Showcasing a Gift Officer Metrics Report developed in Power BI

As ActiveEcho Product Ambassador, part of my role involves showcasing custom reports created with premier reporting platforms like Power BI, Tableau and others. This Gift Officer Metric report was created in Power BI and is being shared with the permission of the developer. I am masking the organization name for confidentiality.

Report Request and Requirements

In response to a request from the development staff, an upgraded version of a report was sought to track Gift Officer metrics for the year. Previously, the method involved receiving static PDFs and Excel spreadsheets on a monthly basis, with all data visible to everyone. To address the need for restricted access, the report was designed to allow Gift Officers to view only their own data on one page, while Supervisors and Senior Leadership could access all data and report pages. This was accomplished through the implementation of Row Level Security and Page Security measures. The objective was to create a report that would be readily accessible at any time and provide up-to-date information. From January ’23 to March ’23, efforts were focused on automating workflow and refining the report design. The report was launched in mid-March ’23 to gather feedback from the Development staff. Throughout the process, the emphasis was on simplicity, with a recognition of the power of Bookmarks in enhancing usability.

Development Process and Implementation

Why Power BI? The decision to utilize Power BI stemmed from its multifaceted advantages. With Power BI, we found a versatile solution capable of accommodating a diverse range of reports, spanning both static and dynamic formats, at a lower cost compared to alternative platforms. Consolidating data transformation, report creation, and online publishing within a single program not only simplified our workflow but also reduced maintenance efforts. Furthermore, the familiarity of Power BI within our university environment, alongside its seamless integration with other Microsoft products, reinforced our confidence in its suitability for our reporting needs.

Current Reporting Landscape Our current reporting landscape predominantly revolves data from Raiser’s Edge or NXT and processing it within Excel or Power BI. We’ve already developed approximately 14 Power BI reports covering various domains such as Finance, Operations, Events, Development, Alumni Mapping, and Annual Giving. The adoption of Power BI has been significant, with over 35 PBI Pro licenses assigned, representing more than half of our staff. While the response to Power BI has been positive, adoption has been gradual, reflecting a slow but steady transition over time. Notably, some static reports remain in Tableau as part of our reporting ecosystem.

Power BI Definitions

Fact Table: This component of our report stores observations or events. Our report comprises two fact tables, namely Actions and Opportunities.

Dimension Table: Dimension tables describe entities, which can include products, places, people, and dates. Our report includes two dimension tables, Date and Gift Officer.

Slicer: A slicer is a filtering tool used to narrow down the data shown in other visualizations within a report.

Field Parameters: Field parameters enable users to dynamically modify the measures or dimensions being analyzed in a report, enhancing flexibility and customization.

Row-Level Security (RLS): RLS is employed to restrict data access for specific users, ensuring data confidentiality and integrity.

DAX (Data Analysis Expressions): DAX refers to the library of functions and operators used to build formulas and expressions within Power BI, facilitating advanced data analysis and manipulation.

Bookmarks: Bookmarks capture the current state of a report page, including filters, slicers, visuals, and sort order. This feature aids in preserving and sharing specific views of the data.

Relationships between tables


As ActiveEcho Product Ambassador, it’s been a pleasure collaborating with diverse organizations and exploring how they leverage premier reporting tools to advance their missions. As we continue in 2024, I look forward to hosting roundtable discussions and showcasing additional examples of reports developed by organizations to further their goals. Together, we continue to innovate and drive positive change through data-driven insights.

Do you have a report you would like to share? Let me know as I am working on additional samples.

Jim Evans is the ActiveEcho Product Ambassador at ActiveEcho delivers a continually refreshing Azure SQL copy of Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT and/or Financial Edge NXT databases, specifically designed to connect with the latest reporting tools and AI interfaces.

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