By: Brad Lathrop

“How much does Power BI cost?” is a question that comes up frequently during conversations we have with business leaders who are looking to take their business intelligence practices to the next level via a data analytics platform like Power BI.

We’ve noticed there is some general confusion around Power BI pricing, so here’s a quick article to provide some clarity on the matter. (This information is based on March 2021 Power BI prices.)

Power BI has two main licensing options: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. Power BI Pro is priced per user, per month. The Power BI Premium option, however, not only has pricing per user per month, but also has a second pricing option called “per capacity”.

Power BI Pro Pricing

Let’s start with Power BI Pro. A Power BI Pro license costs $9.99 per user, per month. So if you have 10 users, you will be paying $100/month.

Here are many of the features users get with a Power BI Pro license, according to Microsoft’s Power BI pricing webpage:

  • Access to Power BI assets on a phone, via the Power BI mobile app
  • The ability to publish reports to share and collaborate
  • A data model size limit of 1 GB
  • The ability to refresh datasets 8 times per day
  • The power to connect to over 100 data sources
  • The ability to create reports and dashboards with Power BI Desktop
  • The ability to create and publish Power BI apps (to a workspace) to be shared with others in your organization
  • Access to AI visualizations like the decomposition tree, Q&A, and key influencers visuals

Power BI Pro users also enjoy useful governance and administration features, like data security and metrics for content creation and consumption.

Again, a Power BI Pro license costs $9.99 per user, per month. Now let’s take a look at the alternative licensing option: Power BI Premium.

Power BI Premium Pricing – Per User

As mentioned earlier, Power BI Premium offers two pricing options we can choose from: per user and per capacity.

Power BI Premium (per user) costs $20/month and is actually in the process of being made available to the public. Power BI Premium includes all of the features available in Power BI Pro and offers a few additional features to users.

For instance, Power BI Premium (per user) license holders enjoy the ability to create paginated reports, a model size limit of 100 GB (versus 1 GB for Power BI Pro users), the ability to refresh datasets 48 times per day (versus 8 for Power BI Pro users), and a batch of useful and more technical features, like Advanced AI, Dataflows, and XMLA endpoint read/write connectivity.

Furthermore, Power BI Premium (per user) license holders enjoy the governance and admin capabilities of Power BI Pro, but additionally get the application lifecycle management feature of Power BI. Lastly, Power BI Premium (per user) offers 100 TB for storage, whereas Power BI Pro only offers 10 GB.

Power BI Premium Pricing – Per Capacity

The second pricing option for Power BI Premium is called “per capacity”. This pricing option is ideal for large organizations who either have large business intelligence / data analytics / IT teams and departments, and/or organizations that have a large group of users who need access to reports and dashboards.

The pricing for Power BI Premium (per capacity) is $4,995 per month. Additionally, users still need a Power BI Pro license in order to publish content into Power BI Premium capacity.

One of the biggest perks of Power BI Premium Capacity is that license holders do not need a Power BI Pro license to consume content. Thus, large organizations can take advantage of this pricing option so that their multitude of users can view important reports and dashboards that are published to their Power BI Premium capacity environment. (As noted earlier, though, in order to publish content, a Power BI Pro license is still required).

Power BI Premium (per capacity) also offers on-premises reporting (Power BI Report Server) and additional governance and admin capabilities.

2022 Update: Which Power BI License Is Best For You?

If you’re unsure which Power BI license is best for you and your team, I highly recommend reading an article we published in December 2022 titled, Migrating from Power BI Premium Per User (PPU) to Premium Capacity – What You Should Know.

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Key2 Consulting is a data warehousing and business intelligence company located in Atlanta, Georgia. We create and deliver custom data warehouse solutions, business intelligence solutions, and custom applications.

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