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A Complete Guide on Power BI: Free vs Premium, Features, Differences and Cost

21 April 2023
A Complete Guide on Power BI: Free vs Premium, Features, Differences and Cost

Power BI is one of the most powerful data visualisation tools that is being used by professionals across various disciplines.  

In a similar spirit, you may create data visualisations that are more suited for presentations and share them with colleagues across a variety of devices to drive more impact. Through the sharing of personalised Power BI dashboards and interactive reports, the artificial intelligence (AI) software will also aid in enhancing collaborative efforts. Last but not least, Microsoft Power BI has built-in security and administration features that help you to analyse your gaps and work on the growth areas to scale higher.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI offers insights to help users make quick and smart data-driven choices. There are several editions of the program, which frequently sparks discussion over the advantages of Power BI free vs pro vs premium. In any case, the programme provides visual data exploration and analysis (both on-premises and on cloud), which speeds up comprehension and pattern recognition.

Who Can Use Power BI?

Power BI can be used by professionals and businesses of all types and kinds. You can choose to use Power BI Free vs Pro vs Premium version as per your individual or company requirements. Power BI Free and Pro are typically licenced by a single user. This implies that if you use Power BI Pro in your organisation, each employee will have their Power bi license type, and since the software can be used collaboratively, everyone in the organisation may merge their workspaces and, consequently, their efforts to maximise efficiency.

To put things simply, you need 10 licences of Power BI Pro if your company has 10 users that want the entire set of features supplied by Power BI Pro to generate dashboards and reports. Given the size of your business and the number of users you have, Power BI Premium would be a better choice because, over time, the cost will outweigh the advantages.

Power BI Free, Pro and Premium: Features, Limitations and Pricing

Power BI Free, Pro and Premium: Features, Limitations and Pricing

Power BI Free Version

You can connect to more than 70 different data sources, publish your work online, and export your data to Excel using Power BI's free edition, which is still a pretty functional programme.

It allows lone users to develop and publish dashboards and reports for personal usage and is mostly used to get acquainted with Power BI. Although you cannot establish App workspaces, peer-to-peer report sharing, or integrate APIs and controls, here is where its functionality is a little constrained.

Power BI Features - Desktop (Free Version)

Let us take you through some major Power BI features (Free Version) to understand how it can make a difference:

  • Connect to and import data from 70+ on-premises or cloud-based sources
  • Handy variety of filters and visualisations on the lines of a Power BI Pro
  • Gain knowledge about trends, patterns, and more.
  • Easily export your reports to CVS, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF
  • Use Auto-detect to track and build in-sync data relationships between tables and formats
  • Online report sharing capability and Power BI Service
  • 10GB of storage per user

Power BI Desktop: Limitations

There would be no prices given for anticipating that the free edition has some limitations that encourage you to upgrade to a pro or premium version. These are:

  • Absence of app workspaces
  • Embedding of API isn’t possible
  • Do not get an email subscription
  • Limitation of data sharing to Power BI Users only
  • There is no support for Excel analysis in Power BI free version

Power BI: A Useful Piece of Information

Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium include all the fundamental features and capabilities found in Power BI Desktop, including data preparation and cleaning, data connections, custom reports, visualisations, and app exports. When conducting independent research and having no requirement of sharing with other people, Power BI Desktop is the best option. To utilise Power BI Desktop, which is a free download from Microsoft, you do not require a Microsoft 365 membership.

Power BI Pro Version

For business customers that wish to have maximum utilisation of the Power BI ecosystem, Power BI Pro delivers an extensive set of services.

The main distinction between Pro and Free is that users who have a Power BI Pro licence may access each other's info, reports, and visualisations while using Pro. Additionally, you may make App workspaces. Individual files for each of Power BI Free and Pro are limited to 10 GB of data storage and 1 GB in total. Additionally, it enables connecting to a variety of on-premises datasets and establishing automatic refresh for such datasets.

Power BI Pro: Key Features

Let us discuss the key functions of the Power BI Pro version to know how your business can gain maximum from its smart features:

  • Easy sharing of reports, datasheets, and dashboards with Power BI Pro users
  • Enhanced data security with more secure data access, reporting and sharing
  • Empower your team with integration with Microsoft Solutions (Azure Data Services)
  • Embedding of Power BI visuals into apps like Teams, Power Apps, Teams etc.
  • Creating App Workspace and easy data and report sharing among peers

Power BI Pro: Pricing

Talk to our Power BI experts now to discuss your business requirements and get the best quotation for Power BI pricing from the best in the business.

Want A Power BI Demo, Call to Discuss Now

Power BI Premium: What is it?

This service, as the name suggests, is a premium product made to address and meet the requirements of a large number of Power BI users inside an organisation. Regarding large business installations and workloads, Power BI Premium is intended to solve these issues. It allows your company to utilise its own hardware and dedicated capacity rather than depending on Microsoft's shared capacity.

Power BI Premium is built to handle the difficulties of big business deployments and workloads. Given the needs of an organisation, Power BI Premium has much more features and cutting-edge capabilities. Users of Power BI Premium get access to the following features and capabilities in addition to the ones that come standard with all the Power BI options.

Salient Features and Highlights: What You Get More?

