Microsoft Power BI Review

Power BI
Redmond, WA
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Cloud, On-Premise
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Power BI At A Glance

Good: Familiar, easy-to-use interface similar to Excel with the ability for users to create and import simple visuals.
Bad: Interface isn't always user friendly, challenging for new users to learn at first.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based BI software that's simple to use, correlates disparate data and gives full visibility of business performance.

Product Overview

Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics service that provides a full overview of your most critical data. Connecting to all of your data sources, Power BI simplifies data evaluation and sharing with scalable dashboards, interactive reports, embedded visuals and more.

Power BI works through two products that are available to download: Power BI Desktop and Power BI Mobile.

Desktop is an on-premise solution that connects to a cloud-based service to easily upload and share data and information across the company. Mobile has the same capabilities, but in an app, so you can have a 360 view of your company anytime, anywhere.

Power BI has two additional solutions with advanced features: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. Power BI Pro allows users to share insights with collaborators. They can analyze data by using conversational language (the Q&A feature) and get insights from pre-built visualization and reporting templates. Users can share data in other Microsoft platforms like Teams or Dynamics 365. Power BI Premium enables an organization’s internal or external users (e.g., clients) to view Power BI reports without a license. It also empowers users to prepare and transform big datasets.

There is also the Power BI Embedded solution that allows companies to include Power BI dashboards and reports within their preferred application. They can customize Power BI with their brand, allow users to edit and create dashboards on the fly and more. And finally, the Power BI Report Server lets organizations publish reports from an on-premise environment. Note that this is part of the Power BI Premium plan.

If you’re interested in alternatives, we’ve compared Power BI head-to-head with Tableau as well as went in-depth with other BI alternatives to Power BI as well.


All of Microsoft Power BI’s functions are built for its three main features:

  1. Datasets: As defined by Microsoft, “a dataset is something you can import or connect to.” The Power BI solution connects to all of an organization’s data sources, bringing disparate data together in one place. This reduces the time-consuming tasks associated with data capture, access and evaluation, making it easy to identify trends and make business decisions.
  2. Dashboards: Dashboards are interactive panels that correlate disparate data through smaller displays called tiles. Dashboards are linked to each dataset for comparison and evaluation, and they can be shared with colleagues to easily exchange information.
  3. Reports: Power BI’s reports can be created from scratch to ensure only critical information is included. These custom reports can be imported to any dashboard for quick, simple sharing among colleagues.

Additional features the solution offers are:

  • Navigation pane: With the navigation pane, you can smoothly shift through datasets, dashboards and reports.
  • Q&A question box: The Q&A question box allows you to explore data by asking a question in natural language. The technology uses rephrasings, autofill, suggestions and more to help you find the correct answer the first time.
  • Help & feedback buttons: These are resource buttons for settings, downloads, getting support and providing feedback to the Power BI team.
  • Office 365 app launcher: This allows you to quickly open the Office 365 apps you want and need.

Microsoft has recently announced a new feature called Copilot that uses Large Language Models (LLMs) to give users more insights into their data. Users can simply “chat” with Copilot and describe or ask for visuals or insights they need. In addition, they can create reports quickly, generate and edit DAX calculations or set up narrative summaries.

Target Market

Microsoft’s solutions have simplified the BI initiatives of businesses, schools, other software companies, law enforcement and more.

Below are examples of some notable clients:

  • Bayer
  • Chevron
  • Fairlife
  • HP
  • Heathrow
  • Humana
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • T-Mobile
  • Walmart

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Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based service that’s simple to implement. The only requirement is to sign up and download the technology to start correlating and evaluating critical business data.

Customer Service & Support

Microsoft Power BI has an online database that contains guides, FAQs and a search bar to find the specific information and support you need.

Support staff can be directly contacted at any time through a live chat feature on its website. Companies are also welcome to ask questions on the Power BI Community.


Power BI comes in three levels – Desktop, Pro, and Premium. The Desktop level is free for individual users.

Pro – The Pro plan costs $10 per user, per month and includes a mobile app, the ability to publish and share reports, a 1 GB model size limit, eight data refreshes daily, the ability to connect to over 100 data sources, embedded APIs and controls, AI visuals, data security and encryption, metrics for content creation and publishing and up to 10 GB per user maximum storage. Pro is available for free for companies that have the Microsoft 365 E5 solution.

Premium (per user) – The Premium per user plan costs $20 per user, per month. It includes all of the features of the Pro plan, plus paginated reports, a 100 GB model size limit, 48 data refreshes daily, advanced AI features, XMLA endpoint read/write connectivity, data flows, the ability to analyze data stored in Azure Data Lake Storage, application lifecycle management and up to 100 TB of maximum storage.

Premium (per capacity) – This plan starts at $4,995 per month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource. It includes all of the features of the Premium per user plan, plus on-premise reporting, a 400 GB model limit, multi-location deployment management, Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) and autoscale add-on.


Like other business intelligence solutions, Power BI has a steep learning curve for new users. Also, some users have mentioned that the interface is not always intuitive and user friendly.


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Microsoft is an American corporation founded by Bill Gates and Steve Allen. Based in Redmond, WA, it does business around the globe developing, supporting and selling software, software services, computers and various other electronics.

Its mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more by reinventing productivity & business processes, building an intelligent cloud platform and creating more technology for personal computing.

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