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.
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.
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.
Overall good software for beginners and can be explored to get the best efficiency from the software
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.
• 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.
All in all, for the price, this is an excellent tool for helping your organization turn mounds of data into useful insights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Power BI allows me to manipulate data and present it in visually appealing and flexible formats.
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.
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.
Data is the new petroleum, Information is the new combustible; and Power BI will boost this challenging new world of information and analysis.
For the last 30 years I have been using Excel to work with Tables, Filters, Functions, Formulas, Conditional formatting, Graphs, Pivot tables, Segmentation and VBA to register data and analyze information.
That was great. But now, with the huge amount of data, available from many sources and Excel limitations, we needed something more robust and Microsoft launched Power BI.
I have been using it for more than a year. Now I don’t use pivot tables and graphs for analysis anymore, I use Power BI visualizations to represent and summarize the data.
With it’s impressive tools including geolocalization, I have found more effective ways to convert, transform, represent, analyze and make better decisions and planning with Power BI.
It’s ecosystem composed of Power Bi Desktop, Power BI Services (in the cloud) and Power Bi apps, has allowed me to find very innovative and productive ways to monitor the performance of my business and improve communication with my clients
It is in continuous development.
The first week of each month, Microsoft releases a new version of Power Bi, so we have to keep us updated to use the program efficiently.
But the pros outweigh the cons.
Overall, Power BI has been a game changer. The time saved on creating visual reports is immense and it makes up for some of the cons with software. They are constantly improving and adding new features which shows that they are listening to their customers.
The vast no.of data sources available means it has got all the bases covered. You can connect to SQL Server Database or an analysis service database which is vital for us. Apart from this, the ability to connect to excel and text files means we can make the legacy report more visual and fit it into our dashboard.The best of Power BI is the possibility of collaborating and sharing dashboards and dynamic reports so everyone is singing of the same hymn sheet. The large community of developers means there are constantly new visuals available which can used to awe the customers.
Power BI could involve steep learning curve for non-tech savvy people. It is difficult t convince managers to use Power BI over traditional pivot tables as it could be daunting to learn.
Unless you can play around with DAX queries, Power BI could be limited to the insights it can provide.
Although Power BI can be a little difficult to use it is still a great tool for creating graphs and charts for presentations. It is also great for compiling and analyzing data and creating dashboards.
I like Power BI because it offers a professional look to presentations. I am able to create and manage dashboards for my various projects. I can upload data from other tools like Excel and use the data to add to or update my dashboards.
The tool can be a little confusing making it difficult to learn and use.
Overall Power BI has helped me saving time by not having to move from one excel dile to another and waiting for large files to load, now, i have all the necessary information in 1 tool.
Having all the necessary information at my fingertips already digested and analyzed for me has made my daily coaching easier. I am able to see a broad amount of information summed up into individual graphs that help me understand the current performance of a person and helps me identify the area i need to focus my coaching in.
At first when it was implemented it was hard for me to understand the logic of thw tool. It was difficult for me to not focus on the granularity and understand the big picture first and then start diving in.
As an IT user i had no such problem to get used to power BI, we have previous experiences with other BI vendors so it just took 2-4 hours to get my first report running and then get to know all the functions and menus the tool has.. i consider that a average person that already has some excel abilities and it has some knowledge of data will have no issues on getting a report ready very easy..
As is a Microsoft product you will be very familiar with it as it is like you grab like a mix of" Excel and powerpoint " it has very intuitive menus and drag and drop options, there are some license levels, the basic one is like an free trial that will last as long as you want to, So you have a lot of time to play with it and get some experience and have your reports to rock
The free perpetual trial has some limitations on data connectors so this is understandable as the pay version hast no limit on this. other than that, it is great.
Very positive. It has really bridged the gap for our company to be able to finally see our data easily in a way that makes sense.
Rapidly adding features and evolving quickly. Very good tools for visualizing all of our data and presenting it in a way that makes sense.
It is still a very new software package so there isnt a lot of documentation, and things change quickly.
Power BI is a power of Microsoft simplicity with great UI and ease of use. If gives a very simple interface to create great visual representation of data and analytic outputs.
