Microsoft BI Review

I like it's ability to do almost anything to create the necessary calculated fields and measures (DAX)


What is our primary use case?

  • Running a team to build end-to-end BI solutions for large enterprises. 
  • Data typically stores in SQL Server. Some ad-hoc data pulled from SharePoint lists or Excel files.
  • Use of SSAS Tabular in some models.
  • Currently, no deployment of premium. A large deployment of PBI Pro.
  • We also use Tableau Desktop and on-prem server, but Power BI was a go-to product.

How has it helped my organization?

  • An easy learning curve for analysts. If they know how to use Excel pivot tables, then they can self-serve building visitations on curated data. 
  • Full stack end-to-end ETL and viz in one tool. 
  • Power Query for ETL, and externally easy to use. Majority of activities are low or no code.
  • Creating a model and augmenting with additional calculations and measures extremely easily. 
  • Viz layer build is super fast. Very much like a PowerPoint experience. 
  • All elements together allowed for the rapid deployment of PoC products that could be tested and validated by businesses before being deployed. 

What is most valuable?

  • Power Query: The data prep tool allows for very easy ingestion, shaping and prepping of the data before loading into the model.
  • DAX: Its ability to do almost anything to create the necessary calculated fields and measures. 
  • Viz layer: It's just easy to lay out a page.

What needs improvement?

The only real need is a lower tier pricing plan around premium. It’s a big step-up unless you have a very large user base (1000).

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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