Jira Reporting: A Complete 2023 Guide To Custom Jira Reports

Published: November 7, 2022
Last Updated: November 7, 2022
Support Team Lead at Alpha Serve
Jira is an excellent issue-tracking and project-management solution. It empowers teams to create a single source of truth and make real-time decisions. At its core, Jira reports let you get real-time insights where you can use tools to create data-driven dashboards and agile and custom reporting.

This article will teach you about Jira reports, their types, options, and alternatives. We’ll also look at what Jira reporting has to offer by default. Next, we learn about reporting apps for Jira and using professional BI software such as Power BI. Lastly, we’ll look at Atlassian Data Lake and the things to keep in mind when using Jira reporting.
Jira Reporting: A Complete 2023 Guide To Custom Jira Reports

Types of reports in Jira

Types of reports in Jira
There are many types of reports in Jira. These reports aim to provide an out-of-the-box reporting experience for teams. It can be related to productivity, scope, quality, predictability, schedule, or project flow. For example, Jira reports allow you to know the amount of work done during a Sprint session, or you can use reporting to address work quality by learning how many bugs are resolved during a particular Sprint.

Jira reports are essential and valuable, as they let you understand different aspects of your agile project. Jira offers two ways to gain insights: Jira Reports and Jira Dashboards. Jira dashboard is at the core of reporting and visualization. It lets you combine multiple reports and gadgets to give you an eagle-eye view of your data.

Broadly, Jira reports are categorized into four types.

These report types are:

  • Agile reports for Kanban teams
  • Agile reports for Scrum teams
  • Forecast and management
  • Issue analysis
Let’s look at each category by listing supported reports and their advantages.

Agile Reports for Kanban and Scrum Teams and Their Advantage

Under Kanban, you get two types of reports:
  • Cumulative Flow Diagram
  • Control Chart
As for Scrum, the following agile reports are available:
  • Sprint Report
  • Epic Report
  • Epic Burndown
  • Burndown Chart
  • Burnup Chart
  • Version Report
  • Velocity Report
  • Cumulative Flow Diagram
These reports under Kanban and Scrum categories enable teams to have a complete tab on their Sprints. They can use them to evaluate progress, forecast, and learn about crucial info related to Kanban and Scrum teams. It lets teams manage workload, improve work efficiency, and eliminate bottlenecks.

For example, agile teams may want to create Burndown/Burnup Charts to evaluate progress. Forecasting goes a long way as teams use Sprint, Version, and Epic Reports to predict different aspects of the agile project using the board’s historical data.

Forecast and Management Reports and Their Advantage

Here, you get access to the following reports:
  • User Workload Report
  • Time Tracking Report
  • Version Workload Report
  • Workload Pie Chart Report
These reports enable teams to do workload management and time tracking. The Forecast and Management reports are essential for a healthy work environment as it tracks individual workload and ensures that no one is overworked.

Issue Analysis Reports and Their Advantage

Under the Jira Issue Analysis Reports category, you get the following reports:
  • Pie Chart
  • Average Age Report
  • Created vs. Resolved Issues Chart
  • Resolution Time Report
  • Recently Created Issues Report
  • Time Since Issues Report
  • Single Level Group By Report
The Jira Issues Analysis reports let you stay up to date with the ability of your team to manage incoming work. It also lets you see if your team can complete the work or get an insight into backlogs. Here, you also access more generic reporting aspects such as Pie Chart, Time Since Issues Report, etc. Overall, these reports let you do impressive data visualization and create a Jira dashboard.

Jira Reporting: Options and Alternatives

Jira Reporting: Options and Alternatives
Jira offers a remarkable ecosystem that offers flexibility when it comes to reporting. You’re free to stick with the in-built Jira reports. Jira Reporting provides access to many reports, categorized into four main categories, as discussed above. So, what options do you have? Let’s go through them below.

Built-In Jira Reports

Jira's built-in reports offer an out-of-the-box reporting solution for organizations. It supports standard reporting such as Resolution Time Report, User Workload Report, etc., and gives teams the ability to learn, adapt and overcome obstacles by gaining insights from reports. Additionally, you also get custom gadgets and dashboards. The gadgets let you show custom data. On the other hand, the Jira dashboard lets you arrange gadgets and reports, giving you a desirable view of your project.

Add-Ons

If you're unsatisfied with in-built Jira capabilities, you can use add-ons inside your Jira instance. These add-ons add further capabilities to existing Jira reporting, such as giving you more types of reports or the ability to perform multi-dimensional analysis and Jira custom reporting. The well-known Jira add-ons for reporting include Power BI Connector for Jira, TimeTracker, Worklogs, and Clerk Invoices. You can find more Jira Reports add-ons here.

