Reporting at its core is the aggregation of data displayed in a format that is easily digestible. Good reporting tools will give you a graph, chart or any visual representation of information that is meant to help you make decisions. You can get an actionable insight when the representation is accurate and relevant to your needs.
Also, reporting is about the complexity of data. With non-complex data, you can get by with semi-manual reports built in a spreadsheet, like a Google Sheet. However, as the complexity increases, you require other tools that aggregate data for you. Heck, some of them are even using AI and machine learning to help us make sense of information!
Finally, if you are dealing with company-wide information, you might be using a big data analytics platform, but that’s a topic of its own. Whether you are using a BI tool, project management software or analytics platform, remember that the tool has to adjust to your operation, have the processing power to handle multiple sources of data, and report on what is important to you.
Reporting Tools Selection Criteria
What were the categories involved in my evaluation of this BI tools list?
- User Interface (UI): I look at how the information is displayed. A report is no good if it’s in a cluttered interface with distracting elements and information overload.
- Usability: I analyze the different options in which you can get a report. Whether that is through a screen where we set parameters and get a custom report in return to the dashboards and the capacity to export them.
- Integrations: I review how many integrations are available for the tool. This analysis will include pre-built integrations that you can use right away and also the tool API available to make custom integrations.
- Pricing: I looked at the tool’s pricing structure. Some of these tools are free, others have low-cost. Likewise, I look at free trials and free versions of the software so you can try them out for yourself.
- Robust reporting: Normally seen in the form of interactive reports where you can click on items and drill down into the information source. You can also measure robust reporting by the number of filters available to you.
- Dashboard customization: This customization includes changing the visual composition of the board. Also, drag-and-drop functionality, changing colors, type of chart and anything that personalizes the board. Can you build a digital marketing dashboard, finance and budgets dashboard, or anything else you can think of with relative ease?
- Source options: The tool should be able to pull information from several sources. Normally, these sources are the tools included in the integrations list.
- Sharing options: The platform should have a range of options for you to share your information with other people. These can be a specific file format, printing options, sharing to external apps like Slack, etcetera.
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Wrike is an easy-to-use project management reporting tool that is suitable for teams with anywhere from five to an unlimited number of team members. It’s a highly configurable project management software that allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.
Wrike’s intuitive reporting tool enables users to choose from 12 different visualizations of metrics, and track time management, project progress, team productivity, budget use, portfolio health, and more. Users can also schedule reports to their inbox or share them with stakeholders.
Wrike’s reporting tools can be configured for each individual team’s needs, with a number of solutions available for specific industries such as marketing and professional services. The tool also features an easy-to-use report builder and a number of prebuilt templates for tracking common metrics. Users can build reports from scratch, create new templates, or adapt previous reports. Wrike also has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and QuickBooks, as well as with file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox.
Wrike starts at $9.80/user/month and has a free version for up to 5 users. There is also a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
Whatagraph is a reporting tool for marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams that helps you get the right data in front of your customers and in a way they understand.
With this tool, you can create reports in minutes thanks to their 95+ templates and connectors to multiple data sources. Also, you can make these reports customized to your client by changing the colors and adding their logo.
Once you are done making it pretty, Whatagraph lets you automate report delivery so your clients can get their weekly, monthly or quarterly reports, and all you have to do is set the time interval! No more '$!@, I forgot to send the report' moments.
Whatagraph integrates with over 40 tools. These include Facebook, Shopify, Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Tik Tok Ads. All of them can be used as data sources for your reports.
Whatagraph has a 7-day free trial, and pricing starts at $199 per month, which gets you 25 data sources and 5 users, with unlimited reports.
- Custom data import with Public API and Google Sheets
- Automated reports sending
- Custom branding for your reports
- Easy to craft a visually appealing, cross-channel report
- The number of data sources is limited
- Customer support not 24/7
- Pricey for small businesses
DashThis is an automated marketing reporting tool that lets you bring multiple platforms into one, co-create powerful dashboards, and automate their delivery. The features included in the product can help anyone from freelancers to world-renowned agencies like DDB.
The first thing I immediately liked about this product is that all their plans have unlimited users, data sources, and integrations. The difference comes in the number of dashboards you can create and the level of customization in white-label reports.
Since reporting can be one of our most time-consuming activities, DashThis has prepared a bunch of templates that help you get started right away. You just have to select the template you prefer, plug in your data, and run the report on your preferred time periods. Once you find your perfect report, you can clone it, export it, or generate and share it automatically via email to your clients every month.
DashThis has over 34 useful integrations that will help you bring all your marketing data into one place and extract comprehensive reports. These integrations include social media platforms, Google Analytics, SEMrush, Mailchimp, Perfect Audience, TikTok Ads, and more.
DashThis pricing plans start at $39/month on a monthly plan and offer a 15-day free trial, so you can test up to 10 dashboards.
MeisterTask is a task and project management tool designed primarily for agile teams. The tool offers a variety of reporting features for monitoring team productivity, as well as custom dashboards and the ability for team members to create personal agendas organized to fit their way of working. MeisterTask is intuitive and simple to use, with a clean interface
Users can view progress reports, time reports, and safety reports. View and download reports showing tasks that are completed, overdue, or upcoming. Project managers and team leads can also get reports on how much time team members are tracking, as well as reports related to data security, privacy, and compliance.
