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PowerBI License and User Types: What Skills are Needed for Developers, Analysts, and End Users


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In order to utilize Microsoft PowerBI to its fullest potential, you will want your team members are assigned the appropriate access levels.  To begin, you should decide what level of user are you going to be. I like to divide the users into three categories each with a different level of skills: developers, analyst, and end users. PowerBI developer license holders need to have the greatest level of skills and knowledge of the data. They should also be comfortable manipulating the data for the best end user experience. The PowerBI analyst should have a basic knowledge of the data and how it is structured, but will not need to do any calculations or data transformations. The end user role just needs to know how to use powerbi.com to interact and consume the data that has been provided to them by the developers and analysts.

Microsoft PowerBI user types

PowerBI Developer License

For the developers, there is a need to have an understanding of basic database relations. It is important to know why too many relations cause bad data and how primary keys function. The developers also need to have an understanding of how to pull data from where it is stored and then how to transform and clean it into usable data. PowerBI has low to no code wizards to help these transformations, but an understanding of what needs to be done is very important.


This role will also be responsible for creating all the DAX calculations and measures, so PowerBI developer license users will need knowledge of the DAX language. The developer will also need to be creative because one of the benefits of PowerBI that these reports start on a blank canvas. Throughout my time using PowerBI, it has become apparent that the reports that look visual appealing tend to have higher rates of user acceptance. Along with just looking ‘pretty’ these reports have to be intuitive for the end user. Every visual and slicer should be able to quickly identify trends from the data.

PowerBI Analyst Users

The analyst role needs to have a basic understanding of the data from a technical standpoint. They should also know how tables relate to one another so that they can build meaningful visuals. Unlike the developer, they only need basic technical knowledge and will not need to make or change any of the relationships or data manipulations as those are done by the developer.


The analyst will also need to have a bit of a creative side. For the most part, they will only be editing reports that are provided to them, but there are often times that one-off and ad-hoc reports are needed and this is a job for the analyst. They can use the data-sets already shared with them to build these reports, which not only saves time, but they also have the reassurance that the data they are using is correct and up-to-date. All they need to do is drag and drop the field that they want to use in their new visuals from the powerbi.com designer interface and then share the reports they have built. No coding or SQL knowledge needed.

The PowerBI End User

The last of the three PowerBI user types is the end user. The end user should know how to navigate the powerbi.com web application interface. This includes how to filter and slice data and navigate from report to report. Not much technical knowledge is needed for the end user role.


In conclusion, PowerBI privileges should be dependent upon technical skill levels. No matter the level of PowerBI knowledge that you might have at your company, Velosio has a team of experts that are here to help. Velosio offers training classes for all levels of users. Another option is to have Velosio handle all the backend development for your PowerBI environment that way you can focus more important business decisions that help drive your company. For a PowerBI demo or to learn more, send an email to our business intelligence consultants.

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