Power BI Pro vs. Premium: Ultimate Comparison Guide [2024]

Power BI Pro vs Premium

Microsoft Power BI provides several potent data analysis and visualization tools in business intelligence. Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium are the two main choices. However, how would one decide between them? This comprehensive comparison guide delves further into the distinctions, examining their unique attributes, cost models, scalability, and other aspects. 


This guide will help you, whether you’re a small business owner or a corporate decision-maker, choose the plan that best suits the goals and requirements of your company.

Power BI Pro – What is it?

The most popular and commonly used Power BI service is Power BI Pro, which lets users create, share, and work together on reports and dashboards inside their company. This allows Power BI customers to share information easily with one another. Power BI Pro is a user-based subscription service for $9.99 per month per user. 

It offers complete services for people who want to use the entire Power BI ecosystem. The maximum data storage for Power BI Pro is 10 GB, while the maximum size of any one file is 1 GB. It also enables the configuration of automatic refresh for multiple on-premises datasets and connections to them.

Pro works on a per-user licensing model; hence, everyone who needs to create, share, or publish reports must have a Pro license. Despite having good performance in most situations, Power BI Pro uses a shared infrastructure. Performance may thus be affected during periods of peak usage.

You can access some Power BI integration capabilities with Power BI Pro, such as Analyze in Excel. Your development team can connect to the Power BI dataset via Excel and conduct additional analysis.

Power BI Premium – What is it?

This license or subscription helps users to create and save content in premium workspaces. Once on premium, the users can share this content with any other subscriber, irrespective of their license. However, remember that only people with either Power BI Pro or PPU can create and share content on Power BI Premium, and only if their organization has purchased the premium license.

It is best suited for larger organizations that need enhanced scalability and performance. It offers a dedicated cloud resource with advanced features on a per-capacity basis. Those with a free license can work on content in workspaces designated for Premium capacity using Power BI Premium capacity-based licensing. There are two options in this premium license – per capacity and per user.

Only other Premium license users may access content published by Premium Per User licenses. The content must be placed in a workspace hosted in a premium capacity for this rule to apply.

Features that are only available with the Premium choices include paginated reports. Users may create and format Power BI data and reports with them, making them quite helpful in making the data fit neatly onto printable pages. Using a Report Builder, users will receive an optimized printed copy with pixel-perfect layouts.

Premium users can also access advanced AI modeling tools. Straight from the Power BI suite, these AI technologies help customers with text analytics, picture identification, and even automatic machine learning.

Power BI Pro Features

Power BI Pro offers many features to its users; let’s find them below:

  • Certified and shared datasets
  • AI-powered data visuals out of the box
  • Ad-hoc analysis and data exploration with Excel
  • In-context collaboration and commenting
  • Dataflows
  • Customized app experience for end users
  • 1 GB semantic models and eight refreshes per day
  • Incremental refresh – Divide and maintain dataset tables automatically to maximize the refresh schedule
  • There are no limits on viewing, sharing, and creating your reports.
  • There are no limits on viewing, sharing, and consuming reports others share.
  • On-premises data gateways

Power BI Premium Features

Listed below are some of the Power BI premium features:

  • Model size limit of 100GB
  • Storage of 100TB
  • Access to one API surface
  • XMLA endpoint write/read connectivity
  • Data flows
  • Examine information kept in Azure Data Lake Storage
  • Application lifecycle management
  • Ability to integrate Power BI visualizations into PowerApps, Teams, and SharePoint apps
  • Extended storage size for large deployment
  • Advanced artificial intelligence features
  • 48 times data refreshes in a day
  • Pin-to-memory, geo-distribution, and read-only replicas

Quick Comparison – Power BI Pro vs Premium

Let’s look at a quick comparison – Power BI Pro vs. Premium:


License kindOverviewFeaturesLicensing
Power BI ProExtensive features for creating reports and dashboards.Link to more than 100 data sources.Include images in applications.Support for mobile appsModel size of 1GB10GB storage per userEight refreshes per dayAI visuals, controls, and embedded APIs, native integration, and data securityEasy share with other BI users$9.99 per user per month
Power BI PremiumIntended for adoption in big enterprises.Model size – 100GBStorage – 100TBAccess to one API surfaceXMLA endpoint write/read connectivityAnalysis of Azure Data Lake Storage and Data FlowsApplication lifecycle managementAdvanced AI functionalities48 data refreshesPin-to-memory, geo-distribution, and read-only replicas$19.99 per month per user.$4,999 per capacity per month for the organization

