Dashboards Comparison: Microsoft Power BI versus Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM)

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Which dashboard is better for your organization?


Dashboards are a powerful business tool that provides a visual display of data, tailored to the various needs of the different members of your organization. The information is consolidated on a single screen so that it can be easily accessed and monitored. As the business intelligence solution Microsoft Power BI and a CRM solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 both put dashboards at your disposal, we are often asked which is best for an organization to implement. However, what is important to understand is that they will appeal to different types of users depending on their required level of analysis, detail and shareability. Here is a breakdown of the main differences between the two.


Analytical capabilities and target users

Power BI and Dynamics 365 dashboards vary mostly in the type of data and analysis that they present.

Dynamics 365 dashboards are limited to 6 panels and are best suited for more basic day-to-day operational analysis. Some examples of CRM dashboards would be top 5 lists or data for the current day, month or year. Information is usually contextualized to the user for quick insight into their current activities. As such, Dynamics 365 dashboards are especially useful for everyday use or for operations, and particularly for people who already use the CRM regularly.

Power BI dashboards, on the other hand, allow for advanced analysis and put a multitude of graphics, diagrams and charts at your disposal for you to display your information exactly how you want it. The robust business intelligence properties of the solution provide both granularity and high-level data aggregation: years over years or trends over years, for example. With data contextualized according to various information, Power BI is highly useful for executives and analysts thanks to varying dimensions and levels of detail it provides.


Detail and shareability

One of the main advantages of dashboards is that they are useful to share information quickly and easily, like a snapshot. However, initial access and sharing options also differ depending on the platform.

With Dynamics 365, anyone with access to the CRM can build dashboards based on the views already available or customize their own. These dashboards can then be shared easily with other CRM users, who can then view them from the device of their choice, thanks to the cloud-based access.

With Power BI, the initial setup is more technically intensive, as it requires knowledge in accessing and filtering within SQL databases or SQL views. However, users then have access to an incredible variety of graphs, charts and graphics, allowing for countless possibilities. Furthermore, anyone with a Power BI account (and there are free licenses available with Microsoft Office 365) can then view the dashboards that have been shared with them.


All in all, both Dynamics 365 and Power BI dashboards bring complementary data visualizations and analytical capabilities that will be useful in different situations and to different users. At the end of the day, the question is not whether you should pick between Dynamics 365 and Power BI dashboards, but rather who within your organization should be using which. For more information, read our eBook to learn How to Measure Your Projects and to have a better idea of what information you may want to display in your dashboards.

By JOVACO Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 specialist in Quebec

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