Friday 29 December 2023

What are the key differences between a Power BI dataset, a report, and a dashboard ? Power BI interview questions and answers 197

 What are the key differences between a Power BI dataset, a report, and a dashboard ?

While all three play crucial roles in Power BI, there are clear distinctions between datasets, reports, and dashboards:

1. Focus:

  • Dataset: The foundation, storing organized and processed data from various sources. It doesn't visualize or analyze data directly.

  • Report: Analyzes and presents data through interactive visuals like charts, tables, and maps. Focuses on specific questions or insights for deeper exploration.

  • Dashboard: Offers a high-level overview of key metrics and performance indicators, often combining visuals from multiple reports. Prioritizes quick understanding and monitoring.

2. Structure:

  • Dataset: Organized tables with defined relationships and calculations. Behind the scenes, fueling reports and visuals.

  • Report: Structured layout of visuals arranged to answer specific questions or tell a story with the data. Each page presents different aspects of the analysis.

  • Dashboard: Single-page layout prioritizing immediate impact and easy access to key metrics. Combines visuals from various reports for a holistic view.

3. Interaction:

  • Dataset: Limited interaction. Used primarily for data preparation and manipulation by analysts.

  • Report: Highly interactive. Users can filter data, drill down into details, and customize visuals to gain deeper insights.

  • Dashboard: Limited interactivity focused on quick analysis and monitoring. Users can switch between dashboards and adjust basic filter settings.

4. Sharing:

  • Dataset: Shared with other users or reports within the same workspace for collaborative analysis.

  • Report: Shared individually or embedded within dashboards for broader consumption.

  • Dashboard: Typically shared with wider audiences for quick performance overviews and decision-making.

5. Development Effort:

  • Dataset: Requires technical skills for data modeling and calculations. Analysts and IT professionals often handle this.

  • Report: Moderate technical skill needed for building visuals and structuring data exploration. Business analysts with basic training can often create reports.

  • Dashboard: Requires understanding of report visuals and layout, but minimal technical skills. Business users can easily assemble dashboards from existing reports.


  • Use datasets as the building blocks for accurate and efficient analysis.

  • Craft reports to tell specific data stories and answer targeted questions.

  • Design dashboards for at-a-glance monitoring and high-level insights.

By understanding these differences, you can leverage each element effectively to unlock the full potential of Power BI and transform your data into actionable insights for informed decision-making.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions about specific functionalities or need help choosing the right tool for your data analysis needs!

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