I am happy to offer some insights on Microsoft drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides an analytic representation of our assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Business Intelligence 2019 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Microsoft and 14 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on analytics and business intelligence.
Microsoft PowerBI, a public cloud offering that also is available in a desktop version, provides a broad set of business intelligence and analytics capabilities. It offers functionality across many of the categories we evaluate, but in most instances the current product does not match the best of the competition. Microsoft has an active third-party developer community offering extensions that make its product more useful and capable. The architecture supports loading data into PowerBI or directly querying data in a variety of on-premises or cloud-based commercial databases including distributions of Hadoop.
Overall Microsoft ranks 14th in the Value Index assessment. The product offers an effective user interface for analysts but does not do enough to support other roles, including executives. The company has frequent new releases and has announced significant new functionality for the product that is available in preview form, but the Value Index assessment is based on generally available functionality, not early releases or previews.
The other challenge for BI professionals is that Microsoft has such a large product portfolio, it is difficult to find information specific to PowerBI, such as case studies and services information. Consequently, Microsoft ranked no higher than 12th in any of the categories evaluated.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and business intelligence software in the industry. You can learn more about Microsoft and others using our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool; read the report here.
SVP & Research Director