Power BI Pro VS Premium-1

Power BI Pro vs Premium – Understand The Differences In Licensing

Power BI is a data analysis and visualization tool that helps businesses make better-informed decisions by getting insights from the data. Microsoft offers Pro and Premium are paid licensing options for Power BI. There is usually some confusion about Power BI Pro vs Premium licensing and which one to choose.

Companies are sometimes unsure about which paid option to go for when using Power BI. We have explained the differences, advantages, and what each licensing version of Power BI offers below. You can get a clear understanding of Power BI Pro and Premium versions; this will help you decide your business’s perfect option.

What Does Power BI Pro Offers?

It is essential to know what each plan offers individually before knowing Power BI Pro vs Premium differences.

The Power BI Pro is for individual users. In simple terms, if you have ten users in your organization, you will have to buy ten different Power BI Pro licenses. The users with Pro license can create, share and consume the reports. It gives you access to the full functionality and capabilities of Power BI.

With Power BI Pro licensing, the users can access all the supported data sources that are available on the cloud and on-premises. The maximum storage allowed is 10 GB per user. You can perform ad-hoc analysis, share dashboards, and do other report related tasks with Power BI Pro.

What Does Power BI Premium Offer?

The Power BI Premium is not for individual users; instead, it is a licensing for the organization’s content, including dashboards, datasets, and reports. All the organization users with Power BI Premium can view the reports but cannot create one. There is no per-user cost once the business takes Power BI Premium licensing.

The users in your organization can view reports on the dashboard, mobile apps, or embedded in the organization’s portal. The maximum storage capacity allowed is 100 TB. There is a Power BI Report Server available with Premium licensing.

You can deploy and share the reports within the organization’s firewall with the help on-premises server known as Power BI Report Server.

Power BI Pro vs Premium

Both the licensing plans offered by Microsoft are very different from each other, making them suitable for all types of businesses. The Power BI Pro is for individual users, while the Premium is for content related to the organization.

The organization that opted for Premium licensing may also need Pro to create reports and access dashboards for a specific set of users. Even the pricing of both is quite different.


power bi pro vs premium

Power BI Premium vs Pro Pricing

Power BI Pro is available for USD 9.99/user per month, and Power BI Premium is available for USD 4995/month.

The Premium version has larger storage sizes, higher refresh rates, and other features like the pin to memory, geo-distribution, and read-only replicas. If you are looking for Power BI licensing where more users just view the reports rather than creating them, you need Power BI Premium.

However, if you are looking for a situation that is another way around, where more users are accessing datasets and creating reports, you need a Pro plan.

The choice of Power BI Pro vs Premium depends on the organization’s strength, needs, and usage of the Power BI tool.

Advantages And Limitation Of Power BI Pro And Premium

The Pro and Premium versions have some advantages and limitations that can help any organization choose the licensing that suits their business needs.

Advantages of Power BI Pro

  • Can embed Power BI reports into Apps.
  • Integration with Azure Data Services and other Microsoft solutions
  • Allows one to create an App workspace
  • Easy to share datasets, reports, and dashboards with other Pro users

Limitations of Power BI Pro

  • Need to purchase individual licensing for every user in the same organization

Advantages of Power BI Premium

  • A larger storage capacity is available.
  • Has Power BI Report Server
  • Maximum performance
  • Easy to view/consumer reports through mobile apps, dashboards, and company’s portal

Limitation of Power BI Premium

  • You cannot create reports or manage dashboards using this licensing.
  • Need to purchase Pro user licenses separately for the users who create reports for the organization

Now, you know the strengths and weaknesses of each of Microsoft’s licenses for Power BI.

Power BI Pro vs Premium: Which One Is For Your Organization?

Power BI Pro and Premium

The final call about licensing depends on the decision-makers of your organization. We can help you pick one depending on the different scenarios. You can go through the scenarios given below and know which plan goes where.

Scenario 1: If there are ten employees in your company, out of which seven employees need to create reports and access data sets. You should opt for Power BI Pro licensing for all ten users because the Premium license here won’t be useful and can become costly too.

