There are several Power BI licenses available. Find out more about the different offers, and how to choose the right one for your needs when using Microsoft's Business Intelligence software.
With Power BI, Microsoft offers a complete Business Intelligence solution for companies. When adopting this tool, the first step is to choose a license.
Of course, Power BI Desktop is available to download free of charge. You can connect data sources, create models and visualize data without paying a cent.
Jobs are saved as .PBIX files, and there’s nothing to stop them being shared. A free account gives you access to a “My Workspace” on PowerBI.com, where you can publish reports and set up automatic data refreshes.
However, it is not possible to create an App from My Workspace. Only individual reports can be shared with users with a Pro license.
To share reports with others with a free Power BI account, you need a Premium Workspace. To share reports publicly and free of charge, you can use the “Publish to Web” option. A code allows you to embed the Power BI report in a website, blog post or even a portal, completely free of charge.
Finally, those with a professional e-mail address, in the education or government sector, can take advantage of free functionalities. In all other cases, you need to opt for one of the various Power BI licenses.
What is a Power BI license?
The Power BI license determines the number of features you can use on the Power BI Service. Depending on the license you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of different working methods, storage volume for data and reports, and the ability to collaborate on reports.
So it’s very important to choose the right Power BI license for your needs. However, this task can be more complex than it seems.
What are the different types of Power BI license?
To give users maximum flexibility, Microsoft offers a wide variety of Power BI licenses. On the downside, this offer can quickly become confusing.
Power BI Free/Desktop
The Power BI Free/Desktop license is free of charge. It enables users to connect data sources, analyze data and create reports. This license is primarily aimed at individual customers wishing to create reports for their own personal needs, and not wishing to share content with others via a Cloud service.
It includes all development functionalities, such as integrating hundreds of data sources, and creating reports with Power BI Desktop on a local machine. Users can also store data and reports on a dedicated workspace in the Cloud, up to a limit of 1GB per user.
This license also allows you to export reports and data to Excel, Power Point, or as .pdf files. You can also use Python, and create visualizations using the R language.
Power BI Pro
A Power BI Pro license gives you access to even more features. Data and reports can be shared with other users with a Pro license.
Data sets can be stored up to a maximum of 10GB per user. Reports can be exported to a website or SharePoint site. This license is “per-user”, which means that you have to pay the price for each user. It is particularly interesting for small and medium-sized companies needing to create, share and view reports from other users.
In larger companies, the Pro license is often used in conjunction with the Power BI Premium subscription. The cost of the Power BI Pro license is $10 per user per month.
Power BI Premium per user
This relatively recent licensing option was introduced by Microsoft in April 2021. It combines the benefits of a Power BI Pro license with those of a Power BI Premium subscription.
Users benefit from Premium features, such as large data models up to 100GB, frequent refreshes up to 48 per day, as well as Paginated Reports and artificial intelligence scripts.
However, the offer is simplified by the per-user licensing system. The Power BI Premium license costs $20 per user per month.
Power BI Premium and Standard memberships
There are two types of Power BI subscription for companies: Standard and Premium. The Standard version is assigned to a Power BI Pro license. This type of subscription uses workspaces in “shared capacity”.
Users with a Power BI Pro license can collaborate and share reports with other Power BI Pro users. It is not possible to share a report published in “shared capacity” with someone who does not have a Power BI Pro license.
With this offer, the maximum size of the data set is 1GB. Storage capacity is limited to 10GB per user. Finally, the maximum number of refreshes is 8 per day. The standard subscription cost is included in the price of the Power BI Pro license: $10 per user per month.
For its part, the Power BI Premium subscription is not assigned to individual users, but to the entire organization. It offers dedicated Premium capacity, 100TB of storage, and 8 virtual cores for maximum processing power.
Data sets can have a maximum size of 10GB, the storage limit is 100TB, and the maximum number of refreshes is 48 per day. Users with workspace access in a dedicated Premium capacity can view and analyze reports published and shared by Power BI Pro license users. The cost of the subscription is $4,995 per company per month.
Comparison of Power BI licenses
The free Power BI Desktop license lets you analyze data and create reports. It also lets you publish reports on My Workspace, and store up to 1GB of data. However, a user cannot share content or view the content of other users. The main advantage of this license is that it is free.
The Power BI Pro license offers even more features. A standard subscription is assigned to this license by default. A user can collaborate with other users with a Pro license on published reports up to a limit of 10GB per user. Up to 8 refreshes can be scheduled per day. The cost of the license is $10 per user per month.
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The Power BI Premium “per user” license combines the benefits of Power BI Pro with those of a Premium subscription. Users benefit from the per-user licensing system, while enjoying broader data models, AI features or paginated reports.
A default extended subscription is assigned to this license. Users can collaborate on reports with other users via a maximum shared capacity of 100GB per user. Up to 48 refreshes can be scheduled per day. The cost is $20 per user per month.
The Power BI Premium license is assigned to the organization as a whole. It comes with 100TB of dedicated Premium storage capacity, plus 8 v-cores for optimum processing power. Up to 48 dataset refreshes can be scheduled daily. Power BI Desktop users can view and analyze reports published by Pro license users. The cost is $4,995 per company per month.
Which Power BI license should I choose?
It can be difficult to choose between the various Power BI licenses. In fact, the best option depends on your needs and use cases.
The Power BI Desktop license is ideal for users who have just started using Power BI. However, it is also very practical for individual customers wishing to analyze data for personal use, or for small businesses not wishing to share reports with their employees.
The Power BI Pro license was created to enable collaboration between users. This solution is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses for whom a Power BI Premium subscription would not be financially attractive, due to the number of users involved. Similarly, larger companies can choose this model to launch a pilot project and test the viability of Power BI for their needs.
The Power BI Premium per-user license has been created to give small and medium-sized businesses access to high-capacity data processing and storage at a reasonable price. This solution is better suited to companies with a limited number of employees, analysts or decision-makers who process and consume large volumes of data over a short period of time, and require immediate access to information.
Finally, the Power BI Premium subscription is dedicated to large companies for whom the Cloud storage capacity and processing power offered by Power BI Pro licenses are not sufficient. With this subscription, Power BI Desktop users can cooperate with Power BI Pro license users and work more efficiently thanks to superior processing power.
How to learn to use Power BI
Power BI is widely used in business, and its various licenses make this tool accessible to organizations of all sizes. Learning how to use it is therefore an invaluable step towards finding a job and earning a high salary. The role of Data Analyst is highly sought-after, as are other Data Science professions.
To acquire these skills you can turn to DataScientest. We just launched our Power BI training course that will teach you the basics and the secrets of the Power BI tool all within 5 days.
The DataScientest training courses adopt an innovative blended learning approach. The curriculum consists of 80% online courses on a coached platform, supplemented by live Masterclasses.
It is possible to complete the course in Bootcamp mode in just a few weeks on a full-time basis, or in the part-time format to pursue a parallel activity.
This program can be financed via the Compte Personnel de Formation, and 85% of alumni find work immediately after graduation.
Find out more about the Power BI training courses and book now a meeting with one of our counselors.
Now you know all about the different Power BI licenses. For more information, don’t hesitate to book a meeting with our team to discuss your questions and possibilities.