Power BI Desktop vs Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium

Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

The Power BI platform offers three difference licencing options, Desktop (formerly called free), Pro and Premium. Which type your business requires depends on how you interact with your data and features you need and where data is stored.

Power BI Desktop screenshot

There are functionality limitations with the free one that might be needed by your business, they are:

What is Power BI Pro?

When you purchase Power BI Pro, you gain the ability to use the platform for building dashboards and reports, plus unlimiting sharing it with your organisation, providing your departments with easy access to your business insights.

Power BI is licenced on an individual users basis, any user with the Pro licence can create and share reports with unlimited viewing of content. As of June 2022, the pricing for a Pro licence is £7.50/$9.99 per month.

By purchasing Power BI Pro you will be able to use benefit from:

  • Connect to over 100 data sources
  • Ability to embed Power BI visuals in apps such as PowerApps, SharePoint and Teams
  • Mobile app
  • 1GB model size limit
  • 8 Data refreshes daily
  • Embedded APIs and controls
  • AI visuals
  • Data security and encryption
  • Metrics with content creation and publishing
  • Native integration with other Microsoft solutions
  • Share dashboards, datasets and reports with other Power BI users
  • Create app work and peer-to-peer sharing
Power BI used in Microsoft Teams Power BI online browser
Power BI dashboard of analytics Power BI desktop #2

Which Power BI subscription should I choose?

Microsoft Power BI offers plenty of scalability and flexibility. Paying per month is manageable and convenient for businesses who need consistency. What option you need ultimately depends on the size and requirements for your business. If you need help understanding which one suits your specific needs, please get in touch with us.


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