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Jose Dante Cruz Castillo
Director Comercial at Grupo Consultores
Real User
Top 20
A robust, scalable, and easy-to-deploy solution that helps in constant collaboration and has a lot of online resources
Pros and Cons
  • "Constant collaboration is the most valuable. I can build a dashboard, and several co-workers can access this dashboard. We can share information that is important for decision-making. It is a very easy-to-deploy solution. It is compatible with a lot of data sources. It is also very stable and scalable. There is also a very good forum and a lot of help and online training."
  • "I would like them to provide a license that just allows us to see dashboards. What I don't like about this solution is that in order to just watch a dashboard, you need a license. Currently, you need to purchase a full license of Power BI Pro just to see something, which is not attractive. If you have a license, you can see a shared dashboard, but you can also build a dashboard or you can collaborate with other people. However, if you only want to see a dashboard, there is no license for that. I only want to see the dashboard, and I don't want to do anything more than watching the information on the dashboard. There is no license that allows you to see a shared dashboard. This is one of the areas of opportunity because I would like a lot of people to be able to see a shared dashboard, not to interact with it or to collaborate online with it. I would like to see more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources. Given the fact that everything is related to Microsoft Azure and all services available on Microsoft Azure, I see that they're building more connections to Microsoft Azure services instead of other non-Microsoft services. I understand the strategy, but it would be good to have more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources."

What is our primary use case?

I use Microsoft Power BI for analytics. It is an online service for business intelligence. I use it to analyze every piece of data that I have. My key performance indicators are on Power BI. My sales indicators, such as number of clients, number of sales and region, type of client, type of solution, due to date comparison, and due to year comparison, are really based on the sales of the company. I am using Power BI Pro.

What is most valuable?

Constant collaboration is the most valuable. I can build a dashboard, and several co-workers can access this dashboard. We can share information that is important for decision-making.

It is a very easy-to-deploy solution. It is compatible with a lot of data sources. It is also very stable and scalable. There is also a very good forum and a lot of help and online training.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to provide a license that just allows us to see dashboards. What I don't like about this solution is that in order to just watch a dashboard, you need a license. Currently, you need to purchase a full license of Power BI Pro just to see something, which is not attractive. If you have a license, you can see a shared dashboard, but you can also build a dashboard or you can collaborate with other people. However, if you only want to see a dashboard, there is no license for that. I only want to see the dashboard, and I don't want to do anything more than watching the information on the dashboard. There is no license that allows you to see a shared dashboard. This is one of the areas of opportunity because I would like a lot of people to be able to see a shared dashboard, not to interact with it or to collaborate online with it. 

I would like to see more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources. Given the fact that everything is related to Microsoft Azure and all services available on Microsoft Azure, I see that they're building more connections to Microsoft Azure services instead of other non-Microsoft services. I understand the strategy, but it would be good to have more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very robust and stable solution. We are a company that works with enterprise solutions from SAP and Microsoft. We have worked with companies that have 5,000 users and without a problem. So, it is very robust and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being a cloud solution, it is very scalable. You can easily scale it based on the usage. If you're using it, you pay for it, and if you're not using it, you stop paying for it.

In our company, Power BI being used by maybe 15 people out of 70. It is a growing solution. Three years ago, we had only five people who were working with Power BI. Now, we are building more and more dashboards for our service desk area, and its usage is growing.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't contacted them. We report everything to our own Service Desk, and they are the ones who scale the problem to the manufacturer. This means that every time that we have important issues, they have to be solved in a very decent period of time by the manufacturer. There is a very good response time, and every time we had problems, they were solved. We didn't have anything pending.

How was the initial setup?

Given the fact that it is on the cloud, it is really easy to deploy. It is only about connecting the engine to your data source and start building the dashboards. You can just connect your data. It doesn't matter if it is on-premises or as a service. You can just connect it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is based on the usage. If you're using it, you pay for it, and if you're not using it, you stop paying for it.

What other advice do I have?

If your data source is a Microsoft-based data source, this is the best choice. If you have a data source that is not Microsoft-based and is on a non-Microsoft platform, such as MongoDB or Unix, you should see some solutions like MicroStrategy or Qlik. If you have a pure 100% Microsoft-based data source, Microsoft Power BI is the answer. You can do wonders with Microsoft Power BI. It is a very cool solution.

