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Democratising Data with Microsoft Power BI

March 5, 2021
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Data democratisation has recently been given a major boost following an announcement at Microsoft’s Ignite Conference that Power BI Premium is now available on a per-user basis for $240 per-user per-year. This comes off the back of Gartner naming Power BI as the leader their magic quadrant earlier this Month

Our Head of Business Development, Andy Jarrett, discussed what this democratisation of data means for our clients.

Disrupting the Market

‘Previously this Power BI offering was largely unavailable to businesses as it was only available with an Enterprise licence at $60,000 per year. The potential disruptive magnitude is clear with alternative data prep/ETL tools, such as Alteryx with desktop licences of around £4,000 per-user per-annum, some sixteen times more experience than the new Microsoft option.

These tools have been growing in popularity partly as a cost saving over the previous Microsoft Enterprise license. These solutions now look significantly overpriced given that Power BI Desktop is free, and Power BI Premium is delivering enterprise feature sets.

It will be interesting to see how these vendors respond. Interestingly, Alteryx’s share price has dipped 5% in the past few days, possibly as a result.

Power BI Premium: Key Benefits

There are many benefits to Microsoft’s Power BI Premium, highlights include:

Automated machine learning (AutoML)

This enables business users to build machine learning models to predict outcomes without having to write any code.

Azure Cognitive Services

It includes a rich set of functions from Azure Cognitive Services including sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction, language detection and image tagging.

Data flows

These are available in Premium and offer users no-code data prep. This is the ability to prepare data for reports with just a few clicks using a visual interface.

Deployment pipelines

This helps teams manage the life cycle of their content so that they can develop and test their reports, dashboards, and datasets before it is consumed by users.

Pixel perfect paginated reports

These are available for operational reporting capabilities based on SSRS technology. Users can create highly formatted reports in various formats such as PDF and PPT, which can be embedded in applications and are designed to be printed or shared.

Integration with Microsoft Information Protection (MIP)

Power BI natively integrates with both MIP and Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS). These advanced security capabilities go hand in hand with data encryption and data loss prevention. By default, Power BI uses Microsoft-managed keys to encrypt your data, and Power BI Premium enhances this by enabling you to bring your own key.

Data Volumes

As Data volumes continue to grow exponentially and the need to easily extract insights for intelligent decision making prevails, customers need solutions that scale to process petabytes of data. Through large model support Power BI datasets can store data in highly compressed, in-memory caches delivering fast performance over trillions of rows of data.

The Effect on the Analytics Tools Market

This technology stack was previously only available to those with large budgets. This announcement means data insights, client reporting, and a host of other applications have become accessible to all, democratising data in your organisation.’

For information about how we can help you utilise the benefits of Power BI Premium without the increased costs, email us at or call +441534 633 733.