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Power BI Free vs Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium

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Power BI is a Microsoft software package that allows users to connect to a variety of data sources and produce interactive reports that provide an understanding of the underlying data. The idea for Power BI was first developed in late 2010 and released as “Project Crescent” the following year. In 2013, the platform’s name was changed to “Power BI” (where “BI” stands for “Business Intelligence”). The product was initially built on the Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View add-ins for Excel. Power BI works together with these first three fundamentals:

  • Power BI Desktop: A desktop application for data extraction, data modeling, dashboard creation, and report creation. Windows desktop software called Power BI Desktop.
  • Power BI service: An online SaaS (Software as a Service) application is the Power BI service.
  • Power BI Mobile Apps: Power BI offers mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows, that allows user to interact with Power BI dashboards and reports.

These three elements—Power BI Desktop, the service, and the mobile apps—allow you to develop, share, and apply business insights in the most advantageous manner for you and your position. In addition, there are a few other components like Power BI Gateway, Power BI Embedded, and Power BI API that cater to specific needs. The following two elements are also part of Power BI in addition to those three:

  • Power BI Report Server: A server for usage when businesses want to publish internal dashboards and analytics but preserve this data behind a corporate firewall. Use the Power BI Report Builder to create paginated reports that can be shared through the Power BI service.
  • Power BI Market Place: It is a platform where third parties can create visualizations that consumers can use for particular purposes and occasionally pay for.

Power BI Desktop Or Power BI Free

With the help of the Power BI Desktop application, users can connect a variety of different sorts of data to the free desktop program from Microsoft. It has built-in connectors for a variety of data sources. Excel spreadsheets, Azure databases, ERP & CRM programs like Office 365 & Salesforce, SharePoint, and several other sources using generic connectors like JSON, ODBC databases, and XML are examples of sources that can be connected to these systems.

The Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) built-in formula language in Power BI Desktop enables data aficionados to create associations between one or more data sources, connect to those sources, and enrich the data with additional computed columns and measurements. The end result is an interactive report that allows users to focus on information that is pertinent to them by clicking on various report sections. As a result, the report comes to life and serves a variety of purposes. A basic interface of the Power BI Desktop can be seen below,



Power BI Pro

The main distinction between Pro and Free is that users who have a Power BI Pro license can access each other’s data, reports, and dashboards when using Pro. Additionally, you can make App workspaces. There is a 10 GB per Pro user data storage limit for Power BI Free and Pro. A below shown comparative analysis would be displayed if you try to head start your Power BI Pro journey while purchasing the license.



Power BI Pro is a single-user license that enables users to publish content, consume content that has already been published, and interact with that content. Users with this license category can work with other Power BI Pro users and share content. Unless a Power BI Premium capacity hosts that content, only Power BI Pro users can generate material, share content with other Pro users, or consume content that has been published by other Pro users. Pro users can share content and work with free and PPU users if a Power BI Premium capacity holds the content.

Power BI Premium

Power BI Premium uses the Power BI Report Server to deploy and distribute Power BI reports on-premises. This enables you to continue maintaining reports locally and switch to the cloud when your company is ready. The issues of big business deployments and workloads are addressed by Power BI Premium. Instead of relying on Microsoft’s shared capacity, it allows your organization to employ its hardware and dedicated capacity. You’ll need to make sure you have enough for your reporting and analytical needs and give that capacity. If you size it right, this enables a much greater scale and better performance. Microsoft offers three Premium capacity options with varying v-core counts and memory capacities. These features can be summarized as shown below,



With a Power BI Premium Per User (PPU), per-user license, the license holder has access to all Power BI Pro features as well as the majority of Premium capacity-based features. Access to several features, functionalities, and kinds of content that are exclusively accessible through Premium is made possible with a Power BI PPU subscription. Only the PPU license holder and those coworkers who own PPU licenses are permitted access. For instance, all users need to acquire PPU licenses to collaborate and share content in a PPU workspace. Unless specifically placed in a workspace hosted in a Premium capacity, content created by a PPU-licensed user can only be shared with other PPU-licensed users while using a PPU license. Microsoft provides Power BI Pro and Premium pricing currently as follows,



Difference between Power BI Free, Power BI Pro, and Power BI Premium


Power BI

Power BI Pro

Power BI Premium

License type Power BI Free per-user license Power BI Pro license Power BI Premium per user (PPU) license
Potential when a workplace is shared Accessibility towards the content they produce on their own. Share dashboards, publish material to other workspaces, subscribe to dashboards and reports, and share with Pro-licensed users. Share dashboards, publish material to other workspaces, subscribe to dashboards and reports, and share with PPU-licensed users.
Added features when the workspace is at Premium capacity Consume material that Pro or PPU users have shared with them. Provide material to users with PPU or free licensing. Make material available to consumers with both free and paid licenses.
Max Storage 10 GB/User 100 TB 100 TB
Pricing Free $9.99
Per user/month

Per user/month 

Per capacity/month

Advantage Licenses for modern, self-service analytics enable individual users to share insights throughout your organization and view data with real-time dashboards and reports. Individual users can enable self-service data preparation for big data, expedite access to insights with advanced AI, and streamline data administration and access at the enterprise scale by purchasing licenses. Without requiring individual user licenses from content consumers, license your company with the ability to expedite access to insights using cutting-edge AI, enable self-service data preparation for big data, and streamline data management and access at enterprise scale.
Disadvantage The free Power bi option has a few restrictions, the biggest of which is that any files or data analysis you create will only stay on your computer; you cannot share or collaborate; you also cannot create a report and publish it so other people can view it. In that sense, the free option is just for learning how to use Power bi or for playing around with it on your own computer or in a shared network where everyone wants to see the same thing. Individual licensing for every user within the same organization is pricey. You cannot make reports or manage dashboards.
Users who wish to create reports must have their own Power BI Pro user licenses, which must be purchased individually.

Distinctive analysis based on Collaboration and analytics.



Distinctive analysis based on Data preparation, modeling, and visualizations.



Distinctive analysis based on Governance and administration.



Power BI Pro, Power BI Premium Which One will Go How Far?

Microsoft presently provides both of these choices, Pro and Premium, as a monthly subscription service. You can connect to more than 70 data sources, publish content online, and export data to Excel using Power BI Free. The free version has several restrictions. For instance, peer-to-peer sharing, and the creation of App workplaces are both prohibited. However, if you’re conducting your own analysis and don’t need to share it with other end users, the free version is fantastic. Additionally, you have connectivity choices including Direct Query, a live connection, and gateway use. Power BI Free offers the same visualizations that are offered in Power BI Pro.

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Last Updated : 27 Jan, 2023
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