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April 19, 2023

An Overview of Power BI Cost and Price Options for Data Analysis

Are you considering using Power BI from Microsoft for your business intelligence needs? If so, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the available pricing options and what features you can expect from each.

Power BI has three main tiers: the free version, Power BI Pro (€9.40 per month) and Power BI Premium (starting at €18.70 per user per month). The free version is limited in terms of features and data capacity, but it is a good starting point for individuals or small businesses. The Pro and Premium versions have more advanced features and greater capacity.

Pricing Power BI

In this article, we take a closer look at the various Power BI pricing options available so you can easily make an informed decision about which subscription is best suited for your data analysis needs.

Power BI has multiple pricing levels available. In this section, we list the prices, including the features and limitations of each price category.

  1. Free: The free version of Power BI is a great place to start for individuals or small businesses getting started with data analysis. Allows you to connect to various data sources and create custom visualizations. However, it has limited functions and capabilities. For example, it offers only a maximum of 1 GB of data storage per user and does not include advanced features such as AI-powered data modeling.
  2. Pro: Starting at $18.70 per month, Power BI Pro is designed for small to medium-sized businesses and offers more advanced features and greater storage capacity. With a Pro license, you can access additional data sources and create more complex reports and dashboards. You also get access to features such as collaboration tools, personalized dashboards and AI-powered data modeling.
  3. Premium: Power BI Premium is designed for enterprise-level organizations and offers the highest level of scalability and flexibility. With a Premium license, you can create highly complex reports and dashboards and share them with other users in your organization. You also get features such as paginated reports, AI-powered insights and dedicated capacity for your data.

It is important to note that each price category has its own set of features and limitations, so you should carefully consider which version is right for your business.

In the following section, we will take a closer look at each price category to help you make an informed decision.

Power BI for free

The free version of Power BI is a great option if data analysis is new to you. Although it has some limitations, it still offers a range of features that can help you get started creating reports and visualizations.


  • Accessing data connections: You can connect to various data sources, including Excel spreadsheets, SQL servers, cloud services such as Google Analytics and more.
  • Ability to create custom visualizations: You can create custom visualizations using a wide range of utilities and templates, allowing you to create high-quality Power BI reports for personal use.
  • Mobile access: Access your reports and dashboards on the go with the Power BI mobile app, available for iOS, Android and Windows devices
  • Refresh data: You can set up automatic data refresh so that your reports and dashboards always contain the most up-to-date information.


  • Limited data storage: The free version of Power BI offers only a maximum of 1 GB of data storage per user, which is insufficient for larger data sets and Power BI content.
  • Limited data refresh: The data refresh interval is limited to 8 times per day, which may not be frequent enough for real-time reporting.
  • Limited collaboration: Users of the free version cannot use collaboration or share reports with others. You also cannot use publishing data in other users’ workspaces.
  • Limited access to developer tools: With a free license, you do not have access to developer features such as API embedding and embedded Power BI widgets.
  • No access to AI-powered data modeling: Advanced features such as AI data modeling are not available in the free version of Power BI.
  • No custom branding: you cannot customize the branding of your reports or dashboards in the free version.
  • Limited technical support: Technical support is limited in the free version of Power BI, with only community support available.

As mentioned, the free version of Power BI is a good entry-level option for beginners looking for a personal sandbox. However, if you need more advanced features or want to work with larger data sets, consider upgrading to the Pro or Premium versions.

In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the Pro version of Power BI and the additional features it offers. So keep reading to learn more!

Power BI Pro

For more advanced features than what is available in the free version of Power BI, the Pro version may be the right choice. In this section, we take a closer look at the features and limitations of Power BI Pro.


