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    Power BI vs Power BI Pro – What’s the best choice for you?

    Data is helping leaders, such as you to make informed decisions based on facts, rather than solely trusting intuition or experience.

    Data, when paired with analytics is making leaders stronger.

    Here’s some fascinating statistics about the data + analytics.

    Over 49% of respondents using data analytics claimed it helped them make better decisions. Over 16% said that it enables key strategic initiatives, and over 10% agreed that it helped them improve relationships with both customers and business partners

    as per a Deloitte survey.

    You can now imagine the incredible value of data + analytics.

    But it’s only valuable if you have the right tool to make sense of it all.

    This is where Power BI – the powerful business intelligence and data analytics tool comes in. It is empowering businesses of all sizes to interpret and use data analytics effectively and securely.

    Maybe, you have used a Power BI free version or not using it at all, this guide is meant to help you decide which Power BI version is meant for you.

    Today, let’s look at different Power BI versions, particularly Power BI vs Power BI Pro exploring their differences.

    Right before you finish reading this piece, you will have an idea of which is right fit for your business needs.

    Before we differentiate between different Power BI versions such as Power BI Pro vs Power BI, we must talk about Power BI more broadly. Why should you choose Power BI?

    Why Should You Invest in Microsoft Power BI right now?

    There is an initial cost of investing in Power BI, but the cost of not investing in Power BI or the cost of delay is way higher.

    The global Business Intelligence market is projected to cross a valuation of $28216.8 Million and by 2033 it is likely to cross $56.200.9 Million

    according to Future Market Insights.

    This number means, that businesses not using data intelligence are highly at risk of being left behind in the ever-growing business intelligence market.

    The question remains the same – Why should you invest in Power BI, today?

    Certainly, urgency is one of the reasons to stay competitive with the ever-evolving business landscape. But, what are the other benefits that you reap when you choose to invest in Power BI, today?
    Well, here’s what you gain –

    Added Functionality with Other Microsoft Apps

    If you are a Microsoft user, you are empowered with the seamless integration of Power BI with other Microsoft solutions such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, etc. This not only enables seamless data analysis but also effortless reporting and improved decision-making.

    The Power of Modern AI Systems at Hand

    Power BI empowers you by bringing the power of modern AI to your fingertips. With Microsoft Power BI, you are enabled to automate insights.

    Leverage AI to automatically uncover valuable automated insights, AI-driven recommendations that help create personalized dashboards, detect unusual patterns, and even clean, transform, and merge data for smart preparation.

    No Geographic Limitations with Power BI

    Being a cloud-based platform, Power BI has no geographic limitations. Whether your team works in-house or remotely, using Power BI poses no challenge to your data intelligence initiatives.

    Improved Security

    Microsoft Power BI offers robust security measures for your data at the dataset level. This means, authorized users can access only what they are permitted to see. This level of security provides granular control and fosters a trusted environment required for sensitive data.

    So, you are well-versed with the benefits of investing in Power BI, right? Let’s resolve the riddle of Power BI vs Power BI Pro

    What Are Different Power BI Versions for Your BI Needs?

    Power BI Versions

    What differentiates – Power BI Pro vs Power BI?

    Power BI vs Power BI Pro is a real strategic riddle for leaders like you.

    Let’s break it down to a level deeper where we compare the features, benefits and costs of the two.

    What is the Power BI Free Version?

    As the name suggests, Power BI free enables you to enjoy Power BI’s variety of features at no cost.

    It’s a basic Power BI version allowing you to create intuitive reports, connect to 70+ data sources, and even customize reports.

    You can access the Power BI desktop tool anytime and use it for personal or commercial purposes. This completely free tool offers general features such as:

    • Same visualization capabilities as Power BI Pro
    • Ability to connect to more than 70 data sources
    • Access to primary collaboration features
    • Publish online and export data to Excel
    • Free and unlimited access to all users
    • Maximum capacity 10 GB per user
    • Mobile Power BI app access
    • 8 Data refreshes per day

    Before you get charmed, we want you to know it’s not all gold!

    There are a few challenges that come as a parcel of the Power BI free version.

    Its limitations include:

    • Incapability to get intelligent and augmented analytics features
    • Incapability to use Power BI sharing or collaborating features
    • Inability to publish content to other people’s workspaces
    • Data streaming for up to 10k rows per hour only
    • Limited space allocation of 1GB only
    • No row-level security

    Does this mean the Power BI Desktop version is limiting your business intelligence capabilities?

    The answer solely depends on your specific needs.

    It is a great tool if you are just starting out with a Business Intelligence tool or Power BI.

    With the growing complexity of data, you must upgrade to the paid version such as Power BI Pro to experience the improved capabilities.

    That was about the Power BI free version, a favored business intelligence tool for startup owners, individuals, and small enterprises.

