Sunday 31 December 2023

What are the differences between a Power BI dataset, a Report, and a Dashboard ? Power BI interview questions and answers 221

 What are the differences between a Power BI dataset, a Report, and a Dashboard ?

Power BI offers three key components for data analysis and visualization: datasets, reports, and dashboards. Though related, they each serve distinct purposes:

1. Datasets:

  • The foundation of Power BI, datasets store the raw data and define its structure.

  • Think of them as a digital warehouse holding raw materials needed for building reports and dashboards.

  • Can be created by importing data from various sources, connecting to live data sources, or combining multiple datasets.

  • Includes tables, columns, relationships between tables, and data types.

2. Reports:

  • Use datasets to create specific analyses and tell data stories through visualizations and interactive elements.

  • Think of them as presentations built with the raw materials from the dataset, tailored to answer specific questions or convey key insights.

  • Reports contain one or more pages, each with visuals (charts, graphs, maps) and filters/slicers for user interaction.

  • Can be paginated for longer narratives or designed for single-page overviews.

3. Dashboards:

  • Offer a high-level overview of key metrics and KPIs from various reports and datasets.

  • Think of them as executive summaries, bringing together essential insights in a single, visually compelling interface.

  • Contain visuals from one or more reports, arranged strategically to tell a broader story or track progress towards goals.

  • Provide quick access to critical information and enable users to drill down into specific reports for deeper analysis.

Here's an analogy to illustrate the differences:

  • Dataset: Imagine a recipe book containing all the ingredients and their properties.

  • Report: Think of a single recipe from the book, cooked with those ingredients in a specific way to create a particular dish.

  • Dashboard: Picture a buffet table showcasing various dishes from the recipe book, allowing you to quickly grasp the overall meal and pick specific dishes for closer examination.


  • You need a dataset before you can create a report or dashboard.

  • A report focuses on a specific analysis or question, while a dashboard offers a broader overview.

  • You can build a dashboard by pinning visuals from multiple reports.

By understanding these distinctions, you can leverage Power BI effectively to analyze data, present insights, and inform decision-making across various levels of detail and focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.