About Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a web-based business analytics and data visualization platform that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It monitors important organizational data and also from all apps used by organizations. Microsoft Power BI provides tools to quickly analyze, transform and visualize data, and also share reports.

Microsoft Power BI offers SQL Server Analysis Services through which users can quickly build reusable models using the overall data. The software enables users to integrate their apps, so as to deliver reports along with real-time dashboards.

Microsoft Power BI also provides self-service access to major third-party cloud sources such as GitHub, Zendesk, Marketo and Salesforce.

Microsoft Power BI is available both in free a...


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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10

804 Reviews of Microsoft Power BI

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.49 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(453)

453

4 stars

(299)

299

3 stars

(43)

43

2 stars

(7)

7

1 stars

(2)

2

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Showing 1 - 5 of 804 results

June 2020

Michael from Liggett Group

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Industry: Tobacco

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2020

Ugly numbers to pretty pictures

Management loves it, I love developing with it but getting certain others to adopt it can be a bit of a challenge.

Pros

As the title says, it turns ugly numbers into pretty pictures. It is easy enough for a non-developer to use and turn a mess of data into an intelligent and understandable story.

Cons

It literally changes every three months. You just get used to it and with the next update a lot has changed. I don't really see this as a con though because this is more like a Christmas present waiting to see what they will have made better this go around.

Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Power BI

Cloud based, integrated with other Microsoft products and it was first to have a huge amount of AI integration and capabilities.

Reasons for Switching to Microsoft Power BI

When preparing charts in MS Excel you wind up with too many human errors and you have to have someone who really knows excel to build great dashboards.

February 2021

Virgil from Save the Children Hong Kong

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

3.0

February 2021

Moderate cost for a moderate experience for medium sized enterprises

So so. The dashboards and reports are limited in visual design, so they all look the same and quite ugly. Because of the difficulty sharing reports/dashboards to external individuals and the lack of a Google sheets connector I couldn't use PowerBI for most of the solutions we need, but will use it for some since it integrates well with the rest of the MS office ecosystem.

Pros

The thing that most sets PowerBI apart from comparable business intelligence solutions is the lower cost of multi-user deployment within an organization. PowerBI is part of a Microsoft Office 365 subscription package for businesses and you only need to pay an additional 15USD/month for each additional admin/analyst account you add. This is a stark contrast to similar solutions like Tableau, which charge a monthly fee for each user and has a minimum user count that equates to roughly a 15,000USD/year license cost as minimum. If your organisation is already invested in the Microsoft Office ecosystem this could be the ideal solution for you if you need to keep costs down.

Cons

It can't connect to google sheets and every other business intelligence platform can. This can be really limiting if your business uses a variety of SaaS solutions since many offer the simplest data integration options via Google sheets. PowerBI also has real issues with external sharing of dashboards/reports. You only have the option of publishing internally (visible to your organization's users) or publishing publically (indexed in search engines). There is no option of sharing dashboards and reports to individuals outside your organization via a login, like what is done with Google Data Studio. PowerBI also has a steep learning curve and uses 3 coding languages (DAX, M, and SQL). It's more complicated than it needs to be but it's relational database modeling has proven a good one and competitors have copied PowerBI's approach in recent years (Tableau).

Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Power BI

For the unique cases where I will use it, I'm chosing it because it is part of the MS office ecosystem which my organization uses and it will be easier to deploy and share products with colleagues who all build in PowerBI also. I won't use PowerBI exclusively though since it can't do everything I need.

March 2017

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: GetApp


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

1.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

2.0

March 2017

A pretty reporting tool for some (!) Microsoft Products, but pretty much useless outside of the Microsoft Landscape

