Should you go with Microsoft’s Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium? Both have benefits and flaws. The best version is a matter of personal preference and business strategy. Some companies rely on the advanced analytic capabilities of Power BI Premium, whereas others are perfectly happy with the beautiful visuals they can create using Power BI Pro.

To help you find the version that fits your company’s strategy, we’ve put together a handy Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart. With this information at your fingertips, you can decide which system will help you leverage your data most effectively.

Power BI Pro vs. Premium: A Comparison Chart 

There are three versions of Power BI: free, Pro, and Premium. Each version brings something different and helps you analyze your data from multiple perspectives.

Power BI Pro is nearly identical to the free version of the software. You have access to all of the standard visualization tools and a limited amount of data storage. The main difference between the free and Pro versions is that with the Pro version you can also share and collaborate on reports and visuals with other Pro users.

By comparison, the Premium version of the software is substantially different from the free and Pro versions. It includes more advanced data analytics tools, larger data storage limits, cloud computing, greater processing control, and on-premise data storage connectivity and support.

For an in-depth look at how these two versions differ, consult the detailed Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart below:

Features Power BI Pro Power BI Premium 
Cost $9.99 per user per month $4,995 per storage resource per month
Maximum data set size 1 gigabyte 10 gigabytes 
Maximum total storage 10 gigabytes per user 100 terabytes per storage resource
On-premise options and a dedicated processing environmentNoYes 
Report sharing optionsOnly with other Pro users Share with anyone 
Connects to Power BI Report Server NoYes 
Data refresh rate Eight times per day 48 times per day 
Cloud storage options Yes Yes 
Data encryption Yes Yes 
Create visuals and reportsYes Yes 
Connected to Microsoft Excel, SharePoint, and other supported systemsYesYes
Mobile and desktop apps available YesYes

 

Using this Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart, you can decide which version is right for your company.

Which Version Best Suits Your Needs?  

It’s important to think carefully about the pros and cons of each Power BI version before you invest in a new system. To make this decision, ask three questions.

1. Does the system meet your current data analytics needs?

Why waste valuable resources and funds on a system that can only store some of your data and perform a limited number of tasks? If you need advanced data analytics and a great amount of cloud storage space, then you should use Power BI Premium or hire a third-party data analytics services firm. Large enterprises in particular benefit from these types of tools because they offer more direct control over data storage and security. The Premium software version also handles larger data sets, which is important for many large-scale businesses.

However, Power BI Premium isn’t the best tool for every business. This system has many features you may never use. Take another look at the Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison chart above. Are there any features of Power BI Premium or Pro that you don’t plan on using? If so, then it may be better to hire a third-party data analytics firm to create a custom system for you from scratch. As a general rule, you should never spend more than you have to on the best data analytics tools.

2. How fast can you deploy the new system?

For more advanced tools like Power BI Premium, there may be some additional costs and time involved in implementing the software and hardware into your existing system. Ideally, the tool you pick should still be easy to integrate into your infrastructure and ready to use soon after you pay for the service. This also increases your return on investment (ROI), as you can start generating insights almost immediately.

When you compare Power BI Pro with Power BI Premium, the Pro version is much faster to deploy. You won’t need any special hardware or other equipment to get started. As long as you have a device that connects to the cloud, you can generate robust visuals and reports instantly. However, the drawback of such a simple system is that it’s not as customizable or comprehensive as a more elaborate system like Power BI Premium. You have to balance ease of use with the software’s data analytics capabilities.

3. How much does the system cost?

Power BI Pro also has a leg up on Power BI Premium in terms of price. The Pro version only costs $9.99 per user per month. This is well within the budget of small businesses that only plan on getting a Pro license for a handful of employees or managers in the office.

Power BI Pro becomes less cost-effective when you scale up your operations. For example, if you need to generate insights from very large data sets and have multiple team members collaborate on large reports together, then Power BI Pro is pricey and limited in scope. Not only will you only be able to store a small amount of data at a time, but you also would have to buy a license for dozens or even hundreds of users, depending on your needs. These costs add up quickly.

However, a Power BI Premium license isn’t necessarily the most budget-friendly choice for large enterprises either. You may have to build your own infrastructure and manage on-site servers. Alternatively, you could hire a third-party data analytics firm at a lower monthly cost. As an added benefit, these firms can customize the system to fit your exact needs so that you’ll only pay for the features you’re currently using. You can scale the system up or down quickly as your needs change.

The Limitations of Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium 

A simple Power BI Pro vs. Premium comparison only tells you so much. Both of these systems have flaws, so to pick the right one, it takes a nuanced decision-making process.

Remember that there are many more tools available than just Power BI Pro or Premium. When you compare these two systems, keep in mind that there may be a third solution that offers all of the benefits of Power BI without any of the downsides.

custom data analytics and visualization system may be a better fit for your company than either Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium. This type of system is less expensive than Power BI Premium, yet it offers many of the same features and services. A third-party vendor can offer you more than just baseline features. You also get a detailed BI roadmap, a thorough BI audit, custom portals and dashboards, and visual aids designed specifically for the type of data you collect and track.

If you’re in the market for a new data analytics and report generation system, look beyond Power BI alone. Weigh all of your options to weed out the least effective tools and narrow your search down to the most advanced and cost-effective systems on the market.


To start generating powerful visuals and reports, contact Tek Leaders today. We build custom interactive dashboards and visualizations using the most advanced data analytics tools. If you have questions or would like to request a free business intelligence audit, you can reach us by email directly.

Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.