Data preparation and connectivity with variety of data sources is very easy. The way user interface is created to create graphical representation of data is very good. Even a person with knowledge of Excel and charting can use it. Power BI is designed to handle large data sets which gives seamless data processing even if you have huge data sets. Types of charts and graphs, geographical charts all are amazingly great.
Being a fan of Power BI can't find as much. But when it comes to teaching to someone else I found that learning curve is long.
Another issue I can mention here is frequent updates and installing updates of desktop Power BI. Many times I need to uninstall old version and install new one to keep it updated.
Power BI is awesome for companies which use Microsoft products on daily basis and for experienced excel users. if you got both things this is the low price answer to handle the data of the company.
To start it is important to tell that Power BI, as is part of Microsoft business suite, is linked to other tools as Excel and SQL Server. Therefore the integration of the data of the company in one place is very easy.
Power BI has a very good capabilities for report visualization, having more than 10 different kinds of charts you are able to represent the data of the company in a huge variety of formats making analysis pretty fast and easy.
Let me tell you the database connectivity capabilities are outstanding with excellent cloud based connections as well.
Using Power BI will be challenging if you are not a powerful Excel user.
It has no way to clean up wrong data. The system assumes the data you are pulling in has good quality.
Power BI sometimes is too complex to use because has many options to handle data and setting it for the first time becomes hard.
It is a useful asset with regards to Business use. You can do huge things with your information with Power BI. Dashboard creation, report age, information representation are some powerful models. I unequivocally prescribe others to utilize Power BI on the off chance that you are a specialist Excel client.
Microsoft Power BI is a helpful device. It is anything but difficult to utilize and get it. It has comparative highlights to Excel with the capacity to make and import diagrams and outlines and control them. The apparatus is mind blowing for making natural dashboards to bestow to various customers. The features and limits improve this much than a direct surpass desires file and make it easy to bestow to various customers. As it is a Microsoft item, it very well may be effectively coordinated with other Microsoft items, for example, Office 365, Excel and so forth.
There is dependably opportunity to get better. The UI is unpredictable and confounding in it. There are expansive portions in the instrument itself which is in some cases confounding to make sense of which part does what. To utilize Power BI effectively you need to utilize totally cleaned information, there is no extent of information cleaning in Power BI.
This is a great tool when managing different and several performance indicators because it gives you a clear picture of where you and your team is standing.
I love that I can get a complete visual of different performance indications at once. This allows me to mentally rank the people I am working with. It also gives me clarity of where I need to focus and where my efforts should be going to.
At first, it was hard to understand how it works being used to other types of files it made it harder. Once you realize all the gains out of having condensed information you love this tool.
We automated the process of reporting our team's KPIs that was carried out in Excel previously where we had to re-make them every time and spend hours. Not to mention that we were able to report more complex KPIs / parameters after Power BI.
What I liked most is that it is possible to carry out "feature engineering" in Power BI in a very Excel way but better because it is automated and integrated with live database/file. Filtering and data manipulation (groupby, sum, sort, etc) in visual interface is useful, too. It is also possible to publish reports live and if it happens to be feeding on an SQL database, then your report is boundless of any computer because it's live on Cloud now. Congratz, you can share it with anybody.
Although that's not a %100 downside, format painter is not wholly compatible with all graphs which results in duplicate of effort for formatting graphs in the dashboard.
Power BI allows us to deliver content and various reports to large groups of people at once. One of the best features that go along with this is the ability to use row level security so I can create one report, publish it for everyone, and yet they still only see the information they have permissions for. All in all Power BI makes creating reports easier and the end users get a better experience consuming the data.
The best thing about Power BI is the ability to customize it to my needs. Meaning, I can make every report look and feel the way I want. If a visual is not available as a built-in service I can go to the marketplace and search for one. If the built-in calculations won't work for what I need I can code in custom calculations.
The interface still has the look and feel of Office 2010. For software that gets updated on a monthly basis, it is surprising to me that it still looks like a product from a decade ago.
Analytics world is the future, and Power BI is the master of all that Glob...!
As my experience as MIS Specialist in one of the most famous Fragrances Company in the Middle East, we see that in any company there's the accounting department that provide all reports and analytics that's demanded by other departments, according to that those guys have to do all there outcomes reports manually, and this process will cost time, efforts, stuffs,... for that one of great benefit from MS Power BI, is that he save me money, save me time, save me my the cost of wages for the accountants, my stuff in the accounting department is just about 5 great guys. All the mater is just I have to design the report and working on the Data Warehousing a little bit, then I can get my report in the target template that provide me all what I want, and furthermore, all reports up-to-date 7/24.