External BI Tools

The third option is to use external BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, BigQuery, SAP Analytics Cloud, Oracle Analytics etc. These third-party BI tools push data analytics, visualization and reporting to the next level by offering dedicated visualization and reporting solutions. For example, Power BI offers advanced features such as custom visualization, monthly product updates, automatic data refreshes, etc.

There can be many reasons you may want to opt for external BI tools, including the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, do cross-project reporting, work with multiple data sources, or easily share reports among non-Jira users.

Atlassian Data Lake

Jira is working extensively on its new product Atlassian Data Lake. It is aimed at Cloud Enterprise but is currently in beta. To get access, you need an invite. Atlassian Data Lake's key features include cross-instance data capabilities and inter-team data sharing.

So, which option should you choose? Let's explore each to learn which one you should choose and why.

Jira Software Reports: What is Available by Default

Jira Software Reports: What is Available by Default?
Jira Reports is a formidable way to do out-of-the-box reporting. By default, you get access to plenty of reports. In Jira, reporting is categorized into four types, which we have discussed in detail in our previous section, “Types of Report in Jira.”

You can approach standard reporting in two ways. The first one is to use the standard reports available or custom gadgets and dashboards. The standard reports are self-usable without the need to configure. These reports include Resolution Time Report, User Workload Report, etc.

If you like customizability, then you can use the other option: gadgets and dashboards. Dashboards offer user convenience as you can add gadgets and arrange them as you like. As the dashboard is the first visible screen, it provides excellent accessibility. Moreover, you can also use filters to get various output formats which are also ideal for third-party reporting software.

To summarize, the Jira Reporting benefits include the following:

  • Instant access to reporting tools within Jira
  • Easily configure convenient Jira reporting dashboards for teamwork
  • No extra charge as it is included in Jira

Jira Reporting Challenges include:

  • The permission-based approach results in different users seeing different reports
  • Limited functionality
  • Report sharing is limited to Jira only, with no option to share outside

Reporting Apps for Jira

Atlassian Marketplace offers access to many add-ons for different purposes, including Reporting. So, if you want to overcome Jira challenges without leaving Jira, you need to use third-party add-ons inside your Jira instance. You can check out Report Builder, Custom Charts for Jira, Dashboard Hub for Jira - Reports & Charts, etc. You can find the list of Jira 3rd party add-ons for reporting here.

To summarize, the Reporting Apps for Jira benefits include:

  • Access better functionality and features without the need to go outside the Jira
  • Create a customized dashboard for teamwork
  • Enable your team to create customizable reporting inside your Jira instance
Reporting apps for Jira do overcome the built-in Jira reporting; however, there are still some drawbacks.

These challenges are:

  • You need to pay an additional cost to use the add-on
  • Some of the Jira reporting plugins still doesn’t allow you to share reports outside Jira.

Moving Jira Reports to Professional BI Software

Businesses are keen to extract every opportunity to gain an advantage over competitors. That’s why companies use professional BI tools for their Jira reporting, giving them the best possible tools to get insights into their data. In 2020, the Business Intelligence(BI) marketplace was valued at USD 20.516 billion, which is expected to grow to USD 40.50 by 2026.

There are well-known professional BI software in the market, such as Power BI, Google Big Query, Tableau, SAP Analytics Cloud, etc. These BI tools provide a complete solution for collecting, analyzing, reporting, and presenting data from various sources. It enables companies to make data-driven decisions and clear strategic end goals without worrying about any limitations of using Jira or its add-ons.
To summarize, moving Jira reports to professional BI software gives you the following benefits:

  • Connect to multiple data sources, including corporate tools, project management platforms, and other BI software, and use the data to create comprehensive data models.
  • Create advanced reports by exporting data from popular professional software such as CRM, Jira, etc.
  • Improve both customer and employee experience by tracking relevant KPIs.
  • Get a competitive advantage by accessing historical and competitive data.
  • Reduce business costs with improved efficiency in understanding consumer behavior and sales forecasting.
In contrast, the challenges are:

  • Even though BI tools are self-sufficient and offer ease of use, you still need to hire a BI expert to get the most out of it.
  • BI softwares are paid.
  • You need to establish a seamless and secure Jira integration with BI software. However, you can overcome it with the use of professional BI Connectors for Jira.

