Understanding Data Aggregation, Grid Reports, Grouping, and More (BI Reporting Techniques)

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Business intelligence reporting involves preparing and analyzing data so you can find and share actionable insights from it.

BI reporting helps you improve your decision-making process and overall business performance. To achieve these outcomes, though, you must make sure you’re using the proper techniques.

Learn more about the most influential business intelligence reporting techniques and how to use them below.

Data Aggregation

Data aggregation involves gathering and expressing data in a summary form. When you aggregate data, you replace atomic data rows with totals or summary statistics.

Business intelligence professionals typically use data aggregation to provide statistical analysis for a group of people or to create a helpful summary for more efficient business analysis.

To carry out data aggregation on a large scale, you can use a software tool known as a data aggregator, which typically includes features that help with collecting, processing, and presenting aggregate data.

An example of aggregate data in action could be a report showing voter turnout by county. Instead of showing individual voter records, the report would show vote totals for each candidate for a particular location.


Grouping data involves organizing related data points into groups, which allows you to work with them more easily and efficiently. Grouping shares a high-level view of a data set, helping users to spot trends, patterns, and outliers. It also aids users in drilling down the details more quickly.

Grouping data can also help users create more meaningful visualizations, which can make BI reports more straightforward to understand and more impactful. When you group data based on specific criteria, you can create charts and graphs highlighting relationships between various data groups.

For example, say you group sales data by region. Once you’ve done this, you can create a map visualization showing the total sales for each region.

Grouping data in this way allows you to see more easily which regions perform well and which ones need additional support.

Grid Reports

Grids are tables containing data from an external database connection (or connections). You can add grids to reports, define their dimensional layouts, select members, and format your grid accordingly. You can also use text, members, dimensions, and formulas to determine grid content.

A grid report can be useful in several situations, especially when you want to group data or evaluate aggregate data on a higher level.

Say you were looking at a sales data record showing information about what was purchased, who purchased it, their location, the amount purchased, the color, etc. You could then use other techniques, like grouping, to look at specific pieces of information.

For example, you might decide to group the data by item, color, and location. This grouping would then help you identify trends in items sold, colors that are selling the most or least, and which locations are generating the greatest amount of revenue.

Business Intelligence Reporting Best Practices

In addition to using the correct business intelligence reporting techniques, you can also use these best practices to increase the effectiveness of your reports and help your audience understand the data you’re presenting to them:

Know Your Audience and Their Needs

Take the time to get to know your audience and their needs. Before starting a project or program, identify specific business intelligence reporting requirements. You can use KPIs as well to support your team and help them know what to focus on throughout the data analysis and reporting process.

Prep Data

Use techniques like data replication, ingestion, and transformation to combine data types into standardized formats. Doing so will ensure all data is clean and business-ready.

Be Flexible

Flexibility and scalability are critical to effective business intelligence reporting. It’s best to have a flexible and scalable architecture that allows users to access and share data on multiple devices without sacrificing data security.

Be willing to adjust your business intelligence reporting processes, too, as new technologies and tools emerge.

Govern Data

Set up permissions to ensure only those who are supposed to access particular data sets and reports are able to do so. Learn and abide by the company’s specific data governance rules and regulations to prevent information from falling into the wrong hands.

Tell a Story

Use visualizations in your dashboards and business intelligence reports that help you highlight critical information and tell a data story in a way that keeps your audience engaged and empowers them to make more informed decisions.

Prioritize Data Literacy

Provide access to data literacy training and tools. That way, your organization can foster a more data-driven culture and get more out of your business intelligence dashboards and reports.

Aggregate Grid: Yurbi’s Latest Feature You Should Try

As part of our commitment to continually enhance your data management experience with Yurbi, we’re excited to announce our latest feature addition – the Aggregate Grid. Redefining the ease of building comprehensive reports, the Aggregate Grid ushers in a new era of user-friendly visual representation.

Quickly create a grid style report by dragging and dropping fields into the Yurbi Aggregate Grid builder. Users can select and order the columns, and select the display format to ensure dates, numbers, and currency display as desired.

With the standard grid, users have the ability to sort and filter columns, drag and drop to create grouping, and quickly export to excel.

Grid Display in Yurbi

Users can also designate groupings of data and configure the initial display to be grouped or expanded as shown in the example below.

Grouped Grid Display in Yurbi

To add additional power, aggregates such as sum, count, min, max, and average can be applied to any column of data as appropriate and the display of the values can be at the group row, within the group, as a grand total, and with custom labels.

Grouped Grid with Aggregates in Yurbi

And a new feature recently added is to allow row shading based on the comparison of columns in the grid or by a custom value. In the below example, a rule was set to display any total less than $400 as yellow.

Conditional Row Coloring in Aggregate Grid

As we wrap up, we encourage you to explore the capabilities of the Aggregate Grid within Yurbi. Book a meeting with our team or join our free live demo sessions to witness the transformation in your BI reporting process. It’s time to embrace an advanced, simplified approach to data management.

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