Scenario 2: If there are 3000 employees in the organization and around 1000 users need a Pro license for report creation. You can purchase a combination of Pro and Premium licenses. The Premium license can be useful for other 2000 employees to view the reports.

You can check out the calculator provided by Microsoft to give you an estimation about licensing required in your company.

Final Thoughts

The Power BI Pro vs Premium licensing debate ends on the needs and requirements of the organization. Each business has different sets of operations their employees perform, which, in turn, decides their licensing option. The Power BI Pro license gives you the full Power BI capabilities, but this license needs to be purchased for individual users separately.

On the other hand, Power BI Premium can be purchased for the entire organization, with many users consuming the reports, but it does not allow you to create reports. There are pros and cons for both the licensing option of Power BI; you need to opt for the one that fits your business.

Power BI Gateway

Power BI Gateway – Everything You Need To Know

Power BI lets you connect to a variety of data sources, irrespective of where they are stored. You can have data sources on the cloud or office premises, and still Power BI can connect to it without putting much effort and money on infrastructure.

It is always easy to connect to the data source stored in the cloud. However, when it comes to on-premises data sources, the Microsoft cloud services, like Power BI, require a Power BI gateway to get connected.

With the help of a gateway, Power BI can access data from locally stored databases quickly and securely.

What is the Power BI Gateway?

Power BI gateway is a software that can connect and access the data sources stored locally on-premises. It can help the businesses who keep the data in the local databases behind the firewall but wish to use Microsoft cloud services.

With the help of an on-premises gateway, you can not only connect Power BI to local databases but can also connect other Microsoft services like PowerApps, Azure Analysis Services, Power Automate, and Azure Logic Apps.

Power BI gateway acts as a bridge between Power BI and the local databases of the company. However, you need the right credentials to bypass this gateway and access the database.

Types of Gateway

Microsoft offers two types of gateway, but there is a difference between them. One gateway type is the standard mode, and another is the personal mode.

On-premises data gateway (Standard Mode)

With standard mode gateway, multiple people are allowed to access multiple local databases. If you have multiple developer environments that need to access the databases, the standard mode is recommended.

You can install a single gateway and connect Power BI, Azure Logic Apps, Azure Analysis Services, Microsoft Flow, and PowerApps to on-premises databases.

The standard mode is for complex environments where you have multiple users working on multiple on-premises data stores.

On-premises data gateway (Personal Mode)

With personal mode Power BI gateway, only one user can access the local databases. You can only connect Power BI to on-premises data sources with this mode of the gateway.

If you have an environment where only a single person accesses the data source to analyze the data and generate reports, the personal mode is recommended.

Installing and configuring on-premises data gateway personal mode is easier than standard mode because of its single user allowance. The privileges cannot be shared among multiple users in personal mode, hence the name.

Standard Mode vs. Personal Mode

There is not only the difference in the number of users allowed in both the mode, but few more things make them different from each other.


Standard Mode Personal Mode
Can work with Power BI, Azure Logic Apps, Power Apps, Azure Analysis Services, Power Automate, Dataflows Can work with only Power BI
Can allow multiple users to access local data sources Can allow only one user to access local data sources
Supports DirectQuery Doesn’t support DirectQuery
Cannot run as an app for users who do not have administrator privileges Can run as an app for users who do not have administrator privileges

Caption: Table of difference between standard mode and personal mode on-premises data gateway

Power BI Gateway Architecture

The Power BI data gateway works in a particular flow whenever there is a request to access on-premises data sources from the cloud services and web apps.

Power BI gateway

Power BI gateway architecture (Image Source)

The entire flow is divided into six steps.

Step 1: Power BI creates a query that requires access to the local data source. This query, along with encrypted credentials, is sent to Gateway Cloud Service.

Step 2: The Gateway Cloud Service analyzes and processes the request and forwards it to Azure Service Bus.

Step 3: Azure Service Bus, then sends the request to the on-premises data gateway.

Step 4: When the on-premises data gateway gets the request, it decrypts the credentials and connects to the required data sources depending on the query.

Step 5: The Power BI gateway forwards the query to the connected data sources so that it can be executed there.

