What is Microsoft Power BI?


What is it?

Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualise your data and share insights across your organisation, or embed them in your app or website. Connect to hundreds of data sources and bring your data to life with live dashboards and reports.

What do I use it for?

Power BI can help connect disparate data sets, transform and clean the data into a data model and create charts or graphs to provide visuals of the data. All of this can be shared with other Power BI users within the organization.

The data models created from Power BI can be used in several ways for organisations, including telling stories through charts and data visualizations and examining "what if" scenarios within the data. Power BI reports can also answer questions in real time and help with forecasting to make sure departments meet business metrics.

Power BI can also provide executive dashboards for administrators or managers, giving management more insight into how departments are doing.

Who is it available to?

Power BI Free and Power BI Pro are both available for free to members of staff and research postgraduates at the University of Leeds.

Please see the related request to request access (you will need to be logged into https://it.leeds.ac.uk/it to see this form).

What is the difference between Power BI Free and Power BI Pro?

Some users are only required to use Power BI Free to view reports created by others, whereas some users are required to create and edit reports which requires Power BI Pro. Please only request the version that you require.

License typeCapabilities when workspace is sharedAdditional capabilities when workspace is Premium
Power BI (free)Access to content in My WorkspaceConsume content shared with them
Power BI ProPublish content to other workspaces, share dashboards, subscribe to dashboards and reports, share with users who have a Pro licenseDistribute content to users who have free licenses

How do I know what license I have or how do I know what kind of workspace I'm in?

To find out what kind of license you have or what kind of workspace you're working in, please see Types of licence for Power BI business users.

Please note: Premium workspaces are currently being piloted and are not available to everyone.

How do I access it?

You can access Power BI via the Office 365 portal at https://office365.leeds.ac.uk 

Learn how to use Power BI

Microsoft have a fantastic website where you can learn Power BI from a beginner right up to expert level. You can access the content for free here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/powerplatform/power-bi

Further Information and support 

For further information on Power BI and for support see the Microsoft Website.

Please Note: there is no University IT support available for Power BI. If you request access to this software, we cannot assist if you have issues using it, other than the routine IT account and log-in issues. Please see this Knowledge Base article for the latest information regarding current support..