Microsoft Power BI Review: Pros, Cons & Pricing of the Popular Business Intelligence Software

In Guides
March 20, 2017
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What is Microsoft Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a set of business analytics tools designed to help companies systematically analyze data and share insights. This app converts business data into attractive and understandable visuals, making it simple for you to collect information, organize it, and craft effective strategies. The system can help you stay in the loop and to spot trends as they occur. The app also helps you to track your business and get answers quickly via robust dashboards that are compatible with all devices.

Initially, Microsoft Power BI was planned to be an addition to the Microsoft ecosystem, but it has since evolved into a fully functional application that is a leader in the self-service BI market. This solution has proved itself be a solid BI platform that has a huge following and support ecosystem. On top of that, Microsoft continues to expand its capabilities with new connectors such as a MailChimp database. Thus, you can use this app to improve the quality of your campaigns and to directly query your SQL databases and Spark data sources.


Product Quality Score:

Main functionalities
90%
Collaboration features
85%
Customization
90%
Integration
90%
Ease of Use
85%
Help & Support
90%
Security
85%
Mobility
90%
Media Rating
92%
TOTAL SCORE
90%


Main Features

  • Ad hoc analysis
  • Ad hoc reporting
  • Author rich interactive reports with Power BI Desktop
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Datasets
  • Full suite of BI tools for data visualization and reporting
  • Help and feedback buttons
  • Navigation pane
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Q&A question box
  • Reports
  • Trend indicators
  • View rich graphical visualizations from complex BI data

List of Benefits

Power BI Embedded

The company recently introduced Power BI Embedded which is a new and robust version with special reporting features that can be easily embedded into the apps of custom developers. The best part about this version is you can publish your visualizations and reports directly on the web. This enables you to target emails and social media posts and make them available to interested parties.

Personal Gateway

Along with Microsoft Power BI, you can also subscribe to Personal Gateway which is a tool used to authenticate added on-premise data sources placed outside the firewall. This tool works on Windows operating systems and is integrated with cloud-hosted analytics.

Unlimited access to in-cloud and on-premise data

Power BI gathers and stores all your cloud and on-premise info in a centralized location that you can access anytime, anywhere. You can also make use of pre-packaged content packs and built-in connectors to streamline import of your data from apps such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, Marketo, and more.

Interactive visualizations you can share with anybody

You can easily disseminate info using the app’s interactive dashboards and attractive visualizations that offer a consolidated view of your company’s performance. Analysts can utilize a free-form canvas for drag-and-drop data navigation as well as a vast library of interactive visualizations, easy report creation, and fast publishing. As Power BI is part of Microsoft’s set of business apps, it offers seamless integration with popular Microsoft software systems such as SQL Server, Azure, and Excel.

Simple answers to complex queries

Microsoft Power BI helps you to empower yourself with data and not get overawed by it. With this app, you can interact quickly and easily with your data by making use of simple drag-and-drop features to spot trends as well as natural language queries to get fast answers. You can take a look at this Microsoft Power review to get even more details about the features offered by this product.


Technical Specifications

Devices Supported

  • Windows
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Web-based

Geographies Served

  • USA
  • UK
  • Canada
  • China
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • India

Pricing Model

  • Free
  • Monthly payment

Customer Types

  • Medium Business
  • Large Enterprises

Deployment

  • Cloud Hosted
  • On premise


Available Integrations

  • Acumatica
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Azure Mobile Management
  • Circuit ID
  • comScore
  • GitHub
  • Google Analytics
  • MailChimp
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Microsoft ExcelSalesforce


Video


Available Support

  • Phone Support
  • Training
  • Tickets


Software Pricing

Microsoft Power BI offers a free plan as well as a paid package:

Power BI Plan – Free

  • 1GB data capacity limit
  • Author content
  • Consume curated content packs for services like Dynamics, Salesforce, and Google Analytics
  • Create, view, and share personal dashboards and reports
  • Data exploration
  • Import data and reports from Excel, CSV and Power BI Desktop files
  • Native apps for iOS, Windows, and Android
  • Publish to web

Power BI Pro Plan – $9.99/user/month

All Power BI Plan features, plus:

  • Access on-premises data using the Data Connectivity Gateways (Personal and Data Management)
  • Collaborate with your team using Office 365 Groups in Power BI
  • Consume live data sources with full interactivity
  • Create, publish, and view organizational content packs
  • Manage access control and sharing through Active Directory groups
  • Shared data queries through the Data Catalog
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