August 20, 2020
December 8th, 2022
For 13 consecutive years, Gartner has recognized Microsoft as a Magic Quadrant Leader in analytics and business intelligence platforms
Words seem inadequate to express how effectively the tech giant Microsoft has contributed to the technological wave in the world. One of its highly popular wings is its business intelligence chunk of tools and technologies, of which Power BI is a huge contributor. Business segments, worldwide, leverage Power BI as one of the prime cloud-based business analytics services.
Considered a fast, efficient, and smart BI tool, the two main arms of Power BI are its reporting types – Dashboards and Reports. These terminologies sound similar but have their strong features to showcase, which is why both are important in the BI world.
Before we go into details of reports and dashboards of Power BI and their comparison, let us understand this innovative technology.
Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft. It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end-users to create their own reports and dashboards. – Wikipedia
Power BI is a robust BI tool that facilitates an accurate and efficient connection with disparate sources of data, with ease and offers detailed analytics, on the go, as you like it.
Interesting Read: Microsoft Power BI In 10 Minutes– What, Why, Who, How Justified [Quick Guide]
As we move on, let us understand the two main reporting types of Power BI – Power BI Dashboards and Power BI Reports:
In Power BI, a dashboard is a compilation of tiles. These tiles consist of visualizations (tables, matrix, charts, etc.) from reports or workbooks, or they can be more static tiles with images, text, or URLs.
These data visualization dashboards are customizable to showcase precise details, metrics, and KPIs. Being dynamic in nature, data is shown in real-time and updates are regular. At a certain point of time, dashboards were meant to target the top management and senior officials, but with the invent of Self-Service BI, every user now has access to viewing the dashboards, as per their needs.
Here is a sample Power BI Dashboard:
As it typically suggests, a Power BI report is a merger of different visual components like texts, values, charts, etc. on a page, with relevance to each other. It showcases underlying dataset tables and fields. With the help of slicers, data can be sliced/diced with complete communication with the user. Power BI Desktop and Service is most often, chosen for building reports since it has the most recent and updated features.
Here is a sample Power BI Report:
Interesting Read: Paginated Reports In Power BI – All You Need To Know
|Parameters||Power BI Dashboards||Power BI Reports|
|Description||A high-level view of organizational information, which further navigates to detailed reports||A detailed view of information, specifically catering to limited filter information|
|Pinning||Can pin accessible visualizations only from current dashboards to other dashboards||Can pin visualizations to any of your dashboards. Also, can pin entire report pages too.|
|Utilization||View KPIs and business perceptions for better decision making, mainly by top management||Detailed analysis by analysts or sales teams to decide further action or search for certain information|
|Page Layout||Power BI dashboards showcase all important information on a consolidated level on a single page||Power BI reports showcase data in a detailed format, spanning across multiple pages if needed|
|Data Sources||Dashboards refer to various data sources for a single unit of display||Reports refer to a single dataset while showing information|
|Dataset Tables and Fields||Cannot view detailed data of tables and fields||Can view detailed information of different fields|
|Customizing Visuals||Move and arrange, add links, resize, rename, view full screen, etc.||Download, publish, embed, export, filter and analyze, etc.|
|Alerts||Dashboards can transmit alerts if certain conditions are met / not met||Reports do not have the facility to throw alerts|
|Number of Pages||Dashboards usually represent a single page layout with maximum information||Reports can be of multiple pages showing detailed information|
|Slice / Filter Functionality||Slicing or filtering a dashboard is not feasible||Slicing, filtering reports can be done with ease|
|Featured version||A dashboard can be represented as a featured one||A report cannot be shown as a featured version|
|Desktop Version||Dashboards are not available for the desktop version||Reports can be designed through a desktop|
|Subscription through Email||Dashboards cannot be shared through emails||Reports can be shared through emails|
|Export Facility||Dashboards can export only their data, not their visualization||Reports can export complete data in desired formats|
Interesting Read: Power BI vs. Excel Comparison. It’s Time To Shift Your Reporting
In the vast world of Microsoft BI tools and technologies, Power BI has a standing of its own. Though both terminologies – Dashboards, and Reports sound similar, we saw their own significance and how each one holds its own importance in the world of BI and analytics.
We can say both are strong arms of Power BI consulting services and are equally needed by BI enthusiasts. The choice between the two totally depends upon what the user wants to see visually, to each its own!
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