Reports in Power BI

APPLIES TO: Power BI service for business users Power BI service for designers & developers Power BI Desktop

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. You also may be a business user who consumes or uses reports. This article is for business users.

The parts of a report

Screenshot of a report page.

A. This report has four pages (or tabs) and you're currently viewing the Sentiment page.
B. On this page are five different visuals and a page title.
C. The Filters pane shows us one filter applied to all report pages. To collapse the Filters pane, select the arrow (>).
D. The Power BI banner displays the name of the report and the last updated date. Select the arrow to open a menu that also show the name of the report owner.
E. The action bar contains actions you can take on this report. For example, you can add a comment, view a bookmark, or export data from the report. Select More options (...) to reveal a list of additional report functionality.

If you're new to Power BI, you can get a good foundation by reading Basic concepts for the Power BI service business users. Reports are available for viewing, sharing, and annotating on mobile devices. For more info, see Explore reports in the Power BI mobile apps.

Advantages of reports

Power BI bases a report on a single dataset. Report designers create the visuals in a report to represent nuggets of information. The visuals aren't static. They update as the underlying data changes. 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. The extent of what you can do with a report will depend on the role and permissions assigned by the report designer.

Safely interact with content

As you explore and interact with your content: filtering, slicing, subscribing, and exporting, you can't break the reports. Your work doesn't affect the underlying dataset or the original shared content. This applies to dashboards, reports, and apps.


Remember, you can't hurt your data. The Power BI service is a great place for you to explore and experiment without worrying that you'll break something.

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. To revert to the original default view of the report, select the Reset icon.

Screenshot of the Revert to default icon.

Dashboards versus reports

Dashboards are often confused with reports since they're also 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 the dashboard meets certain conditions No
Feature Can set one dashboard as your featured dashboard Can't 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 designers and report users

Depending on your role, you may be a designer, someone who creates reports for your own use or to share with colleagues. You'll want to learn how to create and share reports.

Or you may be a business user, someone who receives reports from others. You'll want to learn how to understand and interact with the reports. If you're a report business user, these links are for you:


If you didn't find what you're looking for here, use the Table of Contents to the left to browse all Report articles.

Next steps

Open and view a report
Dashboards in the Power BI service