7 Top Microsoft Power BI Pro Features You Should Know

Power BI is one of the most influential business intelligence tools currently available. It comes with multiple license subscriptions like Power BI Desktop, Power BI Pro, and Power BI Premium. These multiple options of subscription choices are likely to confuse you about which one to choose.

So, in this article, we have described Power BI Pro features and how it is different from the Power BI free and premium license version. Or you might consider getting the Power BI Premium version to utilize the platform’s full capabilities but you are not sure whether to go with Pro or Premium as per your business requirements.

Here is an in-depth discussion about the 7 key features of the Power BI Pro so you are able to know how it helps your business to create data-driven reports.

7 Key Features of Power BI Pro Tool

Let’s dive into the 7 key features of Power BI in detail with their benefits.

  1. Collaboration Workspace to Ease the Management

  2. You can create app workspaces with a Power BI Pro subscription. Sharing ownership and managing reports, dashboards, datasets, and workbooks is easily possible with it. You can even organize your collaboration workspace according to your enterprise hierarchy.

    In addition, the app workspaces allow you to assign specific roles to your team members who manage, view, edit, and distribute the content, and decide which reports they can access.

    For example, if you want one of your team members to update the reports and access all the data sets, assign the role of contributors or members to them. Similarly, the Viewer role is for people who only want to view the report without additional content. This feature is exclusive to Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium versions. The Desktop version has a modified version called the My Workspace with single-user access.

    What are the Benefits of Collaboration Workspace?

    • Sharing of Reports to Ease the Collaboration
    • The collaboration workspace includes data collaboration and makes the collaboration process hassle-free. Tagging your team member’s name on the annotations section automatically sends them a notification. All the team members can make simultaneous changes to the reports, data sets, and sources without any lapse in communication. Lastly, the Workspace’s communication capabilities are augmented when it is incorporated with Microsoft Teams.

    • Global Accessibility to Avoid Any Delay
    • Since the common Workspace holds all the data, you can access it from any device, from anywhere. Unlimited viewing of the new reports and leaving creative comments through the Power BI service Mobile apps are also possible. However, you cannot make any significant changes to the report.

  3. Data Refreshers to Get the Latest Version of Data

  4. Data refreshes refer to updating the data at the foundation level of any particular algorithm. In the Microsoft Power BI Pro license, you can either re-import data to see the new changes or directly use a query at the data source. This refreshing style is dependent on the data storage type.

    Microsoft Power BI Pro offers 8 data refreshes daily. Addressing Power BI free vs pro, the free version offers a single refresh daily. On the other hand, Microsoft Power BI premium offers 48 refreshes per day. If you are a mid-sized organization that does not need regularly updated data, Power BI Pro is the most suitable version for you. Power BI Premium will suit large enterprise deployments.

    What are the Benefits of Data Refreshes?

    • Two Different Refresh Styles to Get the Latest Data
    • Generally, Power BI Pro offers you two different refresh styles—on-demand and scheduled. With the on-demand refresh, you use the query function to update the data sets at the source. Similarly, you can schedule to trigger this when there is a significant change in the data or at specified intervals.

    • Get Live Reports Instantly for Better Decision Making
    • Data refreshes will help you create pseudo-live dashboards and schedule DirectQuery, import, and push data storage modes to refresh the data at regular intervals. However, for fully live reports, enable the LiveConnect feature on the Power BI Premium version of the application.

  5. On-Premise Data Gateways

  6. The availability of an on-premise data gateway signifies that your data is stored on-premise systems and servers. None of this data is stored in the cloud. In Power BI Pro, the installation of one gateway allows unrestricted access to multiple Power BI users within your organization.

    Moreover, you can access this feature using the personal mode, which restricts the data sharing to an individual user. Coming to Power BI free vs pro, this feature is available in the Power BI free license (desktop version) but for enterprise mode, you need a Power BI pro license. If you are confused about cloud vs on-premises, learn the differences between Power BI cloud vs on-premises from this guide.

    What are the Benefits of On-premise Data Gateways?

    • Achieve Better Collaboration to Access Data from Source
    • The installation of a gateway makes it easier for everyone in your organization to access the data from the same source. Collaboration and sharing of interactive reports are supreme advantages. You’ll mostly notice this benefit when you need to work with multiple analysts to create a single report.

    • Get Better Security for Your Data
    • On-premise gateways make it easier to store your data in your on-premise networks, servers, systems, and associated Microsoft cloud services. Consequently, it becomes more difficult for cyber attackers to breach the information hub.

  7. Get Increased Storage Capacity to Store More Data

  8. Get increased storage refers to the amount of storage upgrade you get for your Power BI workspace. The full-strength Power BI Pro offers a 10 GB storage limit to you. For multiple Power BI Pro users, multiply the storage limit by the number of Pro licenses you have for your organization.

    Whereas, the storage limit drastically increases to 100 TB without individual caps in the Premium version of this business intelligence tool. This makes it ideal to address large enterprise workloads as you get access to dedicated capacity instead of Microsoft’s shared capacity. Unless you are a part of a multinational organization, the Pro version is more than sufficient.

    The storage includes data sources, Excel ranges for the dashboards, uploaded images, and reporting services for on-premise visualizations.

    What are the Benefits of Increases Storage?

    • Get Access to Multiple Data Sources
    • Increased storage means storing more datasets and Excel reports, including the items other Power BI pro users have shared with you. Naturally, the number of data sources you can utilize increases as the storage increases. Therefore, increased data storage allows you to pull data and create reports using multiple data sources.

