Microsoft BI Room for Improvement

Certified Adjunct Faculty, School of Engineering and Computing at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
When it comes to improvement, I would say there could be more tutorials for students in universities who are just learning it. And it wouldn't have to be just for students in universities. It might also be for the people who use it in the real world. The evidence that I see when I look into it is there's a lot of user group type of connections to the Power BI world. And many, many bloggers telling their stories and promoting themselves or small businesses promoting themselves to do it for you using Power BI. The claim being that they could help you get it done instead of you doing it yourself. That's what goes on in this industry. You see a lot of entrepreneurial people who want to work in the role of consultant and get paid for it. There's a lot of that. And the invitation to look into the websites comes from little mini tutorials, which can be very helpful. But the next step of those tutorials, if most of the people get what they want out of them, is a contract to do the work. I don't want to introduce those kinds of things to my students, because it's kind of promoting something that could be a distraction. I worked for years as an independent consultant. I even did a fairly long series of contracts up in the state of Washington at Microsoft and I had 38 years in the industry before I became an academic teacher. But I'm avant-garde when it comes to sales. I avoid salesman because I don't want to believe the hype. I don't want to be deceived. And I don't want to suggest that somebody go that way. The topic of sales is overdone. This is an opinion on my part. On a practical note, the process of importing data into a new environment that has recently been designed is always a major effort. And Power BI has some weaknesses when it comes to loading data into an otherwise good concept and a good design because if it's not seriously tested and all shortcomings noticed beforehand, the importing process will fail. Even a cool tool like Power BI cannot anticipate the complexity of the variety of sources of data. But they're not alone. That would not be a disqualifier. But because I don't have direct yet, hands-on, having done this, I don't really know how Microsoft would improve this area. I think they've got it handled on integration. Everything that you're working with is already a Microsoft environment or a Microsoft tool. It's integrated. But if you're using the desktop tools by Microsoft and you need to deploy into a backend of Oracle, there might be some things that a smart consultant has to help out with. So cross-platform integration could use some improvement in terms of ease-of-use. View full review »
Northern Europe IT Business Intelligence Manager at Adecco
I think that the product would benefit by increasing the range of visuals and graphics readily available, as opposed to using a third party included as part of the product. One way they could do that is for Microsoft to buy some of those third party companies, as they are specialists in visual creation, and they are making money from that. However, I understand that perhaps Microsoft maybe doesn't want to invest in that side of the business. Perhaps it is a financial decision. I would say that if we can have those additional visuals built into the product, it will be great. Alternatively, in the future, there should be an additional tool there that allows you to create your own visuals. That will give users more flexibility. It would also be useful for users with little experience in coding, or other Microsoft tools such as Excel. For example, let's say, you are a random user, and you're just looking at the computer for the first time. You open Power BI, but you know you can go to an Excel file and connect to that Excel file from Power BI. This is very simple and intuitive. So, once you have connected to the data, you can see your fields on the right-hand side, and all you need to do then is to drag and drop the fields you need. You can then select a relevant visual or graphic, and put the information alongside that visual, and then you have the visual and the data created as one item. This is very useful and dynamic. This would also have the other huge advantage, in that it would be a cheaper solution to use. I would like the ability to reuse connections. For example, if I created a connection to an SQL server, and I published my report using that connection, and then shared my report, it would be useful to be able to reuse the existing connection to the SQL server. In this way, I can reuse the existing dataset to create another report. I believe this is already the subject of a support ticket. Say I then wanted to reuse another connection from a different connection, say Oracle, to use in the same report, I could use the connections to those two sources and build the report. If I already have the sources online, and available for me, it would make sense that I could reuse them. At the moment, you can only reuse one data source. You cannot reuse more than one data source, at least if the data sources are online. One workaround would be to access each data source in turn, to obtain the data for the report. However, from October 2020, when using Excel driven reports, it is possible to reuse data flows or reuse the data component, from Power BI in Excel. So Microsoft has already implemented it for Excel, but it is still in the preview features. That will help a lot in financial areas. This could also impact company sales forecasts and sales. View full review »
Sai Krishna J
Manager, BI & Analytics at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