I would rate Microsoft Power BI a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Santosh Kurakula
Group DWH and BI Senior Manager at Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Scalable, easy to learn, and integrates well with the entire Microsoft Office Suite
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup is straightforward."
  • "Maybe they can enhance the UI a bit. Right now, it's very basic, I would say, compared to the MicroStrategy or Qlik."

What is our primary use case?

I mainly use it for sales analysis. We are in the telecom industry, so on a daily basis, we see a couple of trends in the number of activations of customers and registration, the performance of the dealer, and items like that.

What is most valuable?

Its integration with the Microsoft Office Suite is great. I can easily connect it to any of the Excel or any CSV files, and I can immediately create a dashboard. 

It's like the higher level of pivot tables. For the people who mainly use Excel, this is like an advanced version. This is much more flexible and I don't have to train people to use it, as it's very user-friendly compared to Qlik. Qlik needs some expertise and a layman cannot immediately go to Qlik and do stuff unless he understands it. When it comes to Power BI it's a five minutes tutorial, he can definitely understand what needs to be done.

The solution is stable and scalable. So far I don't have any issues, however, it depends on the amount of data we use. I'm just running it on my PC.

The initial setup is straightforward. 

The solution is free as it's bundled with Office 365.

What needs improvement?

Maybe they can enhance the UI a bit. Right now, it's very basic, I would say, compared to the MicroStrategy or Qlik. 

They could also improve the mobile experience. If people are using this mobile app for BI, they need better performance there. The rendering of the objects, for example, if you create the dashboard on Power BI when someone sees that on the app, it comes in a different format. They can do some enhancements there to standardize it.

Once we expand it as a centralized repository, if I could find much more use cases, that would be ideal. However, now it's very limited in our organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

We don't use the solution filly and don't yet have a license for it. That said, I've had the chance to work with it for more than a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. There are no bugs or glitches and we don't have any trouble with it crashing or freezing. It's reliable and the performance is good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My understanding is that the solution is scalable. 

I can easily load a billion rows in less than two or three minutes and play around with it. However, I haven't tested on big data files or anything like that.

Right now, we don't have too many users. It's just three to four people as of now, as our primary BI tool is still Qlik Sense. It's only for ad hoc use cases we use Power BI, and just myself and a couple of team members, as well as the BI specialist, that access it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never reached out to technical support in the past. If I run into issues, I tend to Google solutions to find answers to my questions. YouTube is also a good resource if you need information.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We currently use Qlik Sense as our BI product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex or difficult. It's simple and straightforward. 

It took, 10 to 15 minutes, if I remember correctly, to set everything up. It's just a .exe file installing. It's not hard and it's pretty fast.

What about the implementation team?

We did not need a consultant or an integrator to handle the implementation. I just played around a bit with it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We don't have a license on Power BI, so we don't publish anything. It's mainly for some ad hoc use cases that we use Power BI format.

Power BI is free; it comes with Office 365.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've currently looked at MicroStrategy and am in the process of comparing a few other products.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

We are using Power BI, however, not to the full scale. It's still unlicensed as of now, and I'm using desktop versions only.

I don't remember the version, as it comes with Office 365. I didn't give a thought to the version.

From my experience with the desktop version, I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

From my experience, I'd recommend the solution to others. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Alberto Geminiani
Technical Director at Progetti e Soluzioni
Real User
Top 5
Intuitive, stable, customizable, and has a lot of powerful functions
Pros and Cons
  • "It is stable enough. It has a lot of powerful functions. It can also be customized with the DAX language. It is also intuitive enough and incremental. You can start with something simple, and then step-by-step, you can increase the reports and dashboards according to your needs."
  • "When you go to the cloud, its licensing is not intuitive. It is a little bit complex. When you have to purchase a new license, it is difficult to understand on their website what exactly you need to pay and how you can group. It is something that is applicable to all Microsoft products. They're not always so simple and clear when it comes to licensing. Their support can also be better in terms of explaining how they resolved an issue and what steps they took to resolve it. They are able to resolve the issue, but they can be better at explaining the approach they took to resolve the issue. It could have something in the direction of machine learning. It can have some kind of integration with machine learning where you can ask for some reports with natural language."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for analyzing transactions. In the products that we develop and supply to our customers, there are some applications that are connected to payments. We analyze the trend of transactions or payments that are done in our system by our clients. We want to understand how our clients are using our solution and if there are some conditions that are making them use our product more than others. We also analyze who is paying and how much, and how and at what time are they using our system.

What is most valuable?

It is stable enough. It has a lot of powerful functions. It can also be customized with the DAX language. 

