Power BI Premium or Power BI Pro – the answer is here!

Power BI comes with multiple licensing model

  1. Power BI Pro
  2. Power BI Premium
  3. Power BI Embedded
  4. Power BI Free

In this post we will talk only about Power BI Pro and Premium licensing model.

The licensing model to go with is determined by following three factors:

  1. Cost
  2. Number of users (creators, viewers, occasional viewers)
  3. Features required

The first two factors are the most critical deciding factors of the licensing model.

It’s a choice between multiple Pro licenses or multiple Premium licenses.

A Power BI Pro is a per user license currently costing around $10 per user per month, while Power BI Premium is a capacity license currently costing around $5000 per capacity node per month.

Yes, the cost difference is huge. But, wait, there are lot of things hidden in that $5000. Remember, it’s a capacity license. And note Power BI Premium is for content consumption rather than content creation.

What does that mean?

So, if you want to create, author and publish reports, you definitely need Power BI Pro licenses. Whether to go with Power BI Premium or not, it depends.

Say if you have 500 users in your org and out of 500 users

  1. 50 users will be creating content
  2. 200 users will be frequently accessing the content
  3. 250 users will be occasionally accessing the content

Then you require

  1. 50 Power BI Pro licenses
  2. 1 Premium capacity node

With the premium capacity node we can serve the “consumption” needs for 450 users.

How did we come up with that conclusion? A simple Power BI Premium calculator is available to help us decide number of licenses.

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/calculator/

But, say your org has 100 users with 50 creating content and 50 viewing, it’s recommended to go with 100 Pro licenses (total cost $1000 per month) unless you need additional features like AI etc.


Power BI premium also comes with additional feature sets including AI, Incremental refresh, Power BI Report Server, Paginated (SSRS types) reports, XMLA read/write and others – or better to say Enterprise features.

If you need a quick comparison between Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium feature sets, please check this table provided by Microsoft. (Click the image to view the entire table)

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/#powerbi-comparison-table

Power BI Premium vs Power BI Pro – Which licensing model should I choose? The answer is here!


If you are still not sure of the licensing model or worst, if you are not sure if Power BI is fit for your organization then you may request a free consultation.

Power BI Features End to End

Ever imagined if you could get to see all the amazing Power BI Features in one shot? Power BI is not just one product. It’s a suite of products.

  • What data sources are supported in Power BI?
  • What content authoring capabilities it has?
  • What about content delivery and distribution capabilities?
  • What about data governance and administration?

Check this image to view end to end picture of Power BI!

Thanks to Coates Data Strategies for compiling this.

Real time reporting with Power BI

Real time reporting with Power BI

By 2025, close to 30% of the data will be real time – IDC

We have 6 years before we hit that, but I must say real time data or rather ability to report it real time is key for business success even now.

Imagine a scenario where you could view production plant quality metrics real time on a TV?

A grid operator tracks electricity flows in real time. Metrics like Power, Voltage with trends and power lines plotted on a geo map and viewed LIVE!

Sensory data, campaign performance (as they happen), field sales activity, and many more examples of real time data and real time reporting needs.

Some of the above examples are definitely real time but customers also ask for near real time – as soon as my new data is available I need to view it in my reports and dashboards within couple of mins.

How do we achieve real time and near real time reporting scenarios with Power BI Platform?

There are couple of solutions to achieve this:

  1. Power BI Scheduled Refresh (near real time, 8 refreshes per day for Pro, 48 refreshes per day for Premium)
  2. Power BI Direct Query or Live connection
  3. Power BI Push data sets
  4. Streaming data sets in Power BI

Next, we will cover real time and near real time reporting scenarios and discuss possible solutions along with limitations/pros & cons. Each scenario and solution is unique, and you can use any of the proposed solutions based on your needs.

Scenarios:

a) I would like to have my sales dataset refresh every 2 hours or I would like to have my Google Analytics dataset refresh every 1 hour.

When your dataset refresh time gap between two refreshes can be more than 30 mins, you can go ahead with scheduled refreshes. This assumes you have imported the data in a Power BI dataset and you would want to refresh that dataset.

Based on our experiences when you present schedule dataset refresh options to customers they are not taken aback. Scheduled refreshes have limits on the number of refreshes per day but once you schedule them to occur more frequently in business hours, it helps.

With Power BI Pro Licenses you can setup 8 refreshes a day per dataset. So you can setup refresh times to be: 7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 11AM, 2PM, 3PM, 4PM, 5PM

Total 8 refreshes spread out in business hours.

With Power BI Premium Licenses you can setup 48 refreshes a day per dataset. So you could do refreshes every 30 mins! Power BI Premium is definitely costly (read USD 60K/year) but you get more refreshes, more capacity and enterprise level features (AI and more)

Or, you can put the workspace where your dataset resides in an Embedded Capacity (Premium/Non-Premium) and get rid of refresh limits. In this case you will have to use Power BI REST APIs to refresh the dataset. Quite simple to invoke. Read more on this capability here.

You can even use Power Automate and trigger refresh based on events.

More on Power BI Refreshes in this Microsoft post.

b) I would like to have my dataset refresh every 1 min (or LIVE)

Assume you have a data source which can be directly queried from Power BI, you can achieve this scenario.

Sales data stored in a SQL box (Azure or on-prem), you setup direct connection to this data source in Power BI. Your Power BI Report is now directly connected to the data source.

If you are viewing this report on a browser you can hit browser refresh and it would fire query live to the source, fetch latest data and show on your visuals.

You can even automate the browser refresh using a Chrome Plugin. Read more here on how to achieve this.

List of data sources which can be directly queried from Power BI Platform here.

c) I would like to have my production plant quality metrics to be shown live

This assumes the data source where your quality metrics are stored is not direct-queryeable by Power BI.

In this scenario you need to push data from your data source to either a Power BI Push dataset or to a database. This push can be done every 1 min or so. This push can be done by setting up Azure Functions.

Once the quality metrics are pushed to a Push dataset or to a database, you can setup Power BI reports on top of it and view the data live.

Power BI Push datasets have some limitations as mentioned here.

How to setup Push datasets? You can read this external blog post here.

d) I would like to see electricity flows and their Voltage and Power metrics live on my TV

If you need something real and live, something like electricity flows or sensor data, you can setup Streaming datasets in Power BI.

Once you have streaming datasets setup, you can view them through Power BI dashboards. These datasets do not store historical data. They will store limited data in temp cache.

You can open these dashboards in a browser and put them on a TV. No need of browser refresh as the tiles would refresh “live”.

How to setup Streaming datasets? You can watch this YouTube video by Patrick (MSFT) here.

Read more here on Power BI Push and Streaming datasets.


Did we cover all the possible solutions? Ok, let’s check it once more.

Additional Scenario 1: We are a global organization and we would like to view our Google Analytics data every 1 hour. The dataset is shared with our global marketing team spread across every continent.

Solution suggested: In this case instead of going with scheduled refreshes, you can go with pushing GA data to either a Power BI Push datasets or to a database and setting up direct DB connection. Or, if you are an enterprise with Power BI Premium licenses you can set 30 mins refresh intervals.

Additional Scenario 2: I have more than 5 plants where I need to view live data. Should I setup one dashboard with filters?

Solution suggested: You can view data from streaming datasets only in a dashboard. Dashboards do not support filters yet. In your case you can setup 5 dashboards and share these URLs.


Any other solutions you want us to include?

Let us know.

Thanks

Ranbeer Makin

Refresh Power BI report page every min. and show on a TV

This question has been asked multiple times in forums, blogs and in Power BI community.

How can I refresh my Power BI report every min and show it on a TV full-screen?

This is a lovely scenario where you want to show Power BI report with metrics, business performances, team performances etc. on a public display. May be on a TV in a hallway or in Factory Control rooms!

But, how do I do this?

It’s quite simple to setup!

(1) Make sure your data is refresh-able live. Either through direct query to a supported source (SQL etc.) or live connection to Analysis services.

(2) In your report URL in Power BI Service, append ?chromeless=1

This setting will open your report in full screen mode.

(3) Download and install a Google Chrome Add-in – “Super Auto Refresh Plus”

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/super-auto-refresh-plus/globgafddkdlnalejlkcpaefakkhkdoa

(4) Setup the Add-in to refresh your report page every X mins. You want 10 seconds? You are covered!

And you are set to go.

A simpler way to refresh your report page every min and show it on a display!

Questions?

-Ranbeer

(@ranbeerm)

Key driver analysis – What influences attrition?

Key driver/influencer analysis using the newly released Power BI “Key influencers” visual.

Key driver analysis or key influencer analysis is critical to understand what factors impact an outcome and/or what is the relative importance of a factor. Example:

What influences employee attrition? Overtime? Job Level?

What influences employee attrition in the Sales Executive role? Distance from home?

What influences customer attrition? High call rate? International Voice plan?

Knowing answers to above helps in decision making.

