A Power BI Licensing Journey

There are many products and licensing options in play with Power BI and it isn’t always clear what is needed or when to buy. To illustrate the typical use cases, we’ll look at various licensing options using a fictional customer story. This licensing journey will help you understand applications for Power BI Desktop, Power BI Pro, Power BI free, Power BI Embedded, Power BI Premium and the availability (or not) of the paginated reporting feature.

Power BI Desktop

Our licensing journey starts with a single person business, Izzy Insurance Agency. Izzy sells a variety of insurance products and uses standard web and desktop tools for sales, accounting and other business operations. Izzy has a lot of data and knows analyzing it will be the key to her success. Power BI Desktop is mentioned by a friend and Izzy downloads the free application and installs it on her desktop. She can pull data from both online and desktop sources, create a couple neat trend charts and update the data once a week or month.

Fast forward a couple years. Izzy has fine-tuned her data reports alongside her company’s expansion into three other insurance offices in her city. She has continued to rely on Power BI Desktop, using the Export to PDF feature and emailing reports to her office managers once a week as well as adding data sources from her website and marketing systems. One of her managers, Dave, is becoming a data enthusiast and keeps bugging her to get his hands on all that data for slicing and dicing.

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When Power BI Pro makes sense

Izzy discovers that with a Power BI Pro license, she can securely publish her data sources and reports to app.powerbi.com. By also getting Dave a Power BI Pro license, he can access those same data sources and reports in Power BI Desktop.

But what about her two office managers who don’t want to use Power BI Desktop and would rather talk to a customer than dive into data? She can continue emailing them reports each week or she can get them each a Power BI Pro license, even though they will only use it to view reports.

Izzy decides that the $9.99 per user per month for the Power PI Pro license is worth the precious minutes she’ll save no longer having to send out reports. Plus her team can now use the included Power BI Mobile app from their phones and never login to app.powerbi.com—perfect for on-the-go sales agents!

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Leveraging Power BI Premium and Power BI free

Five years later, Izzy has leveraged data supremacy to dominate the industry and her corporation has grown to 600 employees in offices all over the country. Her IT director, Pat, walks into her corner office with good news – a way to save money with their Power BI licensing!

Izzy Corp has been buying every new employee a Power BI Pro license during onboarding. While this approach has produced great results and has driven their culture of data-based decisions, Pat realized that only the 40 employees on Dave’s data analytics team are creating content or handling ad hoc report requests. Everyone else just views and interacts with those published reports on app.powerbi.com or the mobile app.

By continuing to purchase 40 Power BI Pro licenses for Dave’s data analytics team and adding Power BI Premium, the company can realize some cost savings now and in the future. With Power BI Premium, the other 560 employees can finally use Power BI Free user licenses.

Power BI and paginated reporting

Also included with Power BI Premium is the ability to use Power BI’s paginated reporting features from app.powerbi.com. The only other way to get that reporting feature would have been to setup a Power BI Report Server in their data center, something Pat was reluctant to take on due to required resources and ongoing support.

Power BI embedded

Two more years pass, and Izzy decides to quit insurance and branch out into something new. Taking Dave’s industry leading data analytics team with her, she spins off a new software company, Izzy Tech, focused on insurance technology. For a monthly subscription, Izzy Tech will collect and store customer data. That data will drive a website where users can access pre-built reports and visualizations that have been optimized with Izzy’s savvy insurance experience.

Her freshly promoted CTO, Pat, points the team to Power BI Embedded. This allows the developers to neatly wrap up reports into the new website product while supporting data segregation in a multi-tenant environment for their customers. Izzy Tech purchases the capacity directly from Microsoft for all their customers with the ability to scale as the sales roll in and use grows.

Licensing Power BI for success

Following busy Izzy through her company’s evolution and use progression highlights just a few of the ways in which Power BI licensing and products can be used and purchased. Understanding the available Power BI features and use scenarios can help you determine the most cost-effective licensing plan for your needs.

Naturally, every company is different and your environment and use case are unique to you. Contact us today to discuss Power BI licensing and implementation so you can dominate your reporting and competitive advantage… like Izzy!

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