Microsoft’s data visualisation product is called Power BI. It’s regarded as a front-runner in the field, and user adoption has been fast increasing. On the Power BI price page, you’ll see three levels of Power BI: Power BI Free, Power BI Pro, and Power BI Premium. I’ll lay out the differences between the three in this article, so you know what you’re looking at.
Power BI Free
Power BI Free is available as part of all Office 365 plans, and you can sign up for it at any time.
This free version is quite useful. It enables you to connect to hundreds of data sources (with no limits other than the quantity of data you pull in), clean and prepare your data, and create visualisations (no limit). Power BI free includes all the visualisation tools included in Power BI Pro.
Power BI Pro
Power BI Pro is an additional $9.99/user/month ($12.20 CAD). It is also included in Office 365 Enterprise E5. It adds a bunch of new features:
On-Premise Data Gateways
You can now connect to and analyse your data if it is stored on-premise (rather than in the cloud). A self-hosted SQL database is a good illustration of this.
More Data Storage
Per Power BI Pro licence, you can store up to 10 GB of data. The free version has a 1GB limit per user.
Better Data Refreshes
You can better plan data refreshes in Power BI Pro so that your team always has the most recent version of your data.
Sharing and Collaboration
The essential feature here is that Power BI Pro allows you to share data, reports, and dashboards confidentially. It lets you share data with specific coworkers or create enterprise-wide “content packs” and “apps” with row-level data security. Power BI Free does not allow you to share or consume content that has been shared. Unless you upgrade to Power BI Premium, you must give a Power BI Pro licence to everyone you want to share content with.
Buy Power BI Pro
If you’ve found this information useful, you can purchase Power BI Pro from Addend Analytics directly by contacting us.
Power BI Premium
A user licence for Power BI Premium is not available. Consider it an improvement to your entire organization’s capabilities. Power BI Premium users have access to a high-performance server that runs their Power BI environment, allowing them to go beyond some limitations. Because it is quite costly ($5000-$20,000 a month), it will only be used by the largest corporations.
There will be no more “loud neighbours.” Power BI Premium provides you with your own processing environment, ensuring that your Power BI activities aren’t slowed down by users outside of your company.
Your company gets up to 100 TB of data storage to share in Power BI Premium.
Power BI Premium allows you to work with datasets up to 50 GB in size.
Free User Sharing Access
If you use Power BI Premium, then free users are able to consume shared dashboards.
Having your own processing capacity allows for other cool features. Here’s a more in-depth overview.
Finally, while Power BI Free is highly functional, the limitations on data refreshes, sharing, and storage make Power BI Pro an appealing upgrade. If you wish to process very large datasets, Power BI Premium is a super-upgrade that your entire business can deploy.