Step 6: The results given by data sources are forwarded to the gateway. The on-premises gateway then sends the results back to Power BI.

If there is a large amount of data to be returned from data sources, it is temporarily saved on the gateway machine. Once all the result is collected from the data source, it is forwarded to the cloud service (Power BI in our case).

How to Use Power BI Gateway?

It is very easy to get started with using Power BI data gateway in your setup by following the below steps.

Step 1: Download the Power BI gateway, depending on the type you want, and install it on your computer.

Step 2: Once you installed the gateway, configure it depending on your business environment.

Step 3: Add gateway admins to administer and manage the data sources along with network requirements.

Step 4: Refresh the local data source by using the on-premises gateway and keep the Power BI report up-to-date.

You can troubleshoot the gateway if there are any issues in connecting local data sources via the gateway.


Power BI gateway makes it easy to connect Microsoft cloud services to a local database behind the firewall in your organization. As every business doesn’t store their data on the cloud, it is necessary to have software like the on-premises gateway to help connect to the local data repositories.

Microsoft provides two types of gateways. You can opt for any one depending on the needs of the business. The article explains many things about the Power BI gateway, which can help you understand the gateway concept and know how it works with Microsoft services and data sources.


Power BI Data Sources

Supported Power BI Data Sources And How To Connect Them

Power BI is a powerful business analytics and visualization tool that can collect data from various sources and give you business insights by generating reports. With Power BI data sources, you can connect to different data sources like files, Azure groups, databases, and data sources from many more categories.

You can get connected to all of the categories of data sources in one click and get the reports ready to analyze them.

All the Power BI Data Sources

Power BI data sources

Power BI has built-in connectors that can be used to connect a variety of data sources with one click. Microsoft is continuously developing Power BI and adding many more features to it, but as of now, the data sources are classified into the following categories.

  • File
  • Database
  • Power Platform
  • Azure
  • Online Services
  • Other

You can also connect to one or more data sources to generate a Power BI report according to your business needs. The above categories support some of the popular and amazing data sources; we have listed them below.


Excel, XML, Text/CSV, JSON, PDF, Folder, SharePoint folder


SQL, IBM, SAP HANA, Access, MySQL, Google BigQuery, Actian (Beta), Oracle, Denodo, Dremio, Exasol, Snowflake, SQL Server Analysis Services database, and many more popular databases

Power Platform

Power BI datasets, Power BI dataflows, Power Platform dataflows (Beta), Microsoft Dataverse


Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW), Azure Analysis Services database, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Table Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Data Explorer (Kusto), Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1, Azure HDInsight (HDFS), Azure HDInsight Spark, HDInsight Interactive Query, Azure Cost Management, Azure Databricks, Azure Time Series Insights (Beta)

Online Services

SharePoint, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Github (Beta), LinkedIn Sales Navigator (Beta), QuickBase, and many more


Web, Solver, Paxata, Python and R script, Active Directory, Solver, Blank Query, and much more

As you can see above, there is an option to connect to various popular databases without much effort. All the possible data sources of the business are covered by Power BI, which makes the data analysis work much more manageable.

Once the data is gathered, you can work on it with ETL functionality provided by Power BI.

How to Connect to the Data Source in Power BI Desktop?

It is easy to connect to Power BI data sources. All you need to do is click on the Get data option in the Home ribbon.

Get data in Power BI from the different sources  (Image source)  

Click on More if you don’t wish to use the common data sources. You can then select the data source you want. You may need to add link or account credentials, depending on which source you select.

Once Power BI connects to the data source, you can see it in the Navigator. From here, you can load the data in Power BI or transform it before use.

Data Updates in Power BI

If the data source is a local file or local database, you need to manually connect it to Power BI every time you need an updated report. However, suppose you store the data in the cloud, for example, on OneDrive or SharePoint. In that case, Power BI can connect to it directly and update your report according to the recent updates in the database.

This can help if you wish to have updated insights without doing it manually now and then. Power BI checks for updates in the database every one hour so that no update is missed.

