Reports in Power BI

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What is a Power BI report?

A Power BI report is a multi-perspective view into a dataset, with visuals that represent different findings and insights from that dataset. A report can have a single visual or pages full of visuals. Depending on your job role, you may be someone who designs reports and/or you may be someone who consumes or uses reports.

report page

This report has six pages (or tabs) and we're currently viewing the Sentiment page. On this page are 6 different visuals and a page title.

If you're new to Power BI, you can get a good foundation by reading Power BI basic concepts

Reports are available for viewing, sharing, and annotating on mobile devices. For more information, see Power BI mobile reports.

Advantages of reports

A report is based on a single dataset. The visuals in a report are created by report designers and represent a nugget of information. And the visuals aren't static; you can interact with the visuals and filters as you dig into the data to discover insights and look for answers. Like a dashboard, but more-so, a report is highly interactive and highly customizable and the visuals update as the underlying data changes.

Safely interact with content

As you explore and interact with your content, filtering, slicing, subscribing, and exporting, rest assured; your work does not affect the underlying dataset or the original shared content (dashboards, reports, and apps).


Remember, you cannot hurt your data. Power BI is a great place for you to explore and experiment without worrying that you’ll “break” anything.

Save your changes or revert to the default settings

That doesn't mean you can't save your changes; you can, but those changes only affect your view of the content. Reverting to the original default view is as simple as selecting the Reset to default button.

Dashboards versus reports

Dashboards are often confused with reports since they too are canvases filled with visuals. But there are some major differences.

Capability Dashboards Reports
Pages One page One or more pages
Data sources One or more reports and one or more datasets per dashboard A single dataset per report
Filtering Can't filter or slice Many different ways to filter, highlight, and slice
Set alerts Can create alerts to email you when certain conditions are met No
Feature Can set one dashboard as your "featured" dashboard Cannot create a featured report
Can see underlying dataset tables and fields No. Can export data but can't see the dataset tables and fields in the dashboard itself. Yes. Can see dataset tables and fields and values that you have permissions to see.
Customization No Can filter, export, view related content, add bookmarks, generate QR codes, analyze in Excel, and more.

Report creators and report consumers

Depending on your role, you may be a designer, someone who creates reports for your own use or to share with colleagues. You want to learn how to create and share reports. Or, you may be someone who receives reports from others. You want to learn how to understand and interact with the reports. If you are a report consumer, these links are for you.

  • To see which dataset the report is using and which dashboards have tiles pinned from the report, view related content.


If you didn’t find what you’re looking for here, use the Table of Contents to the left to browse all report topics.

Next steps

What is Power BI?

Power BI - Basic Concepts