Microsoft BI vs SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on May 19, 2022

We performed a comparison between Microsoft BI and SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Most Microsoft BI users say the initial setup is straightforward. Some SAP BusinessObjects users say the initial setup is straightforward, while others say it is complex.
  • Features: Reviewers of both products are happy with their stability, scalability, and reporting tools. Microsoft BI users say it is user-friendly and flexible with good integration options, but that its performance lags when handling large amounts of data. SAP BusinessObjects users like its scheduling feature and say it is secure. Several SAP BusinessObjects users note, however, that its UI needs enhancement.
  • Pricing: Some Microsoft BI reviewers feel that the price is fair while others feel it is too high. SAP BusinessObjects reviewers say it is an expensive product.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Microsoft BI reviewers are very satisfied with the level of support they receive. Some SAP BusinessObjects reviewers say the support is good, but others say there is a slow response time.

Comparison Results: Microsoft BI comes out on top in this comparison. It is reliable and easy to use. In addition, when compared with SAP BusinessObjects, it is easier to set up, less expensive, and has better customer support.

To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Report (Updated: November 2023).
745,341 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: BI Reports for business users - which BI solutions should we choose?
Answer: Your Collegue may want to look at Tableau.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"It's the analytic engine in terms of the interface on the Power BI environment, as opposed to pivot tables, and it's a mobile solution.""What I like most is that I can do everything in Power BI that I can do in Excel.""Power BI is more powerful than other tools because it is new for us. Each new version has more capabilities, and we're expecting AI and ML features in the next version.""The solution is not that difficult to install, although this will vary with the experience of the person responsible for its installation.""Good reporting and data analysis tool that's user-friendly, easy to deploy, stable, and scalable.""ou can pull reports, visualize them in real-time, and connect them to a variety of other data sources.""The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is an easy-to-use tool.""Microsoft BI's initial setup is very straightforward."

More Microsoft BI Pros →

"The solution is stable.""BusinessObject's most useful feature is the semantic layer, which offers us the flexibility to go for ad hoc reporting.""The scheduling and publication features are very useful.""I have seen improvement in our work after using the solution.""The web intelligence reporting tool and universe designer are the most valuable aspects of the solution.""The platform is a complete enterprise-level tool where everything is integrated to suffice your requirement.""Has features that can be leveraged to scale out and scale up.""The initial setup of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform was easy since the solution is user-friendly."

More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Pros →

"Power BI's administration could use some work, and the user experience needs to improve because it is a client-based tool. If you want to generate a model or report, you need to use client tools, but client tools are limited for end-users who don't have enough hardware. For example, maybe a client lacks enough memory or CPU power for report generators. If you use a model that requires a massive amount of data, your client will face several problems.""One opportunity for improvement would be on the Power Query side. As a consultant, I know Power Query is not the main strength of Power BI. It is not where Power BI shines, but many customers use Power Query to do full ETL workloads for deliverable cookies.""There's always room for improvement for Microsoft Power BI, especially for the UX and the menus to make it more accessible to business users.""The UI looks awkward once the graphs have been generated in the console. This is what Microsoft can work on.""I'm missing collaborations functionality to operate or to work connected with multiple people on a data source or on virtualization. There should be more collaborations functions, such as in Confluence. We haven't explored the solution sufficiently in this area, but at this time it doesn't look sufficient.""I believe the price should be degressive, and we should have a lower, or better unit price if we have more users.""Sometimes while developing, the front end is not easily customizable and it has limitations. We cannot go and do any UI we want. We have to stick to the limitations of the product.""If you look at the new tool, even though they promised that you could do data modeling, that you could do everything from the Power BI side, if your data is really large in volume, sometimes it doesn't work on the Power BI. More feature testing from their side would certainly help users."

