Microsoft Power BI Review

Microsoft
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Power BI
Microsoft
1975
Redmond, WA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
Unknown
Cloud, On-Premise
Yes
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Power BI At A Glance

Good: Familiar, easy-to-use interface similar to Excel with the ability to create and import simple visuals.
Bad: No way to publish reports and associated data together with Power BI Desktop; software is under development, so functions like data sharing are subpar.
Bottom Line: A free, cloud-based business intelligence service 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.

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.

Features

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.” Much like BIME Analytics, 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.

  • Ad Hoc Analysis?
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?
  • Predictive Analytics?
  • Profit Analysis?
  • Trend Indicators?
  • Ad Hoc Reporting?
  • Automatic Scheduled Reporting?
  • Customizable Dashboard?

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:

  • Adobe
  • HP
  • Edsby
  • Fordham University
  • Honeywell
  • Kansas State University
  • Kelly Roofing
  • Pepsi
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Toshiba

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Implementation/Integration

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.

Pricing

Similar to Arcplan, Power BI comes in two levels – Standard and Pro. We listed the major differences below and have also created a full look at the total cost of ownership of Power BI:

Standard (Free)

  • Data capacity – 1GB/user
  • Scheduled data refresh – daily
  • Streaming data in dashboards and reports – 10K rows/hour

Pro ($9.99/user per month)

  • Data capacity – 10GB/user
  • Scheduled data refresh – hourly
  • Streaming data in dashboards and reports – 1M rows/hour
  • Use of Data Connectivity Gateways, Office 365 groups, Active Directory groups and Data Catalogue

Shortcomings

Customers have said Microsoft Power BI Desktop doesn’t have the ability to publish reports with all associated data. This means all information is only available in visual format.

Because Power BI is still in development, some customers have said necessary features critical to BI initiatives are insufficient and the sharing function is subpar.

Screenshots

Microsoft Screenshot 1
Microsoft Screenshot 2
Microsoft Screenshot 3

About

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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Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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