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AndreaD'Orio
Chief Technical Officer at Value Partners
Real User
Top 20
Offers simple licensing, good pricing, and an easy setup
Pros and Cons
  • "We find the solution offers good stability."
  • "Microsoft Power BI was born native on the cloud, however, it's quite difficult when it has to connect to on-premise data sources."

What is our primary use case?

We are a consultant company so we use the many tools, just for our customers. However, we have professional services on, for example, Microsoft Power BI.

What is most valuable?

The initial setup is easy.

The solution is cloud-native. 

It works well with Microsoft products. 

The licensing is very simple.

We find the solution offers good stability.

You can scale the solution if you need to. 

Technical support has always been helpful and responsive.

Pricing is quite reasonable.

What needs improvement?

They should improve the connector to on-premises data. Microsoft Power BI was born native on the cloud, however, it's quite difficult when it has to connect to on-premise data sources. You have a gateway. It's not very easy.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution offers good stability. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product scales well. If a company needs to expand it, it's not a problem.

How are customer service and support?

We use a couple of professionals from Microsoft directly for our clients, and we are really satisfied with them.

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

We use SAS BI and Microsoft BI. I prefer Microsoft BI as, from a licensing point of view, it's easier as it's a per-user licensing. If Power BI is the right tool for companies, it's a shorter time-to-market approach to business intelligence.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not overly complex or difficult. A company should have no issue with the process. 

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

We find the licensing to be very straightforward. It's easier to understand than other options on the market. 

The pricing is fairly inexpensive. It's not a costly solution.

What other advice do I have?

We have a business relationship with Microsoft. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner for cloud products. In the past, we've used a lot of Microsoft products and also some of our clients have used them directly.

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

I'd advise that new users should take care of the technical architecture in order to connect in the right way to the data sources to extract data.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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Data Warehouse Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use and flexible but can't handle big data
Pros and Cons
  • "The product is easy to use and simple to navigate."
  • "The product doesn't support unstructured data. It doesn't support video, streaming, and strings of files."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution primarily for making dashboards. We are also doing analytics on Microsoft BI.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very stable.

The product is easy to use and simple to navigate.

The product has proven to be quite flexible.

It is quite scalable and it is doing the work that we want it to. 

What needs improvement?

We'd like the solution to be more scalable. 

We'd like the ability to manage it on the cloud, as a cloud-based solution. It is running out of business as it is not able to keep pace with the big data. Big data is not something that BI can support. It cannot be scaled that much. 

The product doesn't support unstructured data. It doesn't support video, streaming, and strings of files. Microsoft is aware of this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for seven to eight years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable and the performance is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable, although, in our case, as we are not on the cloud, we are facing some issues.

We have more than ten people using the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never reached out to technical support in the past. I cannot speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't a part of the initial setup. That was something that was handled by another team. I can't speak to how long it took to deploy.

My understanding is that you only need two people to deploy the solution. Admins usually handle it.

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

I don't have any insights into the licensing and payments required. 

What other advice do I have?

We are using the latest version of the solution. I'm not sure of the exact version number. 

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. For us, it has met our expectations and we enjoy its capabilities.

I'd recommend this product to other users and organizations.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Analyst Operations with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Displays information well, simple to install, and low maintenance
Pros and Cons
  • "In the process of using data there is the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL). For extracting we are using another software, for transforming we are using our own coding in C#, and then we use Microsoft BI for loading the information. Microsoft BI displays information very well."
  • "The solution could improve the extraction and transformation of data. For example, you transform the data and then send it to Microsoft BI without having to use your own API. We are only providing the API to Power BI, and then Power BI is doing the job."

What is our primary use case?

We were using Microsoft BI but it could not do what we wanted it to do. Then we moved to an open-source platform, which was Apache Tika, Kafka, and third solution. We ended up moving back to Power BI only to display the information because displaying information with Power BI is better than open-source software. We are not using all aspects of the solution at the moment.

What is most valuable?

In the process of using data there is the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL). For extracting we are using another software, for transforming we are using our own coding in C#, and then we use Microsoft BI for loading the information. Microsoft BI displays information very well.

What needs improvement?

The solution could improve the extraction and transformation of data. For example, you transform the data and then send it to Microsoft BI without having to use your own API. We are only providing the API to Power BI, and then Power BI is doing the job.

