Tools for survey data analysis: Microsoft Power BI vs. Survalyzer Professional Analytics

Tools for survey data analysis: Microsoft Power BI vs. Survalyzer Professional Analytics


When initiating or concluding a survey project, a pivotal consideration is the method of evaluating the results. In today’s digital age, a plethora of Survey Business Intelligence Software (often abbreviated as Survey BI Tools) is at our disposal.

In this article, we’ll hone in on two prominent Tools for Survey Analysis: Microsoft Power BI and Survalyzer Professional Analytics. Our aim is to assess their capabilities in crafting and disseminating survey dashboards.

Survey data stands distinct from other types of business data, like financial metrics. Each survey embodies its own unique data model. The scaling of survey data varies, and it’s essential to recognize that such data encapsulates the perceptions of individuals. It doesn’t offer precise financial metrics like revenue or profit but provides valuable insights into human perspectives.

Comparison Professional Analytics vs. Microsoft Power BI

In this section, we explore the critical considerations when choosing between Power BI and Survalyzer Professional Analytics for survey data analysis. Our assessment is divided into functional and non-functional criteria.

  • The functional aspect: emphasizing the “what” dimension, evaluates specific features, operations, or tasks that a platform can undertake. Questions such as: can the tool export data in multiple formats, does it support user authentication, or can it integrate seamlessly with other systems, fall under this category.

  • A non-functional dimension focuses on the “how” of the platform, looking at its efficiency, reliability, and security. This includes aspects like loading speed, the security of data storage, and the intuitiveness of the user interface. In other words, the non-functional comparison is made up much more of use cases, benefits and advantages than technical functionality in and of itself.

Functional advantages of Professional Analytics vs Microsoft Power BI

Advantages of Professional Analytics

  • Open Text Analysis

Integrating Survalyzer with ChatGPT natively offers users a unique advantage that PowerBI lacks. This integration empowers users to discern sentiments and conduct topic analysis, especially when analyzing open-ended survey responses. Additionally, it prioritizes data privacy through anonymization, ensuring that sensitive information remains shielded while still extracting crucial insights. This seamless integration delves deep into open-text feedback, guaranteeing both a thorough understanding of user sentiments and robust data security. For a detailed overview of this integration, read our article on Survalyzer’s blog.

  • Data Weighting

Data weighting adjusts survey results to align them with the actual population or target sample. This ensures any biases from over-representation or under-representation of specific groups are corrected, making your survey results more reflective of the broader population. For a deeper dive into the importance and methodology of data weighting, check out our article on the Survalyzer blog.

  • Export of results to MS Powerpoint and MS Excel

You might find it unexpected to see this advantage highlighted here, but intriguingly, Power BI, despite being a Microsoft product, lacks a sophisticated PowerPoint export feature. All charts are exported solely as image files, rendering them non-editable post-export. In contrast, Survalyzer Professional Analytics adopts a more versatile approach. It generates charts in native Office formats and can even tailor PowerPoint slides to the look and feel of a custom PowerPoint master template. More details can be found here.

  • Multilingual dashboards

Survalyzer’s Professional Analytics boasts a translation-optimized user interface, simplifying the translation process for all dashboard elements, including charts and tables. Depending on the dashboard viewer’s language preference, the corresponding language version is automatically displayed, ensuring a tailored user experience for global audiences.

  • Benchmark Dashboards

Survalyzer stands out with its dynamic result filtering capabilities based on participant variables. This feature facilitates the creation of insightful comparisons, such as juxtaposing data from a specific department or unit against the broader company metrics. Such benchmarking provides a clearer perspective on performance, allowing for more informed decision-making.

  • Real Time reporting

One of the standout features of Professional Analytics is its direct integration into Survalyzer. This eliminates the need for managing complex interfaces. As a result, all data is instantly accessible in real-time, ensuring that users always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips, enhancing responsiveness and decision accuracy.

Advantages of Power BI

  • Building relational data models

Power BI allows the modeling of relational data models in order to model complex business relationships in terms of data technology. Whether complex modeling is necessary must be checked on a case-by-case basis. It’s adept at handling scenarios that combine various data models, ensuring complex data relationships are seamlessly integrated.

  • Drilldown capability

Power BI provides a robust drilldown feature, allowing users to delve deeper into visuals and tables to access underlying data. This facilitates a granular view of data hierarchies and insights and may be essential for analysts who need to understand the specifics behind the broader trends.

  • Advanced pivoting

With Power BI, this process is elevated through the use of DAX (Data Analysis Expressions). DAX is a proprietary formula language that allows users to create custom aggregations, calculate columns, and design measures tailored to their specific analytical needs. For instance, users can pivot sales data to view monthly sales figures by region, product, or salesperson. This advanced pivoting ensures that data is not just presented, but is also structured in a way that answers specific business questions, making it easier to derive actionable insights from vast datasets.