Power BI Jira Reports and Dashboards

According to Gartner, Power BI from Microsoft has been the most popular BI tool in the market for the last four years and 2022. Jira reporting offers an extensive feature set but is limited in many areas. Power BI, on the other hand, enriches Jira reports and gives companies a way to enrich complex reporting.
The reasons why and when to create Jira reports in Power BI:
  1. Power BI offers you advanced features to handle users' reporting requests which Jira's build-in reporting is incapable of.
  2. Power BI's convenient dashboard lets you build multiple reports in Power BI more efficiently than relying on several Jira charts.
  3. If you want to create reports with multiple Jira custom fields and marketplace apps' custom fields, then Power BI is your only option, as Jira Reporting currently doesn't support working with multiple custom fields yet.
  4. Power BI's ability to work with different data sources and popular professional software means that you can create combined reporting on multiple Jira projects.
  5. Power BI also lets you build consolidated reporting across all business functions using data sources such as CRM, Jira, Financial management software, ITSM, etc.
  6. You don't have to worry about manually updating reports, as Power BI reports can be automatically updated.
  7. Power BI offers accessible report sharing among stakeholders, including non-Jira users.
  8. Power BI improves data quality which you can trust, considering it offers single process ownership for comprehensive reporting.
The Jira dashboard is the first thing you see when logging in to Jira. That’s why it is important to customize the dashboard per your requirement. You can either manually add gadgets and reports, or use the Jira Power BI dashboard templates that let you kick-start your dashboard customization in Power BI. These templates work with pre-configured data sources, so there is no need to pick up the needed fields manually.

The latest version of Alpha Serve’s Power BI Connector for Jira added new support for eight Power BI dashboard templates. For example, if you want to summarize and showcase project KPIs from all projects or selected projects in a Jira instance, then you need to use Jira Project Dashboard. Similarly, the Jira Sprint Dashboard pre-configured template lets you monitor current Sprint progress via various monitoring metrics. If you want to read more about them, check out our blog post.

In conclusion, Alpha Serve’s Power BI Connector for Jira offers you the best way to get started with Jira Reporting with Power BI. It lets you create a seamless and stable connection between Jira and Power BI and gives you the tools to create an insightful Jira reporting dashboards with pre-defined templates.

Atlassian Data Lake

Atlassian Data Lake is an attempt to provide Jira customers with a centralized place to store data from all Cloud products. This way, users can run queries from a single place with access to enriched and pre-modeled fields. It opens up many possibilities, including analyzing data across essential Atlassian Cloud products such as Jira Software, Jira Work Management, Jira Service Management, Insight, and Opsgenie. Currently, it is in open beta and only accessible to Cloud Enterprise customers.

Moreover, it also adds the ability to work with different data sources, including external data sources, removing the need to rely on add-ons and third-party BI tools. Additionally, it also supports enhanced data access and permission. Currently, they are working on adding real-time access to data.

Which Option to Choose for Jira Reporting

When it comes to Jira reporting, you have plenty of options. The most obvious one is to use the default built-in Jira reports, as it offers seamless access to reports with self-service out-of-the-box reports. It is easy to use, and most companies with basic reporting needs can work with it.

If you feel limited with built-in Jira reports, you can use Jira add-ons. The Jira marketplace offers access to plenty of suitable add-ons. They cost money but allow you to expand reporting functionality within the Jira.

Even with add-ons, you may feel limited, especially if you want to work with multiple data sources and the ability to export reports to non-Jira users. This is where BI tools come in. Here, you can use Power BI, a leading business intelligence tool in the market. With advanced Power BI features and state-of-the-art visualization, you can get the best possible reporting feature set in the market. However, you must consider the software and professional costs of using any external BI tool.

Lastly, we have Atlassian Data Lake. It is a formidable option for Jira Reporting, but it is still in open beta and is available only for enterprise customers.

There is no “best” option out of these. All of these are good, and your choice depends on your requirement. You need to take into account the limitations of each option. For example, if you are a small team, then using the built-in Jira reports with or without add-ons is the right way. For bigger enterprise teams, it is best to use third-party BI tools such as Power BI as it gives the most flexibility in reporting. For enterprises that want to stick with the Atlassian ecosystem, the Atlassian Data Lake is a great option.
In summary, the key points to consider when it comes to Jira reporting are:
  • Ask questions on the reporting scope, i.e., which data to include.
  • Ask questions about who are the end-users of the generated reports.
  • Ask questions on the frequency of reporting you need, i.e., do you need reports daily(multiple times) or once a month?
  • Ask questions about additional data sources you want to include in your reporting process, i.e., do you want to combine Jira data with other external data sources such as SAP, ServiceNow, etc.
  • Ask questions about your budget for setting up and supporting the reports.

Final Words

This leads us to the end of our Jira reporting 2023 complete guide to Jira custom reports. We covered a variety of information, including report types and options you have when it comes to Jira reporting. Share this article with your thoughts about what option is best for you?

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