  • model Limit - Up to 100GB per user/ Up to 400GB per capacity
  • 100 TB of total cloud space
  • Flexibility to use dedicated capacity and hardware in place of Microsoft Shared Capacity
  • Refresh rate of 48/day
  • Access to advanced AI features like text analytics, machine learning, image detection
  • Enable XMLA Endpoint read/write connectivity to create a channel to connect 3rd party tools
  • Application lifecycle management feature

Power BI Premium: Choose Your Options (Per Capacity or Per User)

Keep this in mind if you are planning to use Power BI Premium

For customers of Power BI Premium, Microsoft recently unveiled a new pricing scheme. Prior until now, Premium was only offered on a Per Capacity/Month basis. Now, a new Per User/Month option is available. The monthly cost for this is highly affordable. Additionally, depending on the amount of computational power needed, Power BI Premium may be licenced at the organisational level starting at a pocket-friendly price as well. Contact our Power BI experts now to know more.

These additional characteristics are included:

  • 400GB model size limit for on-premises reporting
  • Azure Auto-scale add-on for managing deployment across several locations

Power BI Premium: Pricing

Talk to our Power BI experts now to discuss which options suits you the best as per your business requirements and get the best quotation for Power BI pricing for the Premium version.

Power BI Free Vs. Pro vs. Premium Version: Comparison

Power BI Free Version Power BI Pro Power BI Premium
Free to use Requires a Power BI pro license Requires a Power BI Premium license
The content a user produces is accessible Share and publish material to several other workspaces, subscribe to reports and share them with the users that hold a pro license. Share and publish material to several other workspaces, subscribe to reports and share them with the users that hold a premium license.
You can see and consume the information shared by the users with a pro or Premium license You can provide information and reports to the users with either a free or a premium license You can share your reports and other material with users holding both free and paid licenses.
10 GB storage space available 100 TB storage space available 100 TB storage space available

Power BI Free Vs Pro Vs Premium: Choose What is Best for Your Business

The basic functionality and data processing/handling capability of Power BI Pro, Power BI Free, and Power BI Premium is where the major differences lie. In other words, Power BI Pro and Free have different handling capacities. On the other hand, Power BI Pro and Premium have different data capacities. Additionally, Power BI Pro offers additional possibilities and enhances collaboration quality as compared to the Free edition when it comes to report production.

Power BI Integration with Dynamics 365

  • Real-time Data Analysis: Power BI can provide real-time insights into Dynamics 365 data, allowing users to make informed decisions quickly and effectively.
  • Enhanced Reporting: By combining Dynamics 365 data with Power BI, users can create highly customised and visually appealing reports that provide valuable insights into business operations.
  • Increased Data Visibility: Power BI provides a unified view of data from multiple sources, allowing users to gain a comprehensive understanding of their business operations.
  • Improved Collaboration: Power BI allows users to collaborate on reports and dashboards, making it easier to share insights and drive better business outcomes.
  • treamlined Workflow: Integrating Power BI with Dynamics 365 can help automate data analysis and reporting tasks, freeing up valuable time for other business activities.

To integrate Power BI with Dynamics 365, organisations can use the Power BI connector for Dynamics 365. This connector enables users to connect to Dynamics 365 data and create reports and dashboards in Power BI. Once connected, users can import Dynamics 365 data into Power BI and begin creating visualizations and reports.

How to Choose the Right Power BI Consulting Service?

All of it would depend upon the experience of the consulting service provider. Dynamics Square, a trusted provider of Power BI is the best go-to option, if you are looking to embrace the ‘Powers’ of Power BI anytime soon. Our team of experts knows in & out of Power BI Implementation to provide you with customised business solutions tailored to your business needs.

How to get Power BI Demo?

It's high time to empower your teams and unleash your business potential to grow more and stay ahead of the competition using the power of Power BI. Book a free demo right now by getting in touch with a Dynamics 365 Consultant at Dynamics Square right now.


In conclusion, give each of the Power BI options that are currently offered careful consideration and decide which one best suits your needs. To fully utilise Power BI's capabilities and advantages, you must determine precisely how many people in your company are required to create and view reports. You must also assess the capacity of your present database. Analyse your business requirements and check the number of data analysts, IT professionals and developers to choose the best option to ensure your business can make the maximum of the power bi features to achieve business goals.


1. Can I Get Power BI On-Premises?

Power BI On-Premises or Report Server is an option available with Power BI Premium and is the best choice for your company if you want to set up a reporting infrastructure on-premises and have it function under your regulations and controls. If you ever decide to go to the cloud, the server will also let you do so smoothly while scaling up.

The same number of virtual cores that are supplied in the cloud may also be used on-premises with Power BI Report Server without the need to divide capacity. Only if you have valid Software Assurance, may you use the Enterprise Edition.

Finally, if you are interested in Power BI Report Server but are not ready to commit to purchasing Power BI Premium, the Power BI Report Server is also a component of the SQL Server.

2. Power BI Competitors or Alternative

Here are some of the most popular Power BI alternatives:

  • Ubiq
  • Metabase
  • Google Data Studio
  • Looker

3. How can you choose which Power BI licence or version is suitable for your company?

How many users need to create reports, how many need to review or access those reports, and how many just need a dashboard or at-a-glance style of reporting will determine whether you need to use Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium, and whether you need to run them both simultaneously. This is because Power BI Premium is the best option if you have a large organisation with more customers that need to consume your reports than generate them, and you can buy fewer Pro licences for your self-service staff.

However, Power BI Pro's individual licencing model by itself may be a more cost-effective Power Bi licencing alternative if you have more self-service Power BI users who need to be allowed to make reports than those who really need to read them. In this situation, all that is required is for you to immediately distribute your reports to people who require them.

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Disclaimer– “All data and information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Dynamics Square / MPG Business Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.”

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