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Solution Architect
Real User
Top 10
Provides great container data flow and status related paginated reports
Pros and Cons
  • "Provides good data flow related to the container and control flow."
  • "There are some connector-related issues in their MSBA solution."

What is our primary use case?

One of our primary use cases is to build an MSBA-based business intelligence solution for  collection agents, so that they can receive daily information relating to bills in the form of ledgers. I've built several packages to import the data from where it has been dumped. I then created the data mask for data analysis to showcase all the outputs and conclusions. As a result, there is a clear breakdown of total collections, the different parameters, customer-based information, and other essential information. We are partners of Microsoft BI and I'm a solutions architect.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has helped increase the client's total sales revenue for their collection agent. It's basically MSBA, plus an AIML kind of solution and it helps the client to increase the overall efficiency of their collection agents, increasing total revenue for the company. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the data flow related to the container and the control flow. Microsoft has recently introduced paginated reports in the status part. These are web-based and also mobile-based, depending upon the layout of the report. It can be easily printed in Word format as well as in layout format, regardless of size. 

What needs improvement?

There are some connector-related issues in their MSBA solution and there are certain features that Microsoft should include in the MSBA solution. One is the connective level problem that we currently face from the different data sources. It provides about 80% connectivity to all the data sources, but there is the remaining 20%. They could provide some kind of additional functionality which would make it a great solution. 

Buyer's Guide
Microsoft BI
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about 18 months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is pretty stable in its current form, and we are working on the same platform to optimize and incorporate everything. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is fully configurable and totally scalable. We are currently expanding the solution to include the area collections managers, the territory collection managers, and the regional collection managers. There are currently close to 3,000 users who are field collection agents. There is a maintenance cost but it's pretty low because it's an on-premise solution, so there is no cost attached to the server-based maintenance. Our support team is responsible for maintenance.

The solution is currently used throughout the company although there are geographical restrictions. They plan to extend usage to a pan-country level. It will take some time to implement but we are at the end stages of deployment on the pan-country level. Once completed, we expect there will be around 15,000 users. 

How are customer service and support?

We provide technical support as required by our clients. Urgent issues can be resolved within two or three hours. 

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

Microsoft BI is similar to Talent and Pentaho BI but Microsoft is more competitive and flexible over the other BI solutions. We can cover up or build our end-to-end solution from scratch and that includes reporting and we don't need to go to any kind of a visualization tool for that.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex because the data vault was not totally structured and we needed to create some kind of a data lake, dump the data, then analyze it and create the data mask. We require certain validations and checks before importing or exporting the data as well as the application of the cubes to SSRS before reporting services. Deployment time can be dependent on the server and we have designed the system to optimize the process. We have a deployment team which can include two to three developers. Deployment takes about 10 minutes. The client decides on the deployment plan because they have applications that hang on the production server and don't want deployment to hamper other applications. 

What was our ROI?

Microsoft BI is provided as a BI solution to incorporate or implement all data in a single platform. It enables you to build a data mart for your company and analyze it on a single platform. Even data analysis techniques can be carried out on this platform, and output of data can be visualized from the SSRS reporting tool. In this solution, the ROI is quite high because collection has increased up to 25% in one month compared to the same month last year.

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

We have used a client-based service in the pricing. As yet, there are no additional costs. 

What other advice do I have?

For anyone interested in building a BI solution from scratch, it's important to be aware that the data is not taken at a single platform. I believe that Microsoft BI is the best platform for this because it gives the flexibility to store the data into an SQL Server from different sources, and the ability to first dump your data into those servers. The analysis and reporting is in the same platform. Power BI has a much greater range than SSRS. Microsoft BI is a tool that gives it to you on a single platform, and you can build an end-to-end BI solution. This is not possible in Power BI. 

