written by
5000fish Team

Understanding Paginated Reports (BI Reporting Techniques)

BI Problems and Solutions 6 min read
Yurbi - Self-Service BI

Paginated reports might sound a bit old-school in our fast-paced, digital-first world, but they're far from obsolete.

Born in the era of classic BI tools like Crystal Reports, Cognos, and Microsoft SSRS, these reports are all about precision and neatness, perfect for anything that needs to end up on paper.

Even as businesses move towards more dynamic tools, there’s still a clear spot for paginated reports. They're particularly handy when you need every page to look just right, whether it’s for formal financial reports, in-depth project materials, or essential compliance documents.

Let’s dive into why these reports are still a go-to in our increasingly digital landscape.

Paginated Reports Explained

Paginated reports are your go-to when you need something print-perfect and ready to roll off the press. They're like the Swiss Army knife for reports that need to look good on paper, ensuring every chart, table, and text block is exactly where it should be, page after page.

At their core, paginated reports aren't just static documents; they're carefully crafted blueprints that tell a story with data. They don’t house data themselves but use a 'report definition' that pulls and presents data according to a pre-set design.

When you run one of these reports, it fetches the data and aligns it with your layout specs, making sure that even if your data sprawls over multiple pages, it stays readable and neat​.

They work really well in scenarios where you need consistency and precision, like delivering reports or formal documents that require a polished look. Interactive bells and whistles take a back seat here – it’s all about providing a reliable and predictable print experience.

Benefits of Paginated Reports

If you’re looking to keep your reports neat and tidy, especially when they need to hit the printer, paginated reports are your best bet. Here's why they might just become your new favorite tool:

  • Custom Reports: Every pixel and paragraph in your report can be placed just right. This means your reports come out looking sharp and professional every time, ideal for when you need to impress with those crisp invoices or detailed project updates​.
  • Easy and Versatile Sharing Options: Whether you need a PDF for an email attachment or an Excel file for further data crunching, paginated reports have got you covered with a variety of export options​.
  • Print-Ready: Designed with printing in mind, these reports make sure that from the first page to the last, everything sits perfectly on the page, eliminating awkward page breaks or cut-off tables​.
  • Data Heavy Lifting: Got a lot of data to report on? No problem. Paginated reports handle big datasets like a champ, making them perfect for detailed and extensive reports like inventory audits or comprehensive sales data​.
  • A Touch of Interactivity: They might be great for printing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be interactive. With features like drill-through and bookmarks, even the digital versions of your reports are easy to navigate​.
  • Secure and Connected: Link up with numerous data sources while keeping your data secure. This means you can pull in all the info you need without sweating about data leaks​.

Whether it's for boardroom quality printouts or secure, detailed digital reports, paginated reports add that polished touch to your BI tasks.

Paginated Reports vs. Dashboards and Interactive Reports

When deciding between paginated reports and dashboards, think of it like choosing between a detailed guidebook and a quick-reference map. Dashboards are all about giving you speedy insights with real-time updates. They're perfect for when you want to keep an eye on your business's pulse with live data neatly summarized on a single screen​.

Paginated reports, though? They're your go-to for the nitty-gritty details, especially when you need something formal and polished that fits perfectly on printed pages. These reports are ideal for creating thorough, multi-page documents where every piece of data has its place – great for printed financial statements or detailed project documentation that you might want to file away or hand out during meetings.

Paginated Reports Use Cases

Paginated reports are super handy in a variety of scenarios, especially when you need your reports to look sharp. Here’s where they shine:

  • Financial Reports: Think balance sheets or income statements that need to be spot-on for audits or regulatory stuff.
  • Operational Details: Great for when you need to keep tabs on inventory or send out detailed invoices.
  • Official Documentation: Anytime you need to put together official docs that require specific formatting, paginated reports are your best bet.
  • Regular Updates: Set them up once and forget about them! Schedule these reports to run and send themselves out regularly, keeping everyone in the loop with the latest data.

Paginated Reports Best Practices

If you want to get the most out of paginated reports, then keep these tips and tricks in mind:

Go for a Clean Look: Stick to simple designs. Consistency is key – make sure your fonts, colors, and spacing match up nicely throughout the report. It just looks more polished that way.

Think Print-Perfect: Remember, these reports often end up printed, so layout matters a lot. Check those margins and make sure your text and tables aren’t wandering off into the abyss of page breaks​.

Leverage Cool Features: Don’t forget about the neat tools at your disposal like caching and snapshot features. They can speed things up and save your day when dealing with large data loads​.

Get Interactive: Just because it’s great on paper doesn’t mean it can’t dazzle on screen too. Adding interactive elements like links to drill down into data can make the digital version of your report much more useful​.

Use Templates and Parameters: Using templates can get your reports rolling faster, and adding parameters lets your users customize what they see, making your reports both dynamic and user-friendly​.

Just a few tweaks here and there can really make your paginated reports stand out, both in print and on screen!

Does Yurbi Provide Paginated Reports?

The short answer, yes, but in a simple, basic way.

Yurbi is primarily designed as a self-service driven tool to generate interactive reports and dashboards. And equally important, to have robust security controls to limit users to what they can see and do (if we’re going to make it easier for them to do it!).

With that said, Yurbi does aim to bring in features like email scheduling, excel and PDF exporting, and more.

Yurbi does provide the ability to use dynamic paramters at a report level to generate header and footers in an exported or scheduled report. One of those is the concept of page number and number of pages, which applies to a report exported or scheduled to a PDF. Any report defined as a basic grid or aggregate grid, can be exported to PDF with header and footer.

That is our current support for paginated reports in Yurbi.

For more advanced requirements, where you want more pixel perfect layouts, specific layout templates, or features above what we have out of the box, Yurbi has a robust API that allows you to pull a JSON object of the secure data a user would recieve, and then as a developer, you can use that object to produce any type of report requirements you have.

The drawbacks of course, this does require developer expertise. And while it may be a suitable option when you have just a few different report outputs, if you were looking for the abiltiy for an end user to drag and drop or layout a pixel perfect report within the Yurbi interface, we don’t offer that.

Want to see how Yurbi makes paginated report creation accessible to everyone in your organization? Book a free live demo session or schedule a personalized meeting with our team!

paginated reports BI reporting BI reporting techniques