Pros and Cons of Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is one of the most powerful business analytics suites available in the market that is useful for data science and data visualization. It can turn massive quantities, of data collected from multiple data sources into meaningful information that is placed in customized dashboards and detailed reports. The visualizations and reports generated using Microsoft Power BI Implementation can be published and shared easily on the web, mobile applications, and print across the organization. Most importantly, it is among the most affordable tools with such powerful features that can be used by organizations to gather business intelligence. In this writeup, we will comprehensively cover the pros and cons of this business intelligence tool.

Pros of Power BI

Let us discuss some of the most essential advantages of Power BI which plays a key role in making Power BI a successful tool.

1. Affordability

A major advantage of using Power BI for data analysis and visualization is that it is affordable and relatively inexpensive. The Power BI Desktop version is free of cost. You can download and start using it to make reports and dashboards on your computer. However, if you want to use more Power BI services and publish your reports on the cloud, you can take the Power BI Cloud service solution for the amount per user per month. Thus, Power BI is offered at a fair price as compared to other BI tools.

2. Custom Visualizations

Power BI offers a wide range of custom visualizations i.e. visualizations made by developers for a specific use. Custom visuals are available on the Microsoft marketplace. In addition to the general set of visualizations available you can use Power BI custom visualizations in your reports and dashboards. The range of custom visualizations includes KPIs, maps, charts, graphs, R script visuals, etc.

3. Excel Integration

In Power BI, you also have the option to upload and view your data in Excel. You can select/filter/slice data in a Power BI report or dashboard and put it in Excel. You can then open Excel and view the same data in tabular form in an Excel spreadsheet. In other words, Power BI’s capability of Excel integration helps users to view and work with the raw data behind a Power BI visualization.

4. Constant Updates and Innovations

The third pro on the list of pros and cons is frequent updates. Microsoft releases updates to Power BI monthly. Plus, and more importantly, Microsoft listens to the user community. It is easy to submit suggestions for improvements. People can rank the suggestions as well, making it more likely that common requests make it into the next release. Updating is also effortless. When you open Power BI, it will notify you if there is a pending update. Just click the link to download and install the latest version. You check out the Power BI Blog

5. Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded is another positive aspect of Power BI. Using this solution, an app developer can embed or include Power BI reports and features into web-based or other apps. By using this, we can add Power BI visuals and reports into emails or websites to increase its reach to users.

Cons of Power BI

1- Complexity

Using Power BI does involve a certain learning curve. The list of features and components available on Power BI is extensive and continues to expand further. It is not uncommon for newbies to be lost when trying to figure out the tools and services that are most appropriate to them. Thankfully, there are several learning materials and an active community of experts who can resolve most of the issues that are likely to crop up while using the tool.

2- Problems While Handling Massive Data

The complexity of the data information, reports, and dashboards of Power BI often come at the cost of the quantity of data that Power BI can handle particularly in the free version. This might not be a pressing issue as several factors influence the performance of any applications. For one, writing simpler queries that that are split into several different components to cover the entire data set can not only improve the performance but is also a recommended best practice for improved readability.

3- Relationship with Microsoft Excel

Power BI’s strength in its compatibility with Excel is also its weakness. It is possible to make the best use of the application when it is integrated with the powerful set of tools available on Excel. However, some users might not proficient with Excel data queries, models, and reports. Such users are likely to experience a steeper learning curve if they have to use Power BI with Excel because they will have to familiarize themselves with both Excel and DAX functions.

4- The User Interface

 Microsoft Power BI Implementation has a user interface that is considered a little cluttered by some of its users. This opinion could be due to the interface having too many icons, in turn obscuring the dashboard and the report itself from view. Since this has been a common pain-point brought up in the feedback section, Microsoft has worked on it to make the UX experience a better one for the Power BI users and it keeps updating the UX in each release.

5- Limited Modification Of Visuals

Although the visualizations on Power BI are attractive, there are a limited number of options in which you can configure or modify the visualizations to suit your needs. There are no code custom visual solutions available which can eliminate this concern altogether.

Is Microsoft Power BI the right solution for you?

This concludes our discussion on the pros and cons of Power BI. Even after going through some of Power BI’s general disadvantages, we are certain that Power BI is a great tool for data visualization and data analysis. Moreover, Power BI is constantly working on making improvements in it so we can expect better versions to come.

Most importantly, it is among the most affordable tools with such powerful features that can be used by organizations to gather business intelligence. In this writeup, we will comprehensively cover the pros and cons of this business intelligence tool.

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