Business intelligence blog

    Phocas BI vs. Microsoft Power BI (based on ratings in BARC's The BI Survey 17)

    In the world's largest business intelligence software review, The BI Survey 17, more than 3,000 BI software users rated 42 products across 29 different categories. See how Phocas BI compares with Microsoft Power BI across several KPIs.

    The BI Survey 17  is the largest BI software review of its kind, and in 2016, Phocas Software finished at the top of 16 different categories in its peer groups. In 2017, Phocas continued to perform well, finishing on top of 24 categories in its peer groups and outperforming a variety of well known brands across key categories, including Tableau, QlikView and Microsoft Power BI.

    In this blog, we will describe how Phocas performed against Microsoft Power BI across several key performance indicators. Despite Power BI’s size advantage and legacy in enterprise computing, Phocas has often performed well when compared side-by-side. While Phocas significantly outscored Microsoft Power BI in at least eight categories, we will focus on three in this blog, including product satisfaction, project success and self-service.

    Additional category comparisons are available in our Phocas BI vs. Microsoft Power BI PPT/PDF presentation by clicking the image below.


    Product Satisfaction

    We work hard to make sure our customers have a great experience with our software. In this KPI, we can see that Phocas has a higher product satisfaction rating than competitors such as Microsoft Power BI. For the product satisfaction Key Performance Indicator (KPI), the lower the rating, the more problems users encountered while using the software.

    In the 2017 survey, Phocas scored 9.8 while Microsoft scored 5.4.  This marks the fourth consecutive year that Phocas has performed well in this category, validating our efforts for delivering consistency in quality.

    One of the strengths that BARC highlighted in the survey analysis was Phocas’ “great ease of use, rated highly by business users.” Simplicity is among the most important BI software features because it improves the ability of more people in the organization to use data and analytics to make important business decisions. BI software needs to be easy enough to use that you don’t have to be an IT expert while giving you the flexibility to quickly find new opportunities and answer questions. Fewer problems increase overall product satisfaction and create more avid, loyal users.

    Project Success

    The Project Success KPI defines the implementation satisfaction level and frequency of projects completed on time and on budget. For this KPI, Phocas scored a perfect 10 while Microsoft Power BI scored a 5.7. All that we generally ask of any IT team is to allow remote access for data extraction and sometimes some assistance with validation. In many cases, this requires less than five hours. Our project success is also a factor of how quickly most users get comfortable with our software platform and our extensive online training library, which can take people from casual to power users.

    Following a demo at a user conference, decision makers at Nature’s Cargo, a 110-person family-owned business providing wholesale food distribution services, decided to deploy Phocas.

    Implementation was estimated at six to eight weeks to implement once things got started, but Phocas had it up and running in a week and half. The Nature’s Cargo team was ready for training two weeks after Phocas started installation. Regarding Phocas’ online training, Anthony Croft, business development and sales manager for Natures Cargo, said, “Myself and a few other key people in the business gathered for a webinar, and after an hour, we were 75 percent trained, and ready to go.”

    The fact that 100 percent of our customers surveyed speaks volumes to the commitment that we have made towards a smooth implementation and accessible, intuitive training that creates more prolific users.



    The self-service KPI helps to 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 how easy it is use our self-service features, “Phocas offers an easy way to consume, build and share dashboards. Business users can assemble data from the predefined data model and choose the visualization they like. Widgets or tables with data from multiple sources can be combined in one dashboard.

    “Phocas engages with customers who are growing into BI and will eventually need a platform, not just a point solution. The market for self-service and data discovery tools has helped Phocas gain prominence, and it continues to succeed in a competitive marketplace. Phocas differentiates itself through ease of use and its customer success rate.”

    When customers start to use Phocas BI, they quickly realize how simple BI can be and how easily they can build dashboards, turn raw data into easily understood charts and graphs, and drill deeper into the transaction-level details. Phocas makes BI is easy to use, helping all skill levels of users to find value in their business data.

    The three KPIs listed are only a few of the categories that Phocas outperformed Microsoft Power BI. For additional metrics about how Phocas to Microsoft Power BI, download our complete highlights report by clicking the image below.



    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software

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