Power BI vs SSRS

  • Vich B and Dave S have different perspectives/personalities but are making the same point, and both are valid.

    Vich:  I don't think your replies are getting removed as spam intentionally (nobody is trying to censor you AFAICS).  There was actually spam on this thread -- one got through to my email before it was removed -- and probably either the admins or an algorithm got alerted and things got messed up.  I'd be curious to know exactly what.

    Like Vich B I don't usually speak up around here (any more).  I've been frustrated by the positioning of the two products.  It's not the first time that MS marketing strategy has gotten in the way of what could be a very fruitful pairing.  For those of us trying to do real work, rather than demo'ing "how easy it is" to prospective customers or slim down an array of offerings in an attempt to clarify corporate vision, this deprecation of one approach and one set of tools in favor of another has happened over and over and causes pain every time.

    Meanwhile,  Larry Blake makes another good point.  And somewhere in Redmond his point is related to the marketing strategy and decisions about how to articulate vision to customers, but I don't personally know what that relationship is.

  • [This is a second attempt to post- I'm now wondering if the forum is having problems]


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Lisa Slater Nicholls. Reason: Unable to remove this post, which is a duplicate
  • I had 3 earlier posts replaced with a message about "Editor removed this post as SPAM".  It may be a bot and I did something to fit it's criteria, although my initial thought was that someone didn't like me contradicting the writer.

    I like your distinction between "look how easy it is" vs. real problem solutions, where the rubber hits the road.  It's a little like an expert bricklayer showing how easy it is, except it's someone else showing videos of that expert.  Some design company exec sees that, decides his designers must make everything with bricks, and winds up with expensive messes and lost credibility.

    In my case, I'm currently in the position of trying to convince a highly political and sensitive management that Power BI, and the Semantic Model, are not a Crystal Reports (or SSRS), and Data Warehouse replacements, but a healthy supplement.  However they're many millions of dollars committed to this, to the point of re-writing an ERP system that scraps the old Data Warehouse and the SQL based SQL Reports.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  vich b.
  • I think the situation you're in is not unusual, vich b (and btw I believe that you had those posts removed, with that comment, but I don't think a human did it on purpose).

    The people who sign the checks very rarely have a technical understanding of the decisions they are making, and they rely on the advice they get (which, typically, discounts what I call the "hamsters" who actually develop and then use the solutions produced in favor of the vendor demos and stupid news articles).

    In the C-level world, a solution that has what *appears* to be fewer moving parts is better.  A solution that *appears* to take away development effort is better.  And, most importantly, a solution that has them making what looks like a bold and forward-looking decision to double down on ONE technology, versus the nuances of allowing multiple technologies to co-exist so that everybody's needs are served, is better.

    It happens all the time, and it's been frustrating forever.

    Regarding the "how easy it is" phrase: yes, I have a thing about that, I cringe every time I hear it in a presentation.  Most of development is in the 90% of the iceberg that is below the surface.  I even wrote a blog post about it, a long time ago.

  • Lisa.  Thanks for the concurrence.  It all reminds me of a year ago, getting estimates to replace our stair flooring.  The stair tread place wanted $200 per tread (finished).  The installer wanted about $4,000 for 13 steps and some skirts.

    I'm an amateaur woodworker and said "how hard could it be!".  I got $700 in beautiful Mahogany wood, a few power tools, and got to work.

    A year and many evenings finishing, then re-finishing, then re-doing later, not to mention about $2500 in materials and tools, I'm still not done.  I learned all about how a 1/8th inch difference in height can cause a trip hazard, length tolerances, toe tolerances, how some polyurethane finishes cloud if not applied to a perfect under-surface and allowed to dry just so.  How the one I used (floor grade but not the best) can dent just with my fingernail even after 3 months of curing.  How easily a stair squeak can appear if not absolutely secured.  In the end, I installed cheap temporary material while I find the energy to sand all 13 treads and start over, this time with Bono's best poly product, after practicing.  A product that's about $150 and a very short shelf life once opened.   Ugh.

    The right tool for the job, and don't dismiss true professional expertise and advice.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  vich b.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  vich b.
  • Vich b, the difference between you and the c-level checkwriters is that you probably learned your lesson <g>.

    The hamsters are going to cope with the decision, move heaven and earth to implement as best as possible, and the c-level individuals will either congratulate themselves on a job well done, or possibly never realize how much functionality is (now) missing, or just move on.

  • I agree that comparing these two products is problematic.  They are built for two different purposes.

    As someone already said... PowerBI is for analytics and analyzing data and looking for trends and anomalies.   SSRS is for creating output reports that can be viewed after the fact.

    As we jokingly say at our work.... PowerBI is for the people who want 'dancing numbers'.

    Unfortunately many people thing PowerBI is a a 'reporting' tool.

    Articles like this help explain the differences but there needs to be more education about PowerBI vs SSRS and what they should be used for.  We just deployed a very, very interactive PowerBI dashboard that gives users literally thousands of ways to look at their data.  Their first request....  'Can you put a button on the dashboard that lets us export the data'!!!  So what they really need is a report but they are mesmerized by the PowerBI 'dancing numbers'.  It doesn't help that Microsoft actually refers to published PowerBI content as 'reports'.  So in the end the client will get two deliverables... the PowerBI 'report' that is 'cool' to use and SSRS report that actually gives them the information in a format they need to get their work done.



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