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MSBI vs Power BI: Everything You Need to Know

Microsoft Business Intelligence and Power BIMicrosoft Business Intelligence and Power BI are two of the most well-renowned business intelligence tools in the market today. Both severe their distinct purpose and both have put Microsoft on the map.

MSBI is a tool with extract, transform & load (ETL) features. It employs the ETL capabilities to organize and visualize data. On the other hand, Power BI is a data analytic tool that offers data modeling abilities to its users including data discovery, data preparation, and fabricating interactive reports & dashboards. Hence a comparison among the two distinct field-worthy tools would not be appropriate.

But the reporting tools employed in these two services may be compared. So, when talking about MSBI the reporting tool would be SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) and for power bi, it would be Power BI Desktop.Microsoft Business Intelligence and Power BI


Below mentioned are a few of the criteria of comparison of Microsoft Business Intelligence and Power BI: –

Microsoft Business Intelligence and Power BIDefinition

SQL Server Reporting Service or (SSRS) is a business intelligence tool integrated for data analysis and designing reports based on server-based data. It was industrialized in 2004 by Microsoft, along with its Data Analytics (SSAS/SQL Server Analysis Service) and Data participation (SSIS/SQL Server Integration Service) equal.

It is an inclusive extendable broadcasting stage and comprises a united set of processing components and programmatic interfaces. It is used to strategize, test and deploy fabricated reports.

The difference between SSIS and Power BI which is also the co-creation of Microsoft and launched in the market in 2013 has become a very popular data analytic tool, which is being employed for report generation and data analysis from a wide range of data sources. Power BI enables its operator to fabricate, generate and publish reports on the go, which may be viewed by the other users through any system with access to the internet.

Power BI is extremely simple and user-friendly which assist’s a business analyst and provides the users with a user-friendly interface to work on. This data analytical tool is well known for its data modeling and data sharing capabilities.


The prime distinction between Microsoft business intelligence and Power BI is the way each of them is employed or utilized to obtain the desired results.

Power BI is a cloud service based application and can be accessed from any remote corner of the world, whereas MSBI is an on-site application that requires an installation pack to be employed on the company’s local computer or server.

Both these styles of business intelligence tools are loved and favored by all and are both considered equally promising. There has even been a discussion that has started doing rounds about the supremacy and safety of one over the other.

The discussion has arisen because every solution that one would throw at these tools might not be well suited to either one of them. The choice of the platform depends extensively on the type of need, service or software that the owner seems to be considering.

Cloud services if and when employed would need an extensive setup which might be initially cost-sensitive but in the long run, would prove extremely cost-effective to the owner. Also, in case of any onsite hardware failures, the day remains secure in the cloud servers because of networked backups.

Whereas, the onsite MSBI has a less setup and operational cost but cannot share the fabricated report in real-time with the colleagues of the organization. Moreover, several IT leader’s major concern is that data related to their companies’ id bring managed by someone else and firmly believe that these cloud servers are like a bad omen.


Individually both of these services have their unique benefit. While SSRS by MSBI has a better drill-down capacity.

Power BI, on the other side, has an overabundance of rich illustrations which represents data in a whole new dimension. In MSBI, data to comprehensive information which is categorized or fixated in on a certain feature is grasped effectively. But Power BI is a better Analytics tool due to its Data modeling capabilities and a robust visual depiction of data.


The trial version for MSBI expires in 180 days and the paid version may cost INR 420/month

The trial version for Power BI expires in 60 days and the paid version may cost INR 750/month

 Learning Curve

The learning curve for Power BI simple as it enables the user to use drag and drop options to meet most of the requirements. But the algorithms in the background are hidden a not visible for a better understanding

In SSRS the developer is the one who writes and develops the coding and the fabrication of the reports thus has a clear picture of the procedures involved


Power Bi surpasses the SSRS when it comes to graphic capabilities. Which makes understanding Power BI a lot easier and more efficient to employ. SSRS is a more manual and troublesome option for analysis and the fabrication of reports.


Power BI is capable of handling both structured and unstructured data with finesse, the only limitation is that the data should not exceed more than 10MB for the smooth functioning of the system.

SSRS deals with structured and semi-structured data and does not put a lot of stress on the data engine hence can generate larger reports

SSRS is usually employed for the picture-perfect operational reporting, whereas Power BI is first and foremost an analysis tool. It enables the user to visualize the data in diverse behaviors to permit a deeper understanding of your business.

SSRS has had an extremely in-depth presence in the data industry but since its debut of Power BI has left a mark known across several spheres of the market. The choice between Power BI and SSRS is mostly straightforward and determined by business requirements. If the business utilizes reports on-premises, the user may employ SSRS as the most cost-effective option. On the other hand, if the user feels the need to extract interactive or analytical reports on-premises or already has access to SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance, then Power BI Reporting Services will likely be the preferred choice of management.

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