Sisense and Power BI are two popular business intelligence tools. Is one better than the other when it comes to your business? We dive into the features so you can make the best choice.
Business intelligence tools transform raw data into actionable insights businesses can use to make better decisions. Data is an organization’s most precious resource. Yet without BI tools, it can be impossible to make sense of your data.
The importance of BI software has led to a market that’s chock full of solutions, including Sisense and Microsoft’s Power BI. Is Sisense the right fit for your business? Or should you go with Power BI? Before you choose, it’s best to dig into each platform’s features.
What is Sisense?
Sisense is a business intelligence tool that enables organizations to “infuse analytics everywhere,” as the platform puts it, including within customer and employee applications and workflows. Sisense offers a wide range of BI tools, including data modeling, data visualization and AI analytics. The platform was designed to be easy to scale and includes security features such as attack surface monitoring and disaster recovery.
What is Power BI?
Power BI is a business intelligence tool designed by Microsoft. Power BI offers many BI tools, including data visualization, AI capabilities and data connectors. As a Microsoft product, Power BI integrates closely with Excel to help organizations fully visualize spreadsheet data. Power BI includes robust data security, including features such as end-to-end encryption and real-time access monitoring.
Sisense vs. Power BI: Feature comparison
Sisense and Power BI are very similar in the features they offer. However, just like with any BI tool, there are some slight differences.
SEE: Hiring Kit: Database engineer (TechRepublic Premium)
For example, Power BI was designed by Microsoft and shares the same controls found throughout Microsoft 365 apps such as Word and Excel. In fact, Power BI is closely integrated with Excel. This means Microsoft power users are likely to feel at home within Power BI. Those who don’t use Microsoft 365 will need to learn that platform to effectively use Power BI.
Feature comparison chart
|Built-in data connectors
Both Sisense and Power BI enable businesses to integrate data sources into a single source using built-in data connectors. Sisense currently offers over 100 data connectors, including Azure Synapse, Google BigQuery, MySQL, Snowflake and SQL Server. Power BI currently offers over 500 data connectors, including all of the above and more.
It’s important to mention Sisense’s Elasticube. The Elasticube is Sisense’s proprietary analytics cache that enables organizations to bring in data from multiple sources and manipulate it as if it was one data set. According to Sisense, the Elasticube is capable of returning queries of millions of rows of raw data in seconds.
Both Sisense and Power BI offer a wide range of data visualization options built right into each platform. Using Power BI, businesses have access to an extensive library of pre-configured data visualizations, including charts, graphs, timelines and calendars.
Sisense offers a drag-and-drop interface for easy dashboard and visualization building. Sisense also offers interactive visualizations so companies can move beyond graphs and charts. Both platforms offer the ability to build custom dashboards and visualizations from scratch.
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning has improved the way we analyze data. Both Sisense and Power BI offer AI analytics tools to make data analysis simpler.
For example, Sisense offers forecasting capabilities so users can see how a change will affect future values. The platform also offers “Simply Ask” which is a natural language query feature. Users can ask questions about their data and receive visualizations that provide the answers. Sisense returns automatic suggestions to help build queries, making this tool a great option for anyone in need of insights, regardless of skill level.
Tools such as Sisense and Power BI are commonly used by businesses to uncover internal data insights. They’re also used to embed branded analytics dashboards into customer-facing apps and products.
Both Sisense and Power BI offer this capability. For example, Sisense’s Fusion Embed solution was designed just for building white-labeled analytic experiences inside apps. It empowers businesses to offer predictive analytics, natural language querying and more for various skill levels.
Power BI isn’t as straightforward. There are two types of embedded analytics offerings. First is Power BI Embedded, which is built for developers. There’s also Embedding with Power BI, which requires Power BI Premium, a solution focused on enterprises. Businesses will need to choose the right solution to fit their needs.
Choosing between Sisense and Power BI
Sisense and Power BI both include many of the same features and are great options for small businesses to large enterprises. However, for businesses currently harnessing the power of Microsoft, Power BI might be the easy choice. Power BI integrates seamlessly within Microsoft 365 apps, including Excel.