  • Data transformation steps

PowerBI offers PowerQuery is a visually-driven ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool that allows users to connect to a multitude of data sources, be it databases, web services, or flat files. Once connected, users can perform a series of transformations to clean and shape their data. This includes filtering out unnecessary rows, renaming columns, merging datasets, and even transforming data types. It adeptly converges diverse data sources like text files, Google Sheets, and CSVs into a unified data model.

  • Custom visuals market

The platform features a marketplace dedicated to custom visuals. Here, developers can share their creations, and users can augment their visualization arsenal, extending beyond Power BI’s default offerings. Also Users can access and use custom visuals created by the community and third-party vendors.

  • Sharing and collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of Power BI. Through its cloud-based service, users can share reports, collaborate in real-time, and establish automated data refresh schedules, promoting a cohesive data analysis environment. Reports and dashboards can be shared with other users, with integration capabilities for Teams or SharePoint.

  • PowerBI Embedded

 As an Azure service, Power BI Embedded empowers developers to integrate Power BI visuals into custom applications. This feature extends Power BI’s capabilities to users without necessitating a separate Power BI license.

Non-functional advantages of Microsoft Power BI and Survalyzer Professional Analytics

Advantages of Professional Analytics

Personal contact person

Survalyzer offers a personal expert who can be called at any time for technical questions and when creating new dashboards. This ensures that users have a direct line to specialized knowledge, facilitating smoother operations and quicker problem resolution.

Flat learning curve

Due to the clear focus on survey data, interactive dashboards can be created with just a few hours of training. Customized onboarding with defined learning objectives and a dedicated contact person help to overcome the most important hurdles in the important initial phase. Many simple and short video tutorials also help to learn Professional Analytics quickly.

Fast implementation

Since Survalyzer Professional Analytics focuses on the analysis of survey data, the user interface with the “Table Wizard” could be designed in such a way that the creation of dashboards can be implemented very quickly. This approach is further extended with the Chart Wizard so that dashboards with appealing charts can be built even faster.

Advantages of Power BI

  • Community Support

Due to the widespread use of Power BI, there are many courses and online resources available to help you learn on your own. Users can tap into forums, online courses, and tutorials, benefiting from shared knowledge and experiences.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Power BI offers competitive licensing. In many scenarios, PowerBI licenses might already be part of existing Microsoft packages, making it a cost-effective solution.

  • It is Microsoft

Due to Microsoft’s market power, there is no need to persuade colleagues and stakeholders to use PowerBI in larger companies, as you can simply rely on the standard. With Microsoft’s industry dominance, introducing Power BI in larger corporations is straightforward. It’s often the default choice, eliminating the need for lengthy stakeholder persuasion. In addition Power BI seamlessly integrates with the broader Microsoft ecosystem. This means it works effortlessly with tools like Excel, SharePoint, and Azure, enhancing its utility in a Microsoft-centric environment.

Summary: Which tool should you use?

In the following infographic, you can find a condensed comparison between the two platforms:

Comparison infographic of Microsfot Power BI and Survalyzer Professional Analytics

Navigating the intricate landscape of Business Intelligence tools can be challenging, especially when deciding between specialized platforms like Survalyzer and versatile giants like Power BI. While the above overview offers compelling arguments for both technologies, the ultimate decision hinges on the specific requirements of your survey project. At Survalyzer, we’ve distilled our advice to clients into two straightforward guidelines:

Pro Professional Analytics

When the primary focus of your analysis dashboard is survey data, and you aim to augment this with company-specific data, Survalyzer Professional Analytics emerges as the frontrunner. Its design, tailored specifically for survey data, ensures that businesses can derive nuanced insights with precision. The platform’s specialized tools, combined with its user-friendly interface, make it an ideal choice for those who prioritize survey data analysis. Moreover, with Survalyzer, you’re not just getting a tool; you’re gaining a partner dedicated to maximizing the value of your survey data.

Pro Power BI

On the other hand, if your survey data analysis is just a segment of a broader dashboard, where the emphasis might be on diverse datasets like financial metrics or production statistics, Power BI stands out. Microsoft’s Power BI is renowned for its ability to handle a vast array of data types seamlessly. Its integration capabilities, coupled with the robustness of the Microsoft ecosystem, make it a go-to for comprehensive business intelligence needs. With Power BI, you’re equipped to weave together disparate data threads into a cohesive narrative, making it invaluable for multifaceted dashboards.

Christian Hyka

Managing Partner
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