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Amazon QuickSight Competitors and Alternatives

Get our free report covering Microsoft, Google, Tableau, and other competitors of Amazon QuickSight. Updated: September 2021.
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Read reviews of Amazon QuickSight competitors and alternatives

MS
Program Director Education Technology & Data Services at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It's good for training and teaching, handles Excel data well

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the fact that Power BI lets me use Excel data. At least 90% of my state data is in Excel spreadsheets. Having the ability to just attach a spreadsheet as a data source is very, very important. It's also good for training and teaching. Sometimes you don't always have access to a live production database, so having a spreadsheet with sample data is always nice."
  • "The Microsoft BI interface should be simpler and more user-friendly. I find it very difficult to move between their data sources and their analytics section."

What is our primary use case?

I would describe myself as more of a casual user, only because I have so many other things that I have to get done. I wish I could be more of a user, but it's hard. Right now, I have two different main use cases. I use it for teaching. At another institution, I use it for demonstrating how easy it is to build dashboards. It was really to show to all my users the benefit of business analytics. I use it to demonstrate how easy it is to generate your own analytics versus having a department run reports for you then putting it in Excel and making graphs. 

What is most valuable?

I like the fact that Power BI lets me use Excel data. At least 90% of my state data is in Excel spreadsheets. Having the ability to just attach a spreadsheet as a data source is very, very important. It's also good for training and teaching. Sometimes you don't always have access to a live production database, so having a spreadsheet with sample data is always nice.

What needs improvement?

The Microsoft BI interface should be simpler and more user-friendly. I find it very difficult to move between their data sources and their analytics section. It's probably designed by data analysts that typically get the data from somewhere else. So, one person logs into Power BI, moves the data around and puts it in the proper form then somebody else goes in from the dashboard. What I'm finding more and more is that the person playing with the data is also going to be the person building the dashboard, so the interface needs to be more seamless and dumbed down for the average user. 

Tableau is much better at that, which is probably why it's more expensive. The days where one person works on the data and someone else does the analytics are coming to an end. In the past, larger organizations usually had a dedicated analytics team and a dedicated data team. Now we buy data as a service, so we got rid of our data team and we don't have analysts per se. Instead, we have smart users. So I think Microsoft BI needs to move on to the next iteration of truly user-friendly solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft BI for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft BI has never crashed on me.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I honestly can't comment on how scalable Microsoft BI is because I've never taken it beyond training or simple use. But I would imagine, if it's on Azure, that it's scalable. I haven't had the pleasure of scaling it, so I don't know, but it doesn't strike me as a solution that would have problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had to contact technical support, but I've actually downloaded and taken three Power BI courses for free and they're very good.

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

I was using Tableau but the licensing cost went up when Salesforce required them to raise the price. But if the price hadn't changed, I would've absolutely stuck with Tableau because I like it. I do not know about the cost of the licenses. We buy it from the state and when it went up, our CIO at the time said no more Tableau licenses. I had to scramble to find a replacement, and fortunately, I discovered that Power BI is included in Microsoft 365. However, I prefer Tableau's interface. Microsoft BI's user interface is convoluted in terms of how you attach a data source. You have a separate screen for defining your data and then you have to jump to a different screen to model the results. In other words, there are two separate interfaces for data and analytics. In Tableau, it's more seamless. 

How was the initial setup?

Setup is very easy. You click on the icon, download the MSI, and it loads itself. It takes about a couple of hours to deploy overall.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate Microsoft BI as an eight out of 10. The biggest drawback is the user interface. From what I'm seeing, Windows 11 is going to have a more user-friendly interface. Even Microsoft Edge is adopting a more user-friendly interface. I'm hoping that Power BI follows this trend as well. 

My advice for anyone who is thinking about adopting Microsoft BI is to understand what you're trying to do with it. If you're trying to do analytics with it, then it depends on the kind of analytics. If you're want to do statistical analytics, it's not the tool for you. It's a tool that's better suited for visual analytics than it is for straight-up analytics. If you're dealing with patterns and data, it's great. If you're working with numbers and data, it's not so good. You're better off with a statistical package.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid 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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CD
Vice President & CIO at a logistics company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good reporting and analytics, scalable, and has responsive support

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is the most scalable BI platform in the world."
  • "They need to do a better job In its ability to allow end users to produce their own reports, metrics, and self-service business intelligence."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of the solution is for management reporting and analytics across many different subject areas.

How has it helped my organization?

It's an information delivery mechanism to pull all of our data into one central tool, allowing us to look at key metrics across the organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the scalability and management reporting.

What needs improvement?

They need to do a better job in its ability to allow end-users to produce their own reports, metrics, and self-service business intelligence.

MicroStrategy is a complex tool and you need to have a MicroStrategy architect. 

In the next release, I would like to see better visualization and more service audience or functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using MicroStategy for ten years.

They have recently changed the version numbering and they go by years now. We are using version 2019 in the cloud.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable and we have not experienced any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is the most scalable BI platform in the world. There is no other BI platform that is in its class. We have used all of them.

It's used by our analysts, our franchises, and by our executives.

We have 40 users inside the company and 4,000 users outside the company.

We plan to increase the usage of MicroStrategy. We are probably going to go as high as 8,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't leverage technical support a lot because we have our technical resources on-site, but if we do call them, they are good at responding.

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

Previously, the main solutions that we used were Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, and Amazon Quick Site.

We were using Oracle OBIEE, which is a Business Intelligence Enterprise. We moved from OBIEE to MicroStrategy.

How was the initial setup?

The set up takes a while, but once it's set up it's an automatic mode.

We hired someone that had the consulting experience and became our permanent team member.

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

We have the best pricing available, but we can't disclose that information.

What other advice do I have?

We have two ways of using this solution. We have an SSBI, which is self-service intelligence. We also have an enterprise-class, where we publish everything on the web, from tablets to phones, for our end-user base who are franchises.

It is the best for large scale deployments, but you cannot become a MicroStrategy shop without having the right technical resources on the team.

Don't even think about it, if you don't want to spend the money for the right person.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Get our free report covering Microsoft, Google, Tableau, and other competitors of Amazon QuickSight. Updated: September 2021.
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