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Replacing MicroStrategy with Power BI 

by Dawie Kruger, Principal Consultant

We recently assisted a large financial institution to decommission an On-Premises Legacy BI product and reporting solution, and replace it with a Power BI Premium Capacity

Some key considerations/requirements we needed to consider were: 

  • Little to no changes are required to the On-Premises EDW solution currently in place  
  • Three environments: development, testing and production environments for all reports and datasets 
  • Secure management of PII data 
  • Solution is required to service 200+ users both internally and externally 
  • Interactive reports, as well as static canned reports, were required with automation as needed 

These requirements fit in nicely with the capabilities that a Power BI Premium Capacity offers, and below are some key features we used to deliver a successful outcome. 


Starting at the database level, Power BI natively supports a combination of both the existing and latest database drivers, along with some Power BI gateways that allowed for easy access to the source EDW. No architectural changes were required on the database servers, however, keeping in line with best practices some new views were created for Power BI to source data from for the models and paginated reports.

Reporting Environments and PII Data Management 

As with all financial institutions, data security was key. The Risk Team’s main concern was Power BI data models, as it natively stores the data for the models on the developer’s workstation. Thanks to Power BI deployments this was not an issue.

With native drivers, Power BI deployment pipelines allowed developers to work as per usual, using connections to “safe” development data. Then once ready, the pipelines are used to deploy the datasets with reports, and change the connections to secure testing/production data. This allowed for an additional level of security as the developers are never granted access to the production data within the Power BI service handling deployments. 

Azure AD B2B 

Not needing to maintain hundreds of external users’ email addresses and account passwords is a dream of many IT Administrators. In this case, we required a large sum of external users to access reporting to meet SLA requirements. Azure AD B2B functionality assisted here, and it is supported in Power BI, not just on the App Access level but also in Row Level Security.

Integrative and Static Reports 

With Power BI Premium supporting paginated reporting (SSRS Style Reports) we were able to meet the expectations of the business with both dashboard style, interactive reporting as well as pixel-perfect paginated reports. 

If you are thinking about migrating or implementing a Power BI solution in your environment, or are unsure of the capability of the platform, please contact us today and start maximising your business performance.



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