Power BI Guide: Dashboards, Reports, and Examples

Power BI Guide: Dashboards, Reports, and Examples

All email marketing platforms have analytics tools. However, sometimes these statistics are not enough for high-quality analytics and reporting: you often have to upload the data for statistics (sometimes using API), create tables and graphs manually, etc. 

Power BI gives you an opportunity to get rid of this routine job and save resources. In this article, you’ll learn what Power BI reports and dashboards are, how to do reporting with Power BI, and more.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a data visualization tool by Microsoft. The main advantage of Power BI is that you need to set it up only once and then use it without any interruptions. Power BI reports are regularly updated and can be viewed online. 

The work process in Power BI can be divided into four stages: Data reception → Modelling → Visualization → View. 

Power BI Reports vs Dashboards: What’s the Difference? 

Both reports and dashboards can enhance your understanding of the strategy and bolster your business decision-making processes. However, there are distinctions in their applications.

A Power BI dashboard is a collection of visuals originating from multiple reports. A dashboard gathers the data from different programs and apps, unites them, and displays the real-time data as diagrams, tables, or metrics. If the data changes, the dashboard will refresh the reports.

An example of a Power BI dashboard

In contrast, a Power BI report offers an in-depth analysis of a singular dataset. It’s more convenient for cases when you want to focus on a single aspect of your business strategy.

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What Are Paginated Reports in Power BI? 

Paginated reports are meant for being printed, shared, and optimized to fit well on a single page. These reports exhibit all the data in a table, even if the table requires multiple pages to display. 

You need to use a special tool for creating paginated reports: it’s called Power BI Report Builder.

Example of a paginated report in Power BI by Microsoft

How Can I Work in Power BI?

There are three available versions of Power BI: a desktop app, a browser version, and a mobile app. 

Power BI App for Desktop 

The desktop app has more features than any other version of Power BI, so we do most of our work there. For example, you can receive the data from API sources only in the desktop app. The dashboards and reports can be uploaded to the cloud.

Power BI Service Online 

The online version lacks some of the features of Power Bi Desktop. However, the online service is more convenient for displaying reports. 

Power BI Mobile App

The mobile app is convenient for monitoring the statistics: for example, when you’re on the move and can’t control your work in the desktop app.

Power BI desktop app, Power BI service, and Power BI mobile app.

Power BI Pricing Plans: Pro vs Premium

Power BI has a free trial account and no lifetime free plan. However, you can buy a subscription for a reasonable price. 

Power BI has two pricing plans: Pro and Premium. The Pro plan is meant for individual users who just want to use convenient data visualization tools, create dashboards, and don’t need to use advanced tools. This plan costs $10 per user in a month. 

In contrast, Power BI Premium is more suitable for larger companies or agencies who provide analytics services. It includes some features that the Pro version lacks: e.g., advanced AI tools, data flows, more storage (100 TB compared to 10 GB per user in the Pro plan), etc. The Premium plan costs $20 per user in a month.

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How to Use Power BI to Improve Email Marketing

The basic email marketing metrics can be organized into three groups:

  • delivery parameters;
  • behavior parameters;
  • marketing parameters. 

Let’s see some examples of Power BI reports for each group. 

How to Track Email Delivery in Power BI

In this section, we speak of email metrics related to email sending and delivery. Power BI can help you monitor the following aspects:

  • quality of your email service provider and technical settings, such as email protocol, safety records, etc.
  • quality of your email base: for example, find invalid profiles. 

You can integrate Power BI with your email platform and organize the data into convenient funnels and diagrams that will update in real time.

power BI diagrams for tracking email marketing metrics: major and minor errors

Monitor Behavior Parameters in Power BI

The second group of email marketing metrics is behavior parameters, for example:

  • delivered emails;
  • open rate;
  • unique opens and clicks;
  • unsubscriptions;
  • spam complaints.

You can create a funnel in Power BI to monitor these metrics.

behavioral metrics funnel in power bi

If you want to see the dynamics, you may create a diagram that would compare the periods and show the general tendency. 

Track Marketing Metrics with Power BI

The third group is marketing metrics. The main parameters are:

  • clicks;
  • conversions;
  • orders;
  • revenue;
  • ROI (return on investment).

The only thing left is to gather all the data and create a Power BI dashboard.

Create a Power BI Dashboard: General Tips

  • One Power BI dashboard can help you measure the effectiveness of various parameters. Thus, if you need to track several metrics, dashboarding will be more convenient for you than a report. 
  • You can analyze the data for different periods: for 24 hours, a week, a month, or a year. As for our experience, different businesses need different regularity.
  • Thanks to slicers in the header of a dashboard, you can change the depth of the report and get a closer look at some data or see the whole picture. 
  • Most ESPs and MAPs don’t gather all the necessary data in one place: you need to search for it for a long time and create several different reports. That’s why we love Power BI!
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