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NLeh
New Member

Getting a working account of Microsoft Power BI

Okay, maybe mine is a rather unusual case, since I don’t have a specific problem with the way Power BI works, but with getting it started in the first place.

 

The have the following issue:

My job is mostly SEA (Google Ads as well as Microsoft Advertising), and currently I am creating reports for my colleagues and team leaders. Creating reports for Google Ads is reasonably simple, since Google Looker Studio (formerly known as Google Data Studio) is easy to use and freely available.

Creating reports for Microsoft Advertising on the other hand is a bit more complicated: I can’t easily connect it to Google Looker Studio (unless I use third party tools, which I‘d prefer not to), so the second best option would be using a tool, app or program from the Microsoft ecosystem that fulfills a similar role like Looker Studio does for Google: Which, as far as I am aware of, would be Microsoft Power BI.

 

Now the problem is that I seemingly can't get it to work, which is in no small part because of the serious dearth of actionable advice for beginners provided by Microsoft: When I try to start at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-gb/landing/free-account/ , any attempt to actually *create* a free account in the first place is cut short immediately - apparently my company "doesn't allow the purchase of Microsoft Fabric Free", without any additional information provided. 

This is confusing for several reasons:

1. What role does Microsoft Fabric (free or not) play when it comes to getting access to certain tools or programs? After all, I am here for the Power BI and not for Fabric. 

2. Why does a tool called "free" require a purchase?

3. What can I do to remedy that situation? Being told that our IT administrator should have additional information (spoiler: he is just as clueless as I am) isn't terribly helpful.

 

I asked the support but three agents weren't really able to help. I dug a bit further and unearthed this site (https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/troubleshoot/), but it doesn't really help either since my current problem #1 - me not being able to get access - apparently isn't even addressed here. Okay, off to the second option, enabling Microsoft Fabric: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-gb/fabric/admin/fabric-switch 

This seems to be a tad more helpful, but since I am still a layman, I need it spelled out for me. If I am not mistaken, it works as follows:

1. In order to create reports for Microsoft Advertising, I need access to Microsoft Power BI. 

2. In order to get access to Microsoft Power BI, I need Microsoft Fabric.

3. In order for my company to be eligible for Microsoft Fabric, our IT admin needs to be either a Microsoft 365 Global admin, a Power Platform admin, or a Fabric admin. 

In other words: just to gain access to a specific but rather basic function in the Microsoft ecosystem (a function that Google would provide for free in its own ecosystem), I have to navigate a convoluted maze of requirements and prerequisites without actually getting clear and succinct information what to do and where to start. If I didn't know better, I would assume that the people who designed this didn't *want* people to get the opportunity to use Power BI.

So... does anyone know what I missed or where I took the wrong turn? Or is it indeed that complicated as it seems?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
josef78
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

1) Power BI is part of Microsoft Fabric ekosystem. Microsoft Fabric is complex data platform (data engineering, scientics, datawarehousing, business intelligence, reporting, analytics, and so on). Power BI is focused to reporting and data analytics.

2) Power BI part is still too complex, there is Power BI Desktop (for desktop end-to-end analysis), Power BI Report Server (on-premise server for sharing reports inside company), Power BI Service (covers both, end to end analysis, sharing, and much more), ...
3) Microsoft Fabric is not free, but you can try for free for limited period (can be licenced thru Azure Subcsription or M365 licences). Also Power BI Service is not free, but if your company using M365, there is many features for free. Power BI Desktop is free, is free for anyone, and is free forever. 

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2 REPLIES 2
josef78
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

1) Power BI is part of Microsoft Fabric ekosystem. Microsoft Fabric is complex data platform (data engineering, scientics, datawarehousing, business intelligence, reporting, analytics, and so on). Power BI is focused to reporting and data analytics.

2) Power BI part is still too complex, there is Power BI Desktop (for desktop end-to-end analysis), Power BI Report Server (on-premise server for sharing reports inside company), Power BI Service (covers both, end to end analysis, sharing, and much more), ...
3) Microsoft Fabric is not free, but you can try for free for limited period (can be licenced thru Azure Subcsription or M365 licences). Also Power BI Service is not free, but if your company using M365, there is many features for free. Power BI Desktop is free, is free for anyone, and is free forever. 

bradsy
Employee
Employee

Sorry to hear about the complications. This is really supposed to be easy. My only guess is your company is already a tenant in Power BI and might have specific settings applied. The service related forum is here, there are people dedicated to helping on this forum that might have good answers for you: https://community.fabric.microsoft.com/t5/Service/bd-p/power-bi-web-app

 

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