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...


Read More

Supported Operating System(s):

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

666 Reviews of Microsoft Power BI

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.46 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(365)

365

4 stars

(264)

264

3 stars

(35)

35

2 stars

(7)

7

1 stars

(2)

2

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

Showing 1 - 5 of 666 results

August 2019

Andrew from HPE

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Computer Hardware

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

August 2019

There are plenty of competitors, but Power BI is tops

Power BI allows me to manipulate data and present it in visually appealing and flexible formats.

Pros

I have used Tableau and Google Data Studio - among other alternatives. Nothing has seemed to compare to the functionality that Power BI offers. Everything about the program is made with the full spectrum of analysis in mind - from the designer to the data 'wrangler' to the end consumer (ie. others within the enterprise). In this way, Power BI is extremely powerful because it can be used for so many different types of projects; the data-analysis intensive to the more visual 'data-presentation' dashboards.

Cons

Sharing dashboards and reports in Power BI is easy and it has a lot of options for doing so. However, the requirement that all users must have a Pro Account to view dashboards created in Pro is a bit of a hindrance in a global organization where it does not make economical sense for every employee to have a Pro account. It seems like it would be a great addition to allow limited sharing to everyone - even those without a Pro account, as most of my internal team does not have an account.

January 2020

Sri from Delta Dental of Michigan

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

January 2020

Really good for aggregating data from multiple sources

Power BI has helped us go from random spreadsheet reports to consolidated dashboards that are pleasing to look at and easy to interpret.

Pros

The interface is beautiful and easy to navigate. Once data sources are all connected, it's pretty easy to create a new dashboard/layout if you know how to analyze your own data. Nearly every integration that we needed was already included.

Cons

It's hard to build some more complex reports. If you want to combine two different data sources into one view/metric, you will need some advanced skills.

December 2019

Jerry from TSAA

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

4.0

December 2019

Very robust, though a little overwhelming

We're moving from having staff creating Excel reports or Access database reports to having Power BI do it all for us. We spend some time cleaning up the user's data, streamlining how they enter it (and where - we still use Access, some SQL, some Sharepoint), and Power BI does the rest after that. Our staff loves that they no longer have to manually create reports, and they love the way Power BI looks for them. We are enjoying it overall.

Pros

The dashboard creation is amazing. Give it a data source, design how you want to see your data, and it shows it to you. I enjoy creating dashboards for our different departments. And once our staff sees the reports and dashboards they get from this, vs how they used to get it in an Excel spreadsheet or an Access Report, they are hooked.

Cons

Overwhelming in the back end. Sometimes you just cannot get the data to display the way you want. There are so many options, features, methods. It gets overwhelming. My biggest gripe is that the back end is not as user friendly as other programs. And, comparing it to something that one of my users would create in Excel, it's difficult for me to get the exact data reported that they want. I have to figure out how to display it, and because the Power Bi is just so robust, it's a little overwhelming in that respect.

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 Microsofts 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.) Whats really amusing here is that Microsoft Azure uses OAuth 2.0 themselves. So, you cannot run any reporting on Microsofts 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. Thats 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, its 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 its 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 its 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. Its 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

October 2019

Samuel J. from CDW

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Information Technology and Services

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

October 2019

Powerful Analytics Tool

PowerBI has better enabled our team to better manage our business lines.

Pros

A powerful analytics tool that allows you to deep dive into your book of business. Great visualization of important data sets.

Cons

Navigating and clearing out information can be difficult for new users. It's best used on larger screens and not laptops.