More Microsoft BI Cons →

"SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is lacking dashboards and this would be the only reason we are looking for another solution.""The integration could be improved. The SAP suite has some integration problems and it has some huge development needs. For example, when you use Power BI, if you publish a dataset to the web, there is no issue in seeing the data with the report. The data and report are integrated automatically. Or when you use QlikView, when you publish the QVD file, the report is integrated with QVD. Also, with Tableau, when you publish the data, it's in the hyper database, in the memory, and the dashboard with data is integrated seamlessly. In the SAP side, it's not easy. There are lots of business layers. There are also some performance issues in the SAP BusinessObjects suite. They should focus on the technologies. We are partners and every step of the way, SAP asks us for money. If you want to see the products, the PDFs, if you want to learn the product, online training, etc., everything has a cost on the SAP site. Because of this, partners try to get to know the products on their own. SAP only focuses on the sales side—only money is important for SAP, not the quality. In that way, the operation is not easy on the SAP side. As a suggestion, they should focus on customers first instead of money.""It is not simple to use.""The platform should be a bit more user-friendly.""Factoring in total implementation and maintenance costs, SAP BusinessObjects is too expensive. If you deal with a huge amount of data, you can go with BusinessObjects. However, if you are a medium-sized company with a modest amount of data, you can opt for another solution.""SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform should be made easier for the end-users and the performance could be improved.""We would like to see a native version of BusinessObjects and Web Intelligence created for the cloud.""The financial area in the solution has certain shortcomings that need improvement."

More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "If you purchase a license for a server, for users, or the professional version, you might not have to. The free version I think it can satisfy many customers' needs."
  • "We have enterprise licenses and some of the other tools or features come as a package and others you have to purchase separately."
  • "We're charged a monthly subscription fee of 500 rupees per person."
  • "They have a free Power BI Desktop version, but it has limitations."
  • "It's straightforward licensing."
  • "I have not had a customer suggest the solution is too expensive. There are licenses to use the solution."
  • "Both cost-wise and implementation-wise, this product is a good choice."
  • More Microsoft BI Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "SAP is losing market to its competitors because of its costly user license and licensing model. They can do much better on the licensing side. That's what Microsoft has been doing, and that's why Power BI is gaining market share at the moment. SAP needs to relax a little bit on the licensing part. If Microsoft is giving people a solution that is half of the cost of SAP, people will definitely go with Power BI."
  • "SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is an expensive application."
  • "We are satisfied with the solution, but we are not satisfied with the licensing cost which SAP offers. They offer one lumpsum licensing which does everything. That is not the right strategy, because sometimes you don't have power users, they are only viewers, but we need to buy the full license for them. This is not something we want to continue with."
  • "There is an annual license to use SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform."
  • "It is not a subscription model, but you must purchase a perpetual license for this."
  • "The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform has to improve its licensing cost."
  • More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Avigail Sugarman
    it_user278766 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user278766 (Co Founder at a tech vendor)

    All the traditional BI platforms including Business Objects and Microsoft Reporting services and Analysis services require IT involvement almost at every step in preparing the data and report.

    Self serve BI is the promise to these business analysts without technology background. However following characteristics are a must to meet the self serve BI dream.
    - BI tool should be capable of reading data from its source without a dependency on ETL or a warehouse.
    - While a dimensional model gives most flexibility for ad hoc data analysis, it brings a overhead of consistent modeling mindset requiring very technical background.
    - Ability to convert grid data into visualization and vice versa with few clicks
    - Ability to mashup multiple analysis from multiple sources on to a single screen.
    - Finally a framework that let's end users seamlessly build their analysis while IT can throttle, govern, audit and scale end user data needs with a great amount of automation behind the scenes as a continuous process as opposed to be a pre process.

    Two such platforms I have come across are
    1) Tableau
    2) CarbonBI

    it_user125805 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user125805 (Software Development Leader at a university)

    These solutions seem good for Visualizations. I like Pentaho personally. Wondering why the this suggestion hasn't been made??

    it_user120558 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user120558 (Head of Data Analytics at a hospitality company)

    Sap business objects can provide a sophisticated self service solution that is very easy for the end users to engage with for both ad hoc analysis and report writing and distribution. However as with all Bi solutions the back end data warehouse must be designed intelligently and business objects universes configured correctly. The same thing really applies no matter what toolset you select. If you already have business objects then it makes sense to ask IT to set it up as a self service solution rather than look for another technology. If IT do not have the skills then look for a good consultant to perform a review of your BI solution and make recommendations.

    it_user125418 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user125418 (Owner/Principal at a tech services company with 51-200 employees)


    Good comments similar to the points I was making. I think that it is still
    important to consider how much data you expect to be dealing with, the
    tool's analytical architecture (ROLAP or MOLAP), the sophistication of your
    analyst end users, and how complex your reports are likely to be. If you
    or the analysts expect that solution development is going to be in the
    hands of the analyst, then the tool needs to be relatively easy to learn.
    On the last point, if you expect a lot of slicing-and-dicing you need an
    architecture that will support the high indexing load. Anyway, success and
    use acceptance is not just a question of apparent simplicity and seemingly
    low cost.


