7 reasons why Menlo Technologies recommends Microsoft Power BI

For the second year in a row, Microsoft has been positioned farthest to the top right for completeness of vision within the Leaders quadrant of Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms – the 10th consecutive year Microsoft has been positioned as a leader.

In a market that is constantly evolving with new innovations, leaders must demonstrate they are focused not only on current execution, but have a robust road map for the future. Microsoft engineers, partners and users collaborate to continually upgrade Power BI, so its tools get better every day, protecting the investment of today’s buyers.

In fact, in 2017, Microsoft’s agile approach to monthly releases has benefited users by adding features such as row level security (content viewed is based on your role and login) as well as subscription and email delivery of reports.

“We’re humbled by this recognition for the innovation we’ve delivered with Microsoft Power BI in the past year, including significant growth in both the vision axis and execution axis since the 2016 report.” said Kamal Hathi, General Manager of Power BI in the official Microsoft blog yesterday.

More about Power BI

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in real time, and available on all of their devices. With one click, users can explore the data behind their dashboard using intuitive tools that make finding answers easy.

7 reasons Menlo is betting on Power BI:

  1. Power BI is a part of the Microsoft Data Platform that allows you to implement versatile solutions and use Power BI as a presentation layer. You can:
    •  Implement a real-time dashboard from data streams. Azure Stream Analytics and IoT integrates  with Power BI.
    • Show reports on the desktop from natural questions. Cortana lets you do it by typing questions or using voice recognition for natural language support.
    • Implement smart reports with predicted results. Power BI can integrate with Azure Machine Learning
    • Publish SSRS and Excel reports. Expect this strength to increase as Cortana Analytics Suite and prepackaged solutions evolve.
  2. Power BI Desktop is free, Power BI Mobile apps are free, Power BI Service is mostly free. If you need the Power BI Pro features, Power BI is packaged with the Office 365 E5 plan or comes at a low monthly rate of $9.99 per user per month.
  3. Power BI is a cloud service, allowing Microsoft to push out new features much faster than other Business Intelligence Platforms. Power BI Service is updated on a weekly basis while Power BI Desktop is on a monthly release cadence. Many of the features added are voted on by you, the public. Microsoft listens to their clients and has a voting system for features to complement their existing backlog.
  4. Content packs and Get Data: Basic data analytics needs can be met in Power BI without modeling. For example, if the user is interested in analyzing data from Salesforce, they can use the Salesforce content pack and get predefined reports and dashboards. The use can also create their own reports from the data set included in the content pack.
  5. Productivity features:  Power BI has several features that resonate very well with business users. Q&A allows users to ask natural questions, such as “sales last year by country”. Power BI interprets the question and shows the most suitable visualization which the user can change if needed. Within 20 seconds, Quick Insights applies machine learning algorithms that help business users perform root cause analysis and to get insights that aren’t easily discernible by slicing and dicing, such as to find why profit is significantly lower in December.
  6. Data shaping and transformations: Source data is rarely clean. Excel Power Query and Power BI Desktop queries allow the data analysts to perform a variety of basic and advanced data transformations.
  7. Sophisticated data models:  Power BI offers much more advanced modeling experience where a data analyst can build a self-service model on a par with semantic models implemented by BI pros. Powerful programming language in DAX and R statistical modeling integration allows for superior sophistication to solve most complex needs.

Read about February 2017 updates here.