Microsoft Power Bi is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work in combination to convert your unrelated data sources into coherent, visually immersive and interactive insights. If you are new to Power Bi and asking yourself “Can I use Power Bi for free?”, this article will help you understand this topic in detail.
We have covered Power Bi in the past, however, this post will focus on its pricing plan, the free plan, and its limitations.
Is there a free version of Power BI?
Yes, Power Bi offers a free version of the service named Power Bi desktop. Power Bi Desktop is the installable version of the software and requires you to install it on your system.
The free offering can be used by any single user with access to data cleaning and preparations, the ability to publish to the Power Bi services as well as custom data visualization.
You can download the Power Bi Dekstop from the official website. Make sure you download the correct version of the Power Bi desktop depending on your language preferences.
Power Bi Desktop Free Limitations
Although free to use, the Power Bi free license has several limitations. To begin with, let’s talk about Power Bi service. While Power Bi Desktop allows you to create data models and build reports, to share the report with others or export it to PowerPoint you need a Power BI account in the cloud. You can get the Power Bi license for free, which again comes with limitations.
The Free Power Bi license allows you to sing up for one user per account. It also comes with 10 GB of free storage in the cloud that can be used for hosting Power Bi Reports. Each Power Bi report cannot exceed the limit of 1GB and can only be refreshed 8 times a day with a minimum of 30 minutes gap between each refresh.
Other limitations of Power Bi free license are listed below:
- User cannot share a report or dashboard with other users.
- User cannot view the report or dashboard shared by other Pro users.
- Although you can share the reports on the web using app.powerbi.com app, all the data is publically available. Which makes it a no-go for sharing sensitive and confidential information.
- The free license of Power Bi does not allow integration with Office 365 apps like PowerPoint for exporting the data.
Power Bi Pro and Premium
If you want to remove the limitations of Power Bi free license, you can opt for any of the two premium plans offered by Microsoft.
While Pro License costs $9.99 per user per month, the Premium plan does not come with user limitations. The organization can share it with all their employees depending on the size.
The Pro users get similar benefits as free users with 10 GB storage space and 1GB per report limitation. Additional features include the ability to share the data reports and dashboard with other pro users.
So to answer your question (Can I use Power Bi for free?), you can use it for free but with some limitations. Do let us know which version of Power Bi you use in the comments below.
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