It is also intuitive enough and incremental. You can start with something simple, and then step-by-step, you can increase the reports and dashboards according to your needs. 

What needs improvement?

When you go to the cloud, its licensing is not intuitive. It is a little bit complex. When you have to purchase a new license, it is difficult to understand on their website what exactly you need to pay and how you can group. It is something that is applicable to all Microsoft products. They're not always so simple and clear when it comes to licensing.

Their support can also be better in terms of explaining how they resolved an issue and what steps they took to resolve it. They are able to resolve the issue, but they can be better at explaining the approach they took to resolve the issue.

It could have something in the direction of machine learning. It can have some kind of integration with machine learning where you can ask for some reports with natural language.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable enough.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to make it grow as a product. Our organization is not big. We have a total of 10 to 15 people who access this solution. We will continue to use it for sure. 

In general, we are producing applications that we sell to our clients in a SaaS model. All data of our clients is inside our database. The clients have to manage the service. All this data that they are loading in our server can have interesting information for them. So, we are using it to understand our clients and the behavior of the user.

How are customer service and technical support?

We had to use some support for licensing. They were fast enough, but sometimes, they were not very clear. We had a few calls with them. In the end, they solved the problem, but they didn't have a very clear approach. It was more of a communication problem. Their support can be better in terms of explaining how they resolved an issue and what steps they took to resolve it. 

How was the initial setup?

Its installation is easy on the cloud as well as on the desktop. You can also easily move and publish from desktop to the cloud. We had issues with licensing, but after you have received licenses, it is easy. 

It is also good how the data that is being collected on some servers for different data centers is automatically synchronized. It is easy enough to do automatic scaling or collect the data from the source and the publisher.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves. At the moment, we are not using a consultant. It is intuitive enough for our use, and there is one type of analysis and one type of role. However, in the future, we might require a consultant for customizing the dashboard and the reports and splitting the data according to different roles. We would require analysis of different roles based on different sets of data. For machine learning, we'll surely require a consultant.

For its deployment and maintenance, we have three or four people for each specific competency. Some of them are more experienced in the data that has to be collected, and some of them are experienced in how data can be collected from the in-house server. There are also some people who are more competent in the business domain.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for users who are publishing on the cloud. The desktop version is free.

Its licensing is on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It has many features that are good. It mostly needs improved licensing. 

I would rate Power BI a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Compensation Coordinator at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
The easiest and most stable solution that has good querying capabilities and great support and is light years ahead of other solutions
Pros and Cons
  • "The querying capabilities are the most valuable because they allow me to build many automations. We have many workflows and many databases that we work on a daily basis. They need to be updated quite quickly. In order to not to take much of our time doing these updates manually, I have set up these automations using the systems. The process is just to ingest the data and reprocess it. Every time I click a button, everything is updated in almost real time. It is by far the easiest system not only for querying but also for data modeling, data visualization, and deployment. It is light years ahead of Tableau and even Microsoft Excel to do these kinds of things. It is very easy to use and set up, and it has a lot of videos on the internet."
  • "I would like it to be a little bit more secure when I'm using the design feature on my desktop. For example, to have the ability to set up security passwords for opening the file. Currently, they don't have that. Tableau, for example, has a visual way of doing data processing steps, whereas the Power BI system still has some code, although it is very low code. It would be great to have the kind of view that Tableau has."

What is our primary use case?

In general, we use it to have access to the data that we have processed from the HCM system and also to deploy it to the teams. Because it has low-level security features, I can guarantee that only selected people have access to the information seamlessly. We don't take a lot of steps to create, for example, different profiles and ensure the data security that I need.

It is on the cloud because we have pro accounts. Usually, we have the desktop version for designing and using ourselves here, but when we deploy this, it is usually on the Microsoft cloud; it is not on-premises. We are using the most updated version because they release monthly updates.

What is most valuable?

The querying capabilities are the most valuable because they allow me to build many automations. We have many workflows and many databases that we work on a daily basis. They need to be updated quite quickly. In order to not to take much of our time doing these updates manually, I have set up these automations using the systems. The process is just to ingest the data and reprocess it. Every time I click a button, everything is updated in almost real time.

It is by far the easiest system not only for querying but also for data modeling, data visualization, and deployment. It is light years ahead of Tableau and even Microsoft Excel to do these kinds of things. It is very easy to use and set up, and it has a lot of videos on the internet.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be a little bit more secure when I'm using the design feature on my desktop. For example, to have the ability to set up security passwords for opening the file. Currently, they don't have that.

