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Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics solution from Microsoft that enables users to visualize and analyze data at a much faster and more efficient rate. It allows users to view to an extensive range of data through interactive reports and compelling visualizations that help bring data to life.

For organizations that are looking to gain a better insight into their business, competition, and customers, while keeping pace with the constant flux of marketing conditions – this business intelligence solution might be worth considering.

There are two ways to use Power BI.

  1. Power BI Service (Interactive Data Visualization BI Tools
  2. Power BI Desktop

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What Is Power BI Service?

As mentioned earlier, Power BI can be accessed via

and this cloud SaaS is called the Power BI service. To access the cloud service, you require a modern web browser and a work email address. You can sign up to using business email and cannot sign up using emails from free service providers like Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. No other special hardware or software is required.

What is Power BI Desktop?

Power BI Desktop is a free application that works in conjunction with the Power BI Service. Power BI Desktop allows you to do the following.

  • Get the data from variety of sources
  • Create relationships between your data and enrich your data model
  • Create and save your reports
  • Upload or publish your reports

The reports created using Power BI Desktop can be published to Power BI Service right from the Power BI Desktop application. Both Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop are free.

Power BI, in terms of pricing model, is categorized as

  1. Power BI (Free)
  2. Power BI Pro

You can upgrade to pro version by purchasing the license.

How Power BI Pro Differs From The Free Power BI Service?

Power BI Pro allows you to consume live data sources, on premise data and allows to collaborate with team using Office 365 groups. With the free Power BI Service and the Power BI Desktop, you can only analyze and visualize data but cannot share or collaborate with your team.

How Much Does Power BI Cost?

Power BI and Power BI Desktop versions are free. The Power BI Pro version costs $9.99/user/month