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Power BI Sign Up Walkthrough (Public Preview)

Headshot of article author Adam Saxton

NOTE: This is preview material and is subject to change.  Information listed here is good as of 2/6/2015.

This is to show you how to sign up for the new Power BI service.  This is in regards to the Free/Preview service. In order to start, we need to go to  From there we will be prompted to enter our email address.


This needs to be a work/organization email.  At this time, you cannot use a common email such as, or  You would need something for your business such as or

In my case, I setup a domain for  So, I can enter an email address such as  When we hit Use it Free, we will be taken to a new screen.  This is actually on the O365 side of the house.


We can then click on Sign up. We will then see a screen that indicates to check our email to finish signing up.


In this example, I actually signed up to use Gmail Business for testing purposes.  I wanted an account that had no ties to Office 365.  Had I used Exchange Online, it would have created an actual Tenant for me.  I didn’t want that for this. So, this takes the approach that I’m just a general user that wants to use Power BI and has no tie to Microsoft or O365.

The email will be from the Microsoft Office 365 Team. The email will have a link to complete the Microsoft Power BI sign up.


Clicking on that link will take you to a screen to create your account.  You need to provide a name and a password and click Start.  What this will do is complete the process of what is called the Information Worker (IW) Sign Up.  This is geared for people where their organization does not actually have a tenant, but want to use some of the services.  This is similar to what is available for the EDU offering for O365.


This creates, what I like to call, a shadow tenant.  This is a tenant for, but it not managed by the organization.  Outside of the actual sign up, you don’t really see anything related to Office 365. This is more of a container for the users of that domain, even though they may not know about each other. So, this will create the account on the backend O365 system.

It will then take us to Power BI and show us the sample dashboard.  We can also see that the account we are under is the one that we entered.


If you browse to, which is the O365 Portal, you will see the Office 365 Settings for that account.


So, we don’t have any actual subscription and we aren’t paying anything.  This is just the account in that shadow tenant from the O365 perspective.

At this point we are done and signed up for the Power BI service, and we can begin to use it.


Adam W. Saxton | Microsoft Business Intelligence Server Escalation ServicesTwitter YouTube