Report Builder

What is a Report Builder?

A Report Builder is a self-service tool for someone to build analytics reporting from raw data. Typically, a Report Builder will be in a tabular format, with the ability to do complex aggregations and filtering simply.

Below is a quick example of an interface that you might see in a Report Builder:

Report Builder Interface

This Report Builder interface is simple to understand, as it allows for a complex aggregation (total sales by month) by just dragging a few components into the insight builder on the right-hand side of the screen. From there, a wonderful line chart is displayed for a user to gain critical insight on their business.

Does a Report Builder Enable Self-Service Reporting?

Yes, this is the main point of a Report Builder. The best Report Builder products on the market offer a mix of self-serve reporting and built-in reporting, with the ability to give users an idea of typical aggregations and filtering of data, while enabling editing of those built-in reports.

Are Report Builders Best for Internal or External Use?

Report Builders are best positioned to be a tool for both internal and external use cases. For the internal use case, Report Builders unlock less technical users to get their own insights on internal company data. For the external use case, Report Builders are great to enable users to get their own insights around product usage.

What Industries can Best Utilize a Report Builder?

Any industry is able to utilize a Report Builder. Typically, the most common industries for seeing a Report Builder are:




Transportation and Logistics



The common threads between these industries is the amount of data and insights that can be gleaned from the immense data collected. A Report Builder can come in handy when evaluating the data and coming up with complex insights.

To best understand how these industries can use a Report Builder, take a look at some Report Builder use case blog posts:

Fintech Report Builder Use Case

Transportation and Logistics Report Builder Use Case

CRM Report Builder Use Case

Is the Report Builder the Future of Analytics?

Many people think so! The Report Builder is a natural interface to unlock the new powers of Large Language Models and Artificial Intelligence. A user starts with raw data and is able to ask an AI to aggregate this data with the simple interface, finally putting that aggregation into a nice visual representation. Since the AI is provided guardrails for interfacing with the data via the right-hand panel configuration, we can be more confident that the AI won’t hallucinate, providing robust insights. As LLMs continue to improve, so will Report Builders. And, with a fully auditable trail from raw data to visualization, users can always double-check the work of the AI. The Report Builder is the future of AI interfacing with analytics.

Do Large Enterprises Offer Report Builders?

Yes, major companies use Report Builder, such as:

  • Gusto
  • Rippling
  • Salesforce
  • BambooHR
  • Zenefits

All have built internal Report Builder products for their end users to utilize. This is an enterprise-grade offering that likely took months or years of product requirements gathering and building time. With off-the-shelf Report Builder offerings, the common aspects amongst these Report Builders has been aggregated into a seamless product experience, perfect for any Report Builder use case.

What are the Best Report Builder Products?

There are a few Report Builder products on the market worth noticing, although the market is generally still nascent when it comes to Report Builder technology.


Explo offers the most robust and comprehensive Report Builder product, enabling end users to aggregate their data in an excel-like workflow, finally creating beautiful visualizations for sharing externally. Explo Report Builder is a simple tool to get started with, oftentimes taking as little as 5 minutes to setup, with enterprise-grade features like permissioning and sharing.

Microsoft + Power BI Report Builder

Microsoft has built a great set of tools for enabling users to create reports. With the wide-open interface, it can be a great, flexible tool for building reports. The product is not the most intuitive or clean on the market and is relatively limited when it comes to easy database connection and final product embedding, but nonetheless is a great addition to the Microsoft suite of products.


Report Builders are becoming more-and-more important for analytics, especially when it comes to self-serve reporting. And, with the rise of AI, Report Builders will become even more common in an analytics environment, as more non-technical users will have the capability of getting their own insights. With that in mind, it’s a great idea to invest in Report Builder products early, as the wave of self-serve reporting is only going to grow in the coming months and years.

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