Microsoft Power BI 2020 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 to create and import simple visuals.
Bad: Interface is not 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.

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.

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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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, while the Pro plan costs $9.99 per user per month. The Premium plan starts at $4,995 a month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource.


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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