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Power BI vs Adaptive Insights

28 June 2023

Power BI vs Adaptive Insights: Unearthing the Titans of Business Intelligence

Is your business swimming in a sea of data, yet thirsting for actionable insights?

You are not alone. Business Intelligence (BI) tools have emerged as the lighthouses, guiding enterprises to informed decision-making. Among the vast array of BI solutions, two tools — Microsoft's Power BI and Workday's Adaptive Insights — have emerged as the top contenders in the arena. But which one is the better choice for your business?

This comprehensive comparison of Power BI vs Adaptive Insights aims to answer that question.

We also have other comprehensive comparisons you can read.

Section 1: An Overview of Power BI


What is Power BI?

Power BI, Microsoft’s flagship BI offering, has undergone an exciting journey since its inception. But what exactly is Power BI? Originating from Excel add-ins, Power BI has transformed into a fully-fledged, standalone, business analytics service that empowers users to create interactive visualisations and business intelligence reports.


Core Features of Power BI

Do you wonder what makes Power BI stand tall among its counterparts? It’s the impressive lineup of features:

Data integration and transformation — Power BI supports a wide variety of data sources, allowing seamless integration and transformation of your data.

Data visualisation — This tool takes your data and turns it into aesthetically pleasing and understandable visual representations.

Report generation — Power BI simplifies the process of report generation with its drag-and-drop functionality.

Customisation and sharing — With Power BI, you can customise dashboards to fit your business needs and share them easily within your team.

Power BI mobile and service — Stay connected with your data on the go using Power BI Mobile, and explore the power of cloud-based BI with Power BI Service.


Benefits of Using Power BI

Why should you choose Power BI over other tools? Here's why:

Seamless integration with Microsoft products — If your business runs on the Microsoft suite of products, Power BI fits like a glove, integrating seamlessly with your existing ecosystem.

Variety of data connectors — Power BI supports a broad spectrum of data connectors, allowing businesses to extract insights from disparate data sources.

Advanced analytics capabilities — Power BI isn’t just about data visualisation. With advanced analytics features, you can perform predictive analysis, making it easier to anticipate business trends.

Scalability and performance — As your business grows, Power BI scales with it, catering to large data volumes and complex queries without compromising performance.


Potential Drawbacks and Limitations of Power BI

Despite its strengths, Power BI isn’t without its pitfalls:

Licensing costs — While Power BI offers a free version, advanced features are locked behind a paywall, which might not be budget-friendly for smaller businesses.

Complexity for new users — Given its wide array of features, Power BI can be overwhelming for first-time users.

Certain limitations in data modelling — Despite its robustness, Power BI has some constraints when it comes to complex data modelling and handling large data sets.

Section 2: An Insight into Adaptive Insights


What is Adaptive Insights?

Acquired by Workday in 2018, Adaptive Insights has evolved as a leading player in the field of business planning and financial modelling. But what makes Adaptive Insights so adaptive? It's the tool’s ability to integrate business planning, and finance in one cloud-based platform, making it ideal for budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting.


Core Features of Adaptive Insights

What makes Adaptive Insights an essential tool in your BI toolkit? Let's unravel:

Business planning and budgeting — Adaptive Insights allows for collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous business planning, providing a single source of truth across

the organisation.

Financial reporting — With Adaptive Insights, you can generate dynamic, board-ready reports with drag-and-drop simplicity.

Analytics and dashboards — The tool provides visual analytics and interactive dashboards to uncover insights hidden in your business data.

Modelling and performance management — With the ability to create financial models, Adaptive Insights enables performance management in real-time.


Benefits of Using Adaptive Insights

What's the value proposition of Adaptive Insights? Here are the benefits:

Collaborative planning — Adaptive Insights fosters a culture of collaboration, bringing together different teams for efficient planning and decision-making.

Reduced reliance on IT — Adaptive Insights boasts a user-friendly interface, reducing reliance on IT for creating reports and budgets.

Cloud-based access — Being a cloud-based solution, Adaptive Insights enables access to real-time data and updates from anywhere.

Integration with other platforms — With integration capabilities with popular platforms like NetSuite, Salesforce, and Intacct, Adaptive Insights simplifies data consolidation.


Potential Drawbacks and Limitations of Adaptive Insights

Adaptive Insights too, isn't without its downsides:

Less flexibility with customisation — Compared to Power BI, Adaptive Insights provides less flexibility when it comes to dashboard customisation.

Lack of data visualisation options — While Adaptive Insights does provide visualisation options, it falls short when compared to Power BI’s extensive data visualisation capabilities.

Expensive for smaller businesses — Adaptive Insights can be a costly solution for small businesses or startups.

Section 3: Power BI vs Adaptive Insights: The Comparison Table


Categories Power BI Adaptive Insights
Data Integration Excellent, with wide variety of data sources Good, but with fewer data sources
Data Visualisation Excellent, with diverse options Good, but with limited options
Pricing More affordable, but with key features locked behind premium versions More expensive, especially for small businesses
User-friendliness Moderate, might be overwhelming for new users High, with a focus on reducing reliance on IT
Customisation High, allowing tailor-made dashboards Moderate, less flexibility compared to Power BI
Integration with Other Tools Excellent, especially with Microsoft ecosystem Good, integrates with popular platforms



As you consider Power BI vs Adaptive Insights, remember that the choice boils down to your specific business needs. If your business revolves around Microsoft products and requires robust data visualisation capabilities, Power BI could be your ideal tool. On the other hand, if your focus lies in financial planning, budgeting, and you prefer a user-friendly, collaborative platform, Adaptive Insights might be the right fit. In the end, both tools offer compelling benefits and the choice should align with your business goals.

You can also read about our Power BI vs Adobe Analytics comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which tool is better for small businesses — Power BI or Adaptive Insights?

While both tools offer unique advantages, Power BI could be a more affordable choice for small businesses given its lower starting price. However, it's essential to consider the specific needs and budget of your business.

2. Can I use Power BI and Adaptive Insights together?

Yes, many businesses use multiple BI tools to cater to different needs. For example, you might use Adaptive Insights for financial planning and budgeting, while leveraging Power BI for its superior data visualisation capabilities.

3. Is Power BI better than Adaptive Insights for data visualisation?

Power BI has an edge over Adaptive Insights when it comes to data visualisation due to its extensive range of options and flexibility.


About the author: Craig Hartzel
Craig is a self-confessed geek who loves to play with and write about technology. Craig's especially interested in systems relating to e-commerce, automation, AI and Analytics.

+44 (0)20 8446 7555

[email protected]



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