Jet Reports and Power BI: Which Reporting Tool Is Right for You?

Jet Reports and Power BI: Which Reporting Tool Is Right for You?

There are many business intelligence tools available that can be used to analyze data from Business Central. Two of the most popular among our clients are Jet Reports and Power BI. Both products can be used for reporting and analytics, but each has strengths that make them appropriate for specific tasks.

In this blog, we compare both products:

Jet Reports

Jet Reports was originally developed by Jet Global but was acquired by insightsoftware in 2019. Jet Reports integrates with Microsoft Dynamics ERP products, including Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, and Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Jet Reports runs from inside Excel and is preferred by financial professionals who are comfortable performing analysis, budgeting, and reporting in Excel. Jet Reports primarily connects to data sources within the Microsoft ecosystem, such as SQL Server, Excel, and Dynamics ERP products.

Jet Reports gives users access to every table and every field in Business Central, which is a significant advantage since Microsoft removed direct access to SQL Server for Business Central SaaS users.

Reporting in Jet Reports, including formatting and layout, is performed through Excel. Although it does not have the visualization options of Power BI, it leverages Excel’s custom reporting capabilities.

Pricing is generally based on user count and ERP system integration.

Power BI

Power BI was developed by Microsoft and integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft tech stack, including Excel, SQL Server, Azure, and Dynamics 365.

Power BI has an easy-to-learn, familiar interface, particularly for users already familiar with Microsoft products, and has drag-and-drop capabilities for data visualization and analysis.

Power BI has native connectors to popular data platforms and can access data from many sources, including cloud services, file storage, and databases.

Power BI’s real strength comes from its data modeling capabilities, which allow it to form complex relationships, perform complex calculations, and provide advanced data analytics and machine learning using integration with Azure services. Power BI can then transform its analysis into various visualization options like graphs, charts, maps, etc. It even supports streaming interactive dashboards and reports that can be shared and accessed across multiple devices.

Power BI is scalable, making it equally appropriate for small and large businesses. It offers several pricing options ranging from a free limited version to a premium version that allows for more advanced functions and larger datasets.

The bottom line

Power BI is a comprehensive business intelligence and analytics platform and is the better choice for data modeling, visualization, and integrations. Power BI was built to analyze data relationships and display the results graphically.

Jet Reports is a powerful reporting engine that works with Excel. Users familiar with Excel’s features and functions can perform complex analyses on Business Central data in Excel and display their findings using Excel reporting capabilities.

While there is some overlap between both products, each has a unique purpose. Each product can be used independently or together. Whether you choose to use Jet Reports, Power BI, or a combination of both depends on your company’s unique needs and budget.

Talk to ArcherPoint to discover how you can get greater visibility and business insight from your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central data.

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