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Data is key to reports & dashboards


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Reports and dashboards are as important to the success of a company and its growth as good soil is to a crop harvest in bounty. Creating reports & dashboards need careful thinking and deliberations to ensure that they yield the desired results. In this blog, we examine how to go about doing the same systemically on the world’s best CRM – Salesforce.

The easy steps to creating reports & dashboards are: 

  1. Engagement within the company. The first step is to have consultations with all company stakeholders such as senior management, and various departments. They need to articulate what type of data is required for them to perform better. What are their KPIs? Define the business goals of the company, determine the KPIs that evaluate those goals, and link the KPIs to the capabilities of Salesforce CRM.  

  1. Using the right data. A visionary foresight is a key to creating the perfect reports & dashboard and the key to them are clean & accurate data. At the very beginning, recognise the data sources.  If the company’s marketing team wants to observe campaign effectiveness over time, you would want to identify which campaigns enabled prospects, opportunities, and closed/won deals. A small selection of KPIs (5 – 10) needs to be used in the process of creating reports & dashboards. Formulate a simple naming strategy that leads to the easy discovery of the reports / dashboards. This is also a good time to fix the number of reports & dashboards to gain insights and take executive action. Too many reports are not required and don’t serve any purpose with duplicity. 

  2. Build your reports. The easiest way is to start with the reports currently being used in excel spread sheets. Building reports on your Salesforce instance is easy as many resources are at hand to assist in the matter. Salesforce has standard reports across all standard objects. These standard reports are the basis for customizing them as per your needs. Tabular reports are the quickest way to exhibit information in a simple list view format. Matrix reports show data summaries based on both horizontal and vertical criteria. 

  3. Build the dashboards. After the creation of reports and their structure comes the creation of various dashboards. A great dashboard is one where the dashboard metrics are in sync with the business goals & metrics. Many types of dashboards are available such as pie shaped, funnel, horizontal or vertical display. 

  4. Use the information to motivate personnel and obtain the business goals at the end of the day. Make it simple for the company personnel to locate and view the dashboards. Use the schedule refresh feature to enable the employees to view the latest information. It’s also good to schedule and email reports & dashboards to remind all that their business-critical metrics are within the CRM.

About the Author

Mohit Sharma

Mohit is Practice Lead, 10x Certified Salesforce Consultant, Salesforce trainer, blogger, writer, and full-time husband. With over 8 years of experience implementing Salesforce, and an obsession for innovation, ready to tackle any new project that comes his way.

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