Tableau, for example, has a visual way of doing data processing steps, whereas the Power BI system still has some code, although it is very low code. It would be great to have the kind of view that Tableau has.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around two and a half years. I am currently using it, and I have also used it in the previous company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and very reliable. It is by far the most reliable system I have used for deploying many things.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable, especially because the pricing was great. Right now, they are integrating a lot with Microsoft Power Apps and the Power Platform as a whole. Power Ultimate and other things are being integrated into the system as well.

In my previous company, more than 200 to 300 people were using it on a daily basis. In my current company, we have less than ten people using it because we are still a very confined team.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical assistance is great, and I have never had any problems with them. Their support to communities is also great. I would rate them a ten out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. It took a little bit less than a month to get everything designed, tested, and deployed after we got the licenses.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its pricing is great.

What other advice do I have?

The first piece of advice is to become very clear about licensing and the data governors. Always get the licenses and get them right. You must also be clear about who is going to control these accesses. The second piece of advice is to understand a lot about the low-level security to create profiles and data access features to allow the specific data to be seen only by a specific public.

Currently, in my organization, the greatest challenge is getting proper licensing. We have a little bit of resistance from our IT department who would like us to use Tableau more. It is not Microsoft's problem. It has more to do with the vendor of choice of the company, and they say that we have to use Tableau, but I don't want to use Tableau.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten. It deserves this rating.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MartinAnderson
Owner at BNS
Real User
Top 5
Reliable with good reporting, easy to setup, can capable of scaling
Pros and Cons
  • "The reports are easy to create."
  • "The orchestration module for refreshing data flows is something that is missing and we have to do it manually."

What is our primary use case?

We are software developers. We generate data using the basic data connectors that Microsoft provides. We just follow the importing and exporting data around, the Azure platform.

We are doing C# development. We use an SQL server, and we use Power BI. Those are the main three technologies, and then it's just Microsoft to put it together.

We use this solution to create business intelligence reports for the executive users of our applications. We are creating standard business applications like ERP and CRM and e-commerce type applications. Then, we extract a sample of the data, build a simple data warehouse, in the Power BI service, and create some BI reports.

What is most valuable?

The data visualisation is very attractive from the user's point of view. Users see their reports and think "Wow - that is amazing". 

However, it is much harder to prepare data for reporting. I would say 95% of your development time is spent gathering, cleaning, and modelling data. However once that is done reporting is easy.

What needs improvement?

The capacity needs improvement. It is limited in its capacity in power.

Some of its features are incredibly difficult to understand. There is a learning curve to do the more sophisticated things. For example, paginated reports are complicated. But in general, Power BI, it's not an end-user tool, however much Microsoft pretended it is. We just treat it is like another tool that we use and we deliver the reports to our clients.

The orchestration module for refreshing data flows is something that is missing and we have to do it manually. It should be one of the admin features of Microsoft BI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Microsoft BI for 15 months.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a reliable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't tried to scale it, but in theory, I know that is capable. Power BI Premium is easy to scale as long as you have the money.

Inside the business, we only have one user, and outside the business, we have our clients where we have four developers who use this solution.

Our clients are medium-sized companies with 50 to 100 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted technical support. Google provides the information that we need.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

It can take a couple of hours to deploy the gateways, then there is the development of it.

It doesn't require maintenance, but we are forever enhancing the reports. In general, it works without problems.

What about the implementation team?

We are developers, we can complete the installation ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We view it as an expensive product. 

Most of our clients cannot afford the premium capacity. 

We just make do with Power BI pro features, which is always a big shame because we know that the premium version has a lot of features that we would like to use, and are not available to us.

There are a few different licensing models.

It ends up being complicated and people don't like paying for things. It's okay if you're working for a large corporation because they can obviously spend thousands of pounds every month on licenses, but our customers cannot.

Licensing is paid on a monthly basis.

What other advice do I have?

Power BI has approximately 20 new features that come out every month. You just have to be patient and eventually, the features come out.

My advice to others would be to do your homework. It's one of those things where you have to get past the marketing. The marketing message is not helpful.

I would suggest that if you are going to use Power BI, you need to use developers who understand what it can do, what it can't do, and how it works. 

Then they will then guide you to say, this is the type of report you can expect. 

It took me a long time to realize what you can and cannot do with Power BI.

That's why I suggest doing your homework first. It's not as wonderful as Microsoft pretends it to be, but it's not bad, and I am not knocking it, but you have to cut out all the hype that comes with it.