In my opinion, the software is a little bit limited in terms of the flexibility it offers, with regard to the design of the visualization. By comparison, if you look at some other visualization tools, such as Tableau, for instance, the range of designs, or the range of graphics that you can create with Tableau is far greater than what you can do with Power BI. Of course, they do provide an option to download templates and use them, but every time, you have to go to the Power BI store, search for those templates, download them and then use them. I think it's a growing universe of visualizers that they have, so probably, they are also working on the same thing. I believe, in terms of the designs of the visualizations that the tool can create, there is some room for improvement. One more aspect that needs improvement is the formatting of visualizations that we create. Formatting in this context is the colors or the font style or font sizes. The formatting options, I believe, could be made a bit more user-friendly than the way things are right now. It's a little hard to figure out where to go and how to change the formatting of a particular chart or graph. So, I think the formatting options could be made a little bit more user-friendly. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
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Gary Gonsalves
Consultant at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
I haven't experienced any issues with it right now, so I can't really advise on that part. I think because I'm moving more into RPA, I'd definitely like to see integration across the RPA, Power BI, or Tableau platforms because that integration could then make automation and mundane reporting much faster. You'll always require some more complex reports that the analyst could work on, but the very standard sales reports could then be automated very quickly using Power BI and RPA together. View full review »
Compensation Coordinator at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
I would like it to be a little bit more secure when I'm using the design feature on my desktop. For example, to have the ability to set up security passwords for opening the file. Currently, they don't have that. Tableau, for example, has a visual way of doing data processing steps, whereas the Power BI system still has some code, although it is very low code. It would be great to have the kind of view that Tableau has. View full review »
Oscar Estorach
Chief Data-strategist and Director at
It should work faster and have more common languages so that you can use it more in different types of connections. It doesn't work well on big data. It is too slow. I hope in future it will be a comparable big data tool, such as, for example, Data Lake. It uses the DAX language, which is not used widely. Maybe they should develop this part of the tool to improve access to people who don't know DAX. Sometimes it needs to have a special configuration and hardware to connect to a data warehouse. So, interoperability with other systems could be improved. View full review »
Consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Actionable insights could be better. I would like it to provide exceptional reports that you need to act upon to keep your operations or businesses going. That's something I would like to see. On the origination side, if there are better graphs and maps to visualize data like I've seen other tools like Tableau do, it might be useful. They need to have very different ways of presenting information. If it's eye-catching, better than a pie chart or a bar graph, that's even better. View full review »
Jose Barbosa
Board Member at GTI Digital
I think that they should improve the mobile application that they have, it's very poor. We generally have a very huge area to cover, to move blocks and data. But sometimes I need a small set of data that I can see in my personal iPhone. But the iPhone solution, and the solution from any smartphone, tablet, etc., is so limited. It's particularly important now when so many people are working from home. Sometimes I need to reply to a call from my support or customer teams, they might be asking for a concession for a customer. I want to be able to look at the data on that customer. I take out my phone and I have no data. It's the worst. I think that if they improve the mobile solutions, it would help me and my team. View full review »
Samuel Kamau
Co-Founder at Beta Edge Technology Limited
I think that they can add more types of charts because the selection on the desktop version is limited. I would like to see an option for adding audio to the visualizations. They need to add support for putting emojis into the dashboards. View full review »
BI Consultant at eInfochips
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. View full review »
Business Intelligence Developer at Kathmandu
I would like to be able to use SQL properly within the reports and allow multiple people to work on the same report at the same time. If one person is working on it, then it causes issues for anyone else wanting to make reports. We want to condense some reports, so they work for all departments, and not have a version for every single department. Also, I would like to have formulas easier to complete and create. Having its own system means something new to learn, although saying that, it's not hard to pick up this information. View full review »
Executive Vice President at a security firm with 201-500 employees
