The full range of Microsoft business intelligence tools includes a variety of software programs that companies can use to move data through IT systems, extract data, and build sophisticated reports showing decision-makers much more about what happens inside a business operation. When using Microsoft BI products, buyers have choices; after all, how the internal staff decide to set up the system matters.
See how Microsoft’s BI tools stack up against the competition in a Top BI Software Analyst Report
One of the core business intelligence solutions from Microsoft is simply called Microsoft Business Intelligence or MSBI. Core tools within MSBI include SQL Server Integration Services, or SSIS, SQL Server Analytical Services, or SSAS, and SQL Server Reporting Services, or SSRS.
The tools in MSBI offer life cycle support for taking data through a corporate IT architecture, and putting it into digestible formats with reports, dashboards, scorecards or other templates. These tools work with a SQL Server to move data from diverse sources into a centralized architecture, and out into the final reporting formats. Some of these core migrations are accomplished using SSIS.
Microsoft also offers a product called Power BI, a self-service business intelligence and data analysis tool that can be delivered as a cloud service. Microsoft has made Power BI more accessible to customers, to compete in the business intelligence market.
Fundamentally, Power BI helps with the reporting component of business intelligence operations. It can be used as a source through an application programming interface (API) to accomplish reporting tasks.
In some ways, Power BI can be compared to the SSRS component of MSBI, which experts refer to as a “data visualization layer” that works on the final reporting aspect of business intelligence operation. Power BI also allows for desktop report creation and publishing. The existence of both of these tools shows how Microsoft is dedicated to enabling customers in putting together a full range of end reporting from aggregated business intelligence information.
Other Business Intelligence Tools
Other Microsoft offerings can be used as sources for SSIS in order to integrate different types of data into a structure where it can be used for business intelligence. One example is SharePoint, a web-based platform aimed at supporting collaborative workflows. SharePoint can hold files and data, and ship that data out to an MSBI interface or mine it using SQL.
Due to the rapid advancement of cloud services, Microsoft also offers MS Azure, an enterprise cloud platform with versatile deployment options and the ability to build apps in a cloud-native way. Certified by the IRS, ISO and the Cloud Security Alliance, MS Azure has become central to many projects that involve the transfer of data through Microsoft-based software operations.
With that in mind, the above business intelligence tools can be tied to Microsoft Azure in order to make these operations less dependent on specific hardware setups. Those using MSBI and related components can use MS Azure to put some of these data transfers into the cloud and decrease on-premises workloads.
In offering this range of connected business intelligence tools, Microsoft is building on its traditional reputation as the software company with the most market share, for example, when it comes to the evolution of operating systems over the last 20 years. By competing in the business intelligence space, Microsoft is helping companies to use the data that they have to their best advantage.