Part 1 – Account Set Up

This is Part 1 of a series of posts I’m working through on getting started with Power BI, going from setting up a Power BI account to developing and publishing your own reports.

In this post I will be covering the basics of getting set up with an account and the various ways this can be done.

A new account registration requires an email address and there are limitations to this; if you think you’re going to be able to use your personal email address such as joebloggs@gmail.com/outlook.com/hotmail.com then you’re going to be hugely disappointed…..

Supported email addresses

Before you start the sign-up process, it’s important to understand the types of email addresses that you can use in Power BI. Power BI requires that you use a work or school email address to sign up and you cannot sign up using email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunication providers. This includes outlook.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com and others.

In summary, if you are looking to get started with a Power BI account here are your options:

  1. Sign up with a work or school email address. [Covered in this post]
  2. Sign up with a .gov or .mil address (
    For more information, see Enroll your US Government organization in the Power BI service. ) [Not covered in this post]
  3. Sign up using an Office 365 trial [Not covered in this post]
  4. Receive a guest invite from an existing user
    [Not covered in this post]

….in this post I will cover the first option above which is by far the most common method.

Sign up with a work or school email address.

Typically this can be done a number of ways, and depending whether you already have a Microsoft office account will vary your sign-up experience.

Most companies now will have an office 365 set up and when you start a new job you’ll be assigned an office log-in that is ‘good-to-go’ for Power BI.

Once you have your log-in details, navigate over to https://powerbi.microsoft.com to get started.

From here you’ll have the option to Sign in or Sign up free

You can sign in using using your office 365 account (you may be asked to update your password or enter further authentication required by your company).

If you’re using an office365 account or an account assigned through azure active directory you will be notified that the account already exists as part of another service:

Once you click Sign In, you will receive another message telling you there is no need to sign up

You might also be asked to Invite other users and agree to email notifications but you can just skip those parts

That’s it for the sign up process. Clicking “OK, got it” will take you straight through to the Power BI Service (PBIS). Congratulation you just got yourself a Power BI FREE account.

From here you can start connecting to online and offline data sources for use in report development. [See Part 2] PBIS will give you a limited Power BI experience and if you really want to get stuck in and make the most of Power BI you should download the desktop client.

This can be downloaded from here:
https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/

Not everyone will need or want to use the desktop client and this will depend greatly on your role and goals. If you’re strictly a report consumer or end-user then desktop will not be required. (although you will eventually need a PRO license to view shared content) [read more about this here]

Next in this series we looks at getting started with Data:

  • Getting Started with Power BI Part 2 – Data

If you’re a new business owner looking to set up PowerBI for the first time or want to learn more about configuring a tenant admin, you can refer to my posts below: