Business Reasons For Implementing Power BI

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Business Reasons For Implementing Power BI

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    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  SQL_Kills.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  SQL_Kills.
  • This article would make you believe that Power BI is a cloud-based application only and the only option is to pay $000s a month to use it. There are business reasons for not doing this.

  • My reasons why I would never recommend powerBI:

    1.  Most business users don't want to create their own report...so this benefit is negated.
    2. Does not support data driven subscriptions.   This is a huge deal breaker if you are emailing 100's of reports to 100's or thousands of subscribers.
    3. Doesn't support shared scheduling for reports....Ugh!
    4.   Need to pony up another $5000k per month to get more than 8 or 10 scheduled updates to the data set.
    5.   scheduled updates to the data set can take up to 15 minutes because of this round robin scheduled update of data sets.
    6.   You can only get access to the subscription data if you are paying your $5000k per month..
    7.   You don't have direct access to the dataset until you pay your $5000k per month.  This is useful when you are trying to do unit testing of the dataset to ensure validation of the dataset vs your datamart\data warehouse.
    8.   Exporting reports to excel is beyond laughable...you lose all your formatting of your report.   Congratulations.
    9.  No embedded reporting or launching a report from another report.   Really?
    10.   You can't use active directory groups in your list of subscribers....probably due to if you don't have an unlimited license for subscribers.
    11.  If one of your subscribers ends having their license removed, the entire subscription may not work.
    12.   Occasionally subscriptions don't work at all and can take several hours get out...likely due to an issue with the shared subscriptions round robin approach.
    13.   DAX is a watered down version of MDX.   Moreover somethings that are quite easy in MDX requires multiple lines of DAX coding.
    14.  Drawing objects aren't a layer and thus you can't send an object to the background...creating 1 box around several filters but still allow people to use the filters.

    As a senior executive put it to me "I thought this was supposed to be Power business intelligence?"

    This is just a simple list of why I would not implement powerbi.    I'm sure there are others that I can't think of at the moment.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  spencer13015.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by  spencer13015.
  • @spencer13015, thank you for your post.

    I have been tasked with getting to grips with PowerBI, it's new and partially available to us now.  I have single-handedly developed a vast range of reports using SSRS for my firm over the last 6+ years, for various audiences - client to board - from most of our key systems (all on-prem SQL).

    I've seen many, many breathlessly enthusiastic exponents rave about the simplicity and power of PowerBI, I was even quite enthusiastic myself, until I started try to use it.

    My take so far has been, it's great if you are a very small firm, with enthusiastic "power users" of Excel, or a very large organisation with a lot of developer resources and money to spend on licensing.

    If you are a medium sized enterprise with stretched IT resources, on-prem data and a user base with no ability, time or appetite to become "citizen developers", who are used to real-time data in reports then my first impression is that it is a very, very poor relation to SSRS reports with well-crafted SQL datasets, while at the same time being a significantly higher cost and complexity.

    Every "simple, drag and drop, no-code" step so far has been thwarted by requiring a better licence. Don't get me started on the On-Prem Gateway.

    I'm sure my down-ness has much to do with inexperience, but compared to being able to produce meaningful, powerful and useful reports from SSRS, within a day or two of finding out it even existed - self taught, and with little SQL experience (at the time) I am not impressed with it.

    I am also sure that once our data moves off-prem the balance will swing the other way.

    I am glad I am not alone in my healthy scepticism.

    "Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. When we enquire into any subject, the first thing we have to do is to know what books have treated of it. This leads us to look at catalogues, and at the backs of books in libraries."
    — Samuel Johnson

  • Powerbi is nice in that its easy to drag and drop objects, filtering objects based on what you chose in another object. SSRS can't do this.

    But, that's about it for me....so don't expect things to get much better.  It really feels like SSRS lite, though I'm sure there are powerbi users out there who would disagree.   And if there are...then please enlighten me!

     

     

  • That's almost exactly how I described it to someone the other day - like the old Outlook and Front Page "Express" products.

    SSRS Express 🙂

    Epitomises the current paradox of much modern software - limit functionality and make it overly-complex to use for IT people to do normal, real-world things in an efficient manner in the drive to make it "simple" for users to do things the developers think they should be doing.

    (Should add that RedGate software does not fit that category - theirs is a rare, shining beacon of software with useful updates which actually improve usability! - Even if the last update to Toolbelt did break SQL Search...)

    "Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. When we enquire into any subject, the first thing we have to do is to know what books have treated of it. This leads us to look at catalogues, and at the backs of books in libraries."
    — Samuel Johnson

  • This article does address doing an implementation as Cloud Only, but it also addresses using onsite servers.

    Under:

    There are four levels of the Power BI system:

    4.  Power BI Premium is designed to address the challenges of large enterprise deployments and workloads. This hybrid solution starts with the Power BI Cloud solution and then adds an on-premises Power BI Report Server.  It also allows any authenticated end user to consume content.  This will allow authors to maintain and distribute reports on-premises or in the cloud.  Data storage limits are expanded to 100TB in the cloud and each dataset can be refreshed 48 times a day.  It will enable you to use your own existing servers, rather than relying solely on Microsoft’s shared capacity.  This allows for much larger scale and better performance, while saving money by using your own hardware in conjunction with the cloud service.   Because the Power BI Report Server will render your legacy SSRS reports, eventually the SQL Server Reporting Services servers can be phased out.

  • The main difference between PowerBI & SSRS are the datasets.  An SSRS report runs the dataset each time the report is invoked.  PowerBI caches the data from the first run and the report then can be invoked from anywhere (in the system) with the same dataset at the time of generation.  This saves the network from saturating with the same data time-and-again.

  • Brandon Forest wrote:

    The main difference between PowerBI & SSRS are the datasets.  An SSRS report runs the dataset each time the report is invoked.  PowerBI caches the data from the first run and the report then can be invoked from anywhere (in the system) with the same dataset at the time of generation.  This saves the network from saturating with the same data time-and-again.

    Both PowerBI and SSRS can use real time data or cached data - the above is incorrect in that.

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