This solution gives me the total flexibility to use my skill set, in the technical forms and in the analysis form, in one go. I can do several things on a single platform regarding the data science, as well as the data analysis, pulling information, analyzing data, transforming data, creating data lakes, data warehouse, and data masks, all in a single platform. 

I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
IT Enterprise Architect - Partnership at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Real User
Offers many ways to connect with data sources and collaborate, but a pain to troubleshoot
Pros and Cons
  • "There is a lot of variety in Power BI. In particular, the visuals are quite rich and the feature set has been growing rapidly in the last two years. Possibly the best part for me is that there are a lot of ways to connect with data sources."
  • "My main complaint is that the error messages need to be made more clear. Currently, they are either too generic or outright misleading, and finding the real problem is like searching for a needle in a haystack."

What is our primary use case?

The main use cases that we see for Power BI are financial reporting, network analysis, structured and unstructured reporting, and self-service. We have just recently completed a pilot phase of Power BI and Qlik Sense, evaluating them against each other. In this pilot, we have had about 50 users in our company use Power BI, but eventually we envision having up to 300 concurrent users.

What is most valuable?

There is a lot of variety in Power BI. In particular, the visuals are quite rich and the feature set has been growing rapidly in the last two years. Possibly the best part for me is that there are a lot of ways to connect with data sources.

There's also support for integration of Microsoft 365, which enhances collaboration with all these interwoven tools including email, Teams, SharePoint, and so on.

What needs improvement?

My main complaint is that the error messages need to be made more clear. Currently, they are either too generic or outright misleading, and finding the real problem is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Along with that, whenever you encounter an issue and you need to do some troubleshooting, it is really hard to isolate the problem. For example, is it related to your data? Is it related to your report design or your construct? Or is it related to the visuals? Power BI is really not that helpful when it comes to troubleshooting.

My suggestion is that there should be some kind of design validator that says, "Hey, warning! This report (or this set of queries) cannot run fast." There may be a long list of restrictions you need to take into account when it comes to optimization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Power BI for nine months now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's not exactly as stable as I would like. We have had several service reliability issues as well as service degradation issues, which of course are typical to a sales based context. During those moments, though, it has been pretty inconvenient, especially for the users. Luckily we have not been confronted with that situation in production yet, as it was a non-production pilot setup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not easily scalable for us, in the way that we consider scalability. You have to be careful when considering an upgrade to your capacity plan, which comes with an extra cost. Alternatively, you need to simplify the reports that you have designed with your plan and eventually remodel them to accommodate further usage without unnecessary cost.

Even then, you are confronted with various product limitations or scalability constraints. For example, there is a maximum amount of queries that you can launch simultaneously. Ultimately, you need to remain cautious because it's not a one-size-fits-all approach especially when it comes to the price.

How are customer service and support?

I've used the Power BI support from various locations multiple times and I am satisfied with the help I received.

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

The current deployment we have relies on SAP BO (Business Objects) which is a vintage version and an aging solution, over approximately 10 years old now. SAP does have a more innovative replacement product, of course, namely SAP Analytics Cloud, or SAC.

We discussed our needs, requirements, report layouts, and so on with SAP and following further deeper analysis, SAP came back and confirmed that they could not realize it in the short term using SAP Analytics Cloud. It would require much more effort, including the integration of a data warehouse and more to reach our goals. And hence, as per SAP's recommendation, we dropped that scenario from our considerations.

How was the initial setup?

It's a sales-based offering so, by nature, it is simple and straightforward. However, the integration options are quite fuzzy and relatively complex when you start to connect to the variety of data sources.

It took a relatively long time of about three months to get everything up and running. The setup took longer than expected, to be honest, but the reason is not only related to the product as such. It was also related to the existing knowledge and capabilities of the IT delivery provider, where multiple gaps were identified.

What about the implementation team?

I designed the implementation of Power BI myself as the enterprise architect. I've been supervising the entire deployment and together with Microsoft product support, we've encountered various issues and discussed various situations on how to manage Power BI.

