Who should get Power BI Premium per User Licenses in your organization?

With the introduction of the Power BI Premium per User licensing, it can be observed that most small to medium organizations have become excited about it more than anyone. The main reason for this is even though they had some use cases which can be accommodated by Power BI Premium, they simply could not afford to pay 4000 USD per month for it.  However, with this new licensing, they can cater those requirements while not spending thousands of dollars.

It creates another problem.

Personally, I don’t believe that small organizations will replace all the existing Power BI Pro licenses with PPU licenses.  While we still don’t know about how much a PPU license costs, I believe replacing all pro license from PPU will cost similar or more than the minimum premium capacity plan. Then the next problem arises: who will benefit from a PPU license in your organizations?  What are the uses cases to buy PPU licenses for you? That is what I try to cover in this post.

Super Users

In an organization, there are two kinds of BI users. First category is basic users who views and analyses reports. They normally go through the reports generated by someone else for them and rarely perform bit of  drilldown and slicing/dicing and filtrations within those reports. For them, information provided within their reports are more than enough in most cases. On the other hand, any organizations have Super BI users.  They always try to bring more data/ analysis to their reports and try to perform deep analysis on the data they have. Specially within teams like business analysists, marketing, and accounting , you will be able to identify these super BI users. These super users can benefit from Power BI premium only features more than anyone.

PPU Features they can benefit:

  • Bigger data models
  • AI capabilities
  • Premium only data flow features such as direct query, linked entities, etc.
  • Deployment Pipelines
  • Higher dataset refresh rate (48 /day)

Power BI developers

Even in a small organization, I have seen at least couple of dedicated developers who creates reports/ dashboards and data models for normal business users. Even though Power BI is a self service BI tool, most of the non technical business users still depend on a technical user to create Power BI reports/dashboards for them . These developers do all the preparation and data modeling within an organization. 

PPU Features they can benefit:

  • Deployment Pipelines
  • Premium only data flow features such as direct query, linked entities, etc.
  • XMLA endpoint connectivity
  • Bigger Data models

Users who love papers more than a screen

In most organizations, you will meet business users who still love paginated reports. They want pixel prefect reports, mostly long tables, matrix, and they like to see all the information in an one place as they used to do couple of years ago. Additionally, most organization have uses cases where they need to print reports and distribute among certain external/internal business users.

PPU Features they can benefit:

  • Paginated reports

Business users who want real-time information

if you ask from business users how frequently you wants there reports/dashboard to be updated, 99% will say that they need real time data. In my experience, 90% of those business users do not have real -time analytical requirements and those requirements can be catered by refreshing their data once or twice a day. Nevertheless,  some people do require to have their reports/dataset updated near real-time. Those users can benefit from a PPU licensing.

PPU Features they can benefit:

  • Higher dataset refresh rate (48 /day)
  • Automatic page refresh

Automatic refresh dashboards

In some organizations, they have displayed beautiful dashboards which refresh automatically when new data comes to source systems.  As a consultant, creating a Power BI reports/dashboards which needs to be displayed in big screens and automatically updates without any user interaction is not an uncommon requirement for me. Having one PPU license is enough to cater this requirement.

PPU Features it can benefit:

  • Automatic page refresh on direct query

Apart from all these user groups and scenarios, other users can continue to use Power BI pro licenses. While certain premium only features such as usage-based aggregation optimization are available with PPU licensing, I don’t believe it makes much of a different for most of the business users within a small organization.  Thank you for reading and stay safe! Cheers!!!

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