Power BI

Bring your data to life

Imagine asking: “What were last year's sales by product?" and getting a stunning, interactive visualization as an answer. With Power BI, you ask questions in natural language and get the right charts and graphs as an answer.

  Image: Example of a request at Power BI

Why Power BI?

Microsoft’s Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that gives you a single view of your most critical business data in the age of Big Data. Monitor the health of your business using a live dashboard, create rich interactive reports with Power BI Desktop and access your data on the go with native Power BI Mobile apps.

Power BI can unify all of your organization’s data, whether in the cloud or on-premises. Combine data from disparate databases, files, and web services with visual tools that help you understand and fix data quality and formatting issues automatically. With the Power BI service, publish reports securely to your organization and setup automatic data refresh.

  • Your whole business on one dashboard

  • Consistent analysis across your organization

  • Stunning interactive reports

  • Easy embedding of BI and analytics in your apps

        Image: Power BI Dashboard

Which Power BI license do I need?

There are two editions of Power BI licenses: Power BI (free) and Power BI Pro. Both are User Subscription Licenses (USLs) and differ based on the kind of content users can consume with either license.

  • Data from a DirectQuery dataset (e.g. SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure SQL Databases, …)

  • Data from a dataset that refreshes more frequently than daily

  • Data from a dataset that connects to on premises data using Power BI Gateway – Personal or the On Premises Data Gateway with a scheduled refresh

  • Data from a live connection to Azure Analysis Services

  • Data that uses Row-level security (RLS)

  • A dashboard or report that is installed from an organizational content pack

  • A dashboard, report or dataset that is contained in a group workspace

  • A dashboard that contains data streamed at a rate above 10,000 rows / hour

Anyone consuming or interacting with dashboards or reports that contain any of the above items will require a Power BI Pro license.

  • A dashboard or report connected to content packs for services (e.g. Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Google Analytics)

  • A dashboard or report with data imported from files such as Excel spreadsheets, Power BI Desktop and CSV.

  • Tiles pinned from a report in SQL Server Reporting Services.

Microsoft National Clouds

Besides the Microsoft Public Cloud, Power BI is also available in three separate national clouds (US Government, Microsoft Cloud Germany, 21Vianet in China). These clouds offer the same levels of security, privacy, compliance and transparency as the global version of Power BI, combined with a unique model for local regulations on service delivery, data residency, access, and control.

Power BI features comparison

Key Features

  Power BI Power BI Pro
Data capacity limit
Create, view and share your personal dashboards and reports with other Power BI users
Author content with the Power BI Desktop
Explore data with Natural Language (currently English only)
Access your dashboards on mobile devices using native apps for iOS, Windows, and Android
Consume curated content packs for services like Dynamics, Salesforce, and Google Analytics
Import data and reports from Excel, CSV and Power BI Desktop files
Publish to web

Data Refresh

  Power BI Power BI Pro
Consume content that is scheduled to refresh Daily Hourly
Consume streaming data in your dashboards and reports  10K rows/hour 1M rows/hour
Consume live data sources with full interactivity   
Access on-premises data using the Data Connectivity Gateways (Personal and Data Management)  


  Power BI Power BI Pro
Collaborate with your team using Office 365 Groups in Power BI  
Create, publish and view organizational content packs  
Manage access control and sharing through Active Directory groups  
Shared data queries through the Data Catalog  
Control data access with row-level security for users and groups  

Microsoft Volume Licensing Gold Partner

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