Microsoft BI Room for Improvement

Principal Business Intelligence Analyst at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
No product is perfect, and the Microsoft stack is no exception. The first things that come to mind are Microsoft's recent shift in strategy to focus on cloud first. While this makes sense for them, it leaves the on-premise products lagging in support and new features, while the vast majority of users (mid to large corporations) are still using on-premise solutions and/or are cloud-averse. For example, the announcement that the pricing model for Power BI would change, simultaneously rolling out both Power BI Premium and Power BI Report Server created a great deal of confusion for people who were very enthusiastic about the product. The failures to address concerns with the speed and nature of the changes were felt by users across the spectrum, and it was a situation created by their cloud-first strategy. Similarly, if you look at the tried and true on-premise options for data processing, interfacing with emerging technologies, especially big data technologies, lags behind. This is considerably less true for Azure users, but that is specifically a cloud offering, which again, many corporate entities are not yet ready to embrace. It's easy to think of BI as only the visualization aspect of data, and that point of contact between users and data is absolutely where the rubber meets the road in BI. In reality, there are a whole stack of tools and concepts behind the visualization that enable that interaction - from security, data governance, integration, performance, network and infrastructure, and automation... there are many facets to BI as a system. The visualization aspect, while being the most visible to business users, also happens the be the weakest point in the entire Microsoft BI stack. The PowerBI visualization experience is underwhelming in almost every way compared to many alternatives. Another difficulty is navigating the many products within the suite. There are many components, and each component has many versions. Dealing with feature and compatibility issues with so many versions of so many products can be very frustrating at times. Microsoft does not do itself any favors on this front with the way they name their products. "PowerBI", for example, could be in reference to the desktop design tool, a cloud-based service for publishing and administering data models (which comes with three distinctively different pricing models, the features of which are different and not interchangable), or an on-premise server solution replacing SSRS. You'll make yourself dizzy looking at the Azure services offered. The good news is the sky's the limit, the bad news is you'll have to navigate some pretty cloudy areas to make heads or tales of what to actually use. View full review »
Accountant at a government
They need to make it as user-friendly as possible. Make it as non-technical as possible. At the moment, if you are not a person who is familiar with modeling analysis, it might be a bit scary. So I think it should be a very simple user interface. It should be very easy to learn. View full review »
Juanjo Gomez
IT Director at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
I am a SAP user and I would like this tool to have more connectors - and to more easily connect to - the ERP or SAP environment. Also, I would prefer that the solution not be shared. I'm concerned that if we make a mistake we could reveal information to people who shouldn't see it. I would like to have my own on-prem server, to buy my own server and have my own infrastructure for Microsoft BI, with only with my data. Power BI, this global solution from Microsoft, is shared with multiple companies. I would like that the content that I create, my data, be available only for me, not shared with other companies. View full review »
Olumide Ibilaiye
Business Intelligence Developer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
For our reporting services, it would be good to have the capability for email-based subscriptions. I want to be able to change the sender dynamically, without having to rely on running through an exercise passage. I know for a fact that SAP can do this, dynamic sending for subscriptions. Also IBM Cognos can do it. Why Microsoft refused to do that, that you have to rely on add-on to be able to do that... Overall, it has performed to our expectation. It's okay for what we want to use it for. But because they keep changing, every now and then, there's a major shift in versions, so we are trying to catch up. View full review »
Jorge Barroso
I would like to see the product offer more graphics to impact different audiences. Also, I would like more ease in connecting with the different database drives. View full review »
Principal at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
One thing I would like to have is the scripting language, as they already have within Excel. It's already within a Microsoft business product, because Excel is the number one business product out there. So it would be nice to have the scripting capability in order to automate certain processes. View full review »
Partner at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
