Difference Between Power BI and MSBI

  • Microsoft Technology

  • Published On November 5, 2020

  • Updated On June 12, 2024

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Difference Between Power BI and MSBI

A clear understanding of MSBI and Power BI can help you enhance your overall BI journey. This improved knowledge also helps you to select reliable Power BI Consulting Services for your business.

To enrich your understanding about MSBI and BI, their similarities, and differences, we have discussed two important aspects in this article.

Understanding MSBI and BI

Business Intelligence

BI is a technology-driven procedure used to analyze data that further assists in making conscious and beneficial business decisions.

Within the BI process, firms can accumulate data from different internal and external sources including IT systems. This data is further analyzed, filtered, and also evaluated against queries.

The data is then transformed in graphical representation on the BI dashboard. BI technology also helps you to generate reports based on the analytics and make rational business decisions.


MSBI is an acronym for Microsoft Business Intelligence. It consists of three important tools- 

  • SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services)- It performs the task of accumulating data. A seamless integration allows businesses to collect data efficiently.
  • SSAS (SQL Server Analytics Services)- This carries out analytical processing of the massive business data that you have obtained. You can then enter analyzed data in your database.
  • SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services)- It helps you to generate reports and provides you traditional, comparative, and informative reports in form of charts, bar graphs, and many more.

In the BI sphere, Power BI and MSBI are both popular administrations. This extract can help you to make your decision.

In simple words, MSBI aims to load, sort, and then transform data. On the other hand, Power BI is a well-designed data analytics solution that can offer-

  • Data planning
  • Data simulating skills
  • Information discovery
  • Interactive dashboards

MSBI offers multiple tools to perform different activities. However, BI acts as a one-stop-solution to run multiple operations within a few clicks.

Essential Factors to Determine Similarities and Differences Between BI and MSBI

There are several elements that help you to trace similarities and differences in  technological solutions. We’ll throw some light on a couple of BI and MSBI factors that may be similar or different from each other –


Every system has a different deployment process, and so do MSBI and Power BI. The difference in their implementation process is the largest factor that makes these two systems different from one another.

MSBI possesses on-premise programming and is implanted locally within the company’s server and computers. Power BI is a modern cloud-based software hosted on the vendor’s servers; users can access it through a web browser.

Both these implementations are favorable.

You cannot ignore the fact that both implementations function differently. They provide different facilities and are suitable for different workspaces. On-premise and cloud implementations both have their drawbacks.

Weighing programming and administration functionalities along with security, and control can help you make a wise choice.

Cloud computing in Power BI allows you to –

  • Use remote assets
  • Save unwanted server and hardware costs
  • You can pay for assets that you use
  • On-premise implementation restricts your IT costs and the potential threat of business data theft.

Reporting Format

Power BI and MSBI have different reporting formats. They follow dissimilar processes to generate and execute reports.

For instance, an MSBIdeveloper has to do coding, planning of the report, and only then can the designer share a large image of the process.

If you implement Power BI, all you have to do is drag and drop the required data to produce a report. Power BI offers a rapid report generation process and is also referred to as a graphical tool.

Power BI has the potential to provide you dynamic graphs and reports. These graphs and reports make it convenient for you to make data-driven decisions for your company.

You don’t have to wait for a day or couple of hours to get analytics. Instead, they are ready in minutes on the dashboard. They also provide you customized reports as per your data.

Data Management

Organizations have an increasing amount of data and it is important to manage this structure and unstructured data. Often, this data exceeds the information limit of 10 MB or more.

It is essential for organizations to manage internal as well external data. Power BI can help manage data in any form seamlessly. An improved data management through the right system can provide you key business insights.

These insights can further help you to improve internal business processes and customer reach. Power BI can offer powerful analytics that can build long-lasting customer relationships.

MSBI can manage semi-organized and organized data of your company. This system doesn’t provide substantial weight on information and ultimately offers extensive reports that may take some time to draw the right conclusion.

User Experience

Power BI offers advanced graphical representation and analytics as compared to MSBI. This makes Power BI comparatively more productive and convenient system to enhance user experience.

The MSBI system consists of a complex and cumbersome process to analyze data and create data. This can restrict you from making quick actionable decisions required to improve user experience.

Improved and quick analytics and reports can help customize user experience and retain them. This is possible with Power BI systems but can be a bit of hassle with MSBI systems.

Other Key Benefits

MSBI has several elite drill down features while Power BI has better visual representation. It’s a better option for interpreting data and empowering decision-making capabilities.

Both these systems have their unique facilities and functionalities. Based on your business requirements you can select a system that provides you better results.

Wrapping Up

MSBI has a better coverage while Power BI is a more progressive system with improved analytics abilities. So far MSBI has helped businesses develop. However, modern businesses demand smarter solutions such as Power BI.

Our skilled professionals can walk you through a remarkable Power BI journey as per your business preferences. 

    Looking to move to the cloud?

    Let our extended team be part of your journey and help you.

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