Reporting, Dashboards, Charts & Pivot Tables

What is a Report? Why is so important?

A report is a document (paper or electronic) containing information organized in a narrative, graphic, or tabular form, prepared on ad hoc, periodic, recurring, regular, or as required basis. Reports may refer to specific periods, events, occurrences, or subjects, to provide information.

If you are a sole proprietor, you may not believe you need to keep reports or develop them on a regular basis, since no one else is involved in running your business. Even if you have partners or a board, reports may not be high on your priority list when you have so many other details you need to take care of to keep your business running smoothly. However, business reports can actually save you time and money, and play a dramatic role in the future of your company.

A lot of important decisions in business or in any other area are made based on the information presented in the reports. This alone serves a great importance. Executives actually rely heavily on reports to evaluate the performance of various departments or units.

Dashboard Reports

Does this seem familiar? Your cars dashboard represents dashboards everywhere.

A dashboard is a one page decision-making document that mostly helps managers and business leaders in tracking key KPIs or metrics. It contains charts/tables/views that are backed by data. A dashboard is often called a report, however, not all reports are dashboards.

Data dashboards provide an objective view of performance metrics and serve as an effective foundation for further dialogue. A dashboard is a business intelligence tool used to display data visualizations in a way that is immediately understood.


A chart is a graphical representation of data, in which "the data is represented by symbols, such as bars in a bar chart, lines in a line chart, or slices in a pie chart". A data chart is a type of diagram or graph, that organizes and represents a set of numerical or qualitative data.

Pivot Table

A pivot table is a program tool that allows you to reorganize and summarize selected columns and rows of data in a spreadsheet or database table to obtain a desired report. This summary might include sums, averages, or other statistics, which the pivot table groups together in a meaningful way.

Pivot functionality is an integral part of many spreadsheet applications and some database software, as well as being found in other data visualization tools and business intelligence packages.