Head-to-Head Differences – Power BI Pro vs Premium


FeaturesPower BI ProPower BI Premium
License kindUsers need a Power BI Pro licenseUsers will need a Power BI Premium per-user license
Shared workplace potentialIt can publish material and share dashboards with other workspaces. It can also subscribe to reports and dashboards and share them with a Pro-user license.Users can share dashboards and publish content to other workspaces. You can also subscribe to reports and dashboards and share them with PPU-licensed users.
Added features if the workspace is premiumGive PPU users access to materials or free licenses.Give customers the option to access content through both free and paid licenses.
Storage100 TB100 TB
Pricing$9.99 per user per month$20 for each user and $4,995 for each capacity per month
BenefitsBy acquiring licenses, individual users may allow self-service data preparation for big data, facilitate enterprise-scale data administration and access, and accelerate access to insights with advanced AI.You can get a license for your business to leverage cutting-edge AI to accelerate insights, allow self-service data preparation for big data, and simplify data administration and access at the enterprise scale—all without needing individual user licenses from content consumers.
DisadvantagesIt can be expensive to purchase an individual license for each user in the organization.Creating and managing reports is not possible. If you want to do it, you must have a Power BI Pro license, which can be an additional expense.

Power BI Pro vs. Premium – Which is Best for Your Company?

The significant difference between Power BI Pro and Premium lies in its data processing and handling capacity. Each license has a different data handling capacity. Power BI Pro surpasses when producing reports by providing more options and improving the caliber of cooperation. However, the final call remains with the individual or the organization and should be taken based on the requirements.

In comparing Power BI Pro and Premium memberships, it’s important to note that Premium does not involve per-user fees. However, Pro subscriptions may still be necessary for creating and sharing reports and dashboards with external stakeholders. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully consider your specific needs and ask targeted questions to determine which option best suits your requirements.

Is your company too small for a premium license? Purchase a single Pro license. Do you require more capacity than Pro can provide? A Premium Per User (PPU) license, or Power BI Pro with Premium, is what you should get.

How to Get a Power BI Pro License?

You can follow the below steps to get the Power BI Pro license:

  • Open Microsoft 365 admin center.
  • Select billing – subscription on the left side of the navigation panel.
  • Select add subscriptions on the upper right side of the subscription page.
  • Find the desired subscription.
  • Click on Office 365 Enterprise E5 under the enterprise suite.
  • Click on Power BI Pro under other plans.
  • To purchase the chosen subscription, hover your cursor over the ellipsis (…) and choose “Buy now.”
  • Select either Pay monthly or Pay for the entire year, depending on how you want to be billed.
  • What is your desired user count? To finish the purchase, enter the required licenses and choose “Check out now.”
  • Check to see if the purchased subscription appears on the Subscriptions page now.
  • After making the initial payment, choose Power BI Pro from the Subscriptions tab, then click Add/Remove licenses to add extra licenses.

How to Get Power BI Premium?

This license is available in two different stock-keeping unit families:

  • EM SKUs (EM1-EM3) for embedding, monthly billing, and annual commitment.
  • P SKUs (P1-P3) for enterprise features and embedding need a monthly or annual commitment, are invoiced monthly, and come with an on-premises license to install the Power BI Report Server.

The Microsoft 365 admin center administrators can purchase this subscription. Only Office 365 billing administrators and global administrators can make purchases as they have the designated authorities. 

Once the capacity has been acquired, a process known as “v-core pooling” will allocate the appropriate number of v-cores to your selected capacity. A P3 SKU, for instance, gives the business 32 v-cores for data processing, etc.

How to Choose the Right Power BI License?

When considering which subscription or license suits your business, evaluating its features and functionalities becomes essential. 

Listed below are a few things you must consider before making the final call:

  • Assess your data analytics needs, such as data complexity, frequency of data updates, size of datasets, and degree of required teamwork.
  • Choose between the different versions of Power BI subscriptions – Power BI Pro or Premium.
  • Determine your budget.
  • Start with the trial options for the paid versions to understand the plan perfectly.
  • Choose the one that best fits your needs.

Final Thoughts

Your company’s size, budget, and data requirements determine which of Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium is best for you. While Power BI Premium delivers improved performance and capacity for large-scale operations, Power BI Pro is best suited for smaller teams that need reliable analytics at a reasonable price. This guide has given you the knowledge and understanding to choose wisely. 

Power BI Pro and Premium are excellent tools that may revolutionize data analysis and presentation, enabling more informed business decisions, regardless of which level you select. For more information, refer to CCSLA to understand everything about Power BI. You can also enroll in CCSLA’s Data Analytics & Engineering bootcamp to get experience and become an expert.