Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company. Founded in 1975 and based in Redmond, USA, it has become a household name, primarily due to its Windows operating system and Office suite. Aside from these products, Microsoft offers a vast range of software including its own database, browser, various servers and ERP solutions.

In recent years, Microsoft has also begun to manufacture hardware, including tablets and gaming consoles.

Compared to the huge business the company does in other areas, its BI revenues are relatively small. Nevertheless, Microsoft is a strong presence in the BI market. In the past few years the vendor has spread its BI capabilities across the Office, SharePoint and SQL Server product lines, providing tools for formatted reporting, ad hoc reporting, analysis and dashboards.

In 2015 Microsoft released a dedicated BI and analytics product portfolio called Cortana Intelligence Suite. Power BI – a dashboarding and analysis solution – is one of the components of this suite.

Power BI is a cloud-based BI product designed for business users to access and combine different data sources and visualize it using interactive dashboards. It was released by Microsoft in 2015. Power BI is offered as part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite where the product can interact with other components such as Azure Machine Learning for predictive analytics. Power BI also has natural language query to parse through the data.

User & Use Cases

Microsoft Power BI – released in 2015 – is Microsoft’s latest BI offering. The product is cloud-based and allows users to access different data sources and visualize them using interactive visualizations and dashboards.

Over 50 percent of customers subscribe to the service, which costs $9.99 per user per month. Due to the fact that Power BI is a young product, its core functionality is spread over different areas. Therefore it is not surprising to see customers using Power BI as an ad hoc-oriented solution for analysis, dashboards and report creation.

To date, the product is mostly being used in rather small scenarios by small and mid-sized companies.

Current vs. planned use

N = 44

5 products most often evaluated in competition with Microsoft Power BI

N = 449

Percentage of employees using Microsoft Power BI

N = 43

Licensing models

N = 42

Number of users using Microsoft Power BI

N = 39

Tasks carried out with Microsoft Power BI by business users

N = 41

Company size (number of employees)

N = 43

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Microsoft Power BI

Peer Groups Dashboarding-focused products, Large international BI vendors, Self-service reporting-focused products, Visual data discovery-focused products
Number of responses44
Revenues85.32 billion USD (Fiscal year ending June 2016)