BI Survey 14 Results

Once again, the nice people at BARC have sent me a copy of the results of the latest BI Survey and allowed me to blog about some of their findings (obviously if you want to read them all, buy the survey!). Here are a couple of things that caught my eye:

  • When respondents were asked about which BI products they evaluated, Qlik came top of the list with 36% evaluating it, followed by all of the Microsoft products (Excel/Power BI at 35%, SSAS at 28% and SSRS at 26%). However when it came to picking products Excel/Power BI came top at 25%, followed by ‘other’ products, then SSAS at 21% and SSRS at 17% with Qlik at 16%. I wonder what parts of the Power BI stack the Excel/Power BI users were actually using exactly though? I suppose the point about it is that users can take whatever parts of it they want to complement what they do in Excel. These numbers are very encouraging in any case.
  • Looking at reported usage problems for MS products some familiar issues came up: 25% of Excel/Power BI users complained that the product couldn’t handle the data volumes they wanted and 16% complained of security limitations – both scores were the worst across all products. Partly this can be explained by the desktop-bound nature of the product, but I wonder whether the limitations of 32 bit Excel are behind the data volume problems? Also, 18% of SSRS users complained of missing key features, which again was the worst score for this category across all products. I hope MS plans to show SSRS some more love in the future after several years of neglect. Other products have other weaknesses of course – 26% of Tableau users had administrative problems, 53% of SAP BW users had problems with slow query performance and 21% of TM1 users had issues with poor data governance. Nothing is perfect.
  • Respondents were asked about cloud BI adoption. For those using Excel/Power BI, 15% were in the cloud now (the third best score across all products) which I assume means they are using Power BI for Office 365; a further 15% were planning to go to the cloud in the next 12 months; a further 19% were planning to go in the long term; and 51% had no plans. Presumably this last group of users would like to see more of the Power BI for Office 365 functionality implemented within SharePoint on premises.

4 thoughts on “BI Survey 14 Results

  1. Handling large amount of data is not due to the 32bit version. its more due to the lack of ram of the local computer, 8GB for large amount of data is not enough. Microsoft must provide an option to make Excel a front GUI only and connect the user to a Tabular server able to handle the volume. In my case I have to play with 500 millions of large records, taking about 50GB in tabular. how Excel can handle this? does the user is ready to wait hours to load the data over a slow network (while the server can load the data at full speed)?
    its part of the Microsoft big lack of application layer. Like MicroStrategy, the front end GUI do nothing , everything is remotely executed on an application server.
    This lack of application layer is a big problem to handle large amount of data, providing best performance and security. a direct access to the data (specialy with the cloud today) is a non-sense. Which is confirmed by the gateway required between Office 365 and your on premise data. and also confirmed by the master data services tool, which use an application layer…
    Why its not the case for Excel against Tabular?

    1. Chris Webb – My name is Chris Webb, and I work on the Fabric CAT team at Microsoft. I blog about Power BI, Power Query, SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure Analysis Services and Excel.
      Chris Webb says:

      Hi Jerome, well I think it’s a fair request to make and it shouldn’t be too difficult for MS to implement. I’m not sure it will ever happen though…

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