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ST
New Build Completion & Commissioning at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Powerful, user-friendly, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The product can go easily go and extract data and it can put it into any format."
  • "I'm not overly technical, and so I can't really speak to any shortcomings from a technical standpoint."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the product for running the reports and all data extraction in our organization.

What is most valuable?

The solution is a wonderful tool overall. 

Power BI is very powerful and very easy to use. Its user-friendliness is one of its most valuable aspects. It has a very nice user interface that makes everything easy to navigate.

The product can go easily go and extract data and it can put it into any format.

It's a very good data analytic tool.

The initial setup is pretty easy. It's pretty straightforward in general.

What needs improvement?

I can't say that anything glaring is missing from the offering at this time.

Microsoft is doing a lot of research on it and they're coming up with a lot of good release items.

I'm not overly technical, and so I can't really speak to any shortcomings from a technical standpoint.

I'd like to have more time with the solution to evaluate it to see if there's really anything missing. We don't really go in-depth with the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2017. It's been a few years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. It's a Microsoft product and therefore they wouldn't put anything out that wasn't tested and worthy of release. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's quite reliable and offers good performance. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While the scalability is there, the cost is what you have to factor in. It has to scale as if there's more data, it needs to meet that demand and be able to extract and analyze it.  

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for the most part has been very good. They are helpful and responsive. We are satisfied with the level of support we receive. On a scale of one to 25, I would give it a mark of 20.

How was the initial setup?

We've found the initial setup to be pretty straightforward. It's not complex. A company shouldn't have too much trouble getting everything up and running.

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

I'm not sure of the exact cost of the solution. It's not an aspect of the product I need to worry about.

I am aware that we currently have an enterprise license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I personally haven't evaluated or compared any other solutions. I don't have any knowledge in terms of how it compares to other options.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. We don't have a specific business relationship with Microsoft.

I would rate the solution eight out of ten overall. We've been pretty satisfied with the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Ayesha Imtiaz
Senior Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good visualizations, dashboards, and scalability, but needs better user interface, rule-based security, and support

Pros and Cons

  • "Its visualizations and dashboards are most valuable. Power BI is great in terms of visualizations and dashboards. The reports that we previously had were not very nice in terms of visualization. It also provides the ability to play with the data."
  • "We have a lot of servers and applications from which we want reports, and it allows us to create reports from an SQL source or some other source."
  • "They can improve it in terms of rule-based security. Currently, it has very limited rules."
  • "They can improve the user interface a little bit to make it more user-friendly. When creating a dashboard, it is not very user-friendly. You have to click on a certain style and use your keyboard keys to move it. You cannot drag and drop it."
  • "Their technical support can be better. They normally take too long to escalate and resolve a case."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for reporting. We are using its latest version.

What is most valuable?

Its visualizations and dashboards are most valuable. Power BI is great in terms of visualizations and dashboards. The reports that we previously had were not very nice in terms of visualization. It also provides the ability to play with the data.

We have a lot of servers and applications from which we want reports, and it allows us to create reports from an SQL source or some other source.

What needs improvement?

They can improve it in terms of rule-based security. Currently, it has very limited rules.

They can improve the user interface a little bit to make it more user-friendly. When creating a dashboard, it is not very user-friendly. You have to click on a certain style and use your keyboard keys to move it. You cannot drag and drop it. 

Their technical support can be better. They normally take too long to escalate and resolve a case.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Power BI for five or six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am at the initial stage of using it. We have just deployed a report in our organization, and it is working fine so far. It seems to be stable. I am not sure if we faced any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is good in terms of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have had only one interaction with them, and it was a bad one. They took around a month to resolve a simple issue. We also had to escalate the case. The resolution was very simple, and ideally, they should have found it on the first day. They normally take too long when it comes to the escalation of cases.

How was the initial setup?

As a first-time user, I found it to be of medium complexity. You have to connect it with the SQL database or your data source. You might not find it very straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

It can also be deployed on-premises. If you have it on-premises, make sure that you meet all the prerequisites and have all permissions. You should sort these things out before deploying Power BI. I faced some issues because I missed one of the prerequisites, and it took me one month to get it resolved. That's why I recommend completing all prerequisites.

I would rate Microsoft Power BI a seven 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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Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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SU
Head of Digitalization at a mining and metals company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products, but can be made simpler to operate

Pros and Cons

  • "Its seamless integration with Microsoft products, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Excel, is the most valuable."
  • "They can provide a user-friendly and easy way to use this tool for people who don't know about programming or technical things. It will be quite good if they can improve the look and feel and make it simpler to operate. They can make it easier to create some of the reports. They can also include predefined templates that you can directly use."

What is our primary use case?

It is mostly used for monthly cost reports for our department. We are also using it as a dashboard for giving some overview for management purposes. We are using the latest version.

What is most valuable?

Its seamless integration with Microsoft products, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Excel, is the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

They can provide a user-friendly and easy way to use this tool for people who don't know about programming or technical things. It will be quite good if they can improve the look and feel and make it simpler to operate. 

