App Comparison: Built-In Jira Reports for Confluence vs Custom Jira Charts for Confluence

What are built-in Jira reports for Confluence?

Confluence comes with built-in macros that mirror the preconfigured reporting gadgets you can add to a Jira dashboard. There is also a Jira issues macro, a Jira charts macro, and a Jira change log.

Built-in Jira reporting for Confluence: Strengths

  • All the preconfigured Jira reporting gadgets that can be added to a Jira dashboard can also be added to a Confluence page as macros. This allows users to basically recreate their Jira dashboards in Confluence for Confluence users, facilitating collaboration with non-Jira teams and managers.
  • The preconfigured reporting macros span many different use cases, from burndowns for agile teams to time to resolution reports for service management teams to general reports that all kinds of teams can use.
  • The preconfigured reporting macros are minimally configurable, which is great if you’re new to Jira as it makes them relatively straightforward to set up.
  • The limited customization that comes with the Jira charts macro is also good for Jira newbies, as there’s very little you need to do or think about when adding one to a page.

Built-in Jira reporting for Confluence: Weaknesses

  • The reason you need the preconfigured Jira reporting macros is because you can only make a few of your own charts in Confluence. The Jira charts macro lets you build a pie chart, a Created vs Resolved Issues line graph, and a two-dimensional statistics table. That’s it.
  • You can only show Jira reports in Confluence to Confluence users who have permission to see those reports. In other words, even if they don’t use it, they need to have a Jira account. This undercuts the benefit of sharing Jira insights with non-Jira teams.
  • The preconfigured reporting macros provide different visualizations of set metrics to make your Confluence reports a bit more eye-catching, but there’s very little you can do with them. This can restrict your ability to convey the right message in your Confluence reports.
  • The customizations that come with the Jira charts macro are minor, e.g. you can customize the width of the charts and turn the chart border on and off. But you can’t customize colors, add descriptions, change chart type, change labels, combine segments, show percentages, or adjust the legend position, among other things. This limits users’ abilities to tell the right data stories with the right visuals.
  • Reporting on data from 3rd party Jira apps using any of the built-in macros is very limited, making it difficult to provide the full picture in your Confluence reports.
  • The change log template lets you add a list of Jira issues quite easily but it’s completely static and won’t update as those issues change. This means your Confluence reports become out of date as soon as they’re made.
  • You can add a dynamic change log or list of issues, i.e. one that updates regularly with the latest data, however you need to use Jira Query Language (JQL) to do it. Many Jira users—and probably most Confluence users—don’t know how to use JQL.
  • There is no way of filtering down the data in any of the native reporting macros, which makes it difficult to focus your audience’s attention on a single variable without creating brand new reports every time.
  • Your only option for charting in 2D with the native macros is the 2D statistics table. Although tables can be useful, they’re not very visual.
  • You can’t make Jira time in status reports in Confluence, which means your Confluence teams can’t see or analyze bottlenecks that may be causing Jira issues to spend too long in certain statuses.
  • You can’t report on service-level agreement (SLA) data in Confluence, which isn’t very useful if you have managers and executives who want to see how the support team are performing against SLAs.
  • Native Jira reporting macros do not play well with team-managed Jira projects, formerly known as next generation projects. This is because the specific fields and statuses found in those projects show up as duplicate entries in reports, making them difficult to use.

How Custom Jira Charts for Confluence Wins

Custom Jira reporting in Confluence is quicker and easier

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence is the mirror image sister app of Custom Charts for Jira. It offers Confluence users the same power and flexibility to make Jira charts as those using the Jira version of the app. You don’t need to sift through the preconfigured reporting macros, because all those charts can be made using the Custom Charts macro. This makes Custom Charts quicker and easier to use.

Share Confluence reports with non-Jira users who don’t have an account

Our User Impersonation feature lets a Confluence user load Custom Charts onto a Confluence page using a Jira user’s account permissions. That Confluence user doesn’t need any Jira permissions of their own. So if you have executives, customers, or other teams who can view your Confluence pages but not your Jira, User Impersonation lets them see your charts without having to buy them a license.

A lot more Jira reporting functionality

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence offers a range of chart types along with countless customization options, including adding labels and descriptions, combining segments, showing percentages, and a full color picker. This gives users more control and freedom to visualize their Jira data on Confluence pages, and convey the right messages about Jira progress and performance to the non-Jira teams.

Chart in 2D

With Custom Charts you can build 2D stacked and grouped bar charts and 2D line graphs out of your Jira data. This allows users to visualize their data in much more interesting and engaging ways than a simple table.

Filter data down to highlight important points

Custom Charts comes with an additional macro called Simple Search. This lets you filter down individual or multiple charts on your Confluence pages so that they only show certain data. That way, Confluence users can see the data that matters to them in a couple of clicks.

There are chart templates if you don’t know where to start

The advantage of the preconfigured Jira reporting macros is that you don’t need to guess how to make a chart. Although Custom Charts is easy to use, users might not know what the Source of their chart should be, or what they should Chart By. In which case, they can use the templates for various insightful reports that come with Custom Charts. They can also save the charts they make as new templates.

Our Jira Issue List is better than the Confluence change log template and Jira issues macro

Custom Charts comes with another additional macro called Issue List. This lets you add a dynamic list of Jira issues to a Confluence page, so you don’t need to use the Jira issues macro or the change log template. Both of the native options only let you have dynamic lists by using JQL to make them, but Custom Charts’ Issue List requires no JQL at all. Even better, you can dynamically search Issue List with Simple Search and add Quick Filters and Smart Labels to draw attention quickly to particular issues.

Report on time in status and SLAs directly in Confluence

Custom Jira Charts for Confluence lets you visualize time in status on Confluence pages, so that Confluence users can keep an eye on blockers in Jira. Jira SLA data can also be visualized in Confluence without having to generate project reports or write a single line of JQL. That way, managers working in Confluence can quickly and easily see whether their Jira Service Management teams are meeting their obligations to customers.

Report on Jira data from 3rd party apps in Confluence

With Custom Charts you can make reports in Confluence using custom fields from 3rd party apps like Timesheets, Structure, ScriptRunner, Power Scripts, and more. This is great if your organization has data in lots of different places. Best of all, you don’t need a Confluence version of those apps to be able to make reports.

Overall, Custom Jira Charts for Confluence offers a lot more flexibility and power than the native Jira reporting available in Confluence. This enables Jira users to provide teams and managers working only in Confluence with more visibility into the things they’re working on, improving enterprise-wide collaboration.

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.