The navigation. The way you navigate the product, compared to other products in this industry, that could be improved a bit. It's user friendly, but you would like to have it even more user friendly. When you do selections in one tab in Report, and then you move to the next tab, then you have to do your selections again. So one tab as a global, central selection possibility would help. If you compare to QlikView, there's still a lot of functionality that QlikView has that Power BI doesn't. For most companies, Power BI is good enough, especially if you consider the price tag it's an easy choice. But it still has some catching up to do to match the functionality in QlikView. View full review »
Head of Information Systems Department at a government
Our expectation is putting BI to work in real-time data collection systems in the maritime environment. The Automatic Identification System is a great source of data regarding the ships from around the world. From kinematic to static including some commercial data, it streams to the maritime monitoring stations. So, collecting and processing of this data and also, creating useful information are the key factors for our government entity. However, this data is real-time data which means that the process should be done in seconds for thousands of ships. We are forcing the boundaries of the Microsoft BI product right now and wish to see some stream data processing methodologies in the future. View full review »
John Gaskell
Head of IT at a construction company with 10,001+ employees
* Real-time refreshing for SAP BW would be nice. We know its on the radar for the development team at MS. * Not having to login again after a mobile app upgrade. A simple login on mobile would be great. View full review »
Dipak Bhudia
Founder with 1-10 employees
The Report Server is pretty expensive on-premise. But as long companies are happy to use the cloud version, that's very cost effective. View full review »
Gilberto Gutierrez
Presales Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The Windows OS dependency needs to improve. There are some bugs with the new features that have released. It is getting better but still, there are opportunity areas in some aspects, especially the Windows OS dependency. View full review »
Amanda Zhou
Senior Business Analyst, Big data at a manufacturing company
Once the report updated, we want the system to send a notification to user automatically. Especially if the email can imbed the dashboard data into the email, instead of a link. This does not necessarily happen. In addition, importing the dashboard to a powerpoint is not available in the report server. Even though we go to the public cloud service, the export is only the picture, or a snapshot of the dashboard. We cannot play the features or see the data we could change in a powerpoint. This is frustrating because sometimes the finance manager needs to export the report to a powerpoint. Actually, we wanted to export because we wanted to do the presentation. We wanted to show the figures or something like that, but those figures are just static, and are only a picture. Finally, an additional feature should be added to add a cost table. View full review »
Munashe Muwonde
Chief Tecnical Officer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The following areas could be improved: Publishing and sharing data using PowerBI. People without private emails cannot publish and, frankly, this doesn't allow for easy training. It's not always easy to speak directly with a MS Power BI expert. You have to sign up to the Power BI service using an email address to share and view Power BI reports and dashboards, but Microsoft doesn't yet support personal (.cox, .gmail, et.) or government (.gov, .mil, etc.) email addresses. View full review »
IT Specialist at a wholesaler/distributor with 1-10 employees
The reporting part of Microsoft BI is rather limited compared to other reporting tools. View full review »
Khumbulani Chikura
Business Intelligence Architect at a tech services company
Farhan Ahmed MCTS/MCITP/MCC SQL Server
Senior Software Engineer - Business Intelligence at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
There needs to be support for more data sources in DirectQuery. DirectQuery is a method of connecting your data directly, i.e. any changes in data source will reflect in report immediately. (This is very great feature if you are doing live analysis of your data). As of now there are limited number of Data Sources such as SQL, SQL Azure, which are supported by Power BI with DirectQuery. Although Microsoft keeps working on adding different data sources in DirectQuery (currently only six data sources in this method and three more in Preview), that's why I feel that still DirectQuery (method of connecting your data) has more room for improvement because there are many other data sources that are commonly used by different organization like (MySQL, Access, etc.) View full review »
Managing Director at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
To add-in the functionality of AI into the reporting, so this can improve further on the product as it is currently. The BI reporting still relies on historical transactions. View full review »
Dung Dinh Tien
Database Expert & BI Developer at a outsourcing company
