Thursday 11 June 2020

Pros and Cons of Power BI (2/3): Data is everything

Power BI Pros and Cons

Welcome to the second part of the PowerBI insight series.  In the previous article, we talked about affordability, Table relationships, Custom visualization, and configuration of visuals. You can read the first blog post hereLet us get right to this post on another set of pros and cons of PowerBI.

Pros: Excel Integration

PowerBI is not built for data analysts. It is a reliable business intelligence platform, more so if you are the right user for it. It's very useful in teams who are not data specialists but need to analyze data to effectively perform their job.  Many organizations use Microsoft Excel for storing data. Some even run end to end project operations via excel. These organizations will find PowerBI adaptation quite easy as it is a short learning curve.

PowerBI lets users upload and view the data in excel. Users may also select/filter/slice and dice data in the PowerBI report and transfer it to excel. PowerBI’s s excel integration capability is truly a seamless user experience when it comes to transferring data to excel and helps users in viewing and working with raw data behind the PowerBI visualization.

Cons: The complexity of the components

One of the drawbacks of PowerBI understanding and adapting to its components. Microsoft has created a complex array of components such as PowerBI Desktop, Power BI Gateway, Power BI Services, etc. This may sometime overwhelm the users,  as they may not understand which component they may need. In addition to this, there are no moving parts, which means you may have to spend a lot of time and energy in figuring out the function of each one.  Not to mention the hassle of troubleshooting when you don’t even know where the problem is.

Pro: Data Connectivity

Perhaps the most used feature of Power BI would be its ability to connect data from different sources. To be precise, using Power BI the users can import data from a wide range of sources such as SQL Server, Azure, Cloud-based sources, etc.  Users can also import data from different data files such as XML, JSON, Excel, etc.  Another interesting data source that can be used is online services such as google analytics, Facebook, etc. In addition to all these variables, Power BI can also access BIG data sources directly.  This feature enables Power BI to accumulate the data from different places in the organization for deriving holistic insights.

Cons: Quality of Data

Unfortunately, Power BI assumes the data you are uploading is already cleansed and of high quality. It does not have any data cleansing solution. This can be troublesome if you need your data to be cleaned as you may have to find another solution to tackle this problem.

Well that sums up the second article in this series. In the last article, we will cover the rest of the pros and cons of Power BI and summarize our findings.  Meanwhile, if you are looking for specific information on how Power BI can benefit your business, feel free to contact us here.

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Solution Consultant

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