An example of the trouble we faced was that there were various middleware components that we needed to deploy as well. They were deployed but they were not up to the standards that I had identified. We had to upgrade and then patch them up to avoid that happening again.

As of today, we have a team of eight staff, including managers, engineers, and administrators, who handle deployments and maintenance.

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

Our license is paid yearly and we have found that we have to be careful not to over-extend our usage in order to avoid upgrading our capacity plan.

What other advice do I have?

Whether I can recommend Power BI depends on what you are searching for with this type of tool. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

I would rate Microsoft Power BI a seven out of ten.

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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PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft BI
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft BI. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VP Cloud Platform
Real User
Intuitive with great visuals and good scalability capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "Technical support has been great."
  • "Most clients have MacBooks. Therefore, they use Tableau as Power BI Desktop is not available for the MacBook right now."

What is our primary use case?

We have a startup focused on analytics around sports and athletes' performance. The data sits in our platform called Hercules, which is exposed through an ODBC connector or API layer. We're currently building a connector to expose that data in a consumable way, inside Power BI (with one connector for Tableau as well). 

What is most valuable?

I love the fact that it's got a very intuitive user interface. 

I like the fact that you can create aggregations and view measures and metrics on the fly. 

I like the visuals themselves as all of our customers are moving away from Excel and this gives them a very unique way to have their data represented in a more visual manner with active slicing and dicing data right there, with the time dimensions and different dimensions. 

I also like the automatic refresh mechanism that it can do. You can have the data refresh automatically every 30 minutes, for example.

The initial setup is pretty simple. 

The stability has been pretty good.

The solution can scale.

Technical support has been great.

What needs improvement?

Most clients have MacBooks. Therefore, they use Tableau as Power BI Desktop is not available for the MacBook right now.

When you're building, the documentation sucks. It's a painful experience to find out how to do things inside the connector framework. 

I don't like the fact that they need to have a premium excuse to manage larger sets of data. On top of that, there are limitations in building a custom connector. If you want to build a custom connector for your customers, the navigation is flawed. For example, when I build a custom connector to talk to Power BI and report, I want some contextual data of the report, and I want to have what we call incremental refresh. However, incremental refresh right now is only supported in a SQL-based backend. It's not supported for API-based connectors. That's something that we really, really want. We only try to work around it.

Basically, I would love to see that incremental refresh with API-based connectors. I'd also want the report-based contextual information available inside the connector.

The licensing is very confusing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since about 2014. I've used it for many years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the stability to be fine so far. there are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale if you have the premium model. We just started exploring that right now.

The clients we have that use it are medium-sized businesses. These are basically soccer clubs or sports clubs, who are internally using it. however, we want to give it to a larger audience. We haven't gone there yet, though likely we will in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been awesome. they are helpful and responsive and we are more than satisfied with the level of service we receive from them.

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

I also use Tableau. I've used Power BI to a larger extent than Tableau, however, we have a startup in which we have an audience on BI and we are doing research to see how many of them are on Tableau versus Power BI.

We didn't previously use a different solution. We started with Power BI because that was one of our device partner's tools of choice. However, we are trying to support Tableau and Power BI now.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. I mean the setup for the Power BI Desktop. The download is pretty straightforward. Once you get to do more complex things with it, using the gateway and things like that, then it gets a little complex. On top of that, the documentation is difficult. It's there, however, it's difficult to find.

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

The licensing is a little convoluted, and not easy to take advantage of. You're able to scale it in the premium model. However, they are very different versions. There's a difficulty in understanding which one of them applies to you and what the costs would be eventually, and what the performance and thresholds are for each one. The documentation might be there, however, for a small company, in order to find out all the aspects of licensing it's not that easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've also evaluated Tableau and we use both right now.

What other advice do I have?

We are in the startup program for Microsoft.

I'm on the latest version of the solution. I cannot speak to the exact version number.