They can make it easier to create some of the reports. They can also include predefined templates that you can directly use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for almost two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is quite good as long as you have proper sizing from the beginnings. If you do the right sizing keeping in mind the current usage as well as future growth, it is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have around 65 seniors managers who use it on a weekly or monthly basis. Some reports are done weekly and some monthly.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted them so far. I am from the user side. We contact our centralized IT department for any issues. If they have a technical issue that requires further escalation, they will directly contact Microsoft technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite simple, but for the product use, you need to have people who have got experience of at least three to six months in using these applications. It took us two months to deploy across the company.

What about the implementation team?

We have a core team that gets training from a Microsoft partner. We then deploy it ourselves. After six months of using this solution, some of the key users get advanced training. 

We also maintain it ourselves. We have around ten people for its maintenance.

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

It is somewhere in the middle in terms of price. Licensing is quite clear.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We reviewed some other intelligence tools, and we just used them for trials.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution, especially for the companies that mostly use Microsoft products and ecosystem. I would rate Microsoft BI a seven out of ten.

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.
BK
Manager - Customer Success at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly and easy to install but isn't very scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The product is stable."
  • "My data is restricted to my DB and I'm not sure how this would handle an extremely large dataset."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for analysis. I have a DB setup that I have. I use that DB for analyzing data, providing business solutions or business insights to the customers. Most of the time, I use Power BI for that or sometimes even Tableau.

What is most valuable?

The solution isn't hard to use. It's very user-friendly. 

The product is stable. 

The product is easy to install.

What needs improvement?

I haven't used the advanced version and therefore haven't accessed all of the features.

The solution isn't very scalable. My data is restricted to my DB and I'm not sure how this would handle an extremely large dataset.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is good. It doesn't crash or freeze. there are no bugs or glitches. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I wouldn't describe the solution as scalable. 

While it is available as an option to most people in our organization, I'm not sure how many people are actually actively using it. I know that I use it myself quite often. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never reached out to technical support for assistance. I cannot speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

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

I also use Tableau. I've used Tableau for about seven months. 

There are other programming languages like Python and R, where they use analytics for graphical representation, or they can use Power BI and Tableau in our company. There are many options.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is not complex or difficult. It's straightforward. 

We have Office 365, which holds Power BI, and therefore I was able to have it easily installed.

I can't recall how long the deployment actually took. 

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

I personally do not pay for a license. It may be arranged through our company. I have no insights into that aspect of the solution, however. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm a customer and an end-user.

The solution, being on the cloud, is automatically updated, and therefore, you are always on the latest version if you are using it. 

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

I'd recommend the product to those who want a basic tool that can help them study analytics.

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.
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OZ
Business Intelligence Developer at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Great for monitoring and reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "Premium features that used to cost $5,000 per company per month recently became a lot more accessible. Microsoft recently implemented a per user feature in Power BI Premium; it's $20 per month."
  • "I would like to be able to use more predicting data science features without having to use R."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases for this product are monitoring and reporting. I have some dashboards for the sales department and a little bit for operations. I'm going to create a new dashboard for marketing. 

What is most valuable?

What I like about Power BI compared to Tableau, for example, is that Tableau is mostly a visualization program, but Power BI is a more complete solution, because it has DAX, Power Query, and a presentation and graphic layer. So, I use it not only for reporting and graphic purposes on the frontend, but also for doing things like modeling. It is very flexible, a lot more flexible for than Tableau for what I need.

One of the things that I appreciate is that premium features that used to cost $5,000 per company per month recently became a lot more accessible. Microsoft recently implemented a per user feature in Power BI Premium; it's $20 per month. I'm investigating in that because I think the price is good. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to be able to use more predicting data science features without having to use R. If I were able to do most of the data science that I normally do inside Power BI without using R, I would decrease my use of R and mostly use Power BI. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Power BI for four and a half to five years. I have been using it since they created in basically. I started using it when it was Power Pivot in Excel and as soon as they created Power BI, I started using it. 

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

I recommend easing into Microsoft Power BI gradually. I started by creating models and graphics in Excel first. Then, when I learned a little bit about modeling, I started moving to Power BI and working there. 

So, I recommend starting with Excel and practicing there first. Power Pivot is the app that you can use in Excel for this kind of work. Before switching to Power BI, learn about data modeling and dashboarding in Power Pivot in Excel first. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before switching to Microsoft Power BI, I evaluated Tableau. It's a lot cheaper to use Power BI. The cost per user in Power BI is around $10 per month, while the cost per user for Tableau is a lot more expensive. That was a deciding factor for me. 

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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RH
Head of Analytics Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Low-cost, feature-rich, and easy to deploy, but would be nice to get faster support for new features

Pros and Cons

  • "It is low-cost and easy to deploy. It is fully-featured."
  • "They are improving it all the time. What would be nice is if they could respond to feature requests more quickly. They can provide faster support for new features."

What is our primary use case?

It is for dashboards and reports. 

What is most valuable?

It is low-cost and easy to deploy. It is fully-featured.

What needs improvement?

They are improving it all the time. What would be nice is if they could respond to feature requests more quickly. They can provide faster support for new features.