Limitations of Power BI Data Sources

There are a few limitations when it comes to Power BI data sources. Well, the limitations are based on the proper size for data sets in Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop.

Dataset size limit

The Shared capacities in Power BI Service allow only 1 GB of datasets to be stored. If you want larger data sets, you need to go for Power BI Premium.

Column Limit

The datasets can have a maximum of 16,000 columns across all the tables that are present. Well, this limit is for datasets in Power BI Service as well as Power BI Desktop.

Limit on Query Results

The query can fail and give errors if it is returning one million rows from the data source. However, the underlying data can contain more rows than the limit.


Every business uses different data repositories, and therefore Power BI brings much convenience by supporting various categories of data sources. You can collect, analyze, and generate reports from different data sources at once with Power BI.

This powerful tool brings much more ease when it comes to loading datasets from different sources; all is done with few clicks unless it is a personally created database. The article explains Power BI data sources in detail and its limitations and process to connect to a data source.



Power BI vs Google Data Studio. Which One Will Fulfill Your Business Needs?

Microsoft Power Bi vs Google Data studio – Which one is better? This has been a raging debate since the release of Google data analysis tool. Before we look into which one is right for your business, we should understand how they can be immensely useful for your business decisions, once set up correctly.

Data analysis takes into account the historical and present information and provides future growth predictions for the business based on the available data. Business Intelligence (BI) as a speciality comprises of tools and expertise to carry out such data analysis. BI can help you filter out useful data from stored unprocessed data in your organization’s backend. The analyzed data can be used to make informed business decisions.

There are several tools that can help you with Business Intelligence (BI). There is Microsoft Power BI, Google Data Studio and Tableau to name a few. The main work of BI tools is to present the raw and unprocessed data in the readable form that is visually understandable. Hence, these tools are also known as data visualization tools.

These data visualization tools add more importance to numeric data, which makes it easier to take operational or strategic decisions related to any business. The options between two giants like Google and Microsoft makes it difficult to choose one tool for our business. So, to help you make a choice, we have compared Power BI and Google Data Studio.

Acquiscent specializes in Power BI Data Processing. Get in touch to know more about our services.

Microsoft Power BI vs Google Data Studio

There are many similarities and differences between these two analysis tools. Both of these are used to prepare reports and display them in an easy to assimilate format. Now, let’s see what makes them different from each other.

What is Microsoft Power BI?

power BI vs google data studio

Power BI is a data visualization tool. It comprises services, applications, data connectors, and API that comes together to form reports from different forms of data. The reports are in the form of charts and graphs, which makes it readable and visually pleasing. This readable data can be shared across organizations and can also be embedded in websites and apps.

MS Power BI lets you give an insight into the business to clients. Power BI consists of 3 main parts.

  • Power BI Desktop – used to create reports and customize dashboards
  • Power BI Service – used to view created reports and dashboards
  • Power BI mobile apps – used to view by sales employee or concerned person to view the progress of specific reports

With Power BI, you can schedule a specific time to generate reports and also have a time set to get the email about refreshed data. You can use Power BI APIs to embed reports, data, and dashboards in custom applications.

If your organization doesn’t have a cloud to store and share the reports, then you can use Power BI Report Server. The Power BI Report Server is deployed behind the company’s firewall. You can share and view the reports from there. It also gives you an option to migrate to the cloud because of its compatibility with Power BI in the cloud whenever you wish.

Available Data Sources in Power BI

Power BI supports the majority of data sets from different sources. The main data sources for Power BI include-

  • Flat Files (unstructured/unrelated data)
  • SQL Database
  • Azure Cloud platform
  • OData Feed
  • Blank Query
  • Online Services
  • Other data sources such as Hadoop, Exchange, or Active Directory


  • Can process more than 5 excel sheets at once and give you a piece of understandable information from it
  • Can work on unstructured data as well
  • Can schedule reports refresh and get an email for the same at the scheduled time
  • Collect data from different data sources
  • Provides better data visualization
  • Have a mobile app to access the records from anywhere
  • Easy to use for people familiar with the Microsoft Office environment, especially Power Query and Excel users


  • High learning curve
  • Difficult to pull data from Google Suite data sources like Google ads (need connectors like SuperMetrics)

Microsoft Power BI Pricing:

It comes with a 60 day trial.

