In the past couple of years, Microsoft and Oracle have both been investing heavily in building robust business intelligence (BI) technology solutions to help other businesses transform their corporate and user data into rich visuals, stay in the know, identify trends as they happen and drive sales. Having interviewed Intersog's data analytics team, I've prepared a comparison overview of today's leading and most commonly used BI platforms in Big Data development environment - Microsoft Power BI and Oracle BI.
|Power BI||Oracle BI|
|Free of charge||Standard edition starts at $1,200, each additional module adds up to the cost|
|Excel-based application development, so most of developers can start coding right away and avoid a steep learning curve||Team collaboration is enabled|
|A wide array of different data sources to use. However, any BI solution is effective as long as it's based on purely consistent data which can only be ensured with DWH.||Good opportunities for building various design parameters, hierarchies, slice charts, etc.|
|No team collaboration||Toolsets aren't localized|
|Development tools seem to be underdeveloped. There's no way to create a composite key.||Deep data scientist / analytics skills are required for development.|
|System frequently freezes up or slows down||You can only use DWH as a data source, nothing else|
|To fix issues or make changes, you have to download your solution's file to local PC first, which is very inconvenient (no real-time troubleshooting /editing)|
|No data visualization in the real time, you can only schedule or make changes manually||Real-time data visualization is enabled with additional BI server configurations|
|The average user can create and save insight-based reports right in a web browser, which eliminates web developer's involvement|
|Employee skills required|
|Deep knowledge of MS Excel, as all BI solutions are based on Excel interface||On-job or remote data visualization / analytics training is required|
|Publishing and accessibility|
|Published on SharePoint portals||Published online through BI services|
|Solution is distributed as an Excel file||Reports are accessible via any web browser|
|No program access to BI reports||Full and easy API-based integration with any existing infrastructure|
This comparison shows well that the only advantage of Microsoft Power BI is ease of use and no fee involved. However, Power BI solutions cannot be used for robust data analytics and visualization projects that require complex IT infrastructure to execute. Power BI is lacking a lot of useful features that can be found in Oracle BI. As such, Oracle BI solutions appear to be better suiting complex business data requirements. Yet, high cost of platform usage and project development and implementation ensure the system can only be used by large organizations that can afford to allocate several thousand dollar budgets for building their business intelligence systems.
For smaller organizations and startups it makes a lot more sense to outsource custom development of their BI solutions to 3rd party providers that are both experienced in Big Data development and are able to leverage external tech talent pools to ensure cost reduction and optimization!