Tuesday 19 December 2023

What's the difference between a report and a dashboard in Power BI ? Power BI interview questions and answers 021

What's the difference between a report and a dashboard in Power BI ?

While both reports and dashboards play a crucial role in data visualization and analysis within Power BI, they serve distinct purposes and have key differences:


  • Focus: Reports are designed for detailed analysis and exploration of specific data sets. They typically present information through a series of pages, each containing visuals, tables, and filters that allow users to delve deep into different aspects of the data.

  • Structure: Reports offer a flexible and customizable structure with multiple pages, allowing you to organize data and insights in a way that tells a specific story or answers a particular question. You can control the flow of information and guide users through your analysis step-by-step.

  • Interactivity: Reports provide a high degree of interactivity through filters, slicers, and drill-down capabilities. Users can actively manipulate the data, adjust visualizations, and discover hidden patterns or trends.

  • Use case: Reports are ideal for in-depth data analysis, investigative tasks, and sharing specific findings with a focused audience. They're perfect for scenarios where users need to explore details, perform comparative analysis, and uncover complex relationships within the data.


  • Focus: Dashboards provide a high-level overview of key metrics and performance indicators. They typically condense information from multiple data sources onto a single, visually appealing canvas.

  • Structure: Dashboards offer a concise and compact layout with a limited number of visuals arranged to present an immediate snapshot of the current state of your data. They prioritize easy access to critical information and quick understanding of trends or deviations.

  • Interactivity: While some dashboards offer limited interactivity through filters and navigation options, their primary focus is on immediate consumption and visualization of important metrics.

  • Use case: Dashboards are perfect for monitoring performance, tracking progress towards goals, and providing a quick overall understanding of your data for both technical and non-technical audiences. They're great for situational awareness, high-level trends, and keeping everyone informed about key performance indicators.

Choosing the Right Tool:

The choice between a report and a dashboard depends on your specific needs and target audience:

  • For detailed analysis and exploration, choose a report.

  • For quick overviews and monitoring, choose a dashboard.

  • For a combination of both, consider creating a report with embedded dashboards for specific sections.

Remember, both reports and dashboards are powerful tools in Power BI. Understanding their differences and knowing when to use them effectively will help you communicate your data insights clearly and effectively to your audience.

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