Microsoft Power BI Pricing: Licensing and Ownership Costs

Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence and analytics service that provides a full overview of your most critical data. Connecting to all of your data sources, Power BI simplifies data evaluation and sharing with scalable dashboards, interactive reports, embedded visuals and more.

We’ve reviewed Power BI in the past, but this post will focus on its pricing plans, as well as the prices of its top BI alternatives.

How is Power BI Priced?

Power BI has three pricing plans:

  • Power BI Desktop: This offering is free to any single user and includes data cleaning and preparation, custom visualizations and the ability to publish to the Power BI service.
  • Power BI Pro: The Pro plan costs $9.99/user/month. It includes data collaboration, data governance, building dashboards with a 360-degree real-time view and the ability to publish reports anywhere. Users can try it a free trial for 60 days before purchasing the subscription.
  • Power BI Premium: The Premium plan starts at $4,995 a month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource.

Top Alternatives to Power BI

We’ve compiled details and pricing structures of three popular options that are most similar to Power BI:

Tableau: Tableau has recently updated their pricing structure. There are three main plans, which are:

  • Creator: Intended for an individual user, this plan costs $70/user/month (billed annually) and includes access to Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep. It also includes licenses to either Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  • Explorer: This plan is designed for users that want self-service analytics without the data prepping and cleaning. There are two deployment options: on-premise, which is $35/user/month (billed annually) and cloud which is $42/user/month (billed annually).
  • Viewer: This plan is intended for users that want to access already-created visualizations. There are two deployment options: on-premise, which is $12/user/month (billed annually) and cloud, which is $15/user/month (billed annually).

Note that Tableau Viewer requires at least 100 viewers in order for companies to purchase this plan.

QlikSenseQlik Sense has four editions available:

  • Desktop – Desktop is a free downloadable solution with unlimited access to data sources and Qlik features.
  • Enterprise – Enterprise has the same unlimited access as Desktop. Pricing for its server-, user- or subscription-based licenses is not publicly available, so you’ll need to contact Qlik directly for a quote.
  • Cloud Basic – Cloud Basic is a free Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering that can be shared with up to five users.
  • Cloud Business – An extended version of Cloud Basic, Cloud Business can be shared with an unlimited number of users ($15/user per month). Chart Studio: Chart Studio has four pricing tiers, which are:

  • Community: Community is a free plan that includes basic features, such as public charts and dashboards, live update charts with Python, R or SQL, the ability to create up to 25 charts, 500 KB datasets, exporting files to PNG and JPG and community support.
  • Student: The Student plan costs $99 per user per year, and includes additional features, such as private charts and dashboards, creating up to 2,500 charts, 10 MB datasets and unlimited embedded views.
  • Personal: The Personal plan costs $420 per user per year, and includes live chat support.
  • Professional: The Professional plan costs $840 per user per year, and includes unlimited charts and phone support.

Bottom Line

Power BI has gained popularity within the last few years, but it’s not the only option. You can check out our BI Reviews page, where we list over 60 reviews.

If you need a place to start, check out our BI Definitive Guide. It features over 50 experts and offers an impartial overview of all the need-to-know details of buying this software.

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