We still need the integration with other services, like Vend POS, Shopify directly without any intermediate programs.
We use Power BI to receive and visualize the wide array of data sources and provide us with a very detailed overview on monthly status. It is user-friendly and easy to pick up. Through Power BI, we were able to attain increased productivity and efficiency on some of our processes.
It is able to take in multiple data sources and churn out reports in a visually pleasant form for ease of viewing. It greatly improves efficiency when we do not have to resort to using Excel to generate the exact data model we want. The ability to utilize SQL Server Analysis Services for our needs is very welcomed. I especially like the user-friendly interface that Power BI provides.
There are some segments and features of Power BI that requires a good amount of time to figure out. To utilize Power Bi effectively, the data has to be cleaned beforehand as Power Bi does not provide such tools.
Fantastic, I'm allowed to present my reports to my clients in a multiplatform and dynamic way
Very good graphics, powerful editor of query's, easy to present and automate, Sharing the dashboard for a link or inserting it on my website opens up a world of possibilities
Having tutories in Spanish would help much more particularly for the topic of liaison doors, I admit I still have difficulty using that functionality
Make my presentations look more professional. Will keep using it for sure.
So many things you can do. So many graphics to choose from. I just love the clean looking of it. So easy to share the info with others. You don't have to send the whole file just the link so they can see and filter the information. Cloud based does not make my computer slow like when working with Excell.
It is a bit hard to learn to use. If you are a proficient Excell and power point user it will be easier however still getting the hang of it. It will have been nice a more friendly and easier user interface.
I am using this tool since 2015. I struggled initially in writing the DAX Formulas to address different business problems. It is a great tool to use.
It is a one-stop solution for visual analytics right from the Data Mash Up (Power Query) and Building Visualization. There is huge community (third party) who can build custom visualization to use in Power BI. It has greater flexibilty to address the complex business scenarios if you are well trained in DAX and M language. It can be integrated into many Microsoft Products like Share Point, O365 apps.
DAX is a tricky language used in Power BI by writing the formulas for creating the measures used in Visualization. This tool is designed by keeping in mind of Excel users but it very complicated to use if you doesnt know in and out of Power BI
Generally a good product that I am having my team self learn on and use in our management reports. Would like to see better connectivity to SQL within our secure corporate environment rather than having everything pushed to an Azure solution, which we are unlikely to get anytime soon. The pricing didn't seem to lend itself well to SME.
Power BI is free to learn on which is ideal for novice users and organisations that have limited experience with BI packages. The developmental nature of the package is also interesting as new features are added in response e to the user community feedback through the forums. The learning from community forums , on line tutorials and Youtube videos has been invaluable.
The limitations in the free version are frustrating as you can't share dashboards with colleagues unless they have Power BI. This means you can't show it off easily to others who may also start using it. Getting the IT department to implement this is a hard slog if you can't demonstrate the productivity gains to a wider audience. The CEO is not going to install Power BI, she just wants to see the output and then will endorse wider adoption.
Decent enough solution. Check out alternatives such as Tableau.
Web-based software allows information and dashboards to be easily shared with co-workers, encouraging them to engage with data in an interactive fashion.
End users are not typically empowered to perform the sorts of drill-down or exploratory analytics that they may want without the report designer pre-building these scenarios in mind and making such dimensions available.
If you want to understand in what direction to move your business, to be always up to date, to receive data from anywhere in the world and from any device MS Power BI definitely your choice.
You can access your data from anywhere in the world from any device and always keep abreast of your business.
Great product from Microsoft. Easily connects to a large number of systems, can combine data from different sources. A large number of built-in reports and dashboards, informative charts that give a visual representation of your data. You can drill down into your data, publish your reports online, pleased with the opportunity to cost reports offline, followed by their publication. Deep integration with MS Office.
Really it is very difficult to distinguish what the cons on the background of a very large number of advantages. The only thing you will have to spend the time and effort is of course learning without which I think can not do everywhere, no matter what product started studying. The only sad thing is that to learn MS Power BI is possible only using your work account from Microsoft.