Battle of the Apps: Built-In Jira Reports versus Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence

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Built-In Jira Reports versus Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence

Welcome to part one of Battle of the Apps, a series of short articles comparing various Jira reporting apps with our own Jira reporting add-ons, Custom Charts for Jira and Custom Charts for Confluence.

In this article, we tackle the reports that come out of the box with Jira.

In part two we compare Rich Filters and in part three we compare EazyBI.

Built-In Jira Reports Overview

Jira and Confluence ship with some reporting natively, including dashboard gadgets, service management project reports, and Scrum or Kanban board reports. Many teams will use a combination of out-of-the-box reporting options and marketplace apps to meet their reporting needs.

Strengths of Built-in Jira Reports

  • There are reports available for different types of projects using standard use cases – service management, agile, and some generic dashboard gadgets that can be used by all.
  • Although the functionality is limited, the minimal configuration of reports means that they are generally straightforward to set up.
  • Board reporting is powerful, particularly Scrum Boards that come with reports that cover almost all standard sprint reporting requirements.
  • Board reports are accessible from Scrum and Kanban boards directly, so teams can access them from where they do their work.

Weaknesses of Built-in Jira Reports

  • Because the reports are minimally configurable, there is very little customization that can be done. Many teams find that they need more options than are available from Atlassian alone.
  • Board-specific reports are often only available from the Scrum or Kanban board and are not able to be included on dashboards with other reporting.
  • Board reports, Jira Service Management reports, and many of the dashboard gadgets are not able to be viewed in Confluence at all.
  • The built-in Jira reports often have a fairly dated look, and are not visually customizable.
  • Native gadgets and macros do not play well with team-managed projects (next-gen projects), as the specific fields and statuses found in those projects show up as duplicate entries in reports, making them difficult to use.

How Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence Wins

Custom Charts for Jira Pie Chart screenshot

Out-of-the-box reporting in Jira just doesn’t meet most users’ needs. With the lack of flexibility and limited range of dashboard gadgets, users often resort to external tools like Excel to create the reports they need. While board reports are strong, native dashboard gadgets and reporting in Confluence leave a lot to be desired. The powerful customization and simple editor that Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence provides mean that any user can create a dynamic dashboard in just a few minutes. Users can create charts that simply aren’t possible natively, including bar charts (standard, stacked, or grouped), line charts, funnel charts, tile charts, and more.

You can see this difference easily in the screenshot above – with Custom Charts you can combine and hide statuses, customize the colors, and more. With the native Jira pie chart, you can select a project or filter, the field to measure by, and nothing else.

Custom Charts’ Simple Search allows dashboard viewers to filter down entire dashboards in Jira or Confluence, so anyone can navigate a report to find just the data that matters to them.

Additionally, Custom Charts for Jira and Confluence is also an extremely powerful tool for service management projects and teams. In addition to tracking important service management metrics like service-level agreements (SLAs), customer satisfaction score (CSAT), and workload distribution, charts can be displayed in your connected Confluence knowledge base. Combined with the ability to display charts to unlicensed users, reporting can therefore be made available to your customers, too.

Feature Comparison

FeatureJira Out-of-the-BoxCustom Charts for Jira
Choose Segment Colors:cross_mark::check_mark:
Rearrange Segment Order:cross_mark::check_mark:
Merge Segments:cross_mark::check_mark:
Hide Segments:cross_mark::check_mark:
Drag and Drop:cross_mark::check_mark:
Save Configuration:cross_mark::check_mark:
Advanced JQL Search:cross_mark::check_mark:
Custom Fields:cross_mark::check_mark:
Chart by Story Points:cross_mark::check_mark:
Stacked and Grouped Charts:cross_mark::check_mark:

Christopher is a self-confessed nerd who’d probably take the cake on Mastermind if Star Trek: Voyager was his specialist subject. He writes fiction about time travel, conspiracies and aliens; loves roller coasters, hiking and Christmas; and hates carpet, rom-coms and anything with chilli in it. He’s written extensively for technology companies and Atlassian partners and specializes in translating complicated technical concepts, specs and jargon into readable, benefits-driven copy that casual readers will understand.