Not everyone who works with Salesforce really appreciates the full range of possibilities that this powerful data management system has to offer.
If you haven’t explored the many different possibilities of Salesforce’s reporting function, you’re missing out on a significant chunk of the software’s power.
Here’s a basic guide to get started.
How Creating Reports InSalesforce Is Organized
Salesforce comes pre-loaded with a few basic reports that work with common object types. You can use these to get a basic understanding of how creating reports in Salesforce works. You can also make use of pre-generated reports and report types provided by your Administrator. The true power lies in creating your own reports, though.
Experiment with the various standard and custom report types that are at your disposal. Don’t worry too much about what data appears in these reports; you’ll be picking out your own fields before you finalize the report. The important thing is to make sure your report tells you about the objects you’re interested in.
Adding And Removing Data
After picking out a report type, your next job is to choose the fields you want to put in the report. You should try to strike a blend between rich data and clarity here. Make sure you look at all of the fields available to you; some may be surprisingly useful for sorting and classifying your objects. As you polish up your report, though, you’ll want to eliminate fields that provide meaningless or repetitive information to make sure creating reports in Salesforce goes smoothly.
One of the great strengths of Salesforce’s reporting system is its extremely flexible filtering rules. You can apply multiple filters to any field you include in your report in order to sort your records, highlight key points, or hide irrelevant data. It takes time to master the Salesforce filtering system — the commands are not very intuitive — but the results definitely make it worth the effort.
Of course, filtering reports will be where you start to run into the signs of any data integrity problems you might have in your Salesforce implementation. Inconsistent data formatting or missing data will make it harder to filter reports effectively, and it can even cause you to overlook important records.
Working In Real Time
This is a key factor that many casual Salesforce users don’t grasp fully: Reports are updated in real time. (In fact, Salesforce Dashboards are just specialized reports pinned to the UI.) This means that reports aren’t just useful for reviewing data; they also make outstanding platforms for actually working on records in your Salesforce implementation. Once you understand this principle, you’ll see that putting together your own customized working reports can be an effective way to increase your productivity in Salesforce.
If you’re using Salesforce and you haven’t learned how to handle reports, you’re handicapping yourself significantly. Until you get comfortable with creating reports in Salesforce, you’re missing out on a significant fraction of the software’s potential. Salesforce’s integrated training features can help you gain the knowledge you need to create reports of your own and this is one of the most useful skills you can cultivate as a Salesforce user.