Many businesses (and many of our customers) are using Microsoft PowerBI as part of their Microsoft Office Suite. PowerBI is a great tool that is easy to use, familiar to users of Excel, and it can connect to many data sources. We often get asked about how PowerBI compares to IBM Planning Analytics. The truth is, they are different tools for different purposes – but there are some common features. In this blog, we’ll outline how the two differ, and some of the strengths and weaknesses of both.
What is PowerBI?
Power BI is a business intelligence and data analytics tool developed by Microsoft. It is a cloud-based service that allows users to connect to a variety of data sources, create interactive dashboards and reports, and share their insights with others.
IBM Planning Analytics
IBM Planning Analytics is a business performance management and planning solution developed by IBM. It is a cloud-based and on premise service that allows users to create and manage budgets, forecasts, and other planning models. IBM Planning Analytics is a powerful tool that is used by businesses of all sizes to improve their financial performance.
What are the common features?
Both PowerBI and IBM Planning Analytics offers some similar features, including:
- Data connectivity: Both PowerBI and IBM Planning Analytics allow users to connect to a variety of data sources, including Excel, SQL Server, and Oracle.
- Dashboarding and reporting: Both PowerBI and IBM Planning Analytics allow users to create interactive dashboards and reports.
- Collaboration: Both PowerBI and IBM Planning Analytics allow users to share their insights with others.
PowerBI excels at its ease of use, its affordability, and its availability of data connectors. However, PowerBI is not a database. PowerBI will query a database, rather than storing the data. You still need to have a connection to a database for any reporting.
However, IBM Planning Analytics really differs for a number of reasons:
- IBM Planning Analytics offers a variety of planning features, including budgeting, forecasting, and scenario modelling, as well as data spreading techniques.
- It has a powerful, in memory OLAP database so data is calculated on the fly and stored in memory.
- It is highly scalable.
- It has a robust user management and security system, so you can restrict data to people and groups on a need to know basis.
- It has several different user types to allow individuals access to administration, user, or read only tasks.
Whilst PowerBI and IBM Planning Analytics are both powerful business intelligence and planning tools, they solve a different problem for businesses. Depending on the size of business and requirements, one, or both tools may suit your business needs.