In an upcoming release, Microsoft BI should increase the functionality of the solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for approximately six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We were satisfied with the stability of Microsoft BI.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 30 users using the solution in my organization.

How are customer service and support?

We are in contact with the support of Microsoft but I have not been in contact directly.

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

I have used other solutions, such as Apache Tika and Kafka.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

The solution only needs one person to do the maintenance.

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

There are a few options available for purchasing a license. Typically the number of users you have will determine the price of the license. The more users you have the more you will pay.

What other advice do I have?

The solution has had a lot of changes over the years and it is very good. However, there is more work to be done on extract and transform functions for it to be done properly.

I rate Microsoft BI an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Graduate Engineer at a transportation company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable and easy to use
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the most valuable features of Power BI is the ease of use. It is comfortable and there is not a steep learning curve for this solution. If you have some idea of the data and basic visualization ideas, you can use this solution comfortably."
  • "Power BI's drillthrough feature could be improved. I didn't like drillthrough and those options much, but I did like it in MicroStrategy."

What is our primary use case?

We use Power BI for a variety of applications, including retail analytics, sales, and process digitization. Except for time series data, we use it for everything. 

We have both deployment options open, so we have the requirements for both on-prem as well as on the cloud. 

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of Power BI is the ease of use. It is comfortable and there is not a steep learning curve for this solution. If you have some idea of the data and basic visualization ideas, you can use this solution comfortably. 

What needs improvement?

Power BI's drillthrough feature could be improved. I didn't like drillthrough and those options much, but I did like it in MicroStrategy

As for additional features, I think Power BI could have better interactive features for the end user and scalable drillthrough options. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have one year of experience with Microsoft BI. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Power BI is stable. I have not used it extensively, but from what I understand from my colleagues, it's stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Power BI is scalable. In my organization, there are probably 400 or 500 companies using this solution. We are probably going to increase our usage. 

How was the initial setup?

I have no idea whether the installation process was straightforward or not, on the admin side. As for the technical team required for deployment and maintenance, I would say you need maybe one or two admins. The development is based on use cases, but on average, I would say you need some 10 to 15 BI developers. 

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

We pay for licensing for Power BI. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are also using MicroStrategy. I did not like the drillthrough feature in Power BI, but I liked it in MicroStrategy. The way visualization works, I found that the interactiveness of MicroStrategy was better than Power BI. Similarly to Power BI, you can comfortably use MicroStrategy if you have some idea of the data and basic visualization ideas. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Power BI an eight out of ten. 

I would recommend Power BI to those considering using it, but would also recommend that they explore it themselves and understand their requirements. Their requirements will be different, so it's all use case based. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Junior Data Scientist at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Good transforming of data for visualization, useful, stable, and scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "It is quite easy to use and it helps me to achieve the projects that I've been assigned."
  • "I feel the modeling page should be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft BI typically to clean up data in Excel, as well as to create reports for my supervisor that will be analyzed and then used to draw conclusions.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides the common ground for data to be cleaned. We use this for everyone to work on cleaning up data in order to use it for visualizations, which has been helpful.

What is most valuable?

The transforming data before you start with the visualization comes in pretty handy.

It is quite easy to use and it helps me to achieve the projects that I've been assigned.

I have never had the inability to perform the tasks I've been assigned with the software. 

It's very useful because you can create helpful reports, which assist you to analyze data in a very organized way.

What needs improvement?

I feel the modeling page should be simplified. The links between different parts of your data, on the models' page, are a bit confusing. It was difficult for me to learn. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft BI for three months.

We are using an older version specific to the organization.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft BI is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft BI is quite scalable, especially with the number of coding languages that are available to use.

We have approximately 23 data scientists in our organization who are using this solution. We use it extensively.

We are mostly using Microsoft BI but we are trying to bring in Tableau and maximize the potential of both.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted technical support.

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

I also have experience with Tableau.

How was the initial setup?

When I arrived, this solution was already set up.

What other advice do I have?

For others who want to start using Microsoft BI, I would say go through some tutorials on your own first and then try and practice with practice data sets that are available online. Also, feel free to play around with the different tools, and the different visualizations, because you can use them differently for different things.