I would rate Microsoft BI a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Director of Sales and Marketing at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Integrates well with Microsoft tools and has a good familiarity but lacks technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "It integrates with all of the Microsoft tools."
  • "The initial setup is a little bit technical."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for integrating into our ERP so people can have a dashboard analysis of whatever is important to analyze or compare, whether it be top-selling products or sales performance, or quota analysis.

What is most valuable?

Just as a BI tool, there's not much difference between solutions. It works well with our product and it's something that customers are familiar with and they often already have a lot of licensing with Microsoft. It's an easy add-on to their users.

There's generally a sense of familiarity with the product.

It integrates with all of the Microsoft tools.

What needs improvement?

It's not even fair for me to respond on that as that's not my wheelhouse. I don't know how easy it is as I'm not doing any of the designs. Therefore, I have not had any real training on it. I don't think that's fair for me to criticize anything that they're doing.

The initial setup is a little bit technical and what an end user wants to see is always a moving target.

The solution needs better technical support.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about three years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, we haven't had any challenges with it at this point. As with multiple integrations across several companies we tend to make whatever change is best for the biggest base of clients. We haven't had any issues thus far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical and end user support is something that might be lacking from Microsoft. As a user when I want to find an answer to, "Hey, how do I do this?" I often get better answers by going to a  website of a company that represents them than I do going directly to their site.  Maybe they do that on purpose to help drive business to those people, however, it would be helpful if it was more centralized and the quick and simple steps answers that I get elsewhere.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have some past experience with solutions such as Tableau and Cognose but not integrated into this ERP product.  We chose one that we would feel would be on a common platform of our customers.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is fairly straightforward but implementation is a little bit complex mostly due to how the customer driven scope changes often as they realize the power of a BI tool and want to be able to expand it's use.

We're on a Progress platform, so that's a little more technical on our side at the beginning of the original project.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing costs vary. It all depends on the individual customer due to the fact that Microsoft's options are modular. For example, they have Microsoft Office suite, then they add CRM and then you might add BI.  It's not expensive per user, however, as you increase the functionality or add different tools, it becomes more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We qualify as a partner as we're a software distributor. We're using the most current version of the solution.

Here is the biggest thing: when you look at any BI tool or if it's the first time you're implementing one, you can easily get over enticed by the flashy display or the common things. However, it's the ability to drill down to your true business processes that are going to make it or break it as being the right tool or accesses the right information. Somebody that gets a BI tool for the first time will open a dashboard and say, "Oh, that's important for me to see every day." However, the reality is, when using a dashboard view you're looking for a red flag or highlights. The power of the BI tool is allowing you to drill down to the data behind the dashboard, that's where the real testing comes in.  Figuring out where to get the information from and how best to analyze it.  That's my best BI tool advice. Anybody can make a dashboard look pretty. It has to be useful too.

In general, I would rate the solution seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ariful Mondal
Consulting Practice Partner - Data, Analytics & Artificial Intelligence at Wipro Ltd
Real User
ExpertModerator
Good data transformation features, easy to learn for users of Excel, and the support is quick
Pros and Cons
  • "What I like most is that I can do everything in Power BI that I can do in Excel."
  • "The only challenge I have found is that they do not have a Mac version."

What is our primary use case?

Enterprise reporting and digitization of dashboards using Microsoft Power BI, SSRS and Azure Reporting DB by integrating several applications to establish single version of truth.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft BI stack is very easy to use and most of the developer versions are free such as Power BI, DAX, SQL Server Development Edition. This helped us quick prototyping to generate value of data resting in silos. 

What is most valuable?

What I like most is that I can do everything in Power BI that I can do in Excel. It is very compatible with Excel tools, and anybody who works with Excel can learn and use Power BI quickly. 

Writing formulas and data transformation are good features.

What needs improvement?

The only challenge I have found is that they do not have a Mac version of Power BI. They should have versions for both Apple and Unix because you cannot install the desktop version for these operating systems.

In the future, I would like to see them add more AI and machine learning features, as well as self-service analytics.

You can use R and Python, but it would be helpful if they had some no-code machine learning options that you find in other tools.

The UI/UX can be improved. Products such as Tableau and QlikView are very good in terms of the user interface.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for five years, on and off.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not found any issues with respect to stability. Microsoft has invested a lot and they are continuing to invest in Power BI.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Given that there is a server version for services that can be used to implement and roll out reports at the organizational level, it's scalable.