It's deployed on the cloud for automatic refreshment service and it's got a gateway on-prem.

It's a very good tool to quickly get started and it does scale, however, as you get into the larger deployments and at a larger scale, it's better to involve a Power BI expert or a partner to help you get there.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. There's room for improvement from the setup and scale perspective.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Program Director Education Technology & Data Services at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It's good for training and teaching, handles Excel data well
Pros and Cons
  • "I like the fact that Power BI lets me use Excel data. At least 90% of my state data is in Excel spreadsheets. Having the ability to just attach a spreadsheet as a data source is very, very important. It's also good for training and teaching. Sometimes you don't always have access to a live production database, so having a spreadsheet with sample data is always nice."
  • "The Microsoft BI interface should be simpler and more user-friendly. I find it very difficult to move between their data sources and their analytics section."

What is our primary use case?

I would describe myself as more of a casual user, only because I have so many other things that I have to get done. I wish I could be more of a user, but it's hard. Right now, I have two different main use cases. I use it for teaching. At another institution, I use it for demonstrating how easy it is to build dashboards. It was really to show to all my users the benefit of business analytics. I use it to demonstrate how easy it is to generate your own analytics versus having a department run reports for you then putting it in Excel and making graphs. 

What is most valuable?

I like the fact that Power BI lets me use Excel data. At least 90% of my state data is in Excel spreadsheets. Having the ability to just attach a spreadsheet as a data source is very, very important. It's also good for training and teaching. Sometimes you don't always have access to a live production database, so having a spreadsheet with sample data is always nice.

What needs improvement?

The Microsoft BI interface should be simpler and more user-friendly. I find it very difficult to move between their data sources and their analytics section. It's probably designed by data analysts that typically get the data from somewhere else. So, one person logs into Power BI, moves the data around and puts it in the proper form then somebody else goes in from the dashboard. What I'm finding more and more is that the person playing with the data is also going to be the person building the dashboard, so the interface needs to be more seamless and dumbed down for the average user. 

Tableau is much better at that, which is probably why it's more expensive. The days where one person works on the data and someone else does the analytics are coming to an end. In the past, larger organizations usually had a dedicated analytics team and a dedicated data team. Now we buy data as a service, so we got rid of our data team and we don't have analysts per se. Instead, we have smart users. So I think Microsoft BI needs to move on to the next iteration of truly user-friendly solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft BI for about three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft BI has never crashed on me.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I honestly can't comment on how scalable Microsoft BI is because I've never taken it beyond training or simple use. But I would imagine, if it's on Azure, that it's scalable. I haven't had the pleasure of scaling it, so I don't know, but it doesn't strike me as a solution that would have problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had to contact technical support, but I've actually downloaded and taken three Power BI courses for free and they're very good.

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

I was using Tableau but the licensing cost went up when Salesforce required them to raise the price. But if the price hadn't changed, I would've absolutely stuck with Tableau because I like it. I do not know about the cost of the licenses. We buy it from the state and when it went up, our CIO at the time said no more Tableau licenses. I had to scramble to find a replacement, and fortunately, I discovered that Power BI is included in Microsoft 365. However, I prefer Tableau's interface. Microsoft BI's user interface is convoluted in terms of how you attach a data source. You have a separate screen for defining your data and then you have to jump to a different screen to model the results. In other words, there are two separate interfaces for data and analytics. In Tableau, it's more seamless. 

How was the initial setup?

Setup is very easy. You click on the icon, download the MSI, and it loads itself. It takes about a couple of hours to deploy overall.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate Microsoft BI as an eight out of 10. The biggest drawback is the user interface. From what I'm seeing, Windows 11 is going to have a more user-friendly interface. Even Microsoft Edge is adopting a more user-friendly interface. I'm hoping that Power BI follows this trend as well. 

