Sisense vs Power BI: Battle of Top BI Software

Sisense and Power BI are two of the most popular business intelligence tools. Both platforms offer solutions for different use cases, such as querying raw data or generating visualizations to provide executives with at-a-glance views of their most important metrics. 

But which one is right for your organization? Keep your business’s unique needs in mind as you compare both platforms’ user experience, features, and pricing to determine which one is the right fit.

What is Sisense?

Sisense offers an end-to-end solution for data preparation, analysis, and visualization. With Sisense, users can easily connect to various data sources, clean and prepare data, build dashboards and reports, and share insights with relevant parties. 

What sets Sisense apart from other business intelligence software is its ease of use. With its drag-and-drop interface, users can quickly build complex dashboards without any coding required. In addition, the platform is accessible on desktop and mobile devices, giving users access to their data anytime, anywhere. Sisense also provides integrations with many popular apps, including Salesforce, Zapier, and Slack. 

What is Power BI?

Microsoft’s ​​Power BI tool allows users to visualize data, share insights, and collaborate with others in real-time. Power BI is a part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications and services. 

Using Power BI’s desktop application, users can upload their data from on-premises sources such as SQL Server or other relational databases. Once imported into the dashboard, they can create reports using visualizations like graphs, charts, maps, dashboards, and scorecards. 

Users can customize these visuals using different formatting options for their metrics, such as color coding or shading within the visualization itself. These features allow for more detailed analysis at a glance and provide valuable insight into the company’s activities. 

Sisense vs Power BI: Ease of use

If you’re looking for business intelligence software that is easy to use, Sisense is an excellent option. With its straightforward interface, users can quickly start building dashboards and reports. Sisense is very intuitive and doesn’t require users to be familiar with complex formulas. 

On the other hand, Power BI might be difficult for some users because it requires a certain level of Excel knowledge. Although Power BI does not require coding knowledge, if you want to operate outside of the Power BI GUI, you must understand Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) – a formula expression used in analysis services, Power BI, and Power Pivot in Excel.

If ease of use is your priority, Sisense might be the best choice since Power BI requires more time investment to learn.

Sisense vs Power BI: Data visualization

Data visualization is a key part of business intelligence software. Both BI tools offer various visualization options, including charts and graphs. 


Sisense allows users to track metrics and embed dashboards, widgets, and filters into applications for a fully customizable and interactive experience. Users can save their visualizations as web-based dashboards that are interactive and can be embedded in non-Sisense environments, such as your websites or applications.

Sisense’s drag-and-drop interface for dashboard and visualization building makes it robust for business users. With a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to visualize data without writing any code, Sisense eliminates barriers to entry in BI software. Even those with no technical background will find this intuitive interface appealing, enabling them to build powerful visualizations and dashboards quickly.

Screenshot of Sisense data visualization.
Source: Sisense

Power BI

Power BI allows users to create interactive, shareable dashboards. It offers a wide range of features, including built-in templates, drag-and-drop canvas, and real-time data analysis. Plus, it integrates with other Microsoft products like Excel and SharePoint. 

Users can leverage a variety of Power BI’s library of pre-configured data visualizations including charts, graphs, timelines, and calendars. They can also embed interactive Power BI content in blog posts, websites, emails, or social media using the publish-to-web option.

Screenshot of Power BI data visualization.
Source: Power BI

Sisense vs Power BI: Business analytics 

Business analytics features give organizations the ability to collect, organize, and analyze data so they can maintain a competitive advantage. Both Sisense and Power BI offer these features on their respective platforms.


Sisense helps businesses analyze and make better decisions with data. Sisense allows you to “infuse insights everywhere you or your customers work” by enabling you to connect with, explore, and visualize any type of data in the cloud. 

Its business analytics capabilities allow users to process raw data from multiple sources into a single location for querying and visualization. Sisense can simplify and analyze complex data, create visualizations, and discover and share insights with key decision-makers in an organization.

Screenshot of Sisense business analytics.
Source: Sisense

Power BI

Power BI is an enterprise-class analytical tool that delivers compelling visualization and analysis experience. Its business analytics feature provides real-time data insights, allowing users to analyze trends and patterns from both historical and current data.

It offers dashboards with prebuilt content, interactive reports with KPIs that are easy to configure, and intuitively connected mobile experiences across various platforms. 

Power BI provides intelligent answers for a modern workplace through instant access to insights about the key performance indicators of your business anytime you need them.

Screenshot of Power BI business analytics.
Source: Microsoft

Sisense vs Power BI: Ad hoc analysis

Both Sisense and Power BI support ad hoc analysis—a business intelligence process where analysts create reports and perform analysis on data without pre-determined templates or question types.

With Sisense, businesses can use embedded analytics to help their teams easily view and digest big data from a variety of sources on the fly. 

