Still Using Excel Sheets? Switch To Power BI and Experience Your Data In Action
Businesses from various sectors have to use multiple types of software applications, along with online services, to stay in the race and enhance productivity.

Businesses from various sectors have to use multiple types of software applications, along with online services, to stay in the race and enhance productivity. A lot of companies rely heavily on office productivity applications. However, choosing the right application for accounting-related work, report creation may seem tedious sometimes. Microsoft software solutions are used by thousands of businesses across the world. While the Excel spreadsheet application from its stable is still used by a large number of businesses, the growth of Power BI is eating into its share gradually.

Getting the basics right

Microsoft Excel is a popular spreadsheet application that is used as a component of the Microsoft Office suite. It is primarily used for accounting and mathematical needs. It integrates with many other Microsoft software solutions well.

Power BI is a versatile, multifaceted BI solution from Microsoft that is used by businesses of varying types. It integrates with Excel and many other Microsoft and third-party software solutions. It also shares many features with Excel. It is offered in several versions, including a mobile app. 

A detailed comparison between the two platforms

If you are unsure about choosing Power BI over Excel or vice versa, it is necessary that you compare the two applications on some vital grounds. There are instances of many organisations switching from Excel to Power BI, and that is not limited to the corporate giants alone. However, to leverage the benefits offered by Power BI properly, you will have to seek the services of a power bi development agency.

  • Data sources- Businesses have to collect data from a number of sources for operational workflow nowadays. So the applications they use have to support those data sources. Excel has data connectors, while Power BI relies on Direct Query. Both applications can import data from a wide range of software solutions, minus issues. 
  • Big Data Performance- Businesses are dealing with massive amounts of data, and there is no way this can be evaded. They have to collect and analyse data from many offline and web sources daily. So, the software used for data handling should be good at dealing with mammoth amounts of data. While both Excel and Power BI can deal with large data sets, Power BI takes a clear lead. Excel will process 200-300 thousand rows smoothly, but after that, it slows down. Power BI handles 50-100 million rows without hassles.
  • Data transformation- When you import data from another tool, how the software processes and converts the data is an important thing to consider. Both tools do a nice job of converting imported data. Excel and Power BI use Power Query, which supports as many as 350 data transformation types. So, you can import and process data from sources like CSV files and SQL Server. Power Query executes the transformation automatically.
  • Data refresh- After you sync your data analysis tool with multiple data sources, automatic data refresh is important. Both Power BI and Excel support scheduled, automated data refreshing. However, Excel relies on VBA for automated data updates. 
  • Data modelling- Power BI offers data analysis expressions or DAX for data modelling. Excel supports DAX along with standard Excel formulas. To leverage the advanced data modelling feature in Power BI, hiring a capable and skilled power bi developer will be necessary.
  • Data visualisation- Just collecting and analysing data is not enough; businesses also need to present the sorted data in a visually comprehensible format. This is what data visualisation is all about. Excel has a decent set of components for data visualisation through which Power BI takes a clear lead in this department. Power BI offers the data visualisation components in an easy-to-use format. The dashboards can be utilised to create stunning reports without requiring much time. 
  • Data security- Organisations dealing with a gargantuan amount of data cannot afford to be casual about data security. Leakage of important company data or customer information can lead to serious consequences. So, the data analysis and BI tool used has to be good on the data security front. Power BI is deemed to be better than Excel on the security front. 
  • The flexibility of usage and resource sharing- Both Excel and Power Bi come in cloud, desktop, and mobile versions. However, Power BI has the edge over Excel when it comes to data and resource sharing. The mobile version of Power BI is more capable than that of Excel in finer analysis. Power BI also streamlines the process of report sharing. 
  • Cost- Power BI and Excel are offered in many editions, and usage costs can vary a lot. Excel can be bought as a part of the MS Office suite and also as a standalone module. It does not come for free. Power BI comes in a free version and two subscription-based versions aimed at business users.

So, which one you should choose

It is hard to say which of the two solutions will be better suited for your business needs. Both of them share many features and components. 

Where Excel gets an edge:

  • It is not hard to learn and contains many advanced features.
  • It integrates with many Microsoft software products.
  • It can be used for more things than accounting.
  • Many businesses get it as a part of the MS Office 365 suite.

Where Power BI gets an edge:

  • Power BI deals with huge amounts of data better.
  • It supports multiple data sources.
  • It comes with robust security features.
  • The mobile version is quite capable.
  • Report sharing and creation are hassle-free. 
  • It has a free version.

It is also possible to use both applications at the same time. For example, if you already use Excel in the organisation, start using the Power BI add-on. As an alternative, you can try using the free version of Power BI if the workforce is not huge. However, in large-sized organisations, dealing with an ever-increasing amount of data is inevitable, making the switch over to Power BI a better option. Power BI Implementation can help the corporate giants save time, minimise errors and enhance productivity. 

Why hire a Power BI consultant?

Power BI is not hard to learn, and several start-ups are using it without hiccups. However, in some situations hiring power bi consulting services is a better option. Large-sized organisations that want to leverage advanced features of Power BI typically opt for the services of veteran Power BI consultants. Such BI consultants develop specific data and BI strategies for their clients. 

Summing it up


Excel and Power BI are very capable tools made by Microsoft to address diverse business productivity requirements. While they share common features and components, Excel and Power BI can be used in alliance or separately. You may choose one or use both, as per your business requirements. In case you choose Power BI and want to use it in the best way, hire a veteran BI analyst.