Power BI Free VS Power BI Pro VS Power BI Premium

Power BI Free VS Power BI Pro VS Power BI Premium

Microsoft Power BI – The Meaning 
Microsoft Power BI is a highly interactive business analytics service that renders insights to enable quick, informed decisions. It develops highly sophisticated AI-driven data visualizations that enable users and enterprises to build and share data analysis and visualizations. This AI software enables you to elevate collaboration efforts through the ability to share personalized dashboards and interactive reports. It also scales across your enterprise with the built-insecurity and management systems. 

Versions Of Microsoft Power BI 
Currently, there are three versions of Microsoft Power BI 

  • Microsoft Power BI Free/Desktop 
  • Microsoft Power BI Pro 
  • Microsoft Power BI Premium 

Microsoft Power BI Free/Desktop 
As the name suggests, it is the free version of Power BI that can be installed on your local computer. Organizations and individuals can access its basic features and it can act as a companion to the main cloud-based app. It is the ideal version, to begin with as it doesn’t require any deep skills. It can simply connect you with 70+ data sources, analyze data, publish it on the web, export it, etc. 

Who Can Use Power BI Free? 
Anybody and everybody who wants to get actionable insights from their data and apply it to their business can use Power BI Free. It is the most suitable for individual professionals and small business owners. 

How To Get The License Of Power BI Free? 
You simply don’t need any type of Microsoft Dynamics 365 subscription to use Power BI Desktop. It is completely free and accessible. You simply need to download the software from Microsoft as an MSI package. Currently, it supports Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems and Windows Server 2012. 

Microsoft Power BI Pro 
It is the complete version of Microsoft Power BI. It renders functionality to use Power BI for generating dashboards and reports along with unlimited viewing and sharing features which are not included in the free version of Power BI. 

This is the biggest difference between the free and pro version of Power BI. In the pro version, you have the access to share dashboards, data, and reports with a lot of other users who also have the pro version license of Power BI. It also allows you to create an app-based workspace. Moreover, it offers 10GB data storage limit per pro user. 

Who Can Use Power BI Pro? 
Microsoft Power BI Pro is licensed by individual users. This simply means if any user wants to use Power BI pro in their enterprise, everyone has to get their pro license in order to use it collaboratively in a team. This will enable every member to integrate their efforts and workspace.  
For instance: If your enterprise has 15 employees who need to use the full capabilities of Power BI Pro, then they have to buy 15 licenses of Power BI Pro accordingly. Although, if there are more users, opting for Power BI Premium can be a wise choice. 

The Cost of Power BI Pro 
The Power BI Pro Plan costs $9.99/user/month. It includes various features like data governance, data collaboration, publishing reports, and creating dashboards with 360-degree real-time view. You can simply choose the 60 days free trial version before purchasing the subscription. 

How To Get the License of Power BI Pro? 
Simply open the Microsoft 365 admin center and choose billing > subscriptions. From the subscriptions, choose the subscription plan as per your requirements. Under Enterprise Suite, choose Office 365 Enterprise E5 and buy the subscription. You can choose a monthly or yearly billing method as per your preference.  

Microsoft Power BI Premium 
Unlike the free and pro versions of Microsoft Power BI, this is a dedicated unit of capacity for all users in the enterprise. This dedicated capability enables you to host large datasets up to 50GB while rendering a total storage of 100TB on cloud. 

Rather than depending on the shared capacity, it allows your enterprise to use your own dedicated hardware and capacity. It helps for larger scale and better performance if you properly size the capacity. Microsoft renders three sizes for Premium version. Each of them has a different number of v-cores and memory. 

Who Can Use Power BI Premium? 
Microsoft Power BI Premium version can be used in huge enterprises with a large number of users who need to collaborate in real-time. This app is specifically designed to address challenges of large organization workloads and deployments. 

The Cost Of Power BI Premium 
The premium version of Power BI starts at $4,995/month/dedicated cloud compute and storage resource. This doesn’t include licensing cost for individual Pro and Free licenses that are needed for each user in your enterprise. 

