Power BI Review – Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics tool provided by Microsoft. It provides interactive visualisations with self-service business intelligence capabilities.
Microsoft Power BI is a solid and proven BI solution that has a large and growing user base and solid support ecosystem both online and from reputable Microsoft partners and vendors.
Most organisations find they have a lot of data but very little insights and to that end Power BI is a rich and fully featured powerful cloud-based service that helps business users, Management Information owners and data scientists visualise and share insights from their organisations’ data.
Power BI offers the capability to access data from more than 40 different data sources and databases covering everything from SQL 2017 to Hadoop and Mongo, Azure and even Spark based architectures.
There are two ways of accessing Power BI:
1. Via windows desktop (mainly targeted at developers)
2. Via a cut-down browser version (mainly targeted at Execs and report consumers)
To undertake real data manipulation, analysis and development you will need the Windows version of Power BI.
Microsoft is developing Power BI at a rapid rate and new versions and functionality are being released to keep the product ahead of the game.
There is a wealth of online reporting and visualisation templates that can be used to quickly generate eye catching graphics, maps and data visualisations. These are very easy to use and help non technical users get valuable reports and MI to market quickly. This is one of the key strengths of Power BI over and above other market leaders in this space such as Tableau and Spotfire.
Power BI is easy to use and given it’s vast corporate user base from it’s Microsoft SQL heritage is a real Enterprise Business Intelligence tool.
Power BI also serves well as a Mobile BI tool – ideal for presenting information to one the move senior execs via a range of dashboards and easy to drill down visualisations.
Power BI Pricing
Power BI pricing falls into two brackets; free and paid for.
For the Pro version you can use this for as little as £10 a month with a 10GB data allowance – this is plenty considering that most users will never fall into the Big Data brackets.
Power BI Review
Usability ★ ★ ★ ★ ✰
Cost ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Support ★ ★ ★ ★ ✰
Overall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Power BI Pros and Cons
Power BI Advantages
One major advantage of Power BI is the pricing (free) and the fact that it is a cloud-based service that is easy to implement and requires minimal IT engineering or involvement. The only requirement is to sign up and download the technology to start gaining insight and evaluating organisational business data.
Power BI Disadvantages
One of the major limitation of Power BI is that it doesn’t have the ability to publish reports with all associated data. This means some information can be left out of visualisations.