Business intelligence blog

    Phocas BI vs. Microsoft Power BI

    Learn how Phocas compares to MS Power BI in the world's largest independent review of business intelligence products.

    Every year, BARC Research conducts a survey of thousands of business intelligence software users. BARC’s The BI Survey 18 gives users the opportunity to review their BI software, providing first-person perspectives on what is great and not so great about their data and analytics solutions.

    In 2018, more than 3,000 people responded to BARC’s detailed questionnaire, evaluating 36 BI products across 30 Key Performance indicators (KPIs). As in years past, Phocas has continued to establish itself among the leaders in the industry, finishing on top of 16 different categories in 2016, 24 in 2017 and 28 in 2018 across three peer groups.

    While not as well known as some software providers in the industry, Phocas has outperformed the brand leaders, including Tableau, QlikView and IBM Cognos. In this blog, we will focus on the head-to-head comparison between Phocas and Microsoft Power BI, which is among the top five software products most often evaluated in competition with Phocas. Phocas outscores Microsoft Power BI in multiple categories. We will focus on three in this blog, including Product Satisfaction, Vendor Support and Self-Service.

    Additional category comparisons are available in our Phocas BI vs. Microsoft Power BI document.

    Product Satisfaction

    How a software provider scores on this KPI is solely a factor of the frequency of problems that users encounter while using the software. Product Satisfaction is key to Phocas’ success as many of its prospects and new customers come from referrals. The higher the users score on this KPI, the fewer the problems they have experienced.

    In 2017, Phocas scored a 9.8 while Microsoft Power BI scored a 5.4.  In 2018, Phocas once again scored more than 4 points higher, receiving a 9.5 while Microsoft Power BI received a 5.3. This is the fifth year in a row that Phocas has performed well in the Product Satisfaction KPI.

    In the Phocas Highlights report, BARC wrote, “Phocas customers in the ‘Data discovery-focused product’ peer group experience the most infrequent rate of problems. This speaks to the simplicity, intuitiveness and flexibility of the platform.”

    As Phocas continues to be developed, the need to create something that everyone can use has becoming increasingly more evident. Phocas is built so that anyone can become a data analyst, taking advantage of an intuitive interface, easy-to-understand dashboards and the ability to find valuable insights quickly and easily. When people find value in the software, they will continue to use it. And with Phocas’ flexibility and speed, they can truly create a personal experience.

    Vendor Support

    The Vendor Support KPI measures users’ satisfaction with the level of support they receive for the software. This year, Phocas scored a 9.1 compared to Microsoft Power BI’s score of 6.1. Phocas was the top-ranked product in this category in the data discovery-focused products peer group while Microsoft Power BI finished ninth out of 10.

    Phocas invests significant time and resources into its support and training programs, including a full library of self-help videos in the Phocas Academy that provide step-by-step tutorials on everything from basic to advanced BI concepts. The Phocas User Group is an online community that connects Phocas users to exchange information, ask questions and share best practices. Finally, Phocas has a Customer Success Team that is focused solely on ensuring that customers have a great experience with the software. All of these initiatives, in addition to others, ensure that customers have the tools and support they need, a level of support that serves as a key differentiator for Phocas.

    For Rashays Casual Dining, a fast-growing chain with 25+ restaurants and 1000+ employees, Phocas’ implementation and customer service have been eye opening.

    “The Phocas team is wonderful,” said CEO Roman Tepes. “Everyone’s been so helpful, and they go above and beyond what’s expected. Even at the implementation stage they were willing to write a report for breakfast, lunch and dinner sales when this was not even part of the brief.”


    A Phocas blog was recently published on the benefits of self-service business intelligence, which clearly outlines the benefits of products such as Phocas in increasing the adoption and use of BI software. Phocas “enables non-technical users to independently access, query, and analyze company data. With the ability to perform their own analyses and generate reports, employees are empowered to quickly make informed decisions based on the facts.”

    Our users clearly agree, as Phocas was the top ranked vendor in the Self-Service KPI, receiving a score of 9.7 compared with Microsoft Power BI’s score of 5.8. In 2017, Phocas received a 9.3 while Microsoft Power BI received a 6.4.

    The self-service KPI helps measure the quality of the user experience, and is based on how many sites currently use self-service features of the BI software. Phocas received a score of 9.3 for this KPI while Microsoft received a score of 6.4. Self-service BI speeds up processes because it places the analytics and reporting processes in the hands of the users, eliminating the need for specific product experts or the IT department to benefit from BI.

    Regarding Phocas, BARC wrote, “Phocas is built for the non-technical business user. Its analysis and visualization modes enable anyone to build, view and filter visualizations and dashboards, explore and drill down into data in a tabular format, and even set up security and access control. IT or advanced business users only need to play a limited role, primarily while implementing the platform and loading and transforming data.”

    Phocas is committed to making BI simple and accessible for all skill levels so that team members, regardless of their roles, can use data to make more intelligent business decisions.

    The three KPIs are only a few of the categories that Phocas outperformed Microsoft. Others include Project Success, Business Benefits and Sales Experience. To review these additional metrics, download our highlights report.

    To download a your full report of how Phocas compares to MS Power BI, click here or on the button below.


    Written by Phocas Software
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