Power BI Free vs Pro

Power BI

By Burningsuit

Power BI Resources

Power BI is the leader of the pack when it comes to Business Intelligence tools. Once you’ve chosen this software you need to consider which version to use. So, which one is best for your business?

If you’re thinking about using Power BI business analytics tools to deliver insights throughout your organisation, there are two main versions of the application that you can consider: Power BI Free and Power BI Pro.

Our in depth look at each shows exactly how they differ and will help you make the right decision:

Power BI Free


This is the most basic version of Power BI and is included in all Office 365 plans. It does, however, come as a cloud-based app only and to use the desktop client you must upgrade to the pro plan.

However, you may be surprised with how much is included in the free version. Not only can you connect to hundreds of data sources but you can also clean and prepare your data and build visualisations with no limit or restrictions apart from the amount of data capacity available.


Power BI free limits you to a data capacity of 1GB per user and only allows users to schedule one data refresh daily. Depending on your business, this can be quite restrictive, whereas the Pro Version allows companies to schedule refreshes hourly and has a limit of 10GB.

Best for

  • Small businesses and start-ups
  • Businesses with less data to analyse
  • Businesses without a budget for intelligence tools

Power BI Pro


With the pro version you get several extra features. These include the extra 9 GB of storage, faster integration of live data and the integration with other Office 365 apps.

The main additional feature of Power BI Pro is the sharing and collaboration settings. This version allows you to share your data with other co-workers and even publish enterprise-wide. To share dashboards and reports, you and everyone you want to share with must have a Power BI Pro license as this isn’t a feature of the free version.

Best for

  • Medium to larger businesses
  • Corporations with big data
  • Multi-site businesses

Comparison table

This comparison table shows exactly what features you get with each version:

Comparison table

Power BI Premium

There is also a third version of Power BI, which is Power BI Premium. This is not a type of user license, it is an upgrade to your entire company’s capabilities. It allows you to efficiently extend business intelligence to everyone for widespread distribution of content without purchasing per-user licenses for viewers.

With the premium version you get up to 100TB of data storage to share and it allows you to work with datasets up to 50GB in size.

Training for all versions

Whether you choose to go with the free or pro version of Power BI, or update to premium, we can help you get the most out of it for your business in our Power BI Training courses.

Get in contact with our expert team to find out more.

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