In light of the hype around this "Tableau destroyer" in recent months, I want to highlight some fundamental flaws in data connectivity and reports maintenance of Power BI, which the Product Team so far has turned down as "not in scope". In practice, though, this renders Power BI pretty useless for getting dara from any 3rd party products, in the cloud in particular. This review reflects Power BI as of mid March 2017. I have gathered my knowledge from testing, community interaction and a dozen tickets with Power BI Pro Support. The focus lies on getting data via Web Services, much aligned with Microsoft’s «Cloud First» Strategy. 1) Power BI Online is in the cloud, but does not allow for HTTP calls. Power BI Desktop allows for HTTP calls, but only with static authentication parameters. First of all, a distinction needs to be made between Power BI Online and Power BI Desktop. While Power BI Online is the "master" that ultimately allows you to share and publish your reports, user experience in design is diminished by HTML limitations (you may know from Word or Excel Online) and more importantly, data connectivity (Get Data) is limited to SQL Servers on Azure and about 20 to 30 plugins from 3rd party solutions at present. Take note that on Power BI Online, you cannot select or manage your Gateways, either. This brings the attention to the Power BI Desktop client. Updated every one to two months, the Desktop client brings data connectors necessary to connect to a larger number of data sources. With the Web connector, HTTP calls been configured, although with just static headers and parameters and Basic and Windows authentication only. Importantly, though, Power BI Desktop includes Microsoft Power Query, which you may know from Excel 2016 already. With M Scripts, you can script and customise in many ways and most interestingly, convert it into table form quickly. This is where Power Query shines. However, Power Query does not seem to call on methods for nonces and timestamps required in token based authentication (OAuth for example). (Should this be incorrect, please please let me know. I have been browsing the fora and nagging Support too long already.) What’s really amusing here is that Microsoft Azure uses OAuth 2.0 themselves. So, you cannot run any reporting on Microsoft’s Azure AD or Resource Manager database for example, a notorious blackbox. Back to Powershell. (Power BI does not accept Powershell feeds.) In short, while Power BI Online does not allow to get any data out of the web (except for those 20 to 30 plugins, mostly Microsoft Products), Power BI Desktop allows for Web calls, but only with static parameters and thus, basically with your user credentials. That’s a big limitation in Data Connectivity. 2) With Power BI Online being the master, the HTTP calls cannot be scheduled or refreshed in the cloud. Now that you have configured your HTTP call (with risky user credentials), you want to publish your report and have it refreshed on a scheduled basis, say every day. Tough luck. While you can publish your Report to Power BI Online and subsequently a broader audience, it’s a static image of your Desktop data. You cannot schedule a data refresh in Power BI Online (because there is no Web feature anyway) and you cannot even refresh the data manually as this requires republishing the Report anew. You risk your management looking at outdated data whenever you forgot to republish your report and sneak the new URL into your dashboards and iframes. 3) The On-Premises Data Gateway is pretty useless for Web Services. Yes, there is the On-Premises Data Gateway. Yes, you can configure Web Services in the gateway, although it’s pretty ironic to route web calls via on-premises infrastructure. But did you ever try it? That is, you cannot specify any HTTP headers fort he calls at all, lest writing a Power Query script. And thus, we are back at authentication via Basic and Windows only and writing REST scripts in the data source for every single HTTP call because with no Headers and Body, all parameters need to be coded in the URI. Will you do that? At the end of the day, Power BI is Microsoft's long overdue acknowledgement that Excel and some Dynamics Reports do not cut it for Reporting purposes. Indeed, for reporting on SQL Server, Dynamics 365 (if you want to afford it), and Excel and Access databases stored in your OneDrive, Microsoft Power BI does a neat job. However, as soon as you want to integrate with 3rd party systems or via web services in particular, Power BI presents so many limitations in authentication, Header and Body configuration, scripting, and scheduling that you need to configure an entire SQL Server environment (on Azure or On-Premises via feature poor Gateway) and write a SQL CRL interface or buy Azure Data Factory to get that data in. For some pretty reports, do you really want to buy and customise all that BI infrastructure on Azure? My advice to Microsoft: Work on Data Connectivity, especially in Power BI Online, rather than more visuals for those limited data sources. Your Microsoft clients will consider Power BI a given for the utter lack of reporting in Office 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365 (yes, pushing it there). My advice to Users: If the connectors are not listed, look somewhere else. (And make sure it’s your use case that is listed. Power BI announced an Azure AD connector, but rather than reporting on Users, Groups, or Enterprise Apps, you can only see on a nice map where the last logins happened.) Is it a Tableau destroyer? No. It’s a long overdue acknowledgement for necessary reporting with the potential of being a solid Business Intelligence solution ONCE focus comes to lie more on data.

Pros

pretty visuals Power Query On-premises Data Gateway responsible Pro Support

Cons

lack of data sources pretty useless for 3rd Party Web Sources

February 2021

Glenn from My Wireless

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Industry: Telecommunications

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2021

Analytic Superman

Power BI has been a game changer for us when it comes to how we see and break down the analytics of our business. Its a platform that integrates all parties to one sheet and allows us to break the data down visually and analytically. Only drawback is when you need to make an update it could take the builder some time to update.

Pros

I love the way Power BI is able to show the data in a very eye friendly way. If you have a business that has markets, districts, and locations that need to show data then Power Bi allows you to break this down to any analytics you need to see with graph representation. Its great!

Cons

It does take some knowledge around formulas and excel. If you don't have an analytic data team that can make these repots for you on Power BI then it will take you a longer time to see the analytics from it.

Reasons for Switching to Microsoft Power BI

More data that can be broken down and allows all parties to sync.

June 2020

Selina from Artesyn Embedded Technologies

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2020

Good data reporting tool for a small group

my overall experience is good with Power BI and I would highly recommend it to a small business or a group of people. Or if you company has more than 1000, it could also be a good competitor compared to Tableau.

Pros

very powerful, easy to use and deployment. It works best with other Microsoft product, such as Teams.

Cons

It becomes costly when you want to share a report or a dashboard to a wide range of users. Because it requires the viewer to have a Pro license, it could be as expensive as Tableau.

Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Power BI

It's most powerful when combined with other Microsoft tools. It's cheaper.