    As we continue to discuss Power BI vs Power BI Pro, let’s dive deep into the Power BI Pro license.

    What is Power BI Pro?

    Power BI Pro is the first step up from the Power BI free version. With this individual-user license, you can enjoy all free features along with enhanced sharing, collaboration, and storage capabilities.

    Moreover, you can share reports, and dashboards, with other Power BI pro license users, ultimately creating a collaborative and data-driven environment for your team.

    Its features include:

    • 8 Data refreshes per day
    • Unlimited data streaming
    • Included with Office 365 E5
    • Mobile Power BI app access
    • Highest capacity 10 GB per user
    • Robust data security and encryption
    • Ability to create app-based workspace
    • Integration with all Microsoft solutions
    • Connect to more than 100 data sources
    • Ability to export to CSV, PDF, XLS, PPTX, etc.
    • Share dashboards, and reports with other Power BI Pro licensed users

    It may look like a better choice if you compare Power BI Pro and normal Power BI. However, it’s not complete without its challenges.

    Its limitations include:

    1. Access to AI functionalities is limited with access only to Smart Narrative and Key Influencer visuals and not to text analytics and machine learning.

    2. The limited 1 GB data model is not suitable for businesses with big data.

    3. Both the report developer and consumer need to have a Power BI Pro license to view and access the reports.

    The Power BI Pro license empowers you with the capabilities of the Power BI Free Version + the capacity to export your reports to different file formats and collaborate with your team.

    It has been a popular tool amongst small and medium businesses, and individuals with advanced data analytics and collaboration needs.

    This brings us to our next crucial discussion: Power BI vs Power BI pro cost.  The final parameter which will bring you a step closer to your decision.

    Power BI vs Power BI Pro cost: Budget Conscious Analysis

    Power BI Free version: Basic version for individual

    Power BI Free Cost: Free for all users, per month

    Power BI Pro License: Full version with team collaboration

    Power BI Pro Cost: $9.99, per user, per month

    But to take full advantage of the latter version, you need to master the data analytics skills or hire a Power BI consultant who builds effective strategies or a Power BI service provider who plans effective strategies as well as executes them for you.

    Finally, the debate between Power BI vs Power BI Pro can be condensed as a choice between cost-effective, entry-level functionality and enhanced features meant for better data analytics and collaboration needs.

    Still unsure about whether your business needs a Power BI or Power BI pro license?

    Why navigate the Power BI realm alone when expert assistance is just a ring away?

    Reach out to a trusted Power BI consultant or a Power BI service provider to get fair answers to all your questions related to Power BI.

    This is where Integrative Systems come into the help!

    Integrative Systems: Your Go-To Power BI Partner

    We are Integrative Systems, a Microsoft Business Partner, helping business leaders, individuals, enterprises, data experts, and startups with their Power BI initiatives for 10+ years.

    Our ready-to-deploy team of Power BI professionals not only uplifts your data game, instils a sense of confidence in your team, but also justifies your Power BI investments.

    We support your Power BI ambitions with care, expertise, and experience, creating impactful Power BI solutions propping your decision-making approaches, and achieving better profitability.

    Want to talk to us? You can reach out to us at [email protected] now and take a step toward data-driven success.


    1. Is Power BI-free?

    Ans: Microsoft Power BI is a free as well as licensed business intelligence tool, standing tall among the popular BI tools, as an easy, versatile option for a diverse range of users and business needs.

    2. What is Power BI vs MySQL?

    Ans: A significant community of data analysis and management is confused about the difference between Power BI and MySQL. They are not related to each other and serve different objectives for different needs.

    Microsoft Power BI is a popular data visualization and business intelligence tool by Microsoft.

    Whereas MySQL is a popular enterprise relational database management system used for storing, managing, and retrieving structured data, not offered by Microsoft.

    These distinct tools coexist when the structured data from MySQL database needs to be visualized, analyzed, and reported in Power BI. However, they serve 2 different objectives and are not synonymous.

    3. What are Power BI Apps?

    Ans: Power BI apps offer ready-made reports, templates, and dashboards, designed to simplify data analysis and visualization needs for specific business tasks or industries. It allows users to easily generate reports, without starting from scratch. Visit the Power BI marketplace to get these apps and boost their data analysis capabilities.

    4. Is Power BI available on Mobile?

    Ans: Yes, all Power BI versions and apps are accessible from Android phones and tablets, iOS, and Windows.

    5. Can Power BI-free users view Power BI pro reports?

    Ans: Power BI license users with the free version can access, view, and interact with the reports shared with them by Power BI service users with a Pro license, provided the shared reports are approved by the Power BI pro user.

    6. What Is the Difference Between Power BI Desktop and Pro (Power BI Desktop Vs Pro)?

    Ans: Power BI Desktop is a software application designed to create drag and drop reporting dashboards. Power BI Pro is a licensing platform that allows users to publish and share their reports to other users.

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