Basic Concepts of Zoho Reports

Basic Concepts of Zoho Reports

Zoho Reports is an online reporting and business intelligence service that helps you to easily analyze your business data and create insightful reports & dashboards for informed decision-making. 

This guide will help you to learn the concepts specific to Zoho Reports. The following topics will be discussed in this guide. 

The below image captures how the different entities are organized and how the various concepts in Zoho Reports are connected to each other. On further reading, this document will give you a clarity on the same.

Reporting Databases

All information in Zoho Reports are organized into logical entities called Databases. A reporting database is a logical grouping of data sets (stored in entities called Tables) and all the reports & dashboards created over this dataset. The database also contains structural information on how the entities are related to each other. It also offers methods to create metrics on the data for further analysis.

You can have one or more databases in your account which can be owned by you or shared to you by other users.

Click here to learn more about databases and how to manage them.


Tables contain the actual dataset that needs to be analyzed. A reporting database contains a collection of tables. A table is similar to a spreadsheet and consists of columns and actual data rows.

Each column has a name and a type (data type) associated with it. A database typically contains one or more tables with logically related datasets. For example, a Sales database might contain Products, Sales, and Purchases  tables.

If you wish to define a logical relationship between two different datasets, you can easily do so by creating a lookup (Refer to Relating tables using Lookup columns for more information). Once this is done you can create any type of report, using the columns from the tables.

Click here to learn more about working with tables.

What are Query Tables?
  • Query table is a feature that enables you to create specific data views for easy reporting and analysis. 
  • You can create query tables for use cases like batching dataset together (union), transform data, apply SQL query functions etc.
  • You can create query tables using the standard SQL queries.
  • Zoho Reports currently supports SQL queries written in Oracle, SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL, Sybase, Informix, PostgreSQL, and ANSI SQL dialects. 


Formulas are calculations that help you derive key business metrics that can be used in reporting and analysis. Zoho Reports provides a powerful formula engine to create any type of calculations required to assist in creating the required reports.

Zoho Reports supports different types of formulas:

  • Custom Formula Columns: These are formula types that will help you add a new column to your data table. The values are derived based on the calculation/formula defined. The output of the formula adds a new column in the table.
  • Aggregate Formulas: These formula types use aggregate functions (SUM, AVG.. etc.) in the calculation. These are typically used to derive business metrics. The result of Aggregate Formulas will not be added as another column in the base table, but they can be used while creating reports.

Click here to learn about Formulas in Zoho Reports.


Zoho Reports offers a wide variety of reporting options such as Charts, Pivot Tables, Summary Views, and Tabular Views. This enables you to easily analyze your data and derive great insights. Creating reports is made easy using the intuitive drag and drop interface of Zoho Reports.

A report can be created by joining one or more tables.

The following types of reports are supported in Zoho Reports:

  • Chart is a visual representation of data which allows you to effectively analyze and interpret data. Zoho Reports supports over 25+ chart types such as Area, Line, Bar, Stacked, Pie, Scatter, Combination, Funnel, Web, Bubble etc.
  • Pivot Table (also known as matrix view) allows you to dynamically rearrange, group, and summarize data for easy analysis of large sets of data. You can filter, sort, customize the appearance and content of your Pivot Table just the way you want it by using the wide range of options provided by Zoho Reports.
  • Tabular View helps you to display the raw data in a simple tabular format. Using this view, you can create a spreadsheet-like report that contains all of your data. You can see your raw data along with summaries and grouping.
  • Summary View enables you to view your summarized data in tabular formats. This report is extremely useful when you need to analyze huge amount of data with logical grouping and appropriate summarizations in a visually intuitive manner.

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Dashboard is an effective  way of organizing reports into a single page for a quick insight into the Key Metrics at a glance. Zoho Reports provides a simple and intuitive drag and drop interface for creating dashboards in minutes. You can easily create a visually rich and interactive dashboard by adding reports, widgets, user filters, and rich-formatted text in single or double column layout. You can have any number of reports in a dashboard.

Zoho Reports also offers a widget-based model for creating single number charts (headline charts) within dashboards. These are called KPI Widgets. This is feature highlights any key metric in a dashboard for easy comprehension. The key metric can also be accompanied with associated comparison indicators to highlight the trend.

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