  1. Increased model size limit: Power BI Pro offers an increased model size limit of up to 100 GB per user.
  2. Collaboration: With Power BI Pro, you can collaborate and share reports, dashboards and other content with internal users in your organization and external users, such as customers, partners or suppliers, but only if they also have a Power BI Pro or PPU (Premium Per User) license.
  3. Real-time data refresh: You can set real-time data refresh with a refresh rate of up to 48 times per day, so your reports and dashboards always display the most up-to-date information.
  4. AI-powered data modeling: Power BI Pro includes advanced features such as machine learning and ai-driven data modeling, allowing you to identify trends and insights in your data.
  5. Custom branding: You are free to customize the branding of your reports and dashboards with your organization’s logo and color scheme.
  6. Paginated Reports: Power BI Pro includes paginated reports formatted for printing and sharing as PDF or Word documents.
  7. Power BI dashboards: a Pro license includes the ability to create interactive dashboards that provide real-time insight into an organization’s key metrics and performance indicators. With dashboards, users can easily monitor their data and identify trends or issues that require attention.
  8. Premium connectors: You can use premium connectors to connect to a wide range of data sources, including Salesforce, Adobe Analytics and Google BigQuery
  9. Advanced analytics: You can use advanced analysis features such as forecasting, clustering and decomposition structure in Power BI Pro.
  10. Export to Excel: You can export your reports and data to Excel for further analysis.

The Power BI Pro license costs $18.70 per user/month. The service has a 60-day free trial available for users who want to test it out. It is also available for free to users with a Microsoft 365 E5 subscription.

Next, we look at Power BI Premium, which has all the features of a Pro license but with some additional advanced features.

Power BI Premium

In this section, we review the features and costs of Power BI Premium, focusing on the advanced features and benefits of a license and the various pricing options for per-user and per-capacity usage.

Advanced features and benefits

With Power BI Premium, you get access to all the features of the Pro license with some additional advanced features that enable self-service and business intelligence for enterprises:

  • Low-code datamarts: Power BI Premium lets you create datamarts, self-managed relational analyses created with minimal coding knowledge. Users can create data marts to operate data insights themselves without needing it help.
  • Advanced data preparation: With built-in data flows and transformations, you can process and clean up your data more efficiently before visualizing and analyzing it.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Power BI Premium (license by capacity only) enables enhanced collaboration inside and outside your organization. You can share content and collaborate in real time with external stakeholders and colleagues, regardless of whether they have a Power BI Pro or PPU license.
  • Greater scalability with automatic scaling: Automatic scaling is a Premium feature that automatically adjusts the number of virtual cores assigned to a workspace based on demand, providing workspaces with the necessary resources to handle changes in usage without administrator intervention.
  • Exclusive visuals and applications: Get access to a library of Premium-only Power BI visuals, as well as integration with other Premium applications such as Power Automate, Power Apps and Azure Synapse Analytics.
  • Advanced security and compliance: Power BI Premium includes advanced security and compliance features, such as data encryption at rest and on-the-go, and support for multiple authentication.
  • Dedicated capacity: The capacity of Power BI Premium is much higher thanks to the virtual cores available with the license per capacity. Users get dedicated resources for reports and dashboards, providing faster performance and more reliable service.

Pricing options for Power BI Premium

Pricing for Power BI Premium is divided into two categories: capacity-based and user-based. User-based pricing has a flat rate, while capacity-based pricing depends on the number of virtual cores (v-cores) needed to support your workloads.

User-based pricing: The Power BI Premium per-user license gives individual users access to Premium features for a monthly fee of $18.70 per user.

Capacity-based pricing: the Power BI Premium Per Capacity license starts at $4,995 per month and includes 8 v-cores, with more available if your organization needs to scale. Virtual cores are a measure of the computing power available for processing data in Power BI. Each v-core represents a portion of the computing resources available to support your workloads, such as running queries, creating reports and performing other data-related tasks.

Power BI Premium is designed for larger organizations with complex data needs, and while it may be more expensive than the Pro version, it offers a range of advanced features that can provide significant value to these organizations.

If your organization requires unlimited data capacity, advanced security and compliance features or embedded analytics capabilities, Power BI Premium may be the right choice for you.

In the next section, we compare the various Power BI licensing options available.

Compare Power BI subscriptions

Free vs Pro

Power BI’s free subscription allows individuals to use the Power BI Desktop application to create reports and visualizations. It’s a great option for personal use or small businesses that want to try out data analysis, but don’t need a lot of functionality.

The Pro subscription, priced at €9.40 per user/month, offers additional features such as an increased model size limit, higher refresh rates, and report and dashboard sharing and collaboration with other Pro users. It is a great option for experienced users and medium-sized businesses who want access to more robust functionality.

Pro versus Premium

The Power BI Pro subscription is suitable for most individual users and smaller teams, but for organizations requiring advanced features and scalability, the Premium subscription may be better suited.

The first major difference between the two is the price. The Pro license is a flat €9.40 per month per user, while the Premium license has two versions: the Premium Per User license (PPU), which is €18.70 per user/month, and the Premium Per Capacity license, which starts from $4,995 per month.

The Premium license includes all the features of the Pro subscription, but with enhanced capabilities, such as:

  • Support for larger data sets, up to 400 GB
  • More storage space, up to 100 TB
  • Allocated cloud or on-premises capacity
  • Advanced management and monitoring functions

The right plan for your needs largely comes down to what you want from Power BI, the amount of data you work with and what types of features are important to you (collaboration, paginated reports, dashboards, AI-powered data modeling, etc.).

In the next section, we look at some considerations to take into account when choosing a plan.

Choosing the right plan

Features available in the Free, Pro and Premium versions of Power BI
Features available in the free, Pro and Premium versions of Power BI. Source: Microsoft

To choose the right Power BI subscription for your needs, consider the following factors:

  1. Use: Determine whether you need only the desktop application or need collaboration and sharing features offered by the Pro and Premium subscriptions.
  2. Number of users: For smaller teams, the Pro subscription may be sufficient, but as your team grows, the Premium subscriptions offer more scalability.
  3. Data capacity: Evaluate your data storage and processing needs. If your organization processes large data sets, Premium subscriptions better support these requirements.
  4. Features: Review the features each plan offers and decide which ones are needed for your business processes.
  5. Budget: Finally, consider your budgetary constraints and make a decision based on the plan that offers the best value for your organization.

By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision about the most appropriate Power BI subscription for your organization’s needs.

Microsoft has a different pricing model for nonprofit and educational organizations that is significantly cheaper than the standard Pro and Premium subscriptions.

Power BI awards for nonprofit organizations and education

Power BI awards for nonprofit organizations and education

Nonprofits and educational institutions can take advantage of discount pricing for Power BI. For nonprofit organizations, Microsoft offers a special pricing plan that makes Power BI Pro available for only $3.00 per user/month.

This plan includes all the features of Power BI Desktop, along with real-time views, automatic updates, data collaboration, data access management and content distribution. To claim this special price, go to the Microsoft Nonprofits website and apply for the discount subscription.

For educational institutions, Microsoft offers attractive pricing options for Power BI through various licensing programs. Although specific discounts for educational institutions vary, you can explore these options by going to the Microsoft Education website.

Please note that you may qualify for these offers depending on your organization’s status and location. It is essential to review the eligibility criteria and general conditions before applying for rebates.

Final Thoughts

Power BI offers a range of pricing options to meet different user needs and budgets. The Power BI Pro subscription costs $9.40 per user/month, which provides access to full capabilities, including collaboration, publishing, sharing and ad hoc analysis.

For users who need more advanced features, the Power BI Premium subscription, available for $18.70 per user per month, unlocks advanced AI, self-service data preparation for big data and simplified enterprise-level data management.

When choosing the right subscription plan for your needs, consider the features each plan offers and the number of users who will access it. By investing in the right Power BI plan, you can leverage the power of data visualization and analysis to make informed decisions and improve your business operations.

Source: enterprisedna

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