Power bi desktop vs Power bi service vs Power bi premium

In this Power BI Tutorial, we will learn about the differences between Power BI Desktop, Pro, and Premium. Let us check in detail, Power bi desktop vs Power bi service vs Power bi premium.

Microsoft created Power BI, a cloud-based data and analytics reporting tool that delivers insights to enable fast and informed decisions. Power BI allows connecting dynamics data sources such as SQL Server, Excel, SharePoint, and more to create charts and graphs that constantly update as they receive new data. Here we will discuss:

  • What are the types of Licenses available on Power BI?
  • What is Power BI Desktop or Free version?
  • What is Power BI Pro?
  • Power BI Pro Pricing?
  • What is Power BI Premium?
  • Power BI Premium Pricing?
  • What is Power BI Service?
  • Where does a Power BI Mobile fit?
  • What are the key differences between Power BI Desktop vs Pro vs Premium?
  • Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium- Which one is right to choose?

Types of Licenses available on Power BI

There are 3 versions of Power BI per-user licenses. Which type of versions a user needs and where data can be stored are determined by your organization’s license type:

  • Microsoft Power BI Desktop(Free version)
  • Microsoft Power BI Pro
  • Microsoft Power BI Premium

What is Power BI Desktop or Free version?

The Power BI Desktop is the free version of Microsoft Power BI that we can install on our local computer. It is the entry-level license for Power BI to start with for all skill levels, whether you are non-IT and want to make your reports more interactive.

In Power BI Desktop, we don’t need a Microsoft 365 subscription to use use it.

It is one of the best business analytics tools to use. Here is an example of the Power BI Desktop report:

Example of Power BI Report on Power BI Desktop
Example of Power BI Report on Power BI Desktop

Despite Microsoft Power BI Desktop being free in nature, it includes a surprising amount of features and functionalities:

  • We can connect and import data from over 70 cloud-based and on-premise sources.
  • Storage limit of 10 GB per user.
  • It supports high-level language i.e. Python and R.
  • Save, upload, and publish the report to the web and the full Power BI Services.
  • It can export reports to CSV, Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and PDF.
  • Having the same visualizations and filters as in Power BI Pro.

Also, there are some features limitations with the free version which provide incentives to upgrade:

  • No app workspaces.
  • No peer-to-peer sharing.
  • No email subscriptions.
  • We can’t share the report with non-Power BI Pro users.
  • No API embedding.

The core functionalities and features available on all of Power BI’s are cleaning and preparing data, connectors to data sources, custom reports and visualizations, etc.

Read: Power BI combine columns from two tables

What is Power BI Pro?

Microsoft Power BI Pro version is a full-strength of Power BI. Power BI Pro is an individual user license that allows access to all content and capabilities in the Power BI Service.

For example, if your organization has 20 people, that need to full capabilities of self-service BI to create dashboards and reports, then you need 20 Power BI Pro licenses. This gives these users full access to the creation of reports and unlimited viewing of any created content, sharing, and use of your reports and those shared by others.

The features and functionalities of Power BI Pro are:

  • It allows connecting over 100 data sources.
  • Embedded APIs and controls.
  • Data security and encryption.
  • 1 GB model size limit.
  • Storage limit 10 GB per user storage.
  • It allows the creation of app work and peer-to-peer sharing.
  • Share dashboards, datasets, and reports with other Power BI Users.
  • Ability to embed Power BI visuals into apps(Power Apps, SharePoint, Teams, etc.)
  • Native integration with other Microsoft solutions (Azure data, Dynamics, Excel, etc.)

Power BI Pro Pricing

The Power BI Pro is priced at $9.99 per user per month. It includes data collaboration, data governance, self-service, and modern BI in the cloud. It is fully managed by Microsoft.

Also, it includes publishing, sharing, and ad-hoc analysis dashboard with a 360-degree real-time view and the ability to publish reports anywhere.

What is Power BI Premium?