My advice for anyone who is thinking about adopting Microsoft BI is to understand what you're trying to do with it. If you're trying to do analytics with it, then it depends on the kind of analytics. If you're want to do statistical analytics, it's not the tool for you. It's a tool that's better suited for visual analytics than it is for straight-up analytics. If you're dealing with patterns and data, it's great. If you're working with numbers and data, it's not so good. You're better off with a statistical package.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Alaa T Alhorani - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Consultant (Enterprise Architect) at Devoteam
Real User
Top 5
Affordable, supports various languages, and allows you to do whatever you want
Pros and Cons
  • "The good part of it is that you can do whatever you want with it when it comes to building BI. In terms of languages, it supports Python, and it also natively supports R."
  • "Most of the dashboarding tools have prebuilt graphs. So, you have to stick with them, unless you are going to use a third-party tool to create them, and then you are going to upload them to the BI tool. In Power BI, they started supporting this functionality and created a tool for that, but it isn't yet complete and mature. It is still exceeding the expectations and is better than most of the BI tools when it comes to creating custom graphs, but it needs more enhancement and simplification. It would be good to have a design tool provided by Power BI to design the graphs that we want and set the figures that we want on them."

What is our primary use case?

A client used Power BI mainly for banking reports. Another client was working in the field of laboratories, and they requested Power BI for the analysis of laboratory-related data for COVID-19. There were also some use cases where we used predictive analytics or utilized the power of Power BI services in the cloud.

It can be deployed on-premises and on the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps in automating the process of filling the data or refreshing the data to give you timely calculations for all the aspects of the dashboards that you have built. You can easily see all the real-time data with Power BI.

What is most valuable?

The good part of it is that you can do whatever you want with it when it comes to building BI. In terms of languages, it supports Python, and it also natively supports R.

You can integrate it with the cloud. On the desktop level, you just install the desktop installer, which is about a hundred megabytes or something like that, and it connects to the cloud. So, on the desktop, you can utilize the cloud power for AI and machine learning to help you with predictive analytics.

What needs improvement?

Most of the dashboarding tools have prebuilt graphs. So, you have to stick with them, unless you are going to use a third-party tool to create them, and then you are going to upload them to the BI tool. In Power BI, they started supporting this functionality and created a tool for that, but it isn't yet complete and mature. It is still exceeding the expectations and is better than most of the BI tools when it comes to creating custom graphs, but it needs more enhancement and simplification. It would be good to have a design tool provided by Power BI to design the graphs that we want and set the figures that we want on them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. Solving dashboard issues on other products, such as Oracle, took us a lot of time, whereas solving issues in Power BI was so simple. The language they're using is also easy. In Power BI, you use the DAX language, which is derived from Excel. So, anyone who knows how to write Excel code would know how to deal with Power BI. It is going to be so simple.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The cloud version is scalable.

How was the initial setup?

It is super easy to set up. I've been giving training on this to new employees, and they quickly learn how to work with the whole product. It doesn't take them more than one or two sessions.

The installation of Power BI Desktop on a computer takes a maximum of 10 minutes. You just have to install it on the computer, and that's it. Most of the services are over the cloud. When you do the subscription, you just connect or sign in with your company email address that has been registered, and that's it.

The on-premises version requires extra staff. It requires an engineer who knows how to implement AI algorithms and then connect them to the offline Power BI solution.

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

Power BI is subscription-based, and you have three options. The Pro edition, which is the standard one, is about $9 per user. The Premium edition, which provides AI and cloud capabilities but at a limited size, is for small to medium enterprises. It is about $20 per user. For large enterprises, such as manufacturing facilities, there is an option for the capacity. The capacity subscription is about $4,000 per capacity level.

They also have an option for the on-premises version, but it is not common to see someone going for the on-premises version. The on-premises version requires a specific license that is attached to SQL Server. I believe it is about $17,000, but I'm not sure about it.

What other advice do I have?

