12 Major Pros and Cons of Power BI in 2022

How Power BI can stand ahead of other tools in the BI market even founded in 2014?

Even though the business intelligence tools market is highly competitive, Power BI is at the top position when it comes to choosing BI tools.

So, what is the reason behind Power BI being the most popular in the market? Why do businesses prefer Power BI over other tools?

Knowing the pros and cons of Power BI helps you to understand why the Power BI tool is popular. And, also help you to know whether the Microsoft Power BI business tool is right for your business or not. Therefore, check this list of 12 pros and cons of Power BI to make a better decision about choosing Power BI.

Brief Pros and Cons of Microsoft Power BI Tool

Check this following table to rapidly know the core pros and cons of Power BI data analysis tool.

Pros of Power BI Cons of Power BI
  • Power BI’s price range makes it an affordable option for many users. The basic version is free, and the Premium version cost $27.50 per user/month
  • Power Query Editor lets you clean and organize data before exporting it to the Power BI dashboard.
  • Power BI’s Excel integration allows it to utilize many of Excel’s tools to improve the data reports.
  • Monthly updates and integration of customer feedback constantly pushing the Power BI to improve.
  • Pre-built AI models enable you to perform complex data analysis, even for a new user.
  • Microsoft offers multiple free and paid courses on their website to teach all the tools of Microsoft Power BI.
  • With Power BI, you can connect with up to 1000 data sources utilizing about 160 connection types. But you have to find the right connection type for the right data source.
  • No in-built cleaning service to organize data while importing it directly to Power BI. However, you can easily solve this by using Power Query Editor.
  • Power BI may suffer performance issues when it has to import and analyze large data volumes.
  • Power BI basics are easy to understand but gradually become more complex as you start learning the more advanced techniques.
  • You can only share Power BI reports with people under the same domain name.
  • Modification of individual elements of the data visualization template is somewhat limited.

7 Advantages of Microsoft Power BI That You Should Know

Here are the top 7 Power BI advantages you must know to understand Power BI’s potential.

  1. Cost-Effective Tool to Use for Data Analytics

  2. Power BI offers a wide range of products to cater to the needs of a large customer base.

    • The Power BI desktop version is absolutely free to use. The Power BI desktop version helps individuals to work on small projects.
    • Power BI Pro and Power BI premium versions cost $13.70 and $27.50 per user/month, respectively.
    • In addition, you have to pay a minimum licensing cost of $6858 per capacity/month.

    Still, at these prices, Power BI offers more features than its competitors. Check this article on the Power BI Pro features.

  3. Offers Power Query Editor for Easy Data Transformation

  4. Power Query Editor allows you to modify and manipulate multiple data sets when importing data. In short, Power Query Editor is a data container that temporarily stores data before it’s used to create a Power BI dashboard.

    During this phase, you are free to clean and arrange data. You can even pivot and unpivot columns. None of these changes are visible in the original datasets. After you have processed that data as per your requirements, you can easily carry it over to the Power BI environment.

  5. Easy and Fast Learning Curve

  6. Learning the Power BI application will seem challenging at first but its learning curve is short and easy. If you have previous experience with Excel or other BI tools, then Power BI becomes handy to use. But, what if you are a beginner and want to know the timeline to learn Power BI? The answer is from 6 months to 1 year. If you are looking to know the detailed answer to this question, check our article on how much time it takes to learn Power BI.

    In addition, Microsoft offers an extensive training guide to help new users get used to the user interface and processes. They have also curated a list of Power BI courses on their learning tab to make it easier for you.

  7. Integration with Microsoft Excel

  8. Thanks to the Microsoft connection, the Power BI and Excel integration is extremely powerful.

    • For starters, you can use Excel tools to analyze data in Power BI. And, use Power BI tools to visualize the data in Excel.
    • Connecting your Excel workbooks to Power BI allows you to display a wide range of reports, charts, tables, and data in a single-view Dashboard.
    • With Excel integration, you can use queries to ask neutral questions by extending the data models. In turn, it helps your colleagues better understand your Power BI insights.
  9. Monthly Updates to Offer Better and New Features

  10. Power BI’s software development team actively listens to its customers. Every time users complain about a feature, they improve it or bring in better systems.

    • For example, Power BI Mobile users were often troubled while viewing desktop reports. Consequently, in the September 2022 update, Power BI developers added more options for mobile layouts and formatting.
    • They also improved Power BI security along with the display name for fields.
    • In addition, Power BI developers made the hierarchical axis the default axis and added conditional formatting to data labels.

    As you can see, Power BI provides you with extensive updates every single month.