If employees in Job Role “Healthcare Representatives” leave the most because of the distance from home, maybe offer them fuel reimbursement or maybe offer them accommodation expenses if they stay near to office?


The newly released Power BI “Key influencers” visual (released as part of Feb 2019 Power BI Desktop release) aids such analysis very very quickly with no code! Crazy!

We applied this new visual to analyze what drives employee attrition, and I must say, I’m blown away by the outcome, ease of use, and comprehensiveness of the visual.

Download Power BI report and play with the visual.

But, how does the result look like?

From the visuals above we can clearly see what influences our variable Attrition=Yes. OverTime, MaritalStatus, YearsAtCompany, JobSatisfaction, and so on.

Not only that, the visual also provides the values of the factors which influences our variable of interest the most.

How to interpret the visual?

The likelihood of attrition increases by 2.93x if employees are doing overtime. Or, Attrition is 2.93x more likely in the employees who are doing overtime.

Hmm… if you do overtime, you may quit. This is obvious.

The attrition is 2.18x more likely if employees are single!

Attrition is also high if the Department is Sales.

And so on.

The left-hand side view of Key influencers shows all the factors influencing our “Attrition=Yes” by a factor of 1.0 and above.

The right-hand side view shows the distribution of data with respect to the selected factor and Attrition either as a column chart or a scatter plot.

The dashed line shows Avg. Attrition % of all values except for the key influencer one (in this case except for OverTime = Yes)

There is another view of this visual where we can see Top segments with high attrition % and their characteristics.

Top segments view in Key influencers visual in Power BI

The visual identified 4 segments with high attrition % along with population count. Clicking on a bubble shows us the characteristics of that segment.

Top segments deep dive

Segment 1 with Attrition % as 57.6 has employees in Department Sales, DistanceFromHome > 11, JobLevel is high and OverTime is Yes.

Wow!

You can further drill down this segment by clicking on “Learn more about this segment” and see what other factors influence this segment.

Quick FAQs on Key influencer visuals and its outcome

Can I filter this visual?

Yes, you can. Example: Why are employees in job role “Healthcare Representative” leaving the company?

Filter the visual and the analysis changes!

Is the visual interactive?

Yes, you can select individual influencing factors and see the distribution of Attrition % by the selected factor.

Can I hover over the values in the scatter plot above?

Yes, you can!

Can I see the logic or p-values associated with factors or key influencers?

No, not yet. This visual is in preview mode. Power BI team may add this feature in the future. Not sure about this.

Can I just see the top X key influencers?

No, not yet. This visual is in preview mode. Power BI team may add this feature in the future. Not sure about this.

I do not see my key influencer in this visual?

Yes, this can happen. Based on my R code using RandomForest, Age should also be an influencing factor for attrition but doesn’t show up in Power BI visual.

See this scatter plot. If Age decreases, Attrition % increases. Maybe Power BI just checks how the “increase” direction of a factor increases Attrition % or Maybe the number of data points for lower age and high attrition is less. 

As Age decreases, Attrition % increases

Can I export the data for segments?

No, not yet. This visual is in preview mode. Power BI team may add this feature in the future. Not sure about this.

Does this visual analyze multiple factors and provide conclusions?

I do not think so. In the example below, the likelihood of Attrition % increases by 11.58x if monthly income goes up. But why is that so? Could it be because for those employees the YearsAtCompany is also more?

Maybe Power BI visual needs to remove outliers.

Power BI visual, currently, doesn’t analyze this for us.

Why are employees leaving if we increase their monthly income?

I want to set this up for my data?

Ok, here are steps to achieve this.

Step 1: Download and Install Power BI Desktop Feb 2019 from here.

Step 2: Enable this visual from “Preview features”.

Step 3: Restart Power BI Desktop. Click on the visual highlighted to put it on the canvas.

Step 4: In the visual data options, drag the field to analyze in “Analyze”, and possible influencers in “Explain by”.

Note: The visual is evaluated on the table level of the field being analyzed. In this case, we are analyzing Attrition, and hence the visual runs at an Employee level. So you may not need aggregations on “Explain by” field. Otherwise, appropriate aggregations are required.

Step 5: In the visual select “Yes” in Attrition value. In your case, select the value you want to analyze.

Step 6: Share analysis with your boss/team/company, and say Thank you to us 🙂

No code, drag and drop solution to key influencers analysis in Power BI!

Simple, huh?

Thanks

Ranbeer

PS: This visual is currently not supported in Power BI Embedded, Publish to Web and Power BI Mobile scenarios.

Download Power BI report and play with the visual.