Power BI for the Masses

On January 27th, 2015 James Phillips – Microsoft’s General Manager for Data Experiences announced the latest developments in Power BI. The latest news include the availability of Power BI FREE for everyone, as well as subscription based version called Power BI Pro. In addition, there is a new tool available, called Power BI Designer, which allows business analysts to create their own dashboards and publish them to any Power BI site.

The new Power BI service aims to enable easy-to-use, accessible tools that can be leveraged by anyone; bringing the power of Business Intelligence to everyone, and lowering the barrier to entry.

Power BI is a cloud-based service that allows users to leverage their on-premise data, while getting the benefits of cloud-based analytics. This Hybrid approach provides the advantage of shorter, more frequent updates to the reporting tools, while keeping and managing your data on-prem.

Finally, Microsoft is pushing forward with their mobile capabilities. They have released a preview of Power BI for iPad available in the Apple App Store, and will be introducing iPhone, Android, and Windows universal apps later this year.


Below is a breakdown of the different features available with the free version (Power BI) vs. the subscription version (Power BI Pro)

Plans available at general availability

Power BI


Power BI Pro

$9.99 user / month

Data Capacity Limit

1 GB/user

10 GB/user

Create, view and share personal dashboards and reports

Power BI Designer for content authoring

Explore data with natural language*

Power BI mobile apps for iOS and Windows

Content packs for services like Dynamics, Salesforce, and SendGrid

Import data and reports from Excel files

Data Refresh
Scheduled Data Refresh



Support for Streaming Data

10K rows/hour

1M rows/hour

Live interactive connectivity to data sources


Data Management Gateway


Share refreshable team dashboards and reports


Create and publish customized content packs


Use of Active Directory groups for sharing & managing access control


Shared data queries through the Data Catalog


* Natural language query is currently only supported in English.

Source: http://powerbi.com/dashboards/pricing

For the full Microsoft announcement, check out Microsoft’s Official Blog.

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