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Transform your reporting with Power BI

What is a Power BI report?

A Power BI report is a multi-perspective view into a dataset, with visualizations that represent different findings and insights from that dataset. A report can have a single visualization or pages full of visualizations. Depending on your job role, you may be someone who creates reports and/or you may be someone who consumes or uses reports.

This report has 3 pages (or tabs) and we're currently viewing the Store Sales Overview page. On this page are 6 different visualizations and a page title. Visualizations can be pinned to dashboards and when that pinned visualization is selected, it opens the report it was pinned from.

If you're new to Power BI, you can get a good foundation by reading Power BI basic concepts.

Reports are a feature of Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. The experience of working with reports is almost identical. However, for mobile, you can't create reports but you can view, share, and annotate reports .

Advantages of reports

Reports are based on a single dataset. The visualizations in a report each represent a nugget of information. And the visualizations aren't static; you can add and remove data, change visualization types, and apply filters and slicers as you dig into the data to discover insights and look for answers. Like a dashboard, but more-so, a report is highly interactive and highly customizable and the visualizations update as the underlying data changes.

Dashboards versus reports

Dashboards are often confused with reports since they too are canvases filled with visualizations. But there are some major differences.


CapabilityDashboardsReports
PagesOne pageOne or more pages
Data sourcesOne or more reports and one or more datasets per dashboardA single dataset per report
Available in Power BI DesktopNoYes, can create and view reports in Desktop
PinningCan pin existing visualizations (tiles) only from current dashboard to your other dashboardsCan pin visualizations (as tiles) to any of your dashboards. Can pin entire report pages to any of your dashboards.
SubscribeCan't subscribe to a dashboardCan subscribe to report pages
FilteringCan't filter or sliceMany different ways to filter, highlight, and slice
Set alertsNoCan create alerts to email you when certain conditions are met
No
FeatureCan set one dashboard as your "featured" dashboardCannot create a featured report
Available in Power BI DesktopNoYes, can create and view reports in Desktop
Natural language queriesAvailable from dashboardNot available from reports
Can change visualization typeNo. In fact, if a report owner changes the visualization type in the report, the pinned visualization on the dashboard does not updateYes
Can see underlying dataset tables and fieldsNo. Can export data but can't see tables and fields in the dashboard itself.Yes. Can see dataset tables and fields and values.
Can create visualizationsLimited to adding widgets to dashboard using "Add tile"Can create many different types of visuals, add custom visuals, edit visuals and more with Editing permissions
CustomizationCan do things with the visualizations (tiles) like move and arrange, resize, add links, rename, delete, and display full screen. But the data and visualizations themselves are read-only.In Reading view you can publish, embed, filter,export, download as .pbix, view related content, generate QR codes, analyze in Excel, and more. In Editing view you can do everything mentioned so far and so much more.

Report creators and report consumers

Depending on your role, you may be someone who creates reports for your own use or to share with colleagues. You want to learn how to create and share reports. Or, you may be someone who receives reports from others. In order to learn how to understand and interact with the reports, contact the team at alltasksIT, for professional advice and recommendations in using Power BI reporting.

Would you like to know more? Contact us today

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