In my current organization, I am training 15 people on how to use it and I am looking to expand to 50 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Microsoft support is quick. We also have a dedicated partner for support, and they are good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to incorporate Power BI in the stack, we were using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services(SSRS) only. They do not have any visualization interface, but you can do static reporting. This is the reason that we are switching. Probably, we will use SSRS and Azure SQL at the backend, but there won't be used as the visualization tool.

For visualization, we used to use Excel. Which not reliable. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation is easy. The download takes perhaps five minutes, depending on the bandwidth. Overall, it can be downloaded and installed within half an hour and no training is required.

The desktop version is used for development and the cloud version is used to submit a report. Essentially, it is Power BI Desktop and Power BI Services. The desktop version is what is on-premises.

What about the implementation team?

You can deploy yourself but of course, in an office, you require an administrator.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of this product is very low, at approximately $8 or $9 per month for a developer. It is the cheapest of all of the visualization tools. They have a 30-day trial available for you to try it.

For personal use, this product is free to use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Tableau is a little bit expensive, although it is good if they want a very sophisticated solution. Both Tableau and QlikView are a little better in terms of the user interface.

What other advice do I have?

You need a technical team to operate the solution. You need people for the administration of the data connection and data integration. They should be skilled in SQL, data management, and so forth. Typically, these are data engineers.

We plan to continue using Microsoft BI. We are onboarding and implementing organization-wide for our long-term strategy, and the entire organization will be using Power BI.

My advice for anybody who is considering this product is that it is easy to learn, especially for somebody who is good at Excel. Other tools are easy to use as well but if you are a Windows user then Power BI is a good option.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Great on the cloud, easy to expand, and have a good community around it
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is stable."
  • "The cost of the solution can get high."

What is our primary use case?

We use Power BI in cloud solutions in other systems. There are lots of products in our environment that work with Power BI. One use case is we use it to track the real-time sensor data to Power BI using Azure.

We have lots of customers. We make premium subscription projects for them. We have a Tableau portion. We are also Tableau partners and resellers. As a company, we make lots of Tableau projects. 

What is most valuable?

The most powerful site of Power BI is the cloud site. You can do everything in power BI. There are lots of things that the solution provides. If you have a huge data warehouse in the cloud, Power BI fits. 

In some cases, there are some add-ons that you can put together in Power BI - for example, data factory, data bricks, and also data lakes. Some Microsoft solutions work together and are integrated already. You don't need to worry about that.  

If you know what you do, Power BI is a good solution.

The solution is stable. 

The product can scale. 

What needs improvement?

There are some limitations of Power BI. The front end, for example, is not fancy.

The solution should not be used in some cases. 

The cost of the solution can get high.

There is a strong community around the solution that can help users learn about the product and troubleshoot.

When we compare Power BI with other solutions, we can see there are lots of things that should be done. Some things are there, however, they are not working well. Microsoft puts lots of solutions in one place and declares it a complete solution. However, in the practice, you can see that this STK is not working properly or the request is not giving the same results. You discover that when you open a ticket to Microsoft. They will tell you that they are still in development on that product so it will available in the future. 

When you use the Power BI as an enterprise solution, as a consultant, you find out that the product is not fully ready for enterprise. In that way, we suffer a lot. That said,  every version becomes better.

They need to have an analytics suite of some sort.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with BI solutions for 20 years. I've been using Power BI for two years so far.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable. For one of our customers, there are one thousand clients connecting to the same report. Everyone gets their own results and can search them. It needs more power. It can consume a lot of energy. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the product is great. It's on the cloud, which makes it easy to scale. 

How are customer service and support?

There are good communities and groups that can help you troubleshoot if necessary.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm also familiar with Tableau.

We are SAP partners and resellers also. We make lots of SAP business intelligence solutions and do business intelligence projects.

How was the initial setup?

Step-by-step implementation is easy. The difficult part is when you enter the infrastructure site. There are lots of Power BI developers, however, they do not know the other cloud environment. In that way, they can only design the front site. That said, they should know the architecture. They should know the other infrastructure and know the data also. If they do, they can produce lots of things. As an example, Microsoft offers a flow integration so that you can create a data flow that consumes the data and give the results to other services. Also, there are lots of things that you can do, however, you need to know the Azure environment in order to do them. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In some cases, Power BI can be expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the current version of the solution.

I'd advise new users that there are lots of communities and lots of user groups that deal with the product. They should attend them. They should watch the videos about Power BI. It's important to extend your knowledge. If you want to be a Power BI developer, you should also know the other technologies as well.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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