Microsoft BI Review

Easy to use, good inquiry and visual gallery features, and the community is strong

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Power BI for data science solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

This is a self-service BI tool, so it doesn't require a huge amount of technical training, knowledge, or a background in BI in order to induct new people into it. This is true even for business people who want to do a little bit of self-service. The whole thing has become quite simplified, as compared to what it was.

What is most valuable?

There are many good features in this product.

The most valuable features are a combination of the DAX and the inquiry capability, plus the visual gallery that we have. I think that these three things, or the combination of them, is the best that we have found.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have the capability to schedule exports in different versions. For example, if I want to schedule a subscription and attach an Excel file, we don't have this capability right now. A lot of people work on Excel, so being able to export an Excel file as part of a subscription would be an improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Power BI for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, it is pretty stable. The cloud version is definitely very stable, and I have found very few flaws or areas for improvement. We have been using it for more than five years and we have every intention to continue with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has been pretty nice for us, in terms of scalability. There hasn't really been a problem, as such. We have approximately 300 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from Microsoft gets a big thumbs up from me. They have blogs, a support page, and the community is very active. Most of the answers we need, we find them there. 

With this amount of information available, we don't need to use technical support extensively. When we do post something on the blog or in the community, the response that we get is pretty prompt.

The last time we utilized technical support was when we were investigating creating a subscription with an Excel file attached to it. We found out that it isn't yet possible with the current version.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, to say that least. It took just a few days to deploy.

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

The pricing is very reasonable compared to any other tool.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering this tool is that if you want to move to a self-service BI, this is probably the best tool available right now. The self-service is pretty good in terms of os user acceptance, usage, and simplicity. It is something that everybody wants and Power BI does really well in that area.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Power BI is that if the data is not according to what you want, that really isn't a problem. It has been a problem in the past, especially where the data is not in the form or the shape that you need, but with Power BI, that problem can be solved very easily.

I would rate this solution an eight 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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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