01 February 2021

Which Power BI license is right for me?

Dropped in Power Platform

Pondered by Sophie

Power BI has three licencing levels; Free, Pro and Premium, but which one suits your business needs? We’ll take a deep-dive into the three levels of licencing and make suggestions on which license is right for you.


Power BI Free license is available to all individuals and gives you full access to create reports within Power BI Desktop. This license is more suited to individuals and sole traders because you cannot share reports or create dashboards with other users. It’s also a great starting point to look at the features and functionality in Power BI Desktop before deciding whether Pro or Premium is the right license for your organisation.


Power BI Pro is available for £7.50 per month per user. It gives you all the benefits of the Free licence plus the ability to publish and share reports, create dashboards, and create apps within your business within Power BI Online. One thing to note is when sharing reports or dashboards, the user(s) who the report is being shared with will also require a Power BI Pro license.

Pro also gives each user 10GB allowance (1GB maximum limit on individual datasets) for publishing reports to Power BI Online. When publishing to Power BI online, each dataset can be automatically refreshed up to 8 times a day (or once every hour based on an 8 hour working day).

This license is great for SMEs and larger companies with less than 503 employees who are not running a 24-hour operation and regularly need up-to-date information.


Power BI Premium is priced differently, rather than based on per user; it is based on per organisation and at the point of writing, is £3,766.70 per month. It is strongly suggested that this license be only considered for companies with 504 users or more (£7.50 pro license x 503 = £3,772.50).

On top of everything you get with a Pro licence, Premium allows you to refresh data up to 48 times a day (or every half hour in 24 hours) and gives you 100TB allowance (10GB maximum limit on individual datasets) for publishing reports to Power BI Online.

Additionally, when purchasing Premium, you will use a dedicated processing environment for refreshing datasets. An analogy of this is multiple sheep on one side of a fence and one lonely sheep on the other.

As you can see from the image, the single sheep can consume all of the grass on his side of the fence with no interference from the sheep on the other side of the fence (dedicated environment). Whereas the sheep on the other side of the fence will have to share the grass between themselves (shared environment).

For more information on licensing, including a comparison chart, please see Microsoft’s website here Pricing & Product Comparison | Microsoft Power BI.

To learn more about Power BI, speak to your Account Manager for more information and book on to one of our Power BI training courses.

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