With Salesforce Sales Cloud, you can get insights into your business from reports and dashboards across your organization, wherever they are. The question of best practices for reports and dashboards in Salesforce has been asked a lot lately. The following seven principles can help you build a solid foundation irrespective of your growing SMB or large enterprise position.
1. Accurate reporting requires clean data
The adage “Garbage in, garbage out” remains true. No matter how complex, smart, or sophisticated a report or dashboard may be, inaccurate data cannot be compensated for. The right data should be entered into the system at the right time by fostering a culture across the company. It is also helpful to have a system to ensure data quality. Some of our customers say that “If it isn’t in Salesforce reporting, it hasn’t happened.”
2. Managing folders is crucial
Managing folders in Salesforce can seem trivial for a new deployment. It creates a solid foundation for scalable report management throughout your organization if done perfectly.
The following three strategies are commonly used to manage folders:
-By function (sales, marketing, service, or operations)
-By role (based on your organization’s hierarchy)
-By locations (regional, national, and office-level folders)
Every company has its folder management system. It is important to consider scalability when developing a strategy and avoid ad-hoc solutions.
3. Explore two simple options for user permissions
As a first step, all users should have access to create and edit reports and dashboards. That way, data can be shared and democratized. Seeing how this resonates with your business is important, and in many cases, it will be welcomed. Changing permissions to read-only is easy if you see that certain rights are being misused.
Secondly, many companies have kept it closed to a small group of users familiar with report types and allowed everyone else only read-only access.
4. Make the dashboard tell a story
Build dashboards that tell the story you want people to remember. Dashboards are designed to communicate metrics and empower people to take action while looking at them. Make the information easily digestible.
For example, you can display higher-level metrics at the top and granular data at the bottom. Consider separating sales and marketing into separate columns and service into a third. Consider what managers should see first on a team dashboard. Like a newspaper, let the dashboard tell a story by highlighting what’s important first and then in detail.
5. Use dynamic dashboards when appropriate
Create one dashboard, then customize it for a specific user with dynamic dashboards. Users can filter dashboard information to be more relevant to them through filtered dashboards. Build dynamic dashboards to minimize the need for dashboard replication. Use filters to display pertinent information to different types of users on the dashboard.
6. Launch Salesforce1
There can be no afterthought when it comes to mobile. Boosting productivity requires information to reach your reps and managers in the field. Consider how users access dashboards on smaller form factors when creating new ones. Is the layout of the columns such that users do not have to swipe back and forth between columns? Is the information hierarchy easy to understand?
Deeplinks to dashboards are a great way to align your team on metrics. Email or Chatter your team the link to the dashboard, and they will be taken there once they tap on the link.
7. Use Mass Delete to purge, rinse, and repeat
Along with mass delete records, mass delete reports can also be found under Setup. The Mass Delete filtering options allow you to view all reports that haven’t been run in the past N weeks/months and similar criteria. It can be useful for removing old, inactive reports.