HomeBlogBusiness intelligence and Visualization10 Limitations of Power BI: You Must Know in 2024

10 Limitations of Power BI: You Must Know in 2024

04th Jul, 2024
view count loader
Read it in
7 Mins
In this article
    10 Limitations of Power BI: You Must Know in 2024

    Power BI has become a widely used business intelligence tool. It offers powerful analysis and visualization options. Along with the ETL, data transformation and data modeling options. I've noticed a growing trend of businesses adopting Power BI and Fabric tools to elevate their data capabilities and refine decision-making processes. However, it's crucial to be aware of Power BI's limitations to navigate challenges effectively and be prepared for various scenarios. The question arises: Can these challenges be overcome? 

     With the help of this article, I will cover the topic of Power BI limitations and scope. If you are looking to upskill yourself in the field of analytics and learn how to resolve the limitations of Power BI, I recommend you enroll yourself in Power BI Online training courses.

    What is Power BI?

    Power BI is a business intelligence tool that enables users to extract data from multiple sources, use Power Query and M-Query for data transformation, data visualization, data modeling and relationships, DAX and calculated columns, share and embed the report, and more. There are several reasons why it has become a crucial tool: for businesses, it is less expensive and simpler to integrate; for data architects, it is easier to handle multiple data models in the cloud; and for developers, it gives them the ability to generate high-quality analyses and visualizations.

    Power BI
    There are three types of Power BI platforms: 

    • Power BI Desktop
    • Power BI Services
    • Power BI Mobile 

    In addition to this, it has a cloud data warehouse to manage the data models for smooth deployment.

    Limitations of Power BI

    1. Microsoft Excel power users will benefit best
    2. Complex in nature
    3. Data quality
    4. Does not handle large data sources properly
    5. Performance Issues
    6. Bulky User Interface
    7. Limited Sharing of Data
    8. Limited Customization
    9. Online-only
    10. Modeling Limitations

    Limitations of Power BI

    1. Microsoft Excel power users will benefit best

    It can be noted that most of the business users that you will come across will not be power users of Microsoft Excel. In case the end-users of your business intelligence model are business users, then it should be noted that Microsoft Power BI will be very challenging to use, especially if you are not a Microsoft Excel power user.

    2. Complex in nature

    This is one of the major Power BI drawbacks as Microsoft has designed Power BI in a very complex manner. Power BI has a long list of components, and it is difficult to understand which component you may need. To name a few, there’s Power Bi Desktop, the Power BI Gateway, the Power BI Services,  etc. Moreover, there are no moving parts available for this software, which might make you spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out the function of each part. This makes the product even more challenging to troubleshoot, which leads to an increase in the total cost of ownership. 

    3. Data quality

    Microsoft Power BI does not provide any data cleansing solution. Meaning it assumes that the data you are pulling has been cleaned up well in advance, and is of high quality. So, in case you need data cleansing aptitude, you might need to look for an alternate solution to cleanse your data.

    4. Does not handle large data sources properly

    If you have a large data set that needs to be analyzed, Microsoft Power BI will not be the best option for you. You might face trouble in connecting and importing large datasets, as well as problems such as slow performance and time-outs. 

    5. Performance Issues

    Sometimes Power BI might face performance issues as it has been observed that it cannot process more than 20000-30000 rows without running into issues for some queries. It might just timeout during the processing. 

    To opt out of facing this issue, you can create multiple queries in order to cover the full range of data and split them up according to the dates. 

    6. Bulky User Interface

    The formula help window and side par often block the view of vital, making the Power BI user interface very bulky.  The making of a scrolling dashboard will require a lot of effort since it is not a native feature.

    7. Limited Sharing of Data

     Reports and dashboards can be shared only with users with the same email domains or those with their email domains listed in your Office 365 tenant.

    8. Limited Customization 

    • Another drawback of Power Bi is its limited features. So many times, I have to look for a tip or DAX or custom visual to create a simple visual. Power BI offers many visualizations, but the most evident limitations of Power BI are its formatting options. You find it hard to believe, but some of the simplest features, like a data table, legends, or color, sometimes become very challenging to apply in an intended manner. As a fix, I use DAX and hacks to create the illusion of the same example. 
    • To improve the visualization capacity, Power BI offers custom visuals via AppSource. This year, Power BI has introduced visuals like Date Picker by PowervizAdvanced Table, and Beeswarm visuals that offer many advanced options and customizations. 
    •  To add on to this, Power BI has recently created a new team called the Power BI Core under Miguel Myers, which is responsible for enhancing and updating the Power BI visuals. The three major changes PBI Core introduced in 2023 are button slicer, KPI, and reference label. 
    • In December 2023, Power BI announced formatting enhancements for bar chart and data labels. This shows that they have started considering the limited customization feedback and bringing the new features. 
    •  I am expecting a lot to come from their side in order to resolve the limitations of Power BI and make it a top-notch visualization tool. 

