Power BI

Meet Power BI

Power BI is all about taking complex data and turning it into digestible visuals. Power BI licenses are not automatically added to O365 accounts like other services. York is now offering FREE Power BI licenses to students, faculty and staff. Please read our FAQs below for more information on getting access to Power BI


Faculty and Staff: Send an email to askit@yorku.ca requesting a Power BI Pro license. You will also need to provide a cost centre for billing information and the PY username of the person to whom the license will be assigned 

Students: Requests for student licenses must be coordinated through the instructor and faculty and submitted to askit@yorku.ca on behalf of the student. Students cannot submit a request for a Power BI license themselves. 

  1. Free Power BI license for students, faculty and staff: the free license is great if you are doing your own analysis and don’t need to distribute the analysis to other users. The free version grants connectivity options such as DirectQuery, live connection, and the use of the gateway. The same visualizations that are available in Power BI Pro are available in Power BI Free.
  2. Power BI Pro license for Faculty and Staff: This license allows for full access to both create and view reports. The cost for each license is ~$30/year per user. Employee licenses cannot be reassigned during the same fiscal year they were purchased          
  3. Power BI Pro license for Students: Student licenses can be purchased for ~$16.50/year per user. These licenses are independent of the Power BI licenses being used for administrative purposes and requests for student licenses must be coordinated through the faculty and instructor (not by the student themself). Student licenses can be reassigned after 90 days as                            
  4. Power BI Premium:  We are currently working on acquiring a Power BI Premium license for our Office 365 environment. This will allow all of our users to "consume" or view Power BI reports. This license is not a replacement for the Power BI Pro licence, which will still be required for a user to "design" or create reports.

Compare at a glance

Comparison table between Power BI Free and Power BI Pro. The table shows that the Pro version allows you to connect to 70+ data sources, publish to web, peer-to-peer sharing, export to PowerPoint, Excel, CSV, us apps, embed APIs and controls, Analyze in Excel and Power BI desktop. The free version only allows you To Connect to 70+ data sources and publish to the web.
The way you interact with Power BI depends on your job role. As a consumer, you're the person who receives dashboards, reports, and apps from the designers who create them. Also, you work in the online version of Power BI (called Power BI service) reviewing and interacting with this data to make business decisions.You don’t need to be a data scientist to perform complex data analysis. Power BI does the complex work for you with straightforward and intuitive controls. All you need to get started is your a computer or mobile device with an internet connection.
An image comparing Consumers who can: Use the power BI client, Explore Reports, Filter, save and share bookmarks and Designers who can: use the Power BI desktop client, create reports, create new filters.

Faculty/Staff: Power BI Pro licenses cannot be transferred within the same fiscal year they are purchased. 

Students: Power BI Pro licenses can be reassigned after 90 days as required.  


Power BI is a powerful and exciting new tool, and you can learn how to use it quickly. To get started, we recommend everyone complete the LinkedIn Learning course below.