Business Intelligence

Category Compare: Dashboard vs. Reporting Software

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In this report, we define and compare dashboard software and reporting software so you can determine which tool is right for your business.

Dashboard software and reporting software solutions are often clubbed due to their overlapping features, but their use cases are distinct. In this report, we discuss the unique and similar features of both software types to help you decide which tool is better suited for your business needs.

What is dashboard software?

Dashboard software is an information management tool that tracks, analyzes, and displays key performance indicators (KPIs) to help businesses make informed decisions. It provides a customizable interface that collects real-time data from multiple sources and displays the generated insights in the form of charts, tables, timelines, and more.

Dashboard software is generally used by department managers and corporate executives to monitor KPIs for marketing campaigns, visualize customer data, and get real-time performance updates on employees, processes, etc.

What is reporting software?

Reporting software allows real-time access to business data and helps generate multidimensional reports from diverse data sources. Among many other uses, reporting software is used to generate financial statements, track the success of sales strategies, monitor responsiveness to regulatory compliance concerns, and manage internal controls or security audits.

This type of software is commonly used by business and IT analysts to generate ad hoc reports, financial statements, campaign reports, static graphs, and charts to track business performance for multiple departments, such as sales, finance, marketing, and human resources.

What do they have in common?

Both dashboard and reporting software can create reports, charts, and tables; however, dashboard software mainly helps senior management access insights and KPIs to make business decisions. Reporting software, on the other hand, helps professionals such as analysts, sales development representatives, and marketers get detailed data for their day-to-day tasks.

Dashboard software features

Reporting software features

Which tool is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your data needs. If you’re part of senior management and are looking for insights into specific areas of your business, then dashboard software would be the right pick. However, if your data needs are broader and you’re looking for a high-level view of your business, then a reporting tool makes more sense.

If you’ve decided the software type but don’t know which specific tool to get, check out our dashboard software and reporting software category pages, which contain a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If the list is too long and you wish to look only at the most popular and highest-rated products, head to Capterra’s Shortlist reports for the top dashboard software and reporting software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

18 top-rated dashboard and reporting software

These 18 products, listed in alphabetical order, are among the top rated in both software categories.

Note: Reviews and ratings data in the product cards is as of Oct. 26, 2021. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions.

The products in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.


To be included in the list, the products must:

  1. Be listed under Capterra’s 2021 Shortlist report for dashboard and reporting software. Learn more about the Capterra Shortlist methodology here.
  2. Meet our software market definition for dashboard and reporting software:
    • Dashboard: “Dashboard software helps business leaders and analysts create an assembly of graphs, tables, and charts for tracking KPIs, statistics, and other performance metrics”
    • Reporting: “Reporting software allows real-time access to essential data as well as the rapid generation of multidimensional reports from diverse data sources. Among many other uses, Reporting software can generate financial statements, track the success of sales strategies, monitor responsiveness to regulatory compliance concerns and manage internal controls or security audits.”

Looking for Reporting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Reporting software solutions.

About the Author

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay is a content writer at Capterra, helping small businesses identify the right software for their business needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. Prior to joining Gartner, he worked in insurtech, fintech, and real estate. Specializing in marketing, project, and IT management, Ashish’s works have been featured in MAST magazine and Medium. In his free time, he enjoys working out and playing video games.

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