Companies that decide to use Microsoft Power BI as a business intelligence solution should consider factors such as the size of the company and the number of users when choosing which Power BI edition is best for them.

There are two distinct user groups: Employees who use Power BI to create and publish reports (report designers) and employees who use the finished data sets, reports and dashboards to analyse data (report consumers).

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Every report designer needs at least one Power BI Pro licence if they want to provide reports for others. An exception is the free starter version, Power BI Desktop, for creating reports for your own use.

A free Power BI desktop edition is enough for report consumers to be able to view reports and dashboards, provided they are stored and made available on a Power BI premium capacity (a type of virtual container). If this is not the case, report consumers also need a Power BI Pro licence.


Which Power BI edition do you need?

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On the other hand, dedicated requirements such as the desired type of deployment (cloud-based or on premises), the need to also work with Power BI on a mobile basis, the size of the data volume to be processed in Power BI and the need for functions such as AI / advanced analytics or paginated reports should be taken into account when deciding which licensing model is the best fit.


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Overview of the different Power BI editions

  • Power BI Edition Target group Organisational size Advantages Limitations Further information
    Power BI Desktop Newcomers Individuals
    • Can be used free of charge
    • Good choice of functions for data analysis and visualisation
    • No sharing of data sets, reports or dashboards
    • No automatic update
    • No mobile use
    • No use of apps
    • Limited data storage capacity (1GB per user)
    Power BI Pro Individual users and teams working together on data reports Small and medium-sized enterprises

    More features than Power BI Desktop:

    • Seamless collaboration in Workspaces
    • Dashboards can be shared
    • Low licensing costs for small teams
    • Automatic update
    • Monitoring and control of data access
    • App usage
    • Data storage capacity 10 GB per user

    Each user needs a separate licence

    Power BI Premium Many users with high BI requirements Large companies with many Power BI users

    In addition to all the features of Power BI Pro

    • Better scalability and performance
    • Automated control of the development process
    • External management tools
    • Advanced AI functions
    • Paginated reports
    • Data storage capacity 100 TB per capacity
    • On-premise deployment possible
    Each user needs a separate licence MORE
    Power BI Embedded Organisations that want to use Power BI in third-party applications Large companies with self-developed applications, ISVs
    • Power BI reports can be integrated into your own software applications
    • Power BI reports can be used by any number of users
    • Separate Power BI server in the cloud enables precise scaling of available resources
    • No own interface for evaluations
    • Power BI mobile apps and the Internet browser cannot be used for analyses
    • Report designers and administrators need an additional Power BI Pro licence
    • Can only be used when embedded in third-party applications


  • Further information on the specific Power-BI editions


We will be happy to advise you on the selection of the right Power BI edition for your company.

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