It has an on-premises version as well as a cloud version. I usually recommend people to work with the cloud version. In the on-premises version, if they want it to go with the artificial intelligence part, they are going to require engineers to configure it, whereas it is already there in the cloud version. It is already configured and affordable. The cloud version costs between $9 to $20 per user, which makes it very affordable, and you also have the capacity option, which costs about $4,000 per month per capacity. The capacity option is usually for huge enterprises. Regular companies, even banks, can work efficiently with the cheapest option, which is $9 to $20 per user.

After working with Power BI, I would rate it an eight out of 10. There is huge competition in the market when it comes to BI tools, and there are fractional differences between Power BI and some of its competitors.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PeerSpot user
Rajesh Upadhyay - PeerSpot reviewer
Chief Manager at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to set up with good alert features, but needs to be more flexible
Pros and Cons
  • "It's a straightforward setup."
  • "here are some limitations with the data models needed to build the report."

What is our primary use case?

Currently, I'm working with an insurance company. Whenever they book any kind of policy, we have a certain rule where we have one predictive loss cost against that particular policy. For example, if you buy one pen, we can predict how much, if the pen got broken, how much premium you're going to pay for this particular pen. Based on that, we identify the risk area and we control the entire policy and the policy sourcing. This is the one interesting use case where we are basically controlling our entire government force.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft provides internal training and they have open forums. Normally, if we have any query on any part of the product, they'll be very responsive to our needs. 

What is most valuable?

The alert features are great.

The initial setup is pretty simple. It's a straightforward setup in our industry in particular.

The solution can scale.

We've found the solution to be stable. 

I learned data management and also visualizations on this product, and they are very interactive. Those two things are very strong points for Power BI.

What needs improvement?

There needs to be more flexibility in terms of handling the data. Data computation is not very good in PowerBI. It's a little bit of a heavier tool.

There are some limitations with the data models needed to build the report. I can't use multiple data models. You can handle lots of data, with higher volume in other tools.

We need some kind of flexibility with the objects, the graphs. We need more control over the data manipulations and data designing parts. That is a big thing from my side.

Some sort of SMS feature that could send alerts would be great for teams that work in the field. It would help, for example, if you forget to access the report. If it was over SMS it would be a game-changer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution over the course of the last year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 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 can scale. It's not a problem.

We currently have 300 company employees using the solution.

We're getting pushed to use the solution even more. In the next few months, we're likely to increase usage.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support, in terms of security, is good. Microsoft Power BI is very good at responding and the follow-ups are very strong. I'm happy with Microsoft.

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

I also use SAS Visual Analytics. It's a little bit cheaper, however, it's not that much different in terms of price.

How was the initial setup?

It's a straightforward setup. The deployment took hardly one day. It was quite a short period.

The implementation part varies, however, in our organizations, the deployment is very easy as we have a central team who looks at all the deployment parts. Normally we follow the standard guidelines and then we push further. My internal team is controlling this kind of information. It's much easier for me that way. 

It's easy for my industry. I don't know about the other companies, how the deployment part will go. I can only say that, in the insurance sector and in my organization, it's very easy.

While it depends on the team and the size of the deployment, in our case, we only needed one person to handle the initial setup. He was an operations person.

What about the implementation team?

I have an internal team who deployed the entire thing. We did not use any integrators or consultants. 

What was our ROI?

We've seen a good ROI. It's a reporting tool that we can use on different platforms like mobile. We can integrate the report with the website. It provides good accessibility. You can access it from anywhere, anytime, and it's scalable. 

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

We're charged a monthly subscription fee of 500 rupees per person.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I explored Tableau, however, I found Power BI more stable.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using. It's above version six.

We are using on-prem. All the development is happening in the development environment and we are pushing to production. It is completed on Azure infrastructure. While production is on the cloud, development is happening on the on-premises server.

Microsoft is a very desirable product and they already have provided extensive support. 

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. If the data models were more robust, I would rate it higher. 

