Reports in Power BI

APPLIES TO: Power BI service for business users Power BI service for designers & developers Power BI Desktop

A Power BI report is a multi-perspective view into a dataset, with visuals that represent findings and insights from that dataset. A report can have a single visual or many pages full of visuals. Depending on your job role, you might be someone who designs reports, or you might be a business user who consumes reports. This article is for business users.

The parts of a report

Screenshot showing the Sales and Marketing Sample report page.

A. This report has four pages (or tabs). The example shows the Sentiment page.
B. This page has five visuals and a page title.
C. The Filters pane shows any applied filters. To collapse the Filters pane, select the arrow (>).
D. The Power BI banner shows the name of the report and the last updated date. Select the arrow to open a menu that shows the name of the report owner.
E. The action bar contains actions to take on this report. For example, you can add a comment, view a bookmark, or export data from the report. Select More options (...) to see a list of report functions.

If you're new to Power BI, read Basic concepts for the Power BI service business users to get a good foundation. You can view, share, and annotate reports on mobile devices. For more information, see Explore reports in the Power BI mobile apps.

Advantages of reports

Power BI bases a report on a single dataset. Report designers create the visuals in a report to represent pieces of information. The visuals aren't static. They update as the underlying data changes. You interact with the visuals and filters as you dig into the data to discover insights and find answers. Like a dashboard, a report is interactive and customizable. The extent of what you can do with a report depends on your role and the permissions the report designer assigns to you.

Safely interact with content

As you explore and interact with your content by filtering, slicing, subscribing, and exporting, you can't corrupt the reports. Your work doesn't affect the underlying dataset or the original shared dashboards, reports, and apps.


You can't damage your data. The Power BI service is a great place for you to explore and experiment without worrying about breaking something.

Save your changes or revert to the default settings

Your changes won't affect underlying data, but that doesn't mean you can't save your changes. You can, but those changes only affect your view of the content. To revert to the default view of the report, select the Reset icon.

Screenshot of the Revert to default icon.

Dashboards versus reports

Dashboards can be confused with reports because they're both canvases filled with visualizations, but there are major differences. The following table shows an overview of the different capabilities of dashboards and reports:

Capability Dashboards Reports
Pages One page One or more pages
Data sources One or more report or dataset per dashboard A single dataset per report
Filtering No, you can't filter or slice Yes, there are many ways to filter, highlight, and slice
Set alerts Yes, you can create email alerts when certain conditions are met No, you can't set alerts
Can see underlying dataset tables and fields No. Can export data but can't see the dataset tables and fields in the dashboard itself Yes. Can see dataset tables and fields and values that you have permissions to see
Customization No Yes, you can filter, export, view related content, add bookmarks, generate QR codes, and analyze in Excel

Next Steps

Depending on your role, you may be a designer, someone who creates reports for your own use or to share with colleagues. You'll want to learn how to create and share reports.

Or you may be a business user, someone who receives reports from others. You'll want to learn how to understand and interact with the reports. If you're a report business user, these links are for you:


If you didn't find what you're looking for here, use the table of contents on this page to browse more articles.