    9. Online-only  

    Power BI has two variations: Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service. To share and collaborate on a report, users need the Power BI service. One Power BI drawback is that it’s an online and paid application that requires internet access in order to access the information. Companies and users who require offline access to the report or have poor internet connectivity may experience significant performance issues that can hinder their productivity. 

    To address this issue, a common approach among users is to utilize Power BI as a tool for generating reports. What I mean is that the user can apply a filter, customize their preferred view, and then download the PDF or PPT version to share or review the information. 

    10. Modeling Limitations 

    On the Power BI data modeling side, DAX is an elegant language that makes anything possible in Power BI. At the same time, there are many minor features that have been missing for the past few years. To create calculation groups and edit data models in the Power BI service, it was not possible until the last few months. 

    Power BI has been focusing on enhancing its features with recent releases. Notably, they have introduced model refresh, DAX formatting, and query view options. These additions aim to provide users with convenient tools for debugging their codes and optimizing performance. 

    Unlock your business potential with our unique and effective business management training. Elevate your skills, drive success. Join us today!

    Power BI Tools

    Every business wishes to establish its brand in the market as well as grow exponentially. This is where business intelligence plays a crucial role, as it is a very important factor in the process of branding and other decision-making processes. To help you with an effective decision-making process and get down to conclusions, Microsoft presents a very riveting analytics tool, Power BI. Before we proceed, let's have a look at what big data is and the types of big data

    Also, do not forget to read about the power BI Developer future

    The primary tools of Power BI include Power Query, which is used for extraction and transformation; Power Pivot, which is used to model and analyze; Power View and Map, which is used to visualize data. The Power BI Designer combines various separate tools into an all-in-one application that removes all its dependencies on Excel or Office. The PowerBI Site or service,  PowerBI.com, is widely used to share reports, datasets, and dashboards.

    Apart from these,  Power BI allows various other tools which will be very advantageous for you. But there are a few cons as well. Read along to know what are the limitations of Power BI that you might come across while working. 


    In conclusion, Power BI stands as a prominent business intelligence tool with robust analysis and visualization capabilities. While widely adopted, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations of power BI for effective utilization. Challenges include a user interface tailored for Microsoft Excel users, complexity in dashboard creation, data handling constraints, and performance issues with large datasets. Despite these Power BI drawbacks, it continuously evolves, addressing concerns through updates and features like on-object interaction and enhanced visualization options. Users can overcome limitations by adopting best practices, leveraging online courses, and staying informed about updates. Power BI's potential remains substantial, and with ongoing improvements, it strives to solidify its position as a top-notch visualization tool in the realm of business intelligence.

    We can say that most of the limitations of Power BI are for advanced cases, user interface, and visualization options. Along with that we have understood how to improve or overcome these limitations. Power BI is constantly working to resolve them, and you can learn how to tackle Power BI limitations with the help of KnowledgeHut Power BI Online Courses.!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How can I import data into Power BI?

    You can import data into Power BI by connecting to various sources like Excel, databases, or web services.

    2How do I collaborate with team members on a report?

    You can collaborate by working on the same report simultaneously in Power BI Desktop or by using the commenting and collaboration features in the Power BI service.

    3Do viewers need a Power BI license to access shared reports?

    In most cases, viewers need a Power BI Pro license to access shared reports, but there are options for sharing with external users as well.

    4What is the data limitation in Power BI?

    Power BI data limitations are 1GB per dataset that is imported into Power BI. The maximum storage capacity is 10GB per user for Power BI Pro users and 100TB for Power BI Premium users.

    5Is Power BI free to use?

    Power BI offers a free version (Power BI Desktop), but there are also paid options like Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium, which offer additional features and capabilities.


    Utpal Kar

    Blog Author

    Utpal Kar, a seasoned Corporate Trainer, excels in conducting training programs encompassing Advanced Excel, Power BI, Python, SQL Server, and Unix/Linux technologies. Notably, he holds a Python Certification from LinkedIn, showcasing his proficiency in the domain. Currently serving as a Corporate Trainer at Innovative Technology Solutions, Utpal specializes in Python, VBA Macro, Advance Excel, Power BI, and PostgreSQL, along with a breadth of other languages like .Net and Java. Prior to this role, he made significant contributions at NIIT Ltd., providing technical support and solutions to Franchisee Centres. With over 4 years at Innovative Technology Solutions, Utpal remains dedicated to enhancing skill sets and driving performance for professionals across various industries.

    Share This Article
    Ready to Master the Skills that Drive Your Career?

    Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

    Your Message (Optional)

    Upcoming BI & Visualization Batches & Dates

    NameDateFeeKnow more
    Course advisor icon
    Whatsapp/Chat icon