Power BI Premium is the most expensive tier currently available on Power BI. It is designed to address the challenges of large enterprise deployments and workloads. It’s very distinct from the other versions available on the market.

Power BI Premium is not a type of user license. An organization with Power BI Premium having a super-powered server running their Power BI environment.

On top of the features and functionalities standard to all versions of the service, the user of Power BI Premium get:

  • Access to one API surface.
  • 100 GB model size limit.
  • Storage limit 100 TB per-user storage.
  • Allows data flow.
  • Application lifecycle management.
  • With having advanced AI features.
  • It allows a data refresh limit of 48 times per day.
  • Allows large datasets up to 50 GB in size.
  • Ability to embed Power BI visual into the apps(PowerApps, SharePoint, Teams, etc.)
  • Dedicated cloud computes and storage resources.
  • Analyze data stored in Azure data lake storage.
  • Geo distribution, higher refresh rates, isolation, Pinto memory, read-only replicas.

Power BI Premium Pricing

The Power BI Premium is priced at $20 per user per month. Microsoft Power BI Premium plan starts at $5000 a month. If you run a large organization, there are higher tiers that provide more resources for a higher price. This includes the additional following features:

  • On-premises reporting.
  • 400GB model size limit.
  • Azure Autoscale add-on.
  • Multi-location deployment management.

Microsoft has developed a calculator to help you decipher which level of premium you might need. With Power BI Premium, you are licensing the capacity for your datasets, dashboards, and reports.

What is Power BI Service?

Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft. It is an on-premises cloud-based business analytics service that enables anyone to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding.

With a free license, users can explore Power BI for personal data analysis and visualization using My Workspace, but they are not allowing to share with other users.

A Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium per-user license is required to share content with other Power BI Pro or premium users.

Where does a Power BI Mobile fit?

By default, all the Power BI’s Version- Power BI Free, Pro, and Premium version are mobile responsive.

There are also native smartphone and tablet Power BI mobile applications for android, iOS, and Windows, by which we can visualize our daily progress.

We can also import data and embed reports into existing apps and sites on the mobile app as well.

Key differences between Power BI Desktop vs Pro vs Premium

  • The key difference between Power BI Desktop vs Pro vs Premium is in the core functionality and data storage capacity.
  • There is a difference in data capacity in Power BI Pro vs Premium version.
  • In terms of report generation, in Power BI Pro and Free version, the former gives more options and improves collaboration quality.
    If you are using Premium then you will actually need to have a large number of users to make it worth it.
  • Power BI Premium only lets your users consume Power BI content rather than actually create reports.
  • It is important to understand that even with a Premium license, the Power BI user of your organizations still requires their Power BI Pro licenses to create reports for consumption for the rest of your users covered by users.
  • By having a Premium license, a small number of pro users unlocks more capacity and higher limits(i.e. data refresh limits, isolations, storage, etc.).
Power bi Desktop vs Power bi Service
Power bi Desktop vs Power bi Service

Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium – Which one is right to choose?

Power BI Pro is for medium to heavy data analytics users who have the plan to use Power BI regularly for both creation and consumption, share data, dashboards, and reports with other Pro users.

For small and medium business, Power BI Pro is optimal to deliver full business intelligence capabilities to all users.

If you have more self-service BI users that need to be able to create reports than those who actually need to view them, then Power BI Pro’s individual licensing model on its own may be a more cost-effective BI option.

Power BI Premium is best for large enterprise organizations that need a large number of people across the business to be able to use Power BI to view dashboards and reports. The premium license also supports larger data volumes.

You may like the following Power BI tutorials:

Conclusion

From the above tutorial, we learnt about Power bi desktop vs Power bi service vs Power bi premium. Also, we discussed:

  • What are the types of Licenses available on Power BI?
  • Discuss all the versions of Power BI’s license?
  • What are the Pricing of Power BI Pro and Premium?
  • What is Power BI Service?
  • Where does a Power BI Mobile fit?
  • The key differences between Power BI Desktop vs Pro vs Premium?
  • Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium- Which one is right to choose?

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