Business Intelligence comparisons done dirt cheap

The proliferation of business intelligence platforms, tools, and software stacks is dizzying. It seems that not a week goes by in which a new product isn’t introduced to the market, which grows ever more fragmented and confusing. Specialized business intelligence tools for cloud-based data visualization, Hadoop, text analytics, and other specific solutions for certain analyses…

It’s official I’m doing any more BI comparison posts.  I just can’t keep up.  I swear there is either new BI tool every week or a “New Features” post on an existing one.  Recently I did a comparison of a specific set of BI Tools requested by a State Agency.  The problem was the selected set of tools to review didn’t provide the best solution.  Now there are 19 websites with comparisons out the Yazoo and you don’t have to pay a consultant, or do you?   This week I have 2 favorites Tableau and Microsofts Power-BI.  I’m fickle so next week it may be something different.

via 19 Websites for Business Intelligence Tools Comparison — DZone Big Data Zone

Online FREE! Book: Power BI From Rookie to Rockstar

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Haven’t you heard the news? Power BI Desktop released with superb features, there is a massive push in Microsoft for updating Power BI regularly and frequently which makes this product better and better each month, There are so much awesome things that you can do with Power BI, and many other reasons. I actually have to search for reasons why not Power BI!

via: Power BI Rookie to Rock Star

Microsoft is giving the other Business Intelligence vendors a run for the money.   There are still a few things Power BI is lacking but the Microsoft team is adding features “Every Month”.  When was the last time Business Objects or Microstrategy was feature updated?

You can start to learn Power-BI for free and do some pretty impressive stuff with it.  If you get to the point where you need to pay for it I think its $10 month.  Is your career worth a week of your time to learn and $10 a month?

Download this book to get started.  There are plenty of other free and “Done dirt cheap” training courses out there.

 

 

Gartner positions Microsoft as a leader in BI and Analytics Platforms for ten consecutive years

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If you believe in the Magical Mystery Gartner Quadrant (MMGQ) then this news is significant.  The MMGQ may not be so important to you if your business is small to medium sized.  The important takeaway here is that Microsoft has gone from zero in the BI marketplace to 3rd or 4th n just a few years.  They are starting to address the cloud-only issue and get the self-serve option in place.  Their desktop tool is very powerful and the results can be stunning.  But just like desktop publishing didn’t make the average Joe a publisher, a good BI tool won’t make Joe a data analytics or visualization god.

Microsoft has relaunched itself with things like Power-BI, Visual Studio Code, Powershell everywhere, Windows core, SQL Server on Linux and much more.   I have gotten to see some more of the future and I can tell you to hold on it will be an exciting ride.

Tableau, Microsoft and Qlik are the three lone-remaining leaders in this year’s Magic Quadrant.

ext.jpegIf you a big follower of the “Magic Quadrant” from Gartner then this announcement from Timothy King reflects what I have been telling folks for the past year.  The BI players have changed and those providing self-service, less IT infrastructure  and desktop/web tools are winning.  There should be no surprise that Microsoft with Power-BI in here too.  Microsofts new mindset of continuous development and feature enhancements has made it viable.  Some new Microsoft announcements of SSRS 2016 support in-house Power-BI deployment was the missing component.

Self-Serve BI on the way out already?

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Tell me it isn’t so.  Self-Service BI is already old news.  This article in Solutions Reviews claims this. The report found that 67 percent of IT respondents have already provided self-service solutions to their end users, with access to these tools is up 21 percent in two years. Though access to self-service has never been greater, enterprises are foregoing this route, and adoption has declined more than 20 percent during the same period. Logi Analytics believes that the self-service pendulum is swinging back in the other direction, citing lack of value to the broader market of users. Are end users rejecting open stand-alone solutions to analyze data?

Microsoft ups the BI game

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Microsoft is trying to give the other “on-Demand” Business Intelligence vendors a run for their money.  The enterprise folks didn’t give Power-BI a second glance when they leanered the only way to publish was to the cloud.  Cloud = Bad.   There was talk of SSRS being able to be the portal for all things Power-BI and now some if this has come true.

Microsoft has an Azure appliance that you can “play with” while Microsoft tunes things up.  I think this is going to be a look-see for me in the near future.  I will post what I find.

3D Graphics JS Library WhiteStorm is coming

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Imagine writing a JavaScript application with full 3D graphics capability.  Sounds simple but when you include the physics of an object, shadows and where the light is coming from it starts to get overwhelming.  This article by Alexander introduces the WhiteStorm JS library.  After going to WhiteStorm website and trying some of the examples there, I can see this as an extension to the D3.JS charts library to create business intelligence charts that have three dimensions that you look at from 360 degrees by just dragging the mouse about.  Whitestorm with some other components is going to be a significant improvement to complex analytics.   Yes,  I know they are touting WhiteStorm as a gaming library but think a little outside the box. I have added this to my review and test list.  New at 11PM.

 

Power-BI, not your Grandfather’s BI anymore

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When I tell customers to consider using Power-BI for doing business intelligence I typically get a “Microsoft isn’t in that marketplace”.  I hate to say this but “This isn’t your grandfathers Microsoft anymore.”.  We have been doing some pretty serious BI work with Power-BI for $10/month per user.  Blair’s article in ComputerWorld outlines some new features including Excel integration and 3D data visualisation ala “SandDance”.  Power-BI isn’t a Tableau level tool but, Microsoft doesn’t take a stock pounding when they miss a projection like Tableau has recently.  Take Microsoft Power-BI for a test drive and when you show off the results be prepared for “That’s not a Microsoft!”.

Data Driven Document D3 JavaScript Library

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If you are considering adding analytics support by graphic charts to your JavaScript application you should seriously consider using the D3 JavaScript library.  This article shows some excellent example of the types of charts that can be done with D3.  The extensive flexibility of this library has a steep learning curve but, it is worth the time investment.