Power BI Lite License
Power BI should have a Lite License for people that only consume dashboards or reports every now and then. This is for people that don't create reports but need to see the dashboards and may need to use the "report level" to be able to export output to PowerPoint (since you can't export the dashboard to PowerPoint but can only do it at Report level).
With the introduction of Power BI Premium earlier this year, there are now two licensing options for Power BI: Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. This provides the flexibility to select the model that best meets the needs of individual users and entire organizations – whether that’s equipping users with access to self-service BI, broadening the reach of BI content for users occasionally viewing dashboards and reports, or elevating storage sizes, increasing refresh rates and introducing other performance capabilities based on workload requirements.
The right choice, Pro or Premium, depends on your particular situation. We’ve been listening to your questions on UserVoice, the community, and other forums about what option to choose, and have developed a FAQ on our blog that answers the most common questions. Check it out at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-pro-power-bi-premium-flexibility-to-choose-the-licensing-best-for-you-and-your-organization/.
In public education, we have principals and district-level administrators who only occasionally need reports to measure student growth and proficiency, in various configurations that's easiest on PBI to construct and present. Reports they request are ad-hoc reports, typically used once or a handful of times, and relevant only for that current school year.
The PBI Pro model of $x per user per month makes no sense if the majority of our user base only needs access for a sum of 1-2 months at any given time, and are not actually manipulating the data model (that's MY job).
The PBI Premium model of $x,XXX per month is untenable for public education. Even at edu discount of $2,000/month? No. That's more than what our SIS costs annually, which is the lifeblood of any school.
No matter how many marketing pamphlets are printed, MTC training courses offered, or "whitepapers" written, the ROI is wholly unfavorable with the current pricing scheme.
Therefore, our workaround is to use PBI Desktop to build the viz then do screen-captures and share out the static images instead. Or rely on Excel's data modeling and visualization capabilities, which aren't great compared to PBI but is a hell of a lot more cost-effective.
This issue is not going away! Currently I work for an SME, most of our customers are non-profit or charities. Many of them have decided on other reporting solutions and now use them. Power BI is either cheap for a handful of users. Then the pricing jumps to HUGELY expensive. There is nothing in between, for SME’s. Great if you are a very large enterprise with a large budget. Many of SME’s do not have a large budget and there is a massive market just waiting for the right pricing model.
Neither the P or EM sku are anywhere near the pricing that is required. A viewer licence would go a long way to addressing this issue.
I work in Retail and we have 1000 users of these we only have 8 users that really would be Pro users while the rest will just be consumers. As a result of the Pro pricing model we cannot roll-out Power BI across the company and this is a real loss of value to us. Please introduce a consumer only licen wsing model for us!
I work for a low margin customer service company which has 300 customer service employees. I personally love Power BI, having seen incredible applications of it at a different company. We have some awesome data we want to share with our staff - showing them their performance in real time, which we feel will be a massive benefit to their performance. However, I'll let you do the maths, 300 users at £7.50 a month = £2,250 * 12 = £27,000 a year. £27,000 per year to share reports with staff which they will only view. Please wake up Microsoft, this cost is crazy meaning Power BI will never be viable in SMEs such as ours. If you offered a view only membership at £1-3 per month or so, think of the new customers you'd attract.
Had been planning to transition from Power Pivot for Excel MS business stack to Power BI. Work in a large midwestern state university in which Tableau is very established. Am convinced Power BI is the technically superior solution to our analytics needs and it excels in data modeling. But I don't think I could ever make the business case to our IT or financial leadership based on cost when Tableau does not charge for Reader and we utilize Tableau Server for report delivery/consumption. I am passionate about the technical excellence of this product and it's huge potential to displace Tableau but the licensing model will be a huge impediment - even if Tableau Desktop developer licenses are expensive.
I'm a free user (formerly Pro user at my old job) and I took advantage of the enhanced abilities of the free account, built reports and dashboard in my personal workspace and share these at meetings. People LOVE IT. But the licensing model kills them. I can't even justify a pro license for myself and a few select people, because it's still so limited.
To be sure, they like Power BI more than Tableau--and a other business groups within my company are using Tableau. I like Power BI better than Tableau. I've been using it since 2015.