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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PeerSpot user
Jose Dante Cruz Castillo - PeerSpot reviewer
Director Comercial at Grupo Consultores
Real User
Top 20
A robust, scalable, and easy-to-deploy solution that helps in constant collaboration and has a lot of online resources
Pros and Cons
  • "Constant collaboration is the most valuable. I can build a dashboard, and several co-workers can access this dashboard. We can share information that is important for decision-making. It is a very easy-to-deploy solution. It is compatible with a lot of data sources. It is also very stable and scalable. There is also a very good forum and a lot of help and online training."
  • "I would like them to provide a license that just allows us to see dashboards. What I don't like about this solution is that in order to just watch a dashboard, you need a license. Currently, you need to purchase a full license of Power BI Pro just to see something, which is not attractive. If you have a license, you can see a shared dashboard, but you can also build a dashboard or you can collaborate with other people. However, if you only want to see a dashboard, there is no license for that. I only want to see the dashboard, and I don't want to do anything more than watching the information on the dashboard. There is no license that allows you to see a shared dashboard. This is one of the areas of opportunity because I would like a lot of people to be able to see a shared dashboard, not to interact with it or to collaborate online with it. I would like to see more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources. Given the fact that everything is related to Microsoft Azure and all services available on Microsoft Azure, I see that they're building more connections to Microsoft Azure services instead of other non-Microsoft services. I understand the strategy, but it would be good to have more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources."

What is our primary use case?

I use Microsoft Power BI for analytics. It is an online service for business intelligence. I use it to analyze every piece of data that I have. My key performance indicators are on Power BI. My sales indicators, such as number of clients, number of sales and region, type of client, type of solution, due to date comparison, and due to year comparison, are really based on the sales of the company. I am using Power BI Pro.

What is most valuable?

Constant collaboration is the most valuable. I can build a dashboard, and several co-workers can access this dashboard. We can share information that is important for decision-making.

It is a very easy-to-deploy solution. It is compatible with a lot of data sources. It is also very stable and scalable. There is also a very good forum and a lot of help and online training.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to provide a license that just allows us to see dashboards. What I don't like about this solution is that in order to just watch a dashboard, you need a license. Currently, you need to purchase a full license of Power BI Pro just to see something, which is not attractive. If you have a license, you can see a shared dashboard, but you can also build a dashboard or you can collaborate with other people. However, if you only want to see a dashboard, there is no license for that. I only want to see the dashboard, and I don't want to do anything more than watching the information on the dashboard. There is no license that allows you to see a shared dashboard. This is one of the areas of opportunity because I would like a lot of people to be able to see a shared dashboard, not to interact with it or to collaborate online with it. 

I would like to see more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources. Given the fact that everything is related to Microsoft Azure and all services available on Microsoft Azure, I see that they're building more connections to Microsoft Azure services instead of other non-Microsoft services. I understand the strategy, but it would be good to have more compatibility with non-Microsoft data sources.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very robust and stable solution. We are a company that works with enterprise solutions from SAP and Microsoft. We have worked with companies that have 5,000 users and without a problem. So, it is very robust and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being a cloud solution, it is very scalable. You can easily scale it based on the usage. If you're using it, you pay for it, and if you're not using it, you stop paying for it.

In our company, Power BI being used by maybe 15 people out of 70. It is a growing solution. Three years ago, we had only five people who were working with Power BI. Now, we are building more and more dashboards for our service desk area, and its usage is growing.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't contacted them. We report everything to our own Service Desk, and they are the ones who scale the problem to the manufacturer. This means that every time that we have important issues, they have to be solved in a very decent period of time by the manufacturer. There is a very good response time, and every time we had problems, they were solved. We didn't have anything pending.

How was the initial setup?

Given the fact that it is on the cloud, it is really easy to deploy. It is only about connecting the engine to your data source and start building the dashboards. You can just connect your data. It doesn't matter if it is on-premises or as a service. You can just connect it.

