Streamlining your Salesforce CRM Reporting

Over a period of time, organizations implementing Salesforce CRM end up with a large number of customized reports and dashboards. With limited process in place to streamline the production, ongoing maintenance and pruning of reports, you soon find yourself with one too many reports that have not been run by users in months.

Here’s what I advise customers in streamlining report generation and ongoing maintenance. Right-size these guidelines for your own organization. Not all of them are relevant for every organization.

  • Develop a process for users to request or design new reports.
  • Coach the users to formally write out a report request; including objective and purpose of the report. Thinking through the elements of the report, what columns to have, what fields to summarize on, what supporting charts to display the data in, force the user to think through their request and ensure each of the reports being requested serve a well understood and thought through purpose
  • Have a process for reviewing and approving report requests ; often what the user needs is already addressed by another report they are not aware of
  • For complex reports, introduce a user acceptance testing process where the user representatives conduct testing on the reports in development environment before they are migrated to production
  • Introduce a process for retiring old reports; this process should take into account the recency, frequency and number of times the report has been accessed and run by users
  • It is not uncommon that some reports are run only for users to then extract the data into excel and produce more reports. Find out from these users what the additional processing being done in Excel is, and evaluate if the requirement can be met altogether through reporting in Salesforce.
Ramana Metlapalli
Ramana Metlapalli
Ramana is a Managing Principal at Varasi. Ramana is a lifelong learner and eternally curious about what goes into making some individuals and organizations, high performance ones. He writes about Business Analysis, Salesforce best practices and the world of Consulting.