How To Get The License Of Power BI Premium? 
You can get the Microsoft Power BI Premium version in two SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) families. Firstly, EM SKUs for embedding that need a yearly commitment (billed monthly). For embedding and enterprise features, choose And P SKUs (P1-P3). It needs a monthly or yearly commitment (billed monthly). It also includes a license to install Power BI Report Server on-premises. 

Power BI Free VS Power BI Pro VS Power BI Premium – Major Differences 
The main features and data processing/handling capacity are the most significant differences of Power BI Free VS Pro VS Premium version. For instance, there is a difference in handling capacity in Power BI Free Vs Pro. Similarly, there is a difference in data capacity in Power BI Pro VS Premium version. Moreover, in report generation, the pro version renders more options and features as compared to the free version.  

Infographics 1 

Features  Power BI Power BI Pro  Power BI Premium 
License Type Free/User License Power BI Pro License Power BI Premium/User (PPU) License 
Shared Workplace Capability  Users have access of the content they produced Users can share dashboards and publish materials to other workspaces with Pro licensed users Users can share dashboards and publish materials to other workspaces with PPU licensed users  
Maximum Storage Capacity 10GB/user 100 TB 100 TB 
Pricing FREE $9.99/User/Month $20/User/Month  $4.995/Capacity/Month 

Infographics 2 

Based On Collaboration & Analysis 

Features  Power BI Power BI Pro/User Power BI Premium/Capacity 
Mobile App Access Yes Yes Yes  
Report Sharing & Publishing Yes Yes  
Consume content without per user license   Yes  
On-premises reporting with Power BI Report Server   Yes  
RDL Reports Yes  Yes Yes  

Infographics 3 

Based On Data Preparation, Modeling & Visualization 

Features  Power BI Power BI Pro/User Power BI Premium/Capacity 
Model Size 1 GB  100 GB 400 GB 
Refresh Rate 8/Day 48/Day 48/Day 
100+ Data Source Connection Yes  Yes  Yes  
Create Reports & Visualization  Yes  Yes  Yes  
Embedded APIs & Controls Yes  Yes  Yes  
AI Visuals Yes  Yes  Yes  
Advanced AI   Yes  Yes  
XMLA Endpoint Read/Write Connectivity  Yes  Yes  
Datamart Creation  Yes  Yes  
Data Flows  Yes  Yes  

Drawbacks: Power BI Free VS Power BI Pro VS Power BI Premium 

There are some feature limitations in Power BI Desktop/Free version which may motivate you to upgrade: 

  • Created reports can’t be shared with non-Power BI Pro users. 
  • No APP Workspaces & API Embedding 
  • No Email Subscriptions 
  • No Peer-to-peer sharing 
  • No Support to analyze in Excel 

In Power BI Free version, secure sharing is not possible. Although you can publish a report to the Web, it is made public and can be used by anyone on the internet. In such scenarios, the Power BI Pro users have the advantage of directly sharing the reports with other Pro users. They can also upload the document to a Premium workspace. 

Power BI Premium is not a standalone app. It has to be worked on along with Power BI Pro. Premium version cannot be used without a large number of Pro version users. This is because Power BI Premium only allows your users to view the Power BI content instead of actually generating reports. 

Benefits: Power BI Free VS Power BI Pro VS Power BI Premium 

Power BI Free 

  • Users can connect and import data from 70+ on-premises and cloud-based sources. 
  • Has high quality visualizations and filter of the Pro version. 
  • Auto detect to create data relationships between format and data. 
  • Export Reports to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and CSV. 
  • Python Support. 
  • Can save, upload and publish reports to the Web and complete Power BI Service 
  • 10GB/user storage limit 

Power BI Pro 

  • Can embed Power BI visuals in apps 
  • Integrations with other Microsoft solutions like Azure  
  • Sharing datasets, dashboards and reports with other Power BI Pro users is possible 
  • App Workspaces and peer-to-peer sharing 
  • A pro user can securely share a Report with other pro users 

Power BI Premium 

  • Its biggest advantage is the dedicated capacity and easy access for the ones who consume reports/data. 

Final Note 
At the end, it completely depends on your preferences and requirements when choosing the right Power BI partner for your enterprise. Take time to properly research and access each tier of the available Power BI versions and choose the one that best fits your requirements. It can truly prove to be an inevitable asset for the success of your organization when you choose the correct version of Power BI.


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