Dashboards Vs. Reports: Assessing The Differences And Similarities

Although reports and dashboards perform similar functions, they are distinct, each with their own value and array of applications. The biggest challenge faced by many marketers is how to present the data to clients in an easy, accessible and engaging manner that best fits their needs. That is why it is important to understand both tools and how they can each offer value in their own way.

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The modern marketing agency deals with a greater volume and depth of data than ever before. With the right tools and software in place, agencies and individuals can collect, collate, and analyse reams of diverse data across various touchpoints, channels, and devices. 

But the challenge often lies in presenting said data to clients in an accessible, simple, and engaging manner, and this is where reports and dashboards play a crucial role. They are both invaluable visual tools for presenting a summation of the data one has collected in a way that makes sense to whoever might be reviewing it.  

How do we define Reports and Dashboards?

Although reports and dashboards perform similar functions, they are distinct, separate tools, each with their own value and array of applications.

A report is generally a comprehensive collection of data from different marketing sources. The data presented in a report highlights the performance of your marketing efforts to shape your strategy.  The scope can be as broad or narrow as needed, but it will always fall within a specific period.

A dashboard may present the same data as a report, but it is generally focused around a specific question or topic. Think of this in a similar manner to how you would the dashboard of a car, which provides you with a concise snapshot of relevant metrics and data around a topic/question; ‘how is my car performing?’. 

A marketing dashboard is much the same, presenting only a few key data sets (usually ±10 at a time), through visualisations, that supply a high-level overview of the given topic, at a glance.

How are Reports and Dashboards similar?

The main and most obvious similarity between reports and dashboards is that they are both tools for presenting data. Another key similarity is both tools make use of visualisations to share said data, in the form of graphs, tables, charts, and so on. But beyond this, the similarities are few and far between. 

How do Reports and Dashboards differ?

As mentioned above, there are significantly more features that separate the two tools. Whilst dashboards present key data around a central topic or question, reports address numerous topics relating to the overall marketing strategy, whilst offering insights into the data presented, supplemented with summaries and recommendations. 

Due to the concise, up-to-the-minute nature of dashboards, an inherently higher level of understanding and knowledge is required when reviewing them. With the purpose of delivering short and consumable bits of information, dashboards will not usually contain or require the same level of explanation as you would find in a report.

Get the most out of Reports and Dashboards with Oviond

It is clear that both reports and dashboards offer numerous benefits and uses. There is immense value in presenting them in isolation, or tandem, depending on your requirements. 

Oviond’s powerful reporting and dashboard features unlock truly world-class, visual data representation in a way that is quick, simple, powerful, and highly intuitive, allowing one to present diverse marketing data in one’s preferred format/s.

Reports and dashboards are both fully integrated into the Oviond software suite, so one can start creating them in just a few clicks, but it is important to note that there are a few subtle difference between the two tools with Oviond. 

Firstly, dashboards are optimised for wider screen views, providing a more comprehensive, landscape overview of the featured data, whilst reports cater for a more traditional, A4 style view. Reports also offer simple PDF download functionality, and allows one to add page names for easier navigation.

Furthermore, Oviond facilitates instant sharing of both reports and dashboards via a live link or email, simplifying and streamlining the way marketing professionals and agencies share data with clients, employers, or any other stakeholders.

There can be no doubt that reports and dashboards are the pinnacles of visual data representation, and Oviond represents the golden standard for both of these invaluable tools.