MeisterTask integrates with sister software MindMeister as well as Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, Zendesk, Google Drive, and more.
MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month. They also offer a freemium plan.
Datapine is a great reporting software as it offers business users an uncomplicated and secure way to monitor as well as communicate key performance indicators (KPIs) effectively and quickly within one central analytics platform. This empowers everyone within the company to access at any time up-to-date, accurate information to make the right, data-driven decisions.
Datapine belongs to a new generation of reporting tools and offers, thanks to its ease-of-use, access to advanced analytics features even for non-technical users. Different data sources (flat files, databases, CRM and ERP-systems, social platforms, etc.) that are needed for the reports, can be integrated with a few clicks.
Customized, visual KPIs can be built via drag and drop and stored on dynamic, interactive dashboards. These professional KPI dashboards are also the core of datapine’s BI reporting solution. They offer a wealth of modern dashboard functionalities such as sophisticated global filter, predictive analytics as well as AI-based and interactive dashboard features.
Moreover, you can choose from over 80 professional dashboard templates for different business functions and industries. Finally, the dashboards can be shared in multiple ways such as automatic email reports, sharing live dashboards via URL or embedding them in external applications.
Datapine offers a 14-day free trial without any limitations with custom pricing starting at $250 per account.
Tableau is a visual analytics platform for exploring, understanding, and managing business data. It uses a drag and drop method to create reports using the available data visualizations and widgets.Tableau uses interactive data visualizations so you can create visually-compelling reports that viewers can click to explore.
If you need to build powerful dashboards quickly, Tableau is the best reporting tool for you because of its embedded analytics features. The embedded analytics are customizable through an API so you can insert data collection and reporting functionality into your pre-existing workflow. This can also help you personalize your customers’ data experience.
Tableau integrates with other business tools, including Google Cloud, Microsoft SQL Server, Google Sheets, Hive, and SAP.
Tableau pricing starts at $12/user/month, and they offer a 14-day free trial.
Created in 2002, ProWorkflow was designed as a project management solution that supported analytics and reporting needs. When you log in to this tool, you immediately see a user-friendly dashboard showing a graphical summary of your current stats for active, completed, and upcoming work.
Standard reports provide detailed information on workload and performance as well as your projects, tasks, time, and financial data. Custom reports let you build your own report, select the filters and data that you need, and even share the report with your team.
Visually, the reporting screens and downloads aren’t much to look at. The data is solid and easy to read but if you are looking for some added physical pizzaz, you might need to deploy some manual graphic design intervention.
Key features you can tap into include: resource reports on staff and time, workload breakdown reports, time summary reports, individual project reports, general project reports, task reports, and the ability to export reports to multiple formats.
ProWorkflow integrates with tools like Xero, Quickbooks, KashFlow, FreshBooks, MYOB AccountRight, Box Storage, DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and hundreds more through Zapier.
ProWorkflow costs from $10/user/month, which includes a maximum of 10 active projects.
FineReport is a professional reporting tool designed to empower companies to generate reports and dashboards without dealing with technical complexities.
FineReport’s basic features include broad database support, data integration, report scheduling, multiple exporting formats, and security features. Users can create complex reports, and live dashboards with plenty of 2D & 3D charts, as well as GIS maps with some neat animations. The tool supports responsive display on PCs and mobile, and offers dashboards with BIM and IoT scenario capabilities.
The tool also has a great data entry feature, which allows users to leverage widgets and forms to input report information directly into relevant databases. Data validation features ensure the data's properties are accurate. This provides teams with an efficient way of collecting the latest information via web forms.
The excel-like and low-code reporting features also allow teams to connect to mainstream databases and NoSQL databases, as well as integrate multiple data sources in one report. User permissions, authentications, and authorizations are also included to ensure data security.
FineReport integrates with third-party software such as CRM, OA, ERP, and other systems. It also provides rich APIs for customization.
FineReport is free for personal use. Pricing for paid plans is available upon request.
SegMetrics is a lead attribution system that collects data from your existing marketing tools, which you can then use to get a holistic overview of your customer journey. You'll get insights on where your leads come from, how they act, and how much your marketing is worth.
SegMetrics makes it easy to track the value of a lead throughout the customer journey and see how each touchpoint in your marketing increases or decreases that value, and then adjust your efforts to improve the ROI of your marketing funnels. You can combine touchpoints and lead sources to understand which traffic sources are the most valuable, and track revenue through the lifetime of the customer.
Another plus is that you can do this without coding, spreadsheet exporting, pivot tables, or complicated set-up, making it easier to get up and running and use. They also provide top-tier support and complimentary kick-off calls.
SegMetrics integrates easily with a variety of marketing tools you already use including Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, WebinarJam, WooCommerce, Facebook, Google Ads, and more.
SegMetrics costs $27/user/month for a solo plan.