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 reasonably stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my organization, we have around ten users. In our client's organization, we have about 100 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I normally find whatever I need in Microsoft documentation or through Google. There is a lot of activity in the market. A lot of other people typically would have already asked the same question that I have, so it is fairly easy to find information.

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

I didn't really use any other product. I used to be a Qlik partner, and I became a Microsoft partner two years ago.

How was the initial setup?

Its installation is straightforward. The developer suite has one-click installation. The end-users just get a web URL. There is no installation for end-users. They just access it.

There is a Microsoft certification that you need to complete, but it is all deployed on the Microsoft Azure cloud. So, there are no infrastructure requirements.

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

It depends upon the tier of your Office 365 subscription. On E5, which is a Microsoft Azure subscription, you get it for free. If you are on a lower tier, you can subscribe for $10 a month per user, which is really cheap.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It is pretty good. Technically, it is at the same level as the other products that I've used so far. It has all the features, and it is easy to deploy. Its costs are really palatable. They are improving it all the time. I am fairly satisfied with this product.

I would rate Microsoft BI a seven out of ten. There are always areas for improvement, but I am fairly happy with it. I would not rate anything else also higher than seven.

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: Integrator
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Alberto Guisande
Director at Decision Science
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Saves time in preprocessing stage, but it needs to be more user-friendly for non-technical users

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the downloadable visualizations a lot. I think that they give the user a very nice starting point in creating awesome dashboards, with the right way to tell their data story."
  • "Some kind of expression wizard, where the user can build a complex expression without any knowledge of DAX, can be a good addition to the product."

What is our primary use case?

Since we are a consulting company, our cases vary from customer to customer and from department to department, but mainly we have found two "standard" cases: Business users connecting to a DWH, or trying to consolidate several Excel workbooks to create business dashboards.

In the DWH cases, it is simpler since most of the data transformations and modeling are done by IT, but in the 'spreadsheet world', it becomes more complicated.

Users try to move from a huge table filled with numbers and "color-coded" cells to data visualizations, sometimes not even knowing how to write a simple Excel expression.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest improvement comes from a "do it once, refresh many" concept. The users used to perform a lot of massaging on the data itself prior to the analysis phase. Now, they build their reports and refresh the data, so they have a lot more time to perform analysis, which is the real added value to the business.

Unlike other tools (like Tableau), getting to this point took a lot of resources in training, but when the users got there, it is a real time saver for them, allowing them to focus more on analysis, not on data manipulation.

What is most valuable?

I like the downloadable visualizations a lot. I think that they give the user a very nice starting point in creating awesome dashboards, with the right way to tell their data story.

Data Modeling is very simple and powerful for an experienced user, but I think it needs some improvement for the non-technical people. Besides this, it allows us to save a lot of time in data "massaging" prior to the analysis phase.

Reports are quite easy to build, even when some programming concepts are needed. Some users struggle with DAX a lot!

What needs improvement?

I think Power BI needs to focus more on the end-user (i.e. the business user). Solving things in DAX is not a nice approach to a user that has no knowledge of IT nor wants to get it.

Some kind of expression wizard, where the user can build a complex expression without any knowledge of DAX, can be a good addition to the product.

I see a lot of materials on how to go about doing things in Power BI, but Microsoft can add a "learning path". It would instruct users where to start, then what to learn next, etc, to sort out their learning journey.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for ~four years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ES
Founder & CEO at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Effective dashboard data transfer, stable, and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a feature in Microsoft BI that allows JSON data to SQL on the dashboards effectively and quickly."
  • "I have found using Microsoft BI is not easy. For example, trying to use the auto-refresh feature is not simple."

What is our primary use case?

We provide improved dashboards for our own customers by using Power BI.

What is most valuable?

There is a feature in Microsoft BI that allows JSON data to SQL on the dashboards effectively and quickly.

What needs improvement?

I have found using Microsoft BI is not easy. For example, trying to use the auto-refresh feature is not simple.

If you like to use Microsoft BI as an embedded solution, you need to do many things in the Azure, BI, and 365 portals. it can be complicated. This whole procedure should be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for approximately two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of Microsoft BI is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled the solution very much but I know it is highly scalable.

We have approximately five dashboard creators in my organization that is working on the solution.

How are customer service and support?

The customer service was very nice and responsive, when I opened a ticket they called me and emailed me but they could not solve the problem we had.

We have three technicians and one of them is dedicated to the maintenance of Microsoft BI.

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

I have previously used another solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very complex.

What about the implementation team?

I used a consultant company to help me do the implementation and it took approximately one month.

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

In the beginning, the solution cost approximately $1,000 per month, we have a Microsoft startup subscription. There is a subscription pack for startups company which we are able to have for one year.

My customers will increase their usage of the solution and they will be additional costs for their usage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other solutions before choosing Microsoft BI, such as Tableau. I have found that Tableau does not have a solution that can be embedded. The dashboard should be inside of our applications.

What other advice do I have?

If someone wants an embedded solution then Microsoft BI is very good because it works on many types of data, such as JSON.

I rate Microsoft BI 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?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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