SQL or PowerBI: Which Reporting Style is Right for You?

There are many considerations when choosing the right data reporting platform for your company – price, ease of use, data security, etc. One of the key questions companies face when selecting a data analysis and visualization platform is whether to use SQL or model-based reporting.

Tools like PowerBI and Tableau are model-based platforms, and may not be the best fit for your needs. RockDaisy offers SQL-based reporting, which may be a better fit for your business. To find out if that’s the case, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each style.

SQL Pros

  • Having been around for 25+ years, SQL is the industry standard database query language for pulling data from a relational database.
  • Reporting takes place in real-time.
  • Provides developers full control over exactly what data and how much data is returned from the database.
  • Users can incorporate any type of logic they want in SQL on a per query basis.
  • SQL makes it quick and easy to create queries, and then implement those queries in reports.
  • SQL code and formulas can be centralized on a database server for efficient reference.
  • Reports are straightforward and easy to use, requiring little training to navigate.

SQL Cons

  • The primary drawback to SQL… is that you have to know SQL!
  • Large Datasets (10’s of millions of rows) may require a nightly pre-aggregation process.

Model-Based Pros

  • Users can drag & drop report widgets to create dashboards/reports with no code.
  • Users can slice & dice data in a myriad of ways.
  • Model-based reporting platforms can handle extremely large amounts of data.

Model-Based Cons

  • Since users can slice & dice the data in a myriad of ways, they must fully understand the data model, which usually requires significant training.
  • Formulas are often embedded in reports, making it difficult to track inconsistencies.
  • In contrast to writing a new query in SQL, changes to model-based data reports can be time consuming.
  • Writeback and drill-down options are limited.
  • Significant lead-time is often required to create the data model (a process which usually requires SQL).

At RockDaisy, our end user is the decision maker at an organization – someone who simply wants to view their data in charts and tables, and requires basic filtering capabilities as opposed to more complex ‘slice and dice’ functionality. For RockDaisy, ease of use is paramount, while the ability to experiment with various chart types or pivot tables would be deemed superfluous.

RockDaisy’s platform places the reporting power in the SQL developer’s hands. We allow developers to create and publish reports which end users can easily filter or drill down into. Our reports can be seamlessly exported into pre-packaged data experiences tailor-made for the busy executive on the go. And our platform is fully-responsive, meaning it works on all desktops, smartphones and tablets.

If you’re looking for a SQL-based reporting tool, look no further than RockDaisy. If you’re not sure which reporting tool is right for you, why not contact us to set up a time for a free demo?  It’s worth exploring if SQL-based reporting will make your data analysis a whole lot easier.

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