    Keith Breedlove
    Polyglot Analytics, LLC
    Groveland, FL

    it_user141816 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user141816 (User)

    I suggest Power Data, the new Microsoft develop.

    it_user80007 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user80007 (CTO at Writer Safegaurd)

    Try Tableau.

    it_user138423 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user138423 (BI Expert)

    I would suggest looking at Tableau for requirements of self-service nature. The success factor for a self service tool depends on the ease-of-use for the end-user who is less proficient in IT skills and the range of tasks it allows the end user to accomplish. Tableau scores highly on both these parameters. Backed by a well designed data mart, Tableau can be the solution that pretty much allows the end user to replace the need for IT. It has excellent training materials available in one-click and many forums where people are ready share their cool experiences. Developing a report in Tableau for me was more like playing a video game, a throughly enjoyable experience to get to a cool end-product. You want the end-users to cherish the process of creation and Tableau does that with ease.

    it_user74586 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user74586 (Project Manager at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

    I would focus on Tableau and MicroStrategy (we went with MSTR several years ago to supplant BO), although QlickView has its proponents for ease of use...

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:There are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP… more »
    Top Answer:Power BI is an advanced visualization tool oriented to big data with a very complete set of widgets to visualize information, control users accessing information, the configuration of governance… more »
    Top Answer:Oracle OBIEE is great in allowing design and creativity per the individual needs of the organization. Dashboards are fully customizable and very user-friendly. This solution is very stable. Oracle… more »
    Top Answer:Both tools have their positives and negatives. First, I should mention that I am relatively new to Tableau. I have been working on and off Tableau for about a year, but getting to work on it… more »
    Top Answer:The initial setup of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform was easy since the solution is user-friendly.
    Average Words per Review
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    SSRS, SSAS, MSBI, MS Reporting Services, Power BI, Microsoft BI Tools, Microsoft Big Data, Power BI Pro, MS BI
    SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects, Business Objects
    Learn More

    Microsoft BI is a business intelligence solution that connects to all your data sources and turns your data into insightful and useful business information that is relevant to all levels of the business, ensuring data accuracy, consistency, and security.

    Microsoft BI combines familiar Microsoft tools - Office, SharePoint, and SQL server - with extra features for end-users, such as Power View and Power Pivot. This powerful product gives businesses a competitive advantage by allowing end users to better analyze their data, collaborate, and better present their data.

    The BI platform empowers members of your organization to make data-driven decisions that drive strategic actions quickly by allowing them to work together easily on the same data, share insights, and collaborate on reports using other Microsoft Office applications.

    Microsoft BI Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Microsoft BI include: 

    • Scalability: Easily scale the Microsoft BI platform to help reduce costs and minimize the security risks and complexities that arise as a result of maintaining multiple systems.
    • Secure analytics: Protect your data with sophisticated data security features, including sensitivity labeling, end-to-end encryption, and real-time access monitoring. View and share meaningful AI-based insights enriched by data visualizations.
    • Regular user-driven innovative updates: Get weekly and monthly updates that improve the capabilities of Power BI based on thousands of ideas submitted each year from a community of over 500,000 members worldwide.
    • Seamless integration with Microsoft products: Microsoft BI connects with Microsoft 365, allowing you to create Excel queries, data models, and reports for the Power BI dashboards. These integrations make it easy to collect, analyze, publish, and share Excel business data.
    • Access Microsoft BI from any location: BI can be accessed at any time from anywhere using its mobile app, allowing ease of access to distributed teams or businesses across many locations. The business intelligence platform also enables teams to work on any file at the same time.
    • User-friendly dashboard: View and manage your data in a user-friendly and intuitive customized dashboard. The Microsoft BI platform enables teams to work independently while exchanging analytics between different departments and users. With Microsoft BI, you can easily create personalized dashboards that combine on-premises and cloud data into a single view, allowing you to monitor enterprise data from multiple business applications.
    • Easy installation: Install the platform in minutes just by creating an API key and inputting it into the software.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Microsoft BI stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its integration options and its data analytics capabilities.