Power BI Pro is priced at USD 9.99/month for single user and Power BI Premium is USD 4995/month for dedicated cloud computing, and is aimed towards enterprises. 

Who Should Use Microsoft Power BI?

The businesses which have a ton of raw data to process and do not primarily work with Google Suite should opt for Power BI. If you have people who are power users of Microsoft Excel, then incorporating Power BI in your business will be relatively easy.

Power BI also gives the company an option to store up to 10 TB of data with its premium version. So, the organizations which require to process and store such large data can opt for Power BI. Power BI is the best option when it comes to visualizing the correlation between unrelated data and get it in the simplified form of visuals.

What is the Google Data Studio?

Google Data Studio is a similar data visualization tool which is a part of Google Analytics Solutions. It has a web interface to pull in your data and make it readable with charts and reports. You can easily pull data from Google Suite like Google Adwords, and Sheets. Making any report in Google Data Studio is fairly straightforward, especially if the data source is Google Suite.

Google Data Studio allows you to schedule a time to create a report and download it in a PDF form. One can easily get on board with this data visualization tool if he/she is familiar with products from Google Suite. With Google Data Studio, you don’t get a mobile or desktop application. You need to use its Web interface to make reports and charts.

Pulling the data from other data sources except Google Suite requires data connectors, which comes with a price. The data visualization is not as good as Power BI; hence the complicated or unrelated data cannot be visualized in a better way.

The dashboard is simple to use; however, it cannot be customized. As Google Data Studio is new and free, it lacks some of the functionality present in Power BI.

If a business has a ton of data to process, you might need to make use of Google BigQuery, which again needs specific expertise.

Available Data Sources in Google Data Studio

You can use external connectors to import data from third-party sources. There are many data sources available in the Google Data Studio. The most famous once are-

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads
  • Google Search Console
  • BigQuery
  • YouTube Analytics
  • PostgreSQL
  • Google Fit
  • Stack Overflow
  • Github
  • Search Ads 360
  • Display & Video 360


  • Easy to use and understand
  • Low learning curve
  • Completely free
  • Can easily import data from Google Suite
  • Schedule the reports at the required time


  • No desktop or mobile app available
  • Cannot create reports and charts of unrelated data
  • Pulling data from third-party data sources can create issues
  • Large data processing and connectors cost money

Google Data Studio Pricing – Free

Who Should Use Google Data Studio?

The startup business who don’t wish to spend on reports and data analysis can opt for Google Data Studio. The company that needs to analyze data from Google Suite services like Google Ads and Sheets can also use Google Data Studio.

Google Data Studio can also be used by people who want hands-on experience in data analysis and visualization tools.

Table of Comparison

Note: I have added table for simple points (they are covered in the above sections as well), it can be removed if not required

Android – yesWindows – yesNo

Property Power BI Google Data Studio
Price Starts with USD 9.99 Free
Trial Period 60 days Not required
Learning Curve High learning curve Low learning curve
Ease of use Difficult to use Easy to use compared to Power BI
Customizable Dashboard Yes No
Data Visualization Best data visualization to correlate unclean and unrelated data Does not provide data visualization that can show the relationship between unrelated data
Mobile App Android – Yes, iOS – Yes, Windows – Yes No
Scheduling Possible Possible

In Conclusion

Based on our comparison of PowerBi vs Google Data Studio we can easily conclude that the choice of the data visualization tool is a company or organization specific choice. If your business is inclined towards Google Suite, then you need to opt for Google Data Studio. The data present in Google ads, sheets, and other Google Suite are structured and clean. This makes it possible to visualize it using Google Data Studio.

On the other hand, if you are a big enterprise that has the countless number of Excel sheets with raw, unorganized, and unprocessed data, then you need to go for Microsoft Power BI. You can correlate and visualize the unrelated data with Power BI in a better way.

Acquiscent specializes in Power BI Development. Get in touch to know more about our services.