Power BI is a cloud-based suite of analytics and reporting tools you can get with Office 365 Enterprise. It also has a mobile app version. You can use its analytics feature to dig deep and find patterns in your data that you can use to come up with actionable insights. Power BI lets you access data from cloud-based sources like SharePoint, Salesforce, and Azure SQL DB.
Power BI is an excellent reporting tool for scaling organizations because—instead of paying on a per user basis—you can pay on a per capacity basis so you’re charged based on the computing power your business needs. You can use Power BI to create reports with interactive data visualizations that make information easier to understand. It has themes, formatting, and layout tools you can use to come up with personalized reports.
Additionally, you can use Power BI to create mobile-optimized reports that are viewable on smart devices.
Power BI pricing starts at $9.99/user/month and they offer a free trial upon request.
Need expert help selecting the right Reporting Dashboard Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Reporting Dashboard Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business's needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
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Other Dashboard Reporting Tools
Here are a few more auto-reporting tools that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for the handy ad hoc report tool, check these out.
- Qlik – combines all your data and makes it analysis-ready for everyone to freely explore, amplified by machine intelligence for better results.
- Inetsoft – data intelligence that unites business intelligence (BI) and machine learning (ML) to extract value from your data.
- Domo – works with your data lakes, data warehouses, ETL tools, and more, to deliver data insights with built-in collaboration and productivity tools.
- Board – explore your data, run effective analysis, build interactive dashboards, and create impactful reports.
- Sisense – API-first cloud technology with interactive dashboards, self-service analytics, and white-labeled BI apps for your use.
- Periscope – explore and analyze data using SQL, Python, and R with rapidly prototype machine learning models, including sentiment and text analysis using NLP.
- Looker – connect with Redshift, Snowflake, BigQuery, as well as 50+ supported SQL dialects to build embedded visualizations and data science workflows.
- Klipfolio – connect hundreds of data sources, including spreadsheets, files, databases, and web services applications to build data visualizations.
- Smartsheet – connect and integrate with tools and apps you already use to glean real-time insights into the work that teams are doing across the organization.
- Workamajig – gain insights from your management dashboard to pinpoint efficiencies or bottlenecks and create relevant reports based on user needs.
- Clarizen – capture and track all your project and team data in real-time, including effort, status, issues, and change requests.
- TapClicks – marketing report tool (TapReports) and marketing performance analytics (TapAnalytics) with a clean, streamlined UI.
- Supermetrics – centralize all your marketing data in their marketing data warehouse, build dashboards and reports with ad-hoc analysis.
- AgencyAnalytics – integrate with more than 30 platforms to build a complete marketing dashboard and optimize your work with SEO reporting software.
- Funnel – automatically collect all the data you need from any data source and feed it directly to your data warehouse, dashboard solution, or any other tool you’re using.
- ClicData – a cloud-based business intelligence platform offering a built-in data warehouse and ETL features that allow data processing and management as well as a dashboard designer and automated reporting tools.
- Mixpanel – behavioral analytics tool to analyze website site user engagement, monitor KPIs, and easily generate reports.
Data Reporting FAQ
There’s a lot to know about report writing software. Before you can even begin to narrow down the choices you have to understand the basics. Consider this FAQ as a primer before we jump into the report writer software reviews.
What is a reporting tool?
A reporting tool, or software reporting tool, is a system that takes in data from various sources and extrapolates it in tables, charts, visual presentations, and other styles so that the information is easier to parse. For example, Tableau reporting tools use data blending and drill-down to help users look for variations and/or patterns.
What are the types of reporting tools?
There are many types of reporting tools, such as dashboard software, data visualization software, scorecard tools, and ad-hoc report writers.
Dashboard software lets you put the reports that matter most to you front and center. Data visualization software turns data into something visually-oriented that users can easily read.
Then, scorecarding tools are all about performance data. Therefore you know who your high achievers are. Lastly, ad-hoc report writers create various styles of in-the-moment reports for companies that have ever-changing needs.
What are BI tools?
BI tools pull data from various sources and visualize it in a way that users find useful. BI tools may gather, organize, and analyze data into meaningful reports that can be printed or redistributed in some way.
What are the benefits of reporting tools?
One benefit is that reporting tools gather data across sources and then organize it visually so users can read and interpret it. These sources are inventory, sales, conversion, web traffic, social media impressions, time spent, and so on.
Reports can typically be saved into different formats, printed and distributed, visualized, and presented, so it is a great way to convey large amounts of useful information quickly. Also, reporting allows you to ask big-picture questions and then collect the data you need to make the best decisions.
Not looking for report software at the moment?
Check out our other lists of other project management tools you might find useful:
- Look at project portfolio management tools. They can help you conduct and communicate your reports on a higher level and across projects.
- Communication, communication, communication. If you haven’t nailed this, you can’t really get started on anything else. Try these 10 Best Communication Tools & Software.
- Find reporting tools within other software, such as my list of the best marketing project management software.
- Worth checking out: Managing Tasks As A Project Manager: 3 Key Strategies For 2022
What Do You Think?
I’m certain that you use an option I have not covered on this list. I would love to have your thoughts on reporting tools in the comments and any related stories you want to share.
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