Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI

BI visualization and reporting for desktop, web or mobile

4.5/5 (546 reviews)

Microsoft Power BI Overview

Microsoft Power BI is a suite of analytics tools for analyzing business data and sharing insights via rich visualizations. Customizable and pre-built dashboards unify important metrics into single views, showing real time updates to every device. The centralized, web-based Power BI service interfaces Power BI gateways to connect to and unify organizational data while Power BI Desktop for Windows provides local data mashup and report authoring features. Live dashboards offer an instant 360-view on business health, leveraging 59 out-of-the-box connections for apps or services such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, Azure, Facebook, Github, QuickBooks Online, Twilio and Zendesk. Power BI brings all that data, wherever it resides, together to form a complete picture of key metrics that can then be queried using natural language.

With Power BI Desktop, users can author reports using intuitive drag-and-drop tools and share amongst colleagues through the online Power BI Service. Integrating with Microsoft’s established Query engine, data modeling and visualization technologies, Power BI Desktop connects, shapes and reports to centralize a typically disjointed process of reporting. Outputting to .pbix format, these report files can then be manually shared like any other or uploaded to the shared service. In addition, this ability to keep all users on the same page at all times extends to a suite of optimized mobile support. Power BI Mobile keeps remote connectivity consistent across native apps for Windows Mobile, iOS and Android devices, adding intuitive gesture-based operation. Live dashboards can be viewed on the fly, alongside full report sharing capabilities and data-driven alerts.

Pricing

Starting from
US$10,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Free
Subscription
Value for money

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and 5 others, Europe, Germany, India, Japan, Latin America

Supported Languages

Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish and 22 others, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

Microsoft Power BI Reviews

Overall rating
4.5/5
93% positive reviews
295
Excellent
214
Very good
29
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
Verified Reviewer

It brings the power of BI down to non-tech users

Used Weekly for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2019/08/26
Review Source: Capterra

My job is to collect and process all sorts of data in my organization and present them to the highest management committee for policy level decision making. We are heavily dependent on MS Excel for this. I handle excel worksheets with thousands of entries every day. A year ago, I tried Power BI to see whether it can help me in my job or not. And i am hooked till now. I am most impressed with the processing power of Power BI. Huge worksheets can be processed very fast using Power BI. It also updates the reports automatically which improves my productivity significantly.

Pros

1. Ease of Use: Unlike other BI software’s, Power BI's interface is friendlier especially to MS Excel users. You will not feel overwhelmed rather it will look familiar.
2. Powerful engine: Users who need to tackle very large datasets with thousands of entries know that MS excel gets horribly slow processing such a large file. Power BI is a God sent for these users. Its processing engine is super-fast and the speed is more noticeable when you let it handle such large datasets.
3. Excellent data presentation tools: For regular MS Excel users Power BI is a PowerPivot on steroid but a lot smarter one. Even those users who are not familiar with the complexities of PowerPivot feels less intimidated by its simple and user friendly design.
4. User friendly but powerful DAX language: To write formulas you have to use DAX language in Power BI which in my opinion is a fancy name of just natural language formula writing. However, DAX is super easy to learn and pretty much intuitive but at the same time very much powerful.
5. Schedule refresh option: Power BI has an option to auto update the report at fixed interval of time which is very helpful if you need to prepare and submit reports weekly or monthly.
6. Option to control users of the report: In Power BI you can share your reports with other users and also control how much of the report can they see. If you want you can allow only a part of the report to be seen by some user which is super convenient.

Cons

Honestly, in my opinion, Power BI is by far the best software made by Microsoft. But considering I am a heavy user of MS Excel, it is easier to me. I think learning curve of Power BI for a beginner with no prior skill in MS Excel will be a bit steep. Then again, BI is a complex thing itself. So master any kind of BI software will be tricky by its own merit.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Rajiv H.

