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Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI: Which Option Should You Choose?

Head of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Department, ScienceSoft

Published:
3 min read

Editor’s note: In the article, we outline the reporting capabilities of Dynamics 365 and Power BI. And if you’re looking for more detailed guidance on your CRM analytical options, turn to our Dynamics 365 consultants.

Whether you need to track the number of open opportunities, or spot marketing campaigns that bring the biggest number of leads, Dynamics 365 (as well as its earlier version, Dynamics CRM) has ample analytical capabilities to get the job done. There are Dynamics 365 Reports, Views, Charts, and Dashboards, to name but a few. Still, companies looking to get more insights from their Dynamics 365 data, may find default functionality insufficient for their business goals. And here Power BI analytics comes into play represented by reports and dashboards to give businesses AI-powered answers to their critical questions.

Luckily, Power BI and Dynamics 365 can be integrated quite simply. For example, it takes just a few clicks with Power BI Connector. Still, if you’re not sure whether you need additional reporting capabilities that Power BI offers, check the main differences between Microsoft Dynamics 365 dashboards and Power BI dashboards below.

Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI compared

Power BI dashboards vs. Dynamics 365 dashboards: 3 must-know things

When considering whether Dynamics 365 dashboards or Power BI dashboards would be a better fit for your business, keep in mind the following aspects:

1. Types of visuals

There are 2 types of Microsoft Dynamic 365 dashboards: user dashboards and system dashboards. Employees from sales, customer service and marketing departments can create user dashboards, while system dashboards are created by CRM administrators. User dashboards in Dynamics 365 can include 6 visuals per dashboard maximum and present business data in a variety of ways, like a funnel, a bar graph, a pie graph, and a stack bar graph.

Power BI dashboards, in their turn, can have as many charts (or visuals) as necessary. Among the most popular types of visuals available in Power BI are area charts, bar and column charts, combo charts, funnel charts, doughnut charts, and others.

2. Use cases

Dynamics 365 dashboards are suitable for reflecting day-to-day activities and performance of the sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Typical use cases for Dynamics 365 dashboards are open opportunities on the selected stage or top competitors of the recent period.

Power BI dashboards support more complex and context-based scenarios, showing sales, marketing or customer service trends not only within months and years but in real-time as well. For example, a Power BI dashboard can reflect a social media campaign going viral, or aggregate the sentiment for recent posts and tweets about your product/service. Besides, the tool can predict future trends based on the current datasets.

3. Sharing capability

Dynamics 365 dashboards can be shared with other Dynamics CRM users only. As for Power BI dashboards, they can be shared both with Power BI users and those who have Microsoft Office 365 accounts (free Power BI accounts can be set up within Microsoft Office 365).

Can’t Choose Your Analytical Solution?

ScienceSoft’s team is ready to suggest your best analytics tool with a view to your business needs, company size, and domain.

Which dashboard is better for my organization?

If you’re still in two minds what dashboard to favor, we suggest thinking about the complexity of the data analysis you need. For regular customer analytics tasks not requiring much data slicing-and-dicing, Dynamics 365 reporting capabilities would suffice. And if you need deeper insights entailing examining your customer data from every viewpoint, you’d better leverage Power BI capabilities. If you need help with assessing the feasibility of both options for your business or implementing either of them, you are welcome to contact our team.

Are you planning to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 or experiencing troubles with your existing solution? Our experts are ready to address your challenge.