Furthermore, with Sisense’s self-service reporting, business users can make queries, create reports and visualizations, and share them with other team members, who do not need any technical knowledge of SQL or complex query languages. This reduces business teams’ dependency on data teams for their analytical needs.

Power BI also supports ad hoc analysis and reporting. Users can get additional insights via the ad hoc analysis of a Power BI report’s visuals. Power BI provides on-the-fly access to reports for data analysis and alerts users if there is any update or change in the information, allowing them to rapidly assess the most important KPIs and take deliberate actions. 

Sisense vs Power BI: Data connections

Data connections are important in any BI software because they provide the foundation for creating reports and visualizations. Both tools offer the ability to connect to multiple data sources simultaneously.


​​Sisense provides an easy way to connect to your data, regardless of where it’s stored. With support for over 80 data sources, including relational databases, NoSQL databases, cloud-based data warehouses, and flat files, you can be sure that Sisense will be able to connect to your data. 

You can also build relationships between multiple tables using a graphical interface. Custom ODBC and JDBC drivers are also available if this doesn’t cover your needs. Sisense uses ElastiCube, a proprietary high-performance analytics database that allows users to import data from multiple sources and store that data.

Screenshot of Sisense data connections.
Source: Sisense

Power BI

Power BI has native connectivity for almost any source imaginable. Microsoft has worked hard to maintain a robust list of connectivity options for many use cases with over 100 data connectors, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Teradata, Netezza, and others. Power BI also has features that simplify the process of connecting datasets, such as importing tables into spreadsheets and generating API scripts for live connections with RESTful services.

Microsoft has prioritized business intelligence capabilities across platforms. They have options for those looking to work with data inside and outside of Power BI. For example, Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise includes business intelligence capabilities in Excel and SharePoint Online. These platforms allow users to collect data, visualize data, and share information with colleagues across multiple devices.

In addition, they’ve invested heavily in integrating Power BI with Azure technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) services and Cortana Intelligence Suite AI Services, which opens up more avenues for advanced analytics. 

Screenshot of Power BI data connections.
Source: Microsoft

Sisense vs Power BI: AI analytics

Artificial intelligence (AI) helps businesses derive next-level insights from large volumes of data that wouldn’t be possible with traditional data analytics approaches alone. Both solutions offer AI-powered analytics that can help you make sense of large data sets.


Sisense offers artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities within its BI software. This enables users to get predictive insights from their data and recommendations on how to improve their business. Sisense also has a natural language processing (NLP) engine, which allows users to ask questions in plain English and get answers in the form of data visualizations. 

The UI is customizable so that you can create dashboards for different types of employees with diverse needs. For example, salespeople may need a dashboard focused on leads, whereas marketing managers may need information about campaign performance.

Power BI

With Power BI’s AI Insights, your data analyst can access a collection of pre-trained machine learning models that enhance data preparation. AI Insight is accessible via the power query editor and provides insights on trends and patterns depending on the data set and business goal. 

Power BI also supports cognitive services such as text analytics and vision. Users can leverage multiple algorithms from Azure Cognitive Services to enrich their data in Power Query. Sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction, language detection, and image tagging capabilities are provided services for visualizing various data points. 

Sisense vs Power BI: Pricing

Regarding pricing, Sisense doesn’t provide any details on their website. They want you to contact them for a custom quote based on your specific needs. 

Power BI, on the other hand, has a detailed pricing page. They have three plans: 

  • Pro plan: Starts at US$9.99 per user per month
  • Premium plan: Starts at US$20 per user per month
  • Premium per capacity plan: Starts at US$4,995 per capacity per month

The decision of which software to use largely depends on what your needs are, but in terms of pricing, Sisense is more expensive than Power BI if you’re looking for a one-time purchase with annual billing or an all-inclusive price. 

However, suppose you need customization and scalability features. In that case, Sisense might be worth the cost depending on how much they charge per project and the number of concurrent users needed by that project.

Both providers offer free trials, so you can try out each product before deciding which one to buy. 

Sisense vs Power BI: Which one to choose?

Sisense and Power BI offer a great set of features for business intelligence for enterprises of all sizes. For example, both BI solutions provide dashboards, reporting, and data visualization capabilities. Both tools allow you to easily track, analyze, visualize, explore, and understand your data process.

However, if you develop products that require near real-time updates, need embedded analytics, or work with non-technical users, then it might be better to choose Sisense. Alternatively, if you are looking for the best performance across multiple servers, platforms, and databases, then Power BI would be a good choice. 

Ultimately, choosing between Sisense and Power BI comes down to understanding your company’s needs and knowing which tool will fulfill them.

Read next: Best Business Intelligence Software: BI Tools Comparison

Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi
Aminu Abdullahi is an award-winning public speaker and a passionate writer. He writes to edutain (Educate + Entertain) his reader about Business, Technology, Growth, and everything in between. He is the coauthor of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook. Aminu loves to inspire greatness in the people around him through his actions and inactions.

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