  11. Backed by Artificial Intelligence

  12. AI algorithms greatly boost the capabilities of Power BI.

    • You have access to multiple predefined AI models to extract insights from your Power BI data visualizations.
    • The Text Analytics and Vision tabs give you access to countless algorithms from Azure Cognitive Services. However, you should know that the Cognitive Services are only available for Premium members.
    • AI models for image tagging, language detection, and key phrase extraction are also available in Azure Cognitive Services.
    • Besides making data analytics easier, AI models also get you the sentiment scores for customer reviews, discussion forums, and social media.
  13. Offer Multiple Data Source Options to Connect

  14. In Power BI, you can connect up to 1000 data sources with more than 160 data source types. Data sources define where the data is extracted from. And connection type establishes how the connections are created to those data sources.

    As a result, you can connect to the same data sources through multiple connection types. For example, you connect an Excel worksheet to Power BI using the Power Query Editor or Import data connection type. Choosing the correct connection for the right datasets will simplify the data transfer process.

Now that we understand the advantages of Power BI, let’s look at its limitations.

5 Limitations of Microsoft Power BI

Here are the top 5 limitations of Power BI.

  1. No Data Cleaning Service

  2. There are no in-built data cleaning services in Power BI. This means the Power BI interface automatically assumes the data to be clean and organized. Therefore, before you pull data to create the Power BI dashboards, you need to check the quality of the data and clean it. However, you can easily overcome this limitation by using Power Query Editor. It collects and cleans data before transferring it to Power BI.

  3. Performance Issues When Handling Massive Data Volumes

  4. Handling large volumes of data is one of the biggest limitations of Power BI service. It is not that Power BI services cannot analyze it. It just takes a long time to go through the larger data sets. Passing large volumes of unsummarized may cause lag issues in the software.

    And if you are processing over 20000 rows, it might even crash. To bypass this issue, create multiple queries to split the data into smaller chunks.

  5. Complex to Understand the Entire Tool

  6. While learning the basics of Power BI is easy, it can be quite challenging to master the tool. The deeper you go, the more complex the software becomes. Sometimes, you have to rely on external tools like the DAX Studio.

    And if you start using DAX Studio, you must also learn about DAX functions. Furthermore, you must understand SQL and Power Query M formula language to find and fix performance issues while handling large volumes of data.

  7. Limitations in Data Sharing

  8. Even though experts highly praise Power BI for its data-sharing capabilities, it has some limitations. For example:

    • You can only share a Power BI report with Power BI business users who have the same email domain as your company. If not, you must get them listed as tenants in your Office 365 account.
    • Next, Power BI Mobile users face difficulty accessing reports created for desktop users.

    To make impressive data reports, here is our guide on how to make good Power BI reports even if you are a beginner.

  9. Controlled or Limited Modification in the Data Visualization

  10. You get access to hundreds of visualization templates in Power BI. Microsoft Store also offers multiple visualization templates for download. However, Power BI lacks control when it comes to customizing the individual elements of the visualization. But chances are you might not need to modify them to such an extent.

So these are the pros and cons of the Microsoft Power BI business analysis tool. After knowing the pros and cons, now it might become easy for you to choose the right business analysis tool as per your requirements. Further, to help you learn more about the Power BI tool, here is the list of blogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Microsoft Power BI Pro version cost?

The Power BI Pro costs around $13.70 per user/month. The price has slightly increased from its previous price – $9.99 per user/month.

When not to use the Microsoft Power BI tool?

Power BI may struggle with importing and analyzing large volumes of data. Therefore, if you regularly work with large data volumes, using Power BI may seem difficult.

Is Microsoft Power BI similar to Excel?

Yes, the Power BI user community agrees that Power BI and Excel are similar. The user interface is also somewhat similar. So, an Excel user will find Power BI more intuitive than others.

How long does it take to learn Power BI?

Learning Power BI depends on the learning speed of the user. It can take anywhere between 1 month to 1 year to become adept at using Power BI.

Conclusion

That was all about Microsoft Power BI’s pros and cons.

As we see, the advantages of using Power BI as your organization’s preferred business intelligence tool far outweigh its limitations. Its monthly updates, easy-to-understand interface, AI support, and integration capabilities with Microsoft Excel make it a powerful data analytics platform.

As for the limitations, there are ways to work around them. The fact that Power BI constantly improves upon carefully utilizing user feedback makes the tool even more compelling. For example, Power BI developers added more options for mobile layouts and formatting. Additionally, Power BI aims to reduce its volume-related lag issues.

Therefore, like most users, if you are looking for business intelligence and data visualization tool to scale your business, you can confidently go with Power BI.

Gaurang Bhatt

Written by

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang has 15+ years of experience solving complex business problems and enabling businesses with data-driven decisions using data analysis and predictive modeling tools like Tableau, Power BI, Looker, and Google Data Studio. His expertise lies in data visualization, reporting, and creating ETL pipelines. In addition, he is passionate about exploring different technologies like machine learning and AI. He shares his knowledge and learnings on the LabsMedia platform.