Power BI is one of the most user friendly BI software for adding visual representation and analytics to your existing reports

Used Weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2017/09/22
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Overall good software for beginners and can be explored to get the best efficiency from the software

Pros

below are a few pros
• Sharing dashboard in a group
a. Sharing can be done once you have the Pro version of Power BI. Dashboard can be shared with the respective department members or your own team members.
b. Since you have prepared the dashboard you will be the owner and you can decide whether you want to give the other members only viewing rights or editing rights as well.
c. With this feature reports will always be on the cloud server and can be viewed as and when required
d. Reports can be downloaded as and when required.
• Viewing dashboard in Mobile/ tab and preparing phone layout
a. Once a dashboard has been prepared and saved, the same can be accessed on Power BI App with the same login.
b. Since the screen is small compared to laptop, all the dashboard elements can be redesigned to suit the phone screen.
c. The other features remain the same and the dashboard is interactive on the phone as well however it cannot be edited on phone.
• Export dashboard to PowerPoint, PDF
a. This is one of the most important features of Power BI. Reports or dashboards prepared can be exported on PowerPoint or PDF with a click of a button.
b. Hence Management reports and department reports can be automated on Power BI and once you refresh the data, the report will be ready to share.
c. One problem is that few images which are not compatible with PowerPoint don’t show post downloading.
• Narratives for dashboard
a. This is one of the recent features offered by Power BI. With the help of narratives you can get the insight of the dashboard in a story form.
b. Narrative uses its intelligence to study the data and give output in pointers, paragraphs etc which can be customised.
• Importing visuals to suit your need
a. Apart from the general visualizations available in Power BI, there are additional visualizations released by Power BI from time to time. These visualizations enhance the visual appearance as well as the adds to further analytics in different ways.
b. Visualizations which have downloaded and used in the dashboard are Infographic designer, Narratives for Business Intelligence, KPI Column chart, and Timeline.
• Edit interactions in dashboard
a. It is important to understand the interactions and groupings in power BI since with the help of these you can control which graphs you want to automatically change by clicking on the other.
b. With the help of grouping you can define groups and sub group which can be viewed together as a group if required.
• KPI Column Chart
a. This is a recent custom visual developed by Power BI. With the help of this visual you can put the KPI target against the actual on a monthly basis.
b. Forecasted revenue/ cost can also be put in this visual which will be shown in different colour.
c. Individual monthly targets can also be put which can be interchanged by putting variance.
d. Data can also been viewed in a table form along with graphical.

Cons

• One of the important features of exporting report in PowerPoint does not allow custom visual to be exported. Hence if there are custom visuals in your report then the same will show error once exported.
• Arranging dashboard is a bit tedious and takes a lot of time
• To share reports, we need to publish to MS Cloud. We cannot share report from Power BI Desktop
• For sharing a report even members to who report needs to be shared have to get Power BI Pro. Since the department to whom report is shared is just to view giving them a Pro license might not be useful.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Jimmy G.

Miscrosoft Power BI for Federal Acquisition Spend Analysis

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2017/04/24
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

All in all, for the price, this is an excellent tool for helping your organization turn mounds of data into useful insights.

Pros

Power BI simplifies the process of combining different types of data sources to create a single data model. There are also many built-in Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) functions that help reduce the time required to prepare data. Creating reports and dashboards is as easy as drag and drop. The Power BI User Groups are strong and plentiful, so you can always read through blogs to get answers to questions that you may have. The Power BI Desktop application is used to perform ETL, create reports and is free. The reports are published to the Power BI cloud service for sharing, which is also free with limited capabilities. For more capabilities, such as security groups and scheduled data refreshing, there is a subscription fee. Microsoft will be releasing an on-premise solution for sharing Power BI content via an update to SQL Server 2016 hopefully within the next few months.

Cons

It's not always easy to speak directly with a MS Power BI expert, so that is a bummer. Also, you have to sign up to the Power BI service using an email address in order to share and view Power BI reports and dashboards, but Microsoft doesn't yet support personal (.cox, .gmail, et.) or government (.gov, .mil, etc.) email addresses which is a real bummer.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Verified Reviewer

BI tool with the coolest features

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/12/14
Review Source: Capterra

I have been using PowerBI from the past 3 years and have never looked back. It has helped me as an analyst to draw my clients into my stories. The automation aspect of PowerBI is hard to ignore. I have shared my dashboards and collaborated with teams which was a nightmare before. I love the addition of new features resulting from a dedicate community of PowerBI users (with very responsive Microsoft developers jumping in to solve issues). Mobile version of PowerBI is convenient and a hit with clients.

Pros

I love everything about PowerBI! I like to think of it as a revamped version of MS Excel but with features that exceed all expectations. PowerBI lets you create data models, use DAX to manipulate and summarise and finally display these summaries in fancy (yet easy to understand) visualisations. The best feature might however be the ability to share and collaborate on dashboards. PowerBI can take data from almost all possible sources - text, excel, SQL databases etc etc and integrate it all together to form dashboards that can be shared online in the form of webpages as well as workspaces.