    • Better Data Management to Get Improved Results
    • As the limit for your data storage approaches, you will need to create more space by deleting obsolete data sets. The file management shows you the ownership reports, including the size of the file and data set type. You can easily sort them and remove the larger obsolete files.

  9. Accessibility in Mobile Phones to Make Decisions On the Go

  10. With Power BI Pro, you can access the Power BI Mobile app. This mobile app enables you and other decision-makers to access the Power BI reports on the move. Irrespective of the version of Power BI, you cannot make significant changes using the mobile interface. Power BI mobile app is only for viewing and annotating purposes. Moreover, reading a report on a mobile doesn’t mean it’s mobile-friendly. For mobile-friendly reports, create them with a vertical orientation.

    What are the Benefits of Accessibility in Mobile App?

    • Get Hassle-free Access to Reports and Dashboards
    • The mobile application increases access to the created reports and dashboards. As a result, you can send a mobile notification to your analysts if you have any doubts regarding any data sets and their functions. They can simply tap on the notification to view the annotations and reply from there without any major interruption to their workflow. Do you want to learn the differences between reports and dashboards? Check this guide on Power BI reports vs dashboards.

    • Brings Comfort to Higher-level Authority to Make Instant Decisions
    • Top executives do not have the luxury or the time to sit behind a computer screen all day. Higher-level executives need to be moving from one meeting to another and sometimes across the nation. In such cases, Power BI Pro’s Mobile access provides them with all the relevant information to make essential decisions on the go. Mobile-friendly data reports also help them get the upper hand in client negotiations.

  11. Embed APIs and Controls for Better Performance

  12. The embedded analytics and API control increase the overall value of Power BI Pro. To begin with, the Key Influencers visualization is AI-based and lets you see the factors actively affecting your reports. The embedded controls include a Quick Visual creator that generates Power BI visuals for your Power BI reports.

    You can embed Power BI visuals in SharePoint and the Teams app. Technical Power BI pro users can fill the empty canvas with extremely creative charts and graphs. The new embedded AI and controls panels features received the client-facing SDK updates to enable you to explore the full benefits of the performance boost.

    What are the Benefits of Embedded AI and Controls?

    • Try-it Documentation to Help You
    • After understanding its usage, the Try-it tools will become your best friend in Power BI Pro. You explore how individual REST call functions along with all the required parameters. The Try-it documentation also contains the structure for all the errors and responses within the report.

    • Create Custom AI Functions to Customize Your Panel
    • AI functions have native integration with Azure Data Services and Azure Machine Learning. You can utilize these powerful platforms to create customized AI functions and tools for your control panels.

  13. Easy and Safe Sharing of Your Data

  14. Power BI Pro is about peer-to-peer sharing, modifying, updating, and manipulating data. However, with increased data usage, the chances of data leaks, oversharing, and misuse also increase. Microsoft solutions data security has over 3500 dedicated cybersecurity experts with over 6.5 Trillion signals to protect you from potential data breaches.

    As a Power BI Pro user, your data remains safe regardless of the device or location you use to access it. Microsoft 365 data loss prevention identifies sensitive information shared in the Power BI workspace and marks them with the relevant labels using the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies.

    What are the Benefits of Improved Data Security?

    • Get Your Sensitive Data Labelled for Better Security
    • Microsoft Purview Information Protection classifies and labels all the sensitive data. These labels simplify classifying critical content without affecting the ability to collaborate. It also enforces all the data governance policies when using the Power BI Pro documentation. MPIP has been effective in all the other Microsoft solutions, leaving little room for doubts.

    • Protect Your Data with Microsoft Defenders
    • Microsoft Defender is automatically activated to protect all the user’s sensitive information. You also gain investigative capabilities in the event of data compromise.

So these were the important features of Power BI. If you are looking to learn more about Power BI, here are some of its well-known blogs on our platform. Check the following section.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to purchase a Power BI Pro license?

The Power BI Pro license will cost you $9.99 per user/month. As the size of your organization increases, you can increase the number of Power BI pro users by getting new licenses.

How is Power BI Pro different from Power BI Premium?

In simpler terms, the Power BI Pro is the full version of the Power BI Desktop (Power BI free version). It has better Power BI features, storage, security, data handling, and business intelligence capabilities. Now, the Power BI Premium version is the more powerful version of Power BI Pro. It comes with additional Power BI premium features like geo-distribution, 100 TB of storage limit (premium capacity), 400 GB model limit, and so much more.

Is it hard to learn the Power BI tool?

Yes, there is a learning curve. However, you can quickly learn Power BI if you have previous experience with Microsoft Excel. Furthermore, Power BI offers multiple courses and resources to help you understand its tools and features. It is better to practice with the Power BI free version of the Power BI desktop before opting for the Power BI Pro version.

Conclusion

All the above features are sufficient for a rapidly growing organization to explore excellent data analysis and business analytics services without putting any strain on your budget. Of course, if your data analysis requirements change and you need more processing power and all the premium features, you can easily upgrade your package to the Power BI Premium version.

Gaurang Bhatt

Written by

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang has 15+ years of experience solving complex business problems and enabling businesses with data-driven decisions using data analysis and predictive modeling tools like Tableau, Power BI, Looker, and Google Data Studio. His expertise lies in data visualization, reporting, and creating ETL pipelines. In addition, he is passionate about exploring different technologies like machine learning and AI. He shares his knowledge and learnings on the LabsMedia platform.