Easily customizable, good reporting, and offers self-serve analytics
Pros and Cons
"The amount of customization that you can do is good, and it's relatively straightforward to do."
"The look and feel should be updated in terms of the types of dashboards and graphs that you can produce. They aren't as visual as some of its competitors."
What is our primary use case?
We are a solution provider and Microsoft BI is one of the products that we implement for our customers. It is used for customized dashboarding, reporting, and self-serve analytics, on a broad scale in enterprise.
What is most valuable?
The amount of customization that you can do is good, and it's relatively straightforward to do. People with limited experience in terms of coding can implement this themselves. If an organization doesn't have a high amount of skill, internally, then it's something that they can still spin up themselves, relatively well.
What needs improvement?
It could be changed to the point where it's more suited for self-serve analytics.
The look and feel should be updated in terms of the types of dashboards and graphs that you can produce. They aren't as visual as some of its competitors.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been selling and using Microsoft BI for approximately two years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Microsoft BI is a stable solution.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This product is scalable.
We have dozens of customers that use it.
How are customer service and support?
The Microsoft technical support is not great. You need to have a partner in place that's able to handle these services for you. Customers aren't going to get answers quick enough if they're going directly to the vendor.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have experience with a couple of other similar products but I'd only downloaded the free versions of these tools to play around with. One of these is Tableau.
Tableau is a solution that would be used more at the enterprise scale. It may be more suitable for analytics.
These days, from a visual perspective in terms of analytics, dashboards, and customized dashboards, I tend to use Google products.
How was the initial setup?
The complexity of the installation depends on what you're using it for. If you're doing anything relatively complex, such as working with AI or machine learning, then you would probably want to have a specialist service provider do it for you.
We've seen that people are tending to use solutions that compete with it, just because they are easier to automate. From a large-scale point of view, the installation could be simpler.
That said, in its simplest form, it can be used for self-serve analytics.
What about the implementation team?
A company can handle the deployment and maintenance in-house on its own. Or, if they're doing a large-scale project, they might be in need of two engineers.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
My customers pay a yearly licensing fee.
From a cost point of view, it's competitive in the enterprise space, although it's not as competitive when you add up all of the additional costs. Things like integrations cost extra and it's probably where Microsoft makes more of the money.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: