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:
Number of users (creators, viewers, occasional viewers)
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
50 users will be creating content
200 users will be frequently accessing the content
250 users will be occasionally accessing the content
Then you require
50 Power BI Pro licenses
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.
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)
Power BI Premium vs Power BI Pro – Which licensing model should I choose? The answer is here!
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”
Tons of questions on how can we copy data from Facebook Ads or HubSpot or Google Analytics to Power BI.
There are a couple of reasons why you want to analyze data from multiple sources with Power BI.
Say you want to analyze how much traffic and number of leads (CRM) are generated by spending on Ads on Google and Facebook. And, how many of them actually purchase (Stripe or PayPal)?
You can go to each of these service providers dashboards and get answers to your questions, one by one. Or, you can copy data from these providers into a single system say Power BI and analyze data together. Which one do you think will give you a clear business picture and with much less overhead?
Clearly the Power BI one!
Power BI provides data connectors to a good number of services already. Google Analytics, Facebook Page, MailChimp, SalesForce, MixPanel etc. But there are a number of sources for which you do not have data connectors yet – HubSpot, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads etc.
Update (April 30): We have created a list of popular Power BI custom data connectors. The list includes connectors to HubSpot, Zendesk Support, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn and more. Check here.
Of late I have been seeing a lot of requests to copy data from HubSpot to Power BI!
This post talks about two general approaches to copy data to Power BI from online services.
Approach 1: Use Power Query to get data from Online Services (through REST APIs), model and visualize data in Power BI – Self Service, Simple, Less cost
Approach 2: Setup data factory pipelines using say Azure Data Factory, copy data to a database/data warehouse and use this data layer to visualize in Power BI – Enterprise, More control on data, Involves several components
Which approach to go with will depend on how you want to reuse the data from these services.
Questions to ask:
Question 1: Are you going to use the data only in Power BI/Excel and only for visualization and analysis?
Question 2: Are you going to use the data in another application or going to reuse that data for Machine Learning or other use cases?
Question 3: How big is your data?
If your data is small* and does not have to be used outside of Power BI/Excel and the purpose is only visualization and analytics – go with Approach 1.
Else go with Approach 2.
Approach 1 is quick to implement and will incur a less overall cost.
Approach 2 could take time to implement and has several other components than just Power BI (read on).
Approach 2 also provides you ability to pull incremental data. While in Approach 1 (Pro users) you have to pull full data every time.
*Note 1: I have seen Power BI experience getting degraded if your model size becomes more than 300 MB.
Examples to showcase how to use Approach 1.
You can go with either “Get Data” way or a Custom Connector way. I will show steps for “Get Data” way to connect to HubSpot (CRM).
Step 1. Go to “Home” tab in the Power BI Desktop ribbon, select “Get Data->Web”
Step 2: Select “Advanced” radio button and put API details. The screenshot below shows examples for connecting to HubSpot ‘Companies’ API endpoint.
Here we take Azure Data Factory to pull data from Google Analytics API.
Note: In the example below “FlattenJSON” is an Azure Function to simplify complex JSON returned by Google Analytics API.
Step 1: Setup data pipelines using say Azure Data Factory and push data to a database/data warehouse
Step 2: Connect to the database using Direct Query Approach in Power BI
Step 3: Start visualizing!
I have seen customers going with Approach 1 almost always since this saves time and cost. But this approach may require a gateway.
Which approach have you used in similar scenarios? Let me know
Note 2: Power BI has dataflows which may replace Azure Data Factory in scenarios above.
Note 3: Power BI team is also working to expose the data model behind the scene as Analysis Services. You can then query the data through SSMS. That feature should come out in preview in Feb 2019. (This date is from Microsoft Power BI blog/website)