Microsoft BI comes under pressure when there is a lot of data to be crunched. It gets slower and slower, and the functionality becomes a bit of a problem. The performance goes down with data being fed into the system. The infrastructure requirement also increases if you have to increase the performance. This is the area that can be improved in my opinion. Initially, the product is good, but over the years, when data gets accumulated, it becomes a problem unless the old data is kind of archived and is no longer shown on the visualization. It has a feature by using which a user can query for a report through simple questions to a bot. So, if I want to look for the customer share of revenue by geography, I just simply state that in the chatbot. If I wanted it in a pie chart, then you say, "Please show it to me in a pie chart." It comes out well for basic charts. This feature should be improvised more so that people can very quickly get customized reports on the go. View full review »
Idrees Hussain
Advisory Software Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
A few features available in Tableau are not available in Power BI. For example. Tableau has the ability to make up the physical layer and all other stuff at runtime. In Power BI, we have to develop a proper physical layer to connect it. The limitation that we normally face is related to the direct query mode. When it comes to the direct query mode, most of the functionality is not working, which is an issue for us. We have to use the direct query mode frequently because the client needs real-time data. They should work on this limitation. There are a lot of other technical things that need to be improved. I am also following the Power BI platform and Microsoft Support Center platform on the web where users have put their requirements. Microsoft is also working on improving this solution. In every update, they add new features to this solution. View full review »
Praveen Chaudhary
Senior Consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
I need more time with the solution. Right now, I can't think of any features that are missing from the product. The integration with other solutions could be improved for reporting aspects. There are some reporting features in Tableau that we need access to and it would be ideal if there was a function between the two for data integration and data manipulation, with the final representation of the report available on Tableau. View full review »
Jorge Barroso
Consultor at Scitum
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 »
Head of Digitalization at a mining and metals company with 5,001-10,000 employees
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. View full review »
Alberto Guisande
Director at Decision Science
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. View full review »
Rohit B
Lead Statistical Analyst | Innovation Champion at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
If I have to update data automatically, where I have to pin the gateway, it doesn't update. There is a scheduled refresh functionality so that it refreshes automatically, but I find it very hard to make it work. Even though it's supposed to connect seamlessly, it's a bit complicated to make it refresh automatically. View full review »
The charting tool could be improved. The product could have better analytics capabilities. The initial setup is not straightforward. View full review »
Innovation & Project Portfolio Management Practice Director at FACTUM
The upgrade process could be improved. Sometimes we miss information if we haven't kept up with the versions. It should be easy to migrate, but it does not provide enough information about what may be lost if you upgrade, especially if something goes wrong with the upgrade. Any current developments should be included in the upgrade so that it is a seamless process. View full review »
Data Analyst at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
More connections with other systems should be added, which would allow for other integrations. View full review »
Mark Cunningham
Regional PDS - Director of Business Intelligence at JLL
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 »
BI Analyst at eVision Industry Software
Adding paginated reports to this tool could be of great help for users who want to move away from SSRS. I would like to see built-in Git support, incremental loading of data, and a machine learning model for predictive analysis. Custom colouring from the dashboard itself would be helpful. View full review »
Data Scientist at Packen SAS
We would like to have better SQL support for queries. It means to have a kind of development environment trying to correct bad sintax in SQL query, or having an intellisense like style for code completion being aware of table's fields and having a preview of the query response without needing to run the whole procedure. 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 »
Microsoft Dynamics Specialist at Strategix Business Solutions
I would like to see Machine Learning for Power Bi Pro users or an intermediate license to enable Machine Learning if you don't have access to a Premium account. The minimum embedded capacity for Machine learning is currently an A3 capacity, and this should be reduced to include A1 level licenses. View full review »
Diógenes Eloi
Consultor at PwC Brasil
Real-time updating needs improvement. View full review »
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
The solution could be more customizable and you do not have enough freedom on the code. View full review »
Balaji Ram
IT & Projects Development at Mohamed Hilal Group
* Dependency on data warehousing and pricing. * Clarity on the Power BI (free) compared to Power BI (pro). View full review »
Vice President - HSE Engineering at Reliance Industries Ltd
This solution needs integration with SAS and more deep analysis functionality. View full review »
Bart Witteveen
ERP Consultant MS Dynamics Nav at Witteveen Logistics & IT
* Sharing reports with non-Power BI users * Use of ISO weeks (European) in relative date options. View full review »
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
455,301 professionals have used our research since 2012.