateway scenario. The gateway works well with our Microsoft SQL server. It has been simple to create, say, a website analytics dashboard that connects to Google Analytics and our SQL server to show customers finding and purchasing items.
Using Microsoft's Office 365 framework means it uses existing users, groups, and built-in security to help share and control access. This can include MFA too which is great. If working within the web version of PowerBI, you can more easily collaborate than when working on the desktop application, as you can only have 1 person working on the file at a time.
If you want to create a visual dashboard or report that utilises various data sources then PowerBI can do this. It is great in that it takes your on-premises data and stores it on Microsoft servers where it can interact with it faster, reducing load on your own servers, while being efficient in what it transfers out.

We have found it not well suited if you wanted to publish a simple report to many staff as they may all need a Pro license which can get expensive. Even if embedding the report onto a shared platform like SharePoint, it will not display if the users doesn't have a PowerBI Pro license.

Power BI For Office 365 Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
9
Customizable dashboards
9
Report Formatting Templates
Not Rated
Drill-down analysis
8
Formatting capabilities
8
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
7
Publish to Web
8
Publish to PDF
Not Rated
Report Versioning
Not Rated
Report Delivery Scheduling
6
Delivery to Remote Servers
6
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
7
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
8
Predictive Analytics
8
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
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