In this episode of her Report Design Series, Allison goes over the difference between a report and a dashboard in Power BI. Reports are used to display data and insights while dashboards are used to provide a quick summary of key metrics and performance. Reports are typically more detailed and may contain multiple pages, while dashboards are simpler and focus on the most important points.
Power BI users often confuse reports and dashboards. While both are components of Power BI, they serve different functions. Reports are created within Power BI Desktop and can have a dashboard-like appearance with multiple tabs, but they are fundamentally different from dashboards. Dashboards, which cannot be created within Power BI Desktop, are collections of visuals from one or multiple reports compiled within the Power BI Service.
The primary reason for creating a dashboard in Power BI is to pin visuals from several unrelated reports into one place for review. For instance, a visual from a marketing report and one from an HR report could be compiled into a single dashboard, offering a comprehensive overview for executives monitoring various KPIs across departments.
This eliminates the need for executives to interact with individual reports, as dashboards provide a refreshed view of all essential metrics at a glance.
The benefits of a dashboard include having a centralized location for viewing metrics from different reports, setting alerts for KPI visuals, and enabling the end user to use natural language Q&A capabilities. However, there are also downsides. Pinned visuals on a dashboard lose interactivity, as they act more like hyperlinks to the source report, rather than allowing typical interactions. Furthermore, dashboards don't offer filtering through slicers.
While not frequently used by all users, dashboards have their use cases, especially for individuals who need to monitor key metrics across multiple departments. Even though users often prefer reports due to their interactive visuals and data exploration capabilities, dashboards provide a valuable alternative.
Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools from Microsoft that allow users to explore data and identify insights. It includes tools for data discovery, data visualization, data modeling, and data analysis. It also provides access to enterprise data sources and cloud-based services. Power BI can be used to build dashboards, create reports, and develop data models.
Power BI enables users to easily create data visualizations, build reports, and develop data models. Data can be imported from a variety of sources, including Excel, CSV, and databases, and can be used to create interactive visuals and insights. Additionally, Power BI can be used to create dashboards that provide a quick summary of key metrics and performance.
In addition to understanding the differences between reports and dashboards in Power BI, users should also become familiar with other features of the software. These include data transformation, data modeling, data analysis, and data visualization. It is also important to understand the different types of data sources that Power BI can access, as well as the different types of visuals available in the software. Finally, users should become familiar with the various ways in which Power BI can be used to share insights with others.