• Stephen Abela

Which Reporting Tool, Jet Reports or Power Bi?

Reporting is a term which is frequently too wide to do justice to the different complexities of different report categories within a company.  And this leads to an important question which we are faced, which is the best product PowerBi or Jet Reports.  The best is not the appropriate term, as both tools have very different scopes.


Both of them are extremely good within their areas, which may explain why it can be so hard to choose between the two.  As a starting point, we wanted to discuss the common features followed by their key differences. 





The Commonalities


Live Data


Both software read directly from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central system, thus ensuring that the data being extracted is from the original source of data.  Having said that, both tools require a report/data refresh when reviewing them as this would enable the system to read the latest data rather than retaining the previously extracted transaction data.  This is a very important feature as the end-user may put their mind at rest that the data being analysed is based upon the latest set of transactional data. 


Multiple Companies


Both PowerBI and Jet Reports are allowed to read data from multiple companies at one go, thus being equally useful both to firms having one single legal entity as well those having multiple entities.  Business Central is often criticised that getting information from multiple companies can be very difficult.  The only option from a Business Central perspective is to consolidate the different entities, an exercise which doesn't take place that often as it can be quite cumbersome and time-consuming,  Having a reporting tool which allows the user to extract key information from different entities at one go would give a level of information within the company which is hard to achieve by analysing the entities separately.  


Fixed Setup


One very interesting point is the fact that the reports will retain the setups and configuration as defined by the users.  This means that even though the report will not be a report in the traditional sense, where the number of columns and at times even the rows are fixed, yet all the calculations, the designs, the general feel of the report and even the parameters which the user may define at report level will be retained.  Opposite to most systems-default reports which are exported to excel, the reports in both Jet Reports and PowerBi will be reported and refreshed using the same design.  


Parameterised


Both tools make extensive use of parameters thus allowing the user to get insight on different entities/customers/vendors/dates or whatever the parameter set whilst reading within the same set of data.  This would extensively extend the use of the report and the use which would be in line to the role of the user.  Moreover, extensive savings can be made as one design would serve a larger group of individuals.





The Differences


Ease of Use