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Power BI not that great?
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brucecy92
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:59 pm 
Post subject: Power BI not that great?

I've been talking with a guy at work who hasn't used BO before and is an MS stack person. Having explained to him about the semantic layer and how it works with Webi, he was stunned that it's on the downturn given that its functionality is far better (in his opinion) than what SSRS/Power BI offers.

There could be hope for us yet!
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Debbie
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:56 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

I'm working with both at the moment - maintaining a legacy BO system while transitioning into PBI. What I'm noticing most is that it's not so much about the front end display tools, but far more about configuring the back end warehouse/model. For the average user, both toolsets will do 95% of what is wanted, but PBI is slick and shiny and easily configurable, whereas BO seems clunky and requires major resource/money to upgrade anything ...

Debbie
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RikDeclercq
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:40 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

Debbie wrote:
I'm working with both at the moment - maintaining a legacy BO system while transitioning into PBI. What I'm noticing most is that it's not so much about the front end display tools, but far more about configuring the back end warehouse/model. For the average user, both toolsets will do 95% of what is wanted, but PBI is slick and shiny and easily configurable, whereas BO seems clunky and requires major resource/money to upgrade anything ...

Debbie

The possible transition from BusinessObjects to another tool is always blocked by the absence of 'universes'. How do you handle this hurdle ?
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ABILtd
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:57 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

As a user of both, the lack of a true semantic layer is a massive hole. I`ve got approximations of similar functionality (i.e. publishing blank reports with the dataset built and then using the dataset as a datasource) but it`s not the same thing. Nothing can be done in SSAS to help either with a large backend database as SSAS OLAP doesn`t suit and SSAS Tabular is relatively simplistic.

Try working with PowerBI over a large (80+) table OLTP database and it`s in-memory model is also painful, it`s not like you can bring it all in and model it in the same way as a Universe as it would have to bring all the data into memory which is massively inefficient. Then add to that the fact that PBI is limited when it comes to joins. Then using directquery isn`t great in this scenario as it then limits some of the funky thinks you can do with DAX and Q&A.

3rd thing, PBI isn`t truly 3 tier yet, to use the tool properly you have to install and maintain a client due to some of the current limitations (e.g. only desktop can consume a PBI dataflow).

That said, I`m a massive fan, mainly due to the power of DAX and the M language.

What I`ve found though that that power sometimes gets put in the hands of the end user with their datasources all over the place, so you just end up with a data governance nightmare.

I could actually see a lot of usecases for supporting both in a business to be fair!

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Debbie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:18 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

Hmm. We're using SSIS dimensional models and not having any issues with joins. The database is complex with a lot of tables. Done properly, it's actually quite slick and we're finding we can model things that Bobj would never cope with. Pretty much everybody is using the online Power BI, with only a few superusers/report designers using full client.

The biggest issue I'm seeing is that with Bobj, if a user wanted a new object adding, it was relatively simple - check it in SQL, add to universe, test and push to live environment. Sometimes a ten-minute job. In the new world a simple change can sometimes require a lot of below-the-bonnet tinkering. It means the whole change-control process is becoming longer and more rigid - but I guess that can be a good thing as users consider what it is they actually want.

Debbie
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RikDeclercq
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:41 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

Debbie, so you're replacing BO with SSAS combined with powerBI ?
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henrytmcpeak
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:57 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

Are you looking for a Power BI alternative? Then your search ends here, EZlytix - the perfect Power BI alternative.
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ABILtd
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:33 am 
Post subject: Re: Power BI not that great?

Debbie wrote:
Hmm. We're using SSIS dimensional models and not having any issues with joins. The database is complex with a lot of tables. Done properly, it's actually quite slick and we're finding we can model things that Bobj would never cope with. Pretty much everybody is using the online Power BI, with only a few superusers/report designers using full client.

The biggest issue I'm seeing is that with Bobj, if a user wanted a new object adding, it was relatively simple - check it in SQL, add to universe, test and push to live environment. Sometimes a ten-minute job. In the new world a simple change can sometimes require a lot of below-the-bonnet tinkering. It means the whole change-control process is becoming longer and more rigid - but I guess that can be a good thing as users consider what it is they actually want.

Debbie


Yeah, bit of a change control nightmare in SSAS DM`s, always was (I started using them with SQL Server 7 in 1998 - HOW OLD!). There`s that and they aren`t much use with OLTP databases either, great on a dimensional schema though (that`s what OLAP cubes were built for to be fair).

It`s worth looking at SSAS tabular models for more rapid implementations of ad-hoc things, as it`s more similar to building a dataset in PBI (i.e. you can use DAX). A little birdie tells me there might be a 2 way migration path between SSAS Tabular and PBI Datasets in the future as they are afterall essentially the same in memory technology.

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BI and Analytics Presales Consultant
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BOXI R1, R2, R3, R3.1, R4.1, R4.2, CE 8, 8.5, 9, 10, SAP Analytics Cloud, Crystal Reports, Lumira, PowerBI, Tableau, JasperServer, iReport, LogiAnalytics, BIRST, Qlikview, Xcelcius, Netezza, T-SQL, PLSQL, DTS, SSIS, BODI, BODS, Kimble etc....
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