Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization, or embed them in your app or website. Connect to multiple data sources and create interactive dashboards and reports.

IS&T has established enterprise host level licensing for Microsoft Power BI and all are encouraged to pursue this option as a common and sharable framework. Those familiar with other BI tools such as Tableau, Qlick, Birst, etc. should find Power BI to be an excellent and common/shareable alternative within the Boston University environment.


  • Connect securely to many types of data sources – spreadsheets, databases, text files, web pages, etc.
  • Transform and combine data from multiple sources – in just a few clicks
  • Create custom data models and expressions for in-depth, dynamic analysis
  • Design great-looking reports with quick and easy formatting tools, color themes, and more than 100 cutting-edge data visuals (charts, slicers, maps, and more – or create your own)
  • Share your reports, dashboards, and visualizations with the BU community (Pro License Required)
  • View and interact with developed reports, dashboards, and visualizations that have been shared with you (all BU community members)

Download and Install Desktop Application (Developers)

Power BI Desktop is a free application you can install on your local machine. You can use it to transform and model your data, create dynamic measures, and build interactive reports. If you have administrative rights on your computer, you are able to download this file directly from Microsoft and install it on your own.  Otherwise, please contact the IT Help Center to have it installed.

Download Power BI (Windows Only)

Request a Pro License (Developers)

Licenses for Power BI Pro are available to Boston University faculty and staff who would like to share their reports with other members of the BU community. Publish reports and datasets from your desktop application to the web, build dashboards, and securely share your insights with colleagues.

Contact the IT Help Center if you would like to request a Pro license.  Students looking to use Power BI Pro to develop reports for a project may request a license through a faculty member.

Use Power BI to Access SAP HANA Views

SAP HANA Views are custom data frameworks based on SAP Business Warehouse (BW) tables available via the HANA Database. These Views are provided in read-only mode and can be accessed using reporting tools like Power BI to enable self-service reporting. This page provides more information about requesting access.

Automate data refresh through gateways

Published reports connecting to refreshable data sources can make use of IS&T-provided data gateways to facilitate scheduled and manual refreshes. Our Microsoft Power BI On-Premises Data Gateways page provides details about the use of gateways for BU developers. Please complete this form to request access to a gateway and the setup of your data source.

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