Microsoft Power BI

“Power BI,” Microsoft says, “is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization, or embed them in your app or website.” The solution comprises several products and services, and value and versatility comes from leveraging the individual elements, and taking advantage of how they work together.


Power BI Pro

Power BI Pro is cloud-based software that comes with a monthly fee of $10 per user. The biggest difference between Power BI Desktop and Power BI Pro is the ability to collaborate with other Power BI users and distribute reports and visualizations to other Power BI subscribers across the organization (see chart below).

  • Embed Power BI visuals into Power BI apps Integrate with other Microsoft solutions, such as Azure data services

  • Create workspaces — places to collaborate with colleagues to create collections of dashboards and reports

  • Enable peer-to-peer sharing — a way to share published dashboards or reports with people outside the organization who have a Power BI Pro license

Power BI Premium

Unlike Power BI Desktop and Pro, Power BI Premium is not an application. Premium gives an organization space and capacity in a Microsoft-hosted cloud to share reports. An organization can choose how to apply its dedicated capacity by allocating it based on the number of users, workload needs, or other factors — and scale up or down as needed.

  • Flexibility to publish reports across an enterprise, without requiring recipients to be licensed individually per user

  • One API surface, a consistent set of capabilities, and access to the latest features for embedded analytics

  • Greater scale and performance than shared capacity in the Power BI service The ability to maintain BI assets on-premises with Power BI Report Server

Reasons to use Power BI

How do you know whether Microsoft Power BI is right for your organization? Here are seven reasons to choose Power BI — and one reason you may want to choose something else:

  • A quick start. You’ll be able to get insights quickly with an uncomplicated setup, no required training, and included dashboards for services such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Microsoft Dynamics.

  • Streamlined publication and distribution. Instead of emailing large files or putting them on a shared drive, analysts upload reports and visualizations to the Power BI service, and their data is refreshed whenever the underlying dataset is updated.