When should I produce a report versus a dashboard?


There are many times when I am trying to determine the difference between using a report (via the Excel Add-in) or a dashboard. So, what's the difference? Reports Reports are general management formatted reports that are distributed, think "board packs." They are:

  • Generally static in nature and have the same elements each time they are created.
  • High-level of content
  • Summarization of: Income statement, Balance sheet, Cash flow, etc.
  • Not interactive
  • Sanitized and fixed
  • Highly formatted with: Line separations, logos, branding (fonts and colors)

So when would I use the Excel Add-In?

  • When you need to produce highly formatted reports
  • There will be offline distribution of the data and information
  • The end user can't/won't log into Anaplan

Dashboards Dashboards allow the user to interact with the Anaplan data. They are:

  • Enabling the user to change data parameters
  • Linking tables and charts
  • A combination of a report and chart
  • Online
  • Another higher level of reporting - less context, more numbers
  • Allowing the drill down into the details behind the numbers