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amir_tohidi Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Microsoft Business Intelligence Roadmap



As I haven't been able to find a Microsoft Business Intelligence forum , I though I'd try posting my question here and in the Power BI forums. Please let me know if I should post my question in a more appropriate forum...


My question is this: with Big Data, Hadoop, Impala, ... now well and truly bedded into the IT landscape, without a clear roadmap from Microsoft (at least I haven't found one), I am struggling to understand where Microsoft echnologies fit into the Big Data landscape. For example, a very large organisation that my friend works for has moved everything into a (non Microsoft) Data Lake and all reporting etc is now being done using the lake. More importantly, the client tool is not Excel / Power BI.


Are the SQL Server * Services (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS)  & Power BI technologies being relegated to Not Big Data projects?


BTW It was reassuring to see that Power BI got a glowing report form the Gartner group in February.

Super User
Super User

Re: Microsoft Business Intelligence Roadmap

I would say that is somewhat true for SQL Server, although that depends on your particular definition of big data, but definitely not true for Power BI. Microsoft has a plethora of big data offerings:

  • DocumentDB - NoSQL document database
  • Table Storage - NoSQL key-value store
  • Redis Cache
  • Data Lake Store - Hyperscale repository for big data analytics workloads
  • Data Lake Analytics - Distributed analytics services
  • HDInsight - Cloud Hadoop, Spark, R Server, HBase and Storm clusters
  • Event Hub - Receive telemetry from millions of devices
  • IoT Hub - Connect, monitor and control billions of IoT devices
  • Sream Analyics - Real-time data stream processing from millions of IoT devices

Power BI integrates natively with many of these including:

  • DocumentDB
  • Table Storage
  • Data Lake Store
  • HDInsight (HDFS)
  • HDInsight (Spark)

In my opinion, Microsoft has one of the most, if not the most integrated platforms for data capture, analysis and reporting. For example, you can pipe data up to an Event Hub, over to Stream Analytics and output to Power BI without coding at all. I am not aware of any other platform that even comes close to that level of sophisticated integration and capabilities with that level of ease of use. People that aren't leveraging Microsoft's big data analytics capabilities are truly missing the boat and likely seriously overpaying.

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amir_tohidi Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Re: Microsoft Business Intelligence Roadmap

Thanks for you detailed reply smoupre.


A lot of the things that you have listed are unknown to me because I work in Finance and specialise in SQL Server, Excel and Power BI only.


Until Big Data, the Microsoft strategy (for me at least) was clear: SQL Server for data, SQL Server BI stack for BI (!) and Excel / Power BI for (power) end users. Now, however, the Microsoft strategy BI strategy for Financial institutions is very unclear as more and more copmanies here in the UK are building data lakes (on UNIX and Hadoop).


FYI A friend of mine works at Transport for London ( and he told me that after failing to get HDInsight to scale, TFL dropped Microsoft as a Big Data platform and switched to Hadoop on UNIX etc. The system needed to handle thousands of people going into or leaving stations per minute.