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Power BI Overview

microsoft powerbi iconPower BI is a cloud-based suite of business analytics tools that enables anyone to connect to, visualize, and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. It connects to a broad range of live data through easy-to-use dashboards, provides interactive reports, and delivers compelling visualizations that bring data to life.

Get Started with Power BI

Benefits and Features

Northwestern faculty and staff can:

Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is a report development tool within the Office 365 applications and add-ins, and available for download from a Windows computer. It is used to create custom reports and for formatting the data into visualizations. These visualizations can be organized in a dashboard for individual use or shared via the dashboard in the Cloud. 

To share reports and dashboards with others in the organization, a Power BI Pro license is required for the developer and anyone who will be consuming the shared reports.

Power BI Desktop and Power BI Pro Feature Comparison

Feature

PowerBI Desktop

PowerBI Pro

Connect to 70+ data sources

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Publish to Web

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Peer-to-peer sharing

x mark indicating feature excluded

 check mark indicating feature included

Export to PowerPoint, Excel, CSV

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 check mark indicating feature included

Apps

x mark indicating feature excluded

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Email subscriptions

x mark indicating feature excluded

 check mark indicating feature included

Embed APIs and controls

x mark indicating feature excluded

 check mark indicating feature included

App workspaces

x mark indicating feature excluded

 check mark indicating feature included

Analyze in Excel

x mark indicating feature excluded

 check mark indicating feature included

Analyze in Power BI Desktop

x mark indicating feature excluded

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Cost

There is no cost to use the Standard Power BI Desktop license. 

The cost to use the Power BI Pro license is $2.00 per month per user.

Access and Licensing

To request access via the Standard or Pro license and for download instructions, please complete the Power BI Request form. Departmental approval is required.

A valid Chart String is required for any users requesting a Pro License.

Comparison of Power BI Standard vs Pro Licensing

Support

Power BI is a self-service portal. Users should contact their local IT support to see if Power BI support is offered.

Additionally, online resources are provided by Microsoft, some of which are listed in the Additional Resources on this web page.  

Additional Resources

Last Updated: 27 April 2022

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