However, building a dashboard requires different approach than creating a table-based report, because the way users work with dashboards noticeably differs from the way users work with reports:
- Reports usually have multi-page content, dashboards are single-page (dashboards can have several sheets or tabs but usually they can be considered more or less independent as they need to answer different questions)
- Dashboards are intended to give answers at first sight, at the same time reports can contain a lot of detailed data that might require more thorough analysis
- Reports are often designed to be printed while dashboards are designed for screens; despite printing dashboards is rather common practice, I think this is done because of lack of social features in BI suites
- Dashboards are interactive; reports, despite often having filters and drill-down capabilities, are more static by nature
- Dashboards tend to be similar to applications, reports tend to look like a document.
In Part 2 I will talk about planning a dashboard.