* Monitoring features: I need Microsoft to provide a set of tools to help me monitor Microsoft's products. For example, when I need to investigate the performance issues of SSIS packages, I do not have a tool, instead I have to write scripts to query data for analyzing performance. * SSIS Connectors: Microsoft needs to provide more drivers to connect other data sources in a native way, which they are doing very well in Power BI, and that we can connect and process data from JSON, SOAP, SAP, Salesforce, and so on. View full review »
Norbert Langewiesche
Interim Manager Supply Chain / IT with 501-1,000 employees
The look is simple, and could be a little more professional. View full review »
Taner Kocakafa
Customer Data Analytics Specialist at Allianz Turkey
Performance can be better; of course, it depends on your hardware but it can also be improved. Once I tried to upload 5 million rows on Power Query from a CSV file but I got an error about my personal computer, i.e., my RAM was not enough for uploading. Also, sometimes this process takes a long time. View full review »
George Chinowaita
Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
There is need to improve the graphical and dashboard reports; they must have tabs. This gap is usually compensated by QlikView. View full review »
Data Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
I've been working with connecting with the right platforms and we need to use other connectors to link with the data. This would be a nice feature for BI to add in the future. For example, we needed another connector in order to make our Wordpress functional. More options for the connectors are really important for us. View full review »
Mark Cunningham
Regional PDS - Director of Business Intelligence at a real estate/law firm with 10,001+ employees
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). View full review »
Gregory Dinh
Consultant MOA BI at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is not user friendly, requires development. Power BI will surely provide a huge boost to MS BI in terms of self-service BI. Then again, SSRS developers are plenty, thus not so expensive. View full review »
Christopher Herbert
Professor of Private International Law with 1,001-5,000 employees
Perhaps the inclusion of ETL functionality would help. View full review »
Salahuddin Almohammadi
Group IT Manager with 10,001+ employees
It should be easier to use when there are multiple system sources, and simplify the connections to it. View full review »
Director, Education Management Information Systems with 51-200 employees
It is definitely a wonderful analytics tool. However, database ETL, data integration functionality would be absolutely perfect in many cases. Currently, it doesn't get the job done and we need to extract, transform, and load the data from faulty data sets into something more suitable for the deployment of the analytics tool. View full review »
Alfonso Gordillo
Director Research and Development at Projects Factory
I would like to see a feature that connects with a Machine Learning platform like a RapidMiner or Azure Machine Learning Studio. It would be great to have a Machine Learning application link to connect. View full review »
Akshata Tare
Data Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Its ease of use feature is not very intuitive and needs to improve. View full review »
Senior Programmer Analyst with 1,001-5,000 employees
The DAX features need some improvement. It's not as easy as Excel. They need more DAX formulas. View full review »
Manager at a logistics company with 501-1,000 employees
They should add mobile access. View full review »
Sonali Mali
Engineer at Jade Global
We were having trouble working with the icons. View full review »
Guru Javvadi
Software Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees
It could have more of a hold on big data. Manipulating big data on this solution complicates things. This needs to be improved. Also, we post NGDP data and manipulating this kind of data could be better. View full review »
Geoff Speedy
IT Director with 10,001+ employees
* The data source definition is all over the place. * It needs a wizard that covers all its options. * It needs an AI which can choose the appropriate connection strings and provide options for connections. View full review »
Principal at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Drill-down in dashboards needs to improved. The capability only works in Power BI Desktop today. We need to have an alternative approach today. View full review »
Balaji Ram
IT & Projects Development with 1,001-5,000 employees
* Dependency on data warehousing and pricing. * Clarity on the Power BI (free) compared to Power BI (pro). View full review »
Peter Valbonesi
Project Manager with 51-200 employees
* More graphics and overlays * More analytic tools * More interfaces to databases, especially multi-table management View full review »
Senior Manager with 10,001+ employees
* Delta update * More than 10 GB of space * Single sign-on * More than 30 Windows to update by Power Bi gateway. View full review »
Bart Witteveen
ERP Consultant MS Dynamics Nav
* Sharing reports with non-Power BI users * Use of ISO weeks (European) in relative date options. View full review »

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