I would rate Microsoft BI a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MCSE at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helpful support, plenty of useful features, and stable
Pros and Cons
  • "I like all the tools in Microsoft BI because they all have different purposes. There are a lot of people using Microsoft BI, and everybody is using it. The users have adapted well to the technology."
  • "I have a little problem with Synapse Analytics because it's very new. It's a product that has many capabilities, but it is not very well developed. I have to see the list of permissions from one object. I can't do this in Synapse. I have to search on the web for a solution because I don't have the tool for it."

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft BI in out data warehouse for analytics. We use it for many purposes.

What is most valuable?

I like all the tools in Microsoft BI because they all have different purposes. There are a lot of people using Microsoft BI, and everybody is using it. The users have adapted well to the technology.

There are plenty of visualization tools, a lot of functionality, and documentation.

What needs improvement?

I have a little problem with Synapse Analytics because it's very new. It's a product that has many capabilities, but it is not very well developed. I have to see the list of permissions from one object. I can't do this in Synapse.  I have to search on the web for a solution because I don't have the tool for it.

The engine of Synapse Analytics and the ability to export the data that has been published to the web could improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Microsoft BI within the past 12 months. I have been working with Microsoft BI tools for approximately 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft BI is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately 30 people using the solution in my organization. This includes experts that make reports.

How are customer service and support?

The support is good. We created approximately two or three cases, and they had the solution for us, or they had meetings with us to find a solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Microsoft BI is easy.

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

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.

What other advice do I have?

Synapse Analytics is the engine of the data that Power BI consumes.

I would advise those that use the solution to check all the license modes that the tool has because it's very confusing sometimes. You cannot just buy the product, you need to know who needs the product, who will use it, and who will be publishing. There are many aspects to figure out that when you do it will be better for you. 

I rate Microsoft BI an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Lead Statistical Analyst | Innovation Champion at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Has good drag and drop interactability visualization but it's a bit complicated to make it refresh automatically
Pros and Cons
  • "We like the drag and drop interactability visualization. We really like that. It's user-friendly."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

We have SharePoint in our company and then we just wanted to visualize that list and it connects to the Check Point list.

What is most valuable?

We like the drag and drop interactability visualization. We really like that. It's user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company has been using Microsoft BI for a few years but I've been using it since January 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it's very scalable. I don't even foresee that as a challenge. 

We have five or six users who view the reports. There are other departments who might be using it as well but we have five or six in my department. It's expected to rise to 15, 20.

The users are managers who want to look at some of the resources.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't interacted with Power BI before. If I get stuck at someplace, I just go online and I search in the forums and I find my way.

How was the initial setup?

There isn't really a setup involved. It's just download Power BI desktop and publish it.

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

We have a premium Power BI license in-house that's quite an expensive license. It's $10 a month for four users and then I think 35,000 at the premium rate.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure that you use Sharepoint. If you are within the Microsoft system and want to have a similar experience to Microsoft Teams, then Microsoft Power BI is a very good solution for that.

I would like to have the ability to run the scheduled refresh for R and Python on the server. Right now, it's not possible.

I would rate it a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Functional Consultant at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Stable, easy to set up, and quite scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "The scalability overall has been quite good."
  • "The admin view could be improved by making it more simplified to manage a users' activity and other things."

What is our primary use case?

The product can be used to get all business insights from connected data, for example, whatever is on our system, which we are using for our business solutions. 

All the data can be connected and it can give you actionable insights.

There are also some AI capabilities.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very stable.

The scalability overall has been quite good.

We found the initial installation to be very straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The admin view could be improved by making it more simplified to manage a users' activity and other things. That would be quite helpful.

It could be more user-friendly in general.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. There aren't issues around bugs or glitches. It doesn't freeze. I haven't experienced a crash. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been good. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so. 

Right now, we have 200 people using the solution.

How are customer service and support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past. It's okay. I don't have any complaints at all. 

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

Before we had this solution, we used some internal software development using normal SQLs and JavaScripts. We also take advantage of our SQL Server. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward and simple. It's not a complex process. A company shouldn't face any issues handling it. 

We only needed two people to handle the deployment and maintenance aspects of the product. It's one manager and one developer.

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

We deal with both monthly and yearly licenses, which are coming due soon.

What other advice do I have?

As it is cloud-based, this solution is always providing us with the latest version to use. 

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We're mostly quite happy with its capabilities. 

I would recommend the solution to other users and organizations. 

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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