To echo everyone else here, most people aren't authoring. I find that a lot of people are either intimidated by DAX, don't have an interest in learning the tool, or have no real analytics background to put it all together--even if they know what type of KPI is important to them or their business group. They are interested in having access to the reports, monitoring them, or just being able to take a report I created and bring it into their meetings with their stakeholders and bosses.
Maybe this feature doesn't need to be free, but I feel a dramatically reduced product to "view only", should at least be an option--maybe rolled up into the E3 license, or maybe a local file report reader that I can download from my published report and give them--complete with filters and click interactive graphics--or maybe even not that, but something. The ability to do this with report server or Premium is still far too great for a lot of companies to commit to.
The dashboarding, the collaboration, the sharing of the datasets, consuming apps--those are clear cost-worthy features of Pro licensing--reading is just fundamental. Keep premium and report server for those who want to added features of those products, and do something for just read-only. They aren't bad ideas--just not suitable solutions for a lot of companies that have already invested and bought into the benefits of Power BI.
Come on WAKE UP Microsoft - There are plenty of methods to recover investment costs in this product - I've been selling this to my public sector gov org for 2 years and its really disappointing money gets in the way - we are rolling out O365 and now the reporting strategy is turning away due to the license overheads - A consumer read only license is a must which is affordable - those organisations serving the public sector should also get this at a discount - Sorry for the rant but I am one of your many sales reps around the world! Invest in us and you'll still make money!
This feels like another Microsoft Gotcha. I've been using and have loved Power BI since it started. It's been hard to keep up with the updates but I've done my best to watch every update video and implement changes to my model. I was very disappointed that the ability to share was yanked and replaced by a fairly expensive option that doesn't have a good ROI.
Agree. Specially for medium scaled organizations. Or you should come up with a pricing model for regions.
Yazan Inaim commented
I really confused with all the un-needed complexity in the new pricing model, this alone needs a certificate!
I do have a sensitive data that cant get out of my organization, was searching in PowerBI products for a full on-premises solution, couldn't find but PowerBI premium which wont allow me to utilize my in-house server infrastructure, it is good to offer cloud service, but dont take out the option to host your own solution run by my own infrastructure!
Power BI immediately came off the table for our organization once we learned that in order to even have simple view rights on a report you required a license. This is ridiculous and not only prevents us from using internally but makes it nearly impossible to share these externally. Rethink this.
a "view only" license for like 1 or 2 bucks a month is required.
Bill N commented
They already have a licensing model for Flow and PowerApps that includes a limited usage license with most Office 365 plans. Why not do the same for Power BI? Even if it was a 'read only' license that would allow users to only view shared Power BI content, it would be a lot better than requiring a full Pro license for the occasional, view only user.
Agree - the only way that smaller organizations can use this product. Everyone sharing data is not within large corporations that can afford the premium pricing.
Frank BI specialist commented
microsoft, microsoft, why do you ignore this Item??
Solution is very simple: Ok, pro user pay teo build on lin and share, but
Just give the people with a 365 pro license the possibility to view , what the Pro users have build !!. They allready payed for a miscrosoft product.
Agree with the idea. This could be such a powerful tool for PowerBI to capture the "analytics" mindshare in the SMEs and have them hooked on DAX rather than other data modelling languages. Once this is done, since SMEs naturally grow, their analytics consumption and maturity will also grow, moving them to higher pricing tiers.
As an ISV that embeds PowerBI solutions into their enterprise solution from SMEs, this is absolutely killing the whole business case. No SME in the emerging markets can ever afford such amounts for just having reports online. It's sad, after we have invested so much in promoting PowerBI to our customers, MS's decision completely kills PowerBI for SMEs. We will be looking for a more reasonable solution, including baking our own.
I have to add my voice to this in the hope that Microsoft will finally pay attention to the problem. I started in a permanent job for an SME this month who want to really push Power BI forward. However we now have to explain to the relevant director that for users just to consume the reports I create will cost £7.50 per user per month. Given that we have the full MS BI Stack installed I can forsee a change of direction to SSRS which I am far more proficient in anyway. It'll take longer to develop the BI solutions but it won't cost anymore money. I'm astounded that the Power BI team have this far completely ignored this.
Michael Buckingham commented
A view only license would be good. Something like the Kiosk license for Office 365.
Bring back a session based price model and solve multi-tenancy. It would be a perfect fit for any small ISV or startup that already resides in Azure.