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.