Cons

There is absolutely nothing to dislike about PowerBI. The free version of PowerBI is a great learning tool and lets you accomplish almost all your reporting tasks while the paid version lets you automate all your reporting.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Andrew B.

There are plenty of competitors, but Power BI is tops

Used Weekly for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2019/08/25
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10

Microsoft Power BI Pricing

Starting from
US$10,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Free
Subscription
Value for money

Power BI: Free
Power BI Pro: $9.99 per user, per month

Microsoft Power BI Features

  • API
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Ad hoc Reporting
  • Business Intelligence
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Dashboard Creation
  • Data Import/Export
  • Data Visualization
  • Graphical Data Presentation
  • Real Time Analytics
  • Real Time Reporting
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Visual Analytics

  • Charting
  • Data Filtering
  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Monitoring
  • Real Time Data
  • Third Party Integration

Additional information for Microsoft Power BI

Key features of Microsoft Power BI

  • Author rich interactive reports with Power BI Desktop
  • Connect, access and unify data across sources
  • Create live, real-time data metric dashboards
  • Explore up-to-date analytics from real-time BI data
  • Full suite of BI tools for data visualization and reporting
  • Query data using natural language questioning
  • Receive data-driven alerts for mobile insights
  • Share live reports and dashboards
  • Share reports among colleagues & users via Power BI Service
  • Transform company data into rich visuals
  • View rich graphical visualizations from complex BI data

Benefits

  • Microsoft Power BI spans a suite of Business Intelligence tools for creating rich visualizations and sharable reports.

  • Web-based Power BI Service provides a centralized hub for defining live personalized dashboards, harnessing on-premises data via Power BI gateways.

  • Out-of-the-box connections and pre-built dashboards for 59 popular apps and services makes unifying data quick and simple, wherever it resides.

  • Power BI Desktop for Windows provides deeper visual data exploration within a free-form drag-and-drop canvas and a library of powerful visualizations.

  • Author rich reports that can be exported to Power BI’s .pbix format or shared more engagingly among user groups by uploading to the Power BI service.

  • View personalized dashboards and reports from anywhere with Power BI Mobile, offering optimized apps for Windows Mobile, iOS and Google Play.

  • Stay informed of the very latest real-time update with data-driven alerting and full report sharing options while on the move.
  • Microsoft Power BI FAQs

    Below are some frequently asked questions for Microsoft Power BI.

    Q. What type of pricing plans does Microsoft Power BI offer?

    Microsoft Power BI offers the following pricing plans:

    Starting from: US$10,00/month

    Pricing model: Free, Subscription

    Free Trial: Not Available

    Power BI: Free
    Power BI Pro: $9.99 per user, per month

    Q. What are the main features of Microsoft Power BI?

    Microsoft Power BI offers the following features:

    • Author rich interactive reports with Power BI Desktop
    • Connect, access and unify data across sources
    • Create live, real-time data metric dashboards
    • Explore up-to-date analytics from real-time BI data
    • Full suite of BI tools for data visualization and reporting
    • Query data using natural language questioning
    • Receive data-driven alerts for mobile insights
    • Share live reports and dashboards
    • Share reports among colleagues & users via Power BI Service
    • Transform company data into rich visuals
    • View rich graphical visualizations from complex BI data

    Q. Who are the typical users of Microsoft Power BI?

    Microsoft Power BI has the following typical customers:

    Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business

    Q. What languages does Microsoft Power BI support?

    Microsoft Power BI supports the following languages:

    Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

    Q. What type of pricing plans does Microsoft Power BI offer?

    Microsoft Power BI has the following pricing plans:

    Free, Subscription

    Q. Does Microsoft Power BI support mobile devices?

    Microsoft Power BI supports the following devices:

    Android, iPhone, iPad

    Q. What other apps does Microsoft Power BI integrate with?

    Microsoft Power BI integrates with the following applications:

    Insightly, JustFoodERP, Meisterplan, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Teams, OneSoft Connect, Pro-Sapien, Projectplace, Smartsheet, Tagetik

    Q. What level of support does Microsoft Power BI offer?

    Microsoft Power BI offers the following support options:

    FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Video Tutorials

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