Salesforce.com for Dummies
Chapter 15, Analyzing Data with Reports
Using Web reporting tools in Salesforce.com can save sales managers time and energy. With Salesforce.com's reports, managers don't have to spend as much time chasing down sales data and organizing it. This chapter gives step-by-step instructions on how to use, modify, create and organize reports in Salesforce.com.
Salesforce.com for Dummies, Ch. 15
Table of contents:
Web reporting tools
Report features and functionality
Web reporting tools
How much time do you waste every week trying to prepare reports for your manager, your team, or yourself? You have to chase the information down, get it into a useful format, and then hopefully make sense of the data. By the time you've done all this, the information is probably already outdated despite your best efforts. Have you ever felt less than confident with the details or the totals?
If this sounds like a familiar problem, you can use reports in salesforce.com to generate up-to-the-moment data analysis to help you measure your business. As long as you and your teams regularly use salesforce.com to manage your accounts, opportunities, and other customer-related information, you don't have to waste time wondering where to find the data and how to consolidate it — instead, salesforce.com does that work for you.
And unlike other applications where the business users often have to spend precious time relying on more technical people to build their custom reports, you can do this all by yourself in minutes, with no geeky programming. With an easy-to-use reporting wizard, you can customize existing reports or build them from scratch according to your specific needs. And then, if you want to export reports to Excel or print them, just click a button.
In this chapter, I show you how to use existing reports as launching pads to developing your own reports. This includes looking over the standard reports provided by salesforce.com, and then building reports from scratch, and also modifying existing reports to make them your own. Within a report, I take you through the different ways you can limit the report to get just the information that's necessary for creating a clearer picture of your business. Finally, because you're going to love the Reports tab so much, be sure to check out my explanation on how to keep your reports organized in easy-to-find folders as your universe of reports expands.
All your available reports are accessible from the Reports home page. With reports, you can present your data in different formats, select a seemingly infinite number of columns, filter your data, and subtotal information, just to name a few features. And like other pages in salesforce.com, you can quickly find the details. So for example, you can go from the Reports home page to a lead report to a lead record simply by clicking links.
Navigating the Reports home page
When you click the Reports tab, a list of all your available reports appears, sorted by folders. Salesforce.com comes standard with a set of predefined reports and folders (as shown in Figure 15-1) that are commonly used for measuring sales, marketing, support, and other functions.
You can't save a custom report in a standard folder. If you're an administrator, consider creating custom folders for your important functional areas that ultimately replace these standard folders.
From this page, you can do the following:
- Click the green arrow on the left side of a folder to hide or show a folder's reports.
- Click the gray arrows on the right side of a folder to move a folder up or down on the page. For example, if you want to see the Lead Reports folder at the top of the page, simply click its gray Up arrow to move the folder up one position at a time.
- To display the report, click a report title. Either the report appears or you see a wizard that you need to follow to generate the report.
- On custom reports, click the Edit, Del, or Export links to edit or delete a report or export its data to Excel.
- Click the Create New Custom Report button to start the report wizard.
- If you have permission to manage public reports, click the Report Manager button to organize reports.
Displaying a report
When you click a report title or run a report from the wizard, a report page appears based on the criteria that was set. For example, under the Opportunities and Forecast Reports folder, click the Opportunity Pipeline link. The Opportunity Pipeline report appears, as shown in the example in Figure 15-2. This report is one of the most-used standard reports in salesforce.com.
A basic report page in salesforce.com is broken up into two or three parts:
- Report Options: This section is at the top of the page. You can use it to filter and perform other operations on a report. For details on report options, see "Filtering on a Report" later in this chapter.
- Generated Report: This section shows the report itself. What's visible depends on the construction of the report and what you have permission to see in salesforce.com. See Chapter 17 for more details on sharing.
- Org Drill Down: You can use this area above the Report Options section to quickly limit results based on role hierarchy. See Chapter 17 for steps on setting up the role hierarchy.
In the Generated Report section, you can click a column heading to quickly re-sort your report by the selected column.
Continue to the next section: Creating daily reports
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This was first published in May 2008