    Tariq R., an operations & BI analyst at American Hospital Dubai, writes, “Power BI is a complete ecosystem. It has an integrated ETL tool and good connectivity with applications such as Office 365 and SQL. Power BI supports the DAX and Power Query M languages. These languages are making Power BI very strong in data analytics, and you can do many types of analysis. ”

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is a versatile and flexible solution for reporting and dashboards, focusing on analytics and ad hoc reporting. It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. The solution includes tools such as Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, SAP Lumira, and Analytical Cloud and is primarily used for comprehensive business intelligence reporting.

    The most valuable features include excellent reporting features, good technical support, scalability, and the ability to translate database data into business language. The solution has helped organizations by providing analytics, monitoring KPIs, and making important decisions as a financial business.

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Key Features

    • Central management: Access all your BI from a single, central launchpad that can be customized to meet user-specific needs. The launchpad provides business users with access to all their BI tools, reports, notifications, and applications in a single place. This includes the ability to launch SAP Analytics Cloud.

    • Data visualization and analytics: Create powerful visualizations, dashboards, and applications to assess risk, improve efficiency, identify opportunities, and enable users to analyze developments and data. Business insights can be shared with colleagues across enterprises.

    • Integration with Microsoft Office: Integrate with SAP Business Warehouse and SAP HANA to power real-time analytics. For large-scale data analysis, you can integrate with Microsoft Excel to discover in-depth business insights and forecasts. Data analytics information can also be embedded into Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

    • Cloud support: Extend and expand your BI on the cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud connects your BI to the cloud and offers enterprise planning and advanced analytics from a single online solution.

    Reviews from Real Users

    SAP BusinessObjects BI stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Several major ones are its user-friendly dashboard, its impressive reporting and analytic features, and its ability to integrate with multiple solutions.

    A managing partner at a tech services company writes, "One of the most valuable features of SAP BusinessObjects is that it's not a dashboarding solution. It's a real product. You can create operational reports and publish it to anyone. You can create schedules. You can create a Universe, semantic layers. There's also a security configuration. It's a huge product, so if there is a business need, SAP BusinessObjects can cover it."

    An associate manager at a consultancy notes, "It provides flexibility for creating reports. It is very good for creating highly complex reports. I like this solution because when I buy BusinessObjects, it comes with many components, such as reporting, dashboard, and data visualization tools. Its performance is good. It is running on top of SAP BW and SAP HANA."

    A manager of data analytics and interfaces at a healthcare company says, "It has got great flexibility. As a reporting tool, it has a great deal of flexibility for numerous data resources that you can bring into it. It allows you to write your SQL query directly within the product. It has great visualization. 

    Learn more about Microsoft BI
    Learn more about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    Sample Customers
    Konica Minolta, Klout, Mahindra Satyam, The Weather Channel, Argus, Credit Suisse, NCR, and Sysmex.
    SRAM, Kennametal, Fairfax Water, British American Tobacco, Velux, and FedEx.
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Educational Organization34%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Manufacturing Company18%
    Healthcare Company11%
    Energy/Utilities Company9%
    Insurance Company7%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Company Size
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise45%
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise41%
    Large Enterprise46%
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise71%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    November 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and other solutions. Updated: November 2023.
    745,341 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft BI is ranked 1st in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 83 reviews while SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is ranked 6th in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 25 reviews. Microsoft BI is rated 8.0, while SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Microsoft BI writes "User friendly, easy to set up and great for analyzing data". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform writes "Integrates very well with SAP ERP, allows you to scale up or down anytime, and is absolutely trustworthy". Microsoft BI is most compared with Amazon QuickSight, Tableau, KNIME, Domo and Databricks, whereas SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is most compared with SAP Analytics Cloud, Oracle OBIEE, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy and Looker. See our Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform report.

    See our list of best BI (Business Intelligence) Tools vendors.

    We monitor all BI (Business Intelligence) Tools reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.