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

It is based on the usage. If you're using it, you pay for it, and if you're not using it, you stop paying for it.

What other advice do I have?

If your data source is a Microsoft-based data source, this is the best choice. If you have a data source that is not Microsoft-based and is on a non-Microsoft platform, such as MongoDB or Unix, you should see some solutions like MicroStrategy or Qlik. If you have a pure 100% Microsoft-based data source, Microsoft Power BI is the answer. You can do wonders with Microsoft Power BI. It is a very cool solution.

I would rate Microsoft Power BI a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Santosh Kurakula - PeerSpot reviewer
Group DWH and BI Senior Manager at Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Scalable, easy to learn, and integrates well with the entire Microsoft Office Suite
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup is straightforward."
  • "Maybe they can enhance the UI a bit. Right now, it's very basic, I would say, compared to the MicroStrategy or Qlik."

What is our primary use case?

I mainly use it for sales analysis. We are in the telecom industry, so on a daily basis, we see a couple of trends in the number of activations of customers and registration, the performance of the dealer, and items like that.

What is most valuable?

Its integration with the Microsoft Office Suite is great. I can easily connect it to any of the Excel or any CSV files, and I can immediately create a dashboard. 

It's like the higher level of pivot tables. For the people who mainly use Excel, this is like an advanced version. This is much more flexible and I don't have to train people to use it, as it's very user-friendly compared to Qlik. Qlik needs some expertise and a layman cannot immediately go to Qlik and do stuff unless he understands it. When it comes to Power BI it's a five minutes tutorial, he can definitely understand what needs to be done.

The solution is stable and scalable. So far I don't have any issues, however, it depends on the amount of data we use. I'm just running it on my PC.

The initial setup is straightforward. 

The solution is free as it's bundled with Office 365.

What needs improvement?

Maybe they can enhance the UI a bit. Right now, it's very basic, I would say, compared to the MicroStrategy or Qlik. 

They could also improve the mobile experience. If people are using this mobile app for BI, they need better performance there. The rendering of the objects, for example, if you create the dashboard on Power BI when someone sees that on the app, it comes in a different format. They can do some enhancements there to standardize it.

Once we expand it as a centralized repository, if I could find much more use cases, that would be ideal. However, now it's very limited in our organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

We don't use the solution filly and don't yet have a license for it. That said, I've had the chance to work with it for more than a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. There are no bugs or glitches and we don't have any trouble with it crashing or freezing. It's reliable and the performance is good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My understanding is that the solution is scalable. 

I can easily load a billion rows in less than two or three minutes and play around with it. However, I haven't tested on big data files or anything like that.

Right now, we don't have too many users. It's just three to four people as of now, as our primary BI tool is still Qlik Sense. It's only for ad hoc use cases we use Power BI, and just myself and a couple of team members, as well as the BI specialist, that access it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never reached out to technical support in the past. If I run into issues, I tend to Google solutions to find answers to my questions. YouTube is also a good resource if you need information.

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

We currently use Qlik Sense as our BI product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex or difficult. It's simple and straightforward. 

It took, 10 to 15 minutes, if I remember correctly, to set everything up. It's just a .exe file installing. It's not hard and it's pretty fast.

What about the implementation team?

We did not need a consultant or an integrator to handle the implementation. I just played around a bit with it.

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

We don't have a license on Power BI, so we don't publish anything. It's mainly for some ad hoc use cases that we use Power BI format.

Power BI is free; it comes with Office 365.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've currently looked at MicroStrategy and am in the process of comparing a few other products.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user.

We are using Power BI, however, not to the full scale. It's still unlicensed as of now, and I'm using desktop versions only.

I don't remember the version, as it comes with Office 365. I didn't give a thought to the version.

From my experience with the desktop version, I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

From my experience, I'd recommend the solution to others. 

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.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft BI Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft BI Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.