Businesses today collect vast amounts of data and must process it into actionable data. There is no denying the importance of data in the success and growth of modern businesses. Any business in any field can benefit from learning more about its ecosystem, stakeholders, and customers to make more informed decisions, take swifter action, and use fewer resources. However, various data visualization and presentation options are available such as dashboard vs report, and the optimal reporting tool will vary from one organization to the next.

Reports and dashboards in salesforce and marketing help businesses analyze and visualize data to satisfy their business intelligence requirements. A dashboard vs report serves different purposes in an organization. 

But what exactly differentiates the two? Many businesses treat them the same, although dashboard vs report has its own benefits and drawbacks. To decide which option is best for your company, you should familiarize yourself with each and what they provide. 

Here are some of the primary differences between the two types of tools,  plus advice on selecting the best one to meet the needs of your business.

Let’s dive in!

What are Dashboards?

dashboard vs report

Data visualization is at the core of dashboards, showcasing key user metrics.  It focuses on constantly updating metrics, KPIs, and any other kind of data in real-time.

Moreover, dashboards are compact, consisting of a single page and a single window. Anything more than that would be deemed a report. 

Furthermore, dashboards concentrate on difficulties, issues, or other pertinent information following the business’s priorities. They make transparent business goals and help everyone know if they’re being met.

Simple, direct, and current data in the following formats should come to mind when considering dashboard design in the form:

  • Tables;
  • Graphs;
  • Charts.

What are Reports?

dashboard vs report

A report is a written document used to present the results of a targeted marketing effort. The purpose is to provide the reader with a framework for making decisions based on information gathered over time.

Let’s say you’re interested in gauging the success of your social media efforts throughout the first quarter of this year. As a result, it would be inappropriate to draw judgments based solely on objective indicators. What you need instead is data collected over time.

A social media strategy performance report can shed light on whether your efforts successfully generated the desired outcomes and many others. Next quarter’s report will also give suggestions for implementing these changes.

What Are The Differences Between Dashboard Vs Report?

dashboard vs report

1. Reports Provide Data Over A Period Of Time; Dashboards Provide Data In Real-Time

For starters, dashboard vs report provides real-time information regularly updated through time intervals. This means that the data in your marketing dashboards will always be up-to-date. On the other hand, reports consolidate information over a certain period of time

2. Reports May Take Pages, But Dashboards Fit on a Screen

Dashboards are shown on digital boards in the second place and display important metrics on a single screen. However, reports can either be printed or digital. 

In addition, they require a few extra pages. Reports’ static nature explains why they lack real-time, updated information.

3. Reports Provide Subjective Insights, Whereas Dashboards Provide Objective Data

Third, the data you receive through dashboards is unbiased because they provide real-time, often auto-updated (based on the dashboard software you choose) metrics. 

However, a report is compiled to help you move forward, and this report will frequently include suggestions for steps to take. This renders the report subjective, as the maker’s opinions and interpretations are incorporated into the content.

4. Reports Provide Both Text And Numbers, With Dashboards Displaying Numbers

Dashboard vs report only shows visually appealing, easy-to-consume metrics since they display real-time data. Reports, however, include KPIs and an analysis of them. Thus, it has a lot of text and numerous tables and charts.

5. The Content Relevancy Differs Too

Last but not least, you can quickly and easily develop dashboards to monitor any KPI you choose with the help of dedicated dashboard software. These may be connected to a specific campaign or purpose, or you may choose to create a marketing dashboard presenting metrics of general importance to your company.

Reports are always tailored to a particular marketing or sales goal, such as assessing the efficacy of a previous effort. That’s why they zero in on the most relevant info and use KPIs using a custom reporting dashboard or report generator that directly pertains to the goal at hand.

What Are The Similarities Between Dashboard Vs Report?

  1. They Are Both Similar In Terms Of Use Case

The advantages of using reports and dashboards in salesforce, for example, to enhance documentation and internal communication, are very similar.

  1. They Both Feature Similar Content

Charts, tables, key performance indicators (KPIs), photos, hyperlinks, and drill-downs are all common components of both reports and dashboards in salesforce or marketing.

  1. Both Offer Customization

Making a report or dashboard can be done without watching a tutorial. Simply decide what you want to do, make a list of achievable goals, and tweak those goals until they are just right.

For instance, DotNet Report Builder‘s drag-and-drop feature allows it to incorporate any metric into a report. You can and should alter your marketing materials’ visual style as needed to reflect your brand and its goals accurately. This function is typically most useful when making reports for customers.

  1. Shareability Across The Organization

Depending on your analytics tools and permissions, you can share a dashboard with the entire team or just a select few. The only thing to remember is that a dashboard should never be distributed as a PDF.

When To Use A Dashboard Vs Report?

When to use a dashboard?

We have already established that businesses widely use data representation and analysis formats. The business logic should dictate the usage of the tools, including reports and dashboards in salesforce, for instance, which means that the decision between the two will ultimately depend on the specifics of each organization.

A dashboard illustrates a component of the business’s overall activity that has to be investigated over time. Designed with diagnostics in mind, dashboards provide a graphical representation of the progress made toward corporate goals and the trends in performance over time. 

This means that a dashboard is a perfect tool for helping executives and managers make crucial decisions.

Here are some examples where a dashboard would be particularly useful:

  • Team meetings. You can view your team’s current status and recent accomplishments on the dashboard. Marketing managers typically present up-to-date stats dashboards to team meetings.
  • Projects. Some companies use business dashboards every day to track project status.
  • Quality control. Dashboards are frequently used in meetings to present and debate project quality and development data. You can also view the total number of bugs, their frequency distribution, and the number of resolved defects.

When to use a report?

The advantage that reports have is that they cover more ground. An improved overarching perspective of an organization can be found in reports, which are not real-time and can be curated.

Even if a manager or CEO doesn’t require access to detailed customer service dashboards, he still stands to get valuable insight into the unit as a whole using a custom reporting dashboard.

Therefore, a report is the best method for tracking and investigating a subject in depth and detail throughout a specified time frame.

Here are some examples where a report would be particularly useful:

  • Monthly Department Close-offs. The success of the team’s efforts will be reported, along with the changes in key performance indicators and areas needing attention.
  • Annual Departmental Assessments. Comprehensive and in-depth annual reports include a company’s activities and finances throughout the previous year.
  • When it’s time to evaluate the efficiency of your company’s data, it is common practice for these types of business reports to contain extensive amounts of data necessary for conducting thorough analyses of performance.

In Conclusion

With this enhanced knowledge of the differences between dashboard vs report, you should have no trouble determining when one would be more appropriate for your business than the other.

The difference between a dashboard, which is used for keeping tabs on how things are doing, and a report, which is a more comprehensive collection of tables, charts, and graphs, is in the level of detail and depth that each provides. 

The components that make dashboards and reports share similar behaviors but fundamentally different structures. A report gives you data, while a dashboard gives you the whole picture when you have a query. What this means is that the report can serve as a supplement to the data found on a dashboard.

Do you want to get a jump on things? Create your reports rapidly with the help of reporting software like DotNet Report Builder. After connecting your data sources, you can choose a pre-made report or custom reporting dashboard.
Invest in the long-term success of your business by using the ad hoc reporting solution offered by DotNet Report Builders. Get in touch with us, and we’ll give you a free seven-day trial.

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