IT Connect
Your connection to information technology at the UW

Power BI

We have had some recent changes to our Microsoft contract so there will be changes to the below information through this year, but this should give you a good idea of where things currently stand.

In order to share reports using Power BI Pro, you and everyone you are sharing it with needs to be licensed for it through the Microsoft 365 A5 Suite per details below. You will also need a Power BI Workspace provisioned per below.

Currently the only Power BI product that does not require paid licensing is the Power BI Desktop client ( , which allows a user to explore data on their own system individually. All other products require paid licensing and other investments from an organization using them.

Power BI Report Server ( licensing is currently covered under the SQL Server Software Assurance in the UW’s Microsoft Campus Agreement purchase, which runs through May 2025. It allows departments to install and run Power BI Report Server and the required MS SQL services on systems owned and managed by the UW.  UW-IT does not provide support for this product other than download of the software, so we can’t answer if this would fit your need; but there is an active public Team “Power BI Community of Practice” were campus departments are helping each other. We do not know of any changes coming in the new contract renewal, but if Microsoft withdrawals this current benefit or makes pricing unobtainable, departments who deploy these systems are responsible in either purchasing appropriate licensing or shutting down the systems. See to download.

Power BI Embedded ( allows a department to purchase Power BI services to be embedded in applications or web sites they create via an UW Azure Subscription ( .  Like Power BI Report Server, UW-IT provides no guidance and support, with the deploying department completely responsible for the configuration, support, and costs.

Power BI Pro ( is a per user licensed product that requires all report authors and consumers to be individually licensed. At the UW this will only be available as part of the Microsoft 365 A5 Suite for users who are not Students.  Due to changes in the new Microsoft contract, the strategy for delivering Microsoft 365 A5 Suite licenses for accounts that are not students is currently under review.  The UW acquired separate Power BI Pro licensing for Students and is planning to rollout services to them sometime in the 2021/2022 academic year.

The licensing requirement to access reports includes non-UW accounts, as there is no “free” access for external accounts except for completely anonymous public data per  When sharing with external partners using their non-UW identities, it currently requires the external partner organization to have licensed the user account for Power BI Pro in the home tenant.   If the external organization does not license the user, then a UW NetID must be enabled for this purpose:

  1. If the user does not already have a UW NetID, you will need to sponsor the creation per
  2. Enable the NetID for core Microsoft services per
  3. Applying one of the departments purchased Microsoft 365 A5 licenses through the self-service group given to those purchasing the capacity.

Although the new Microsoft contract disrupted our prior availability for departmental purchases of Microsoft 365 A5 Suite licenses by departments, if you have a current business need please use to start the ordering process and escalate your need to the Software Licensing service team.

Power BI Premium ( is mostly a dedicated compute base licensing model allowing users without Power BI Pro licensing individual assigned to view reports. It does however require all report creators to have Power BI Pro (per above) to create and publish the reports.  Compute costs will start at around $33,000 per year.

Neither Power BI Pro (thru the Microsoft 365 A5 Suite) nor Power BI Premium will include any service and support.  All Workspace creation, configuration, service clarifications, support, or contact of any kind will be at a cost of $134.67 in 15 min increments billed monthly. When requesting services or support, please include the following information to expedite the request and to reduce bill back costs:


(Optional) PCA Task

(Optional) PCA Option

(Optional) PCA Project

*UW NetID of budget approver

Name of Budget Approver

*= Required

Power BI (online) Workspaces organize and secure data, connections, and reports. In the UW’s environment data can be shared across Workspaces, so long as the user(s) have access to the Workspace with the data they want to create reports against.

Because of the enterprise risks associated with unmanaged data, the UW’s targeted data lifecycle for Power BI Workspaces is to delete any Workspace 30 days after it no longer has a Microsoft 365 A5 licensed UW Employee or Shared NetID in the administrators group. It is important to ensure Workspaces have multiple valid administrators to avoid data loss, as there is no policy or procedure that would allow change of ownership/administration once a Workspace has become orphaned.

Workspace administrators are responsible for all state records, managing security, and supporting users they have assigned access to.

Creation of, and any questions about, Workspaces is currently a MSCA recharge service at our standard hourly rate of $134.67 in 15min increments. Please send Workspace creation requests to with the subject pre-pended with “MSCA Recharge Request:” to help with routing. The request must include:

*Workspace Name

*Admin(s) {must be UW NetID, UW Group ID with no membership viewing restrictions, or Microsoft 365 Group/Team}


(Optional) PCA Task

(Optional) PCA Option

(Optional) PCA Project

*UW NetID of budget approver

Name of Budget Approver

*= Required


Last reviewed July 7, 2021