Business Intelligence: Comparing Reports And Dashboard (And The Best Time To Use Each)

Typically, BI (Business Intelligence) has to do with creating dashboards and reports. However, differentiating between them and identifying which one to use and when can be challenging if you are a BI newbie.

Understanding their similarities and differences will help enhance their effectiveness. Also, it will help you identify the best times to make use of both reports and dashboards.

In this post, we will take a quick look at their differences and help you identify when to use each of them.

The Concept Of Bi Reports

According to a dictionary, reports can be defined as an account of a specific matter after a thorough investigation has been carried out. This is particularly true when it comes to Business Intelligence reports. A BI report is an account of specific business matters and they may be created using charts or tables. In some cases, a BI report may consist of both charts and tables. A BI report can be used for various business purposes ranging from reporting the annual revenue increase of the company to creating sold widgets inventories.

In both scenarios stated above, you will discover that BI reports help give vivid insights about a specific business metric or measurement over a period of time.

In some cases, using tables will be preferable, especially when you are documenting several individual details. In other cases, using charts can be the best choice for clarity, especially when you intend to create a report that is more visually oriented. Alternatively, you can request professional business intelligence reporting services from companies that provide these services.

The Concept Of Bi Dashboards

BI dashboards, on the other hand, can be defined as a visual illustration of the most crucial bits of information required to achieve one or more business goals. These illustrations are arranged and consolidated on one screen in such a way that everything you need to see can be seen at last.

Hence, the concept of BI dashboards has to do with consolidating and arranging several visual illustrative representations of the most crucial information on a screen so that it can all be seen at once. This helps in giving an overview or idea about the business matter at hand.

Differentiating Between Bi Reports And Dashboards

Here are a few of the differences between reports and dashboards:

  •       APPEARANCE: reports are more detailed and often require more than one page of information while dashboards are typically created to fit a single page.
  •       PURPOSE: Dashboards are designed to capture crucial bits of information from a variety of related business objectives while reports are primary designed to capture a specific data area. Hence, dashboards provide an overview of business goals while reports provide detailed information about a specific matter.
  •       VOLATILITY: Dashboards often display live information about business goals, highlighting the need to update the information provided in real-time. Reports, on the other hand, present a record of past business matters in a static form such as PDFs, making refreshing the information in real-time impossible.

When You Make Use Of Reports And Dashboards

Use a dashboard when you intend to provide an overview of complex business objectives to an executive or a decision-maker in your organization. Reports, on the other hand, are best used to provide detailed information regarding a specific area of the business.

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