Audience: Platform Owners; Managers; Administrators
Reading time: 7 minutes
Reports are often by far and away the most numerous configuration elements on any org.
It quite often tends to be the case that every time a user wants to get a lot of information from a Salesforce report they don’t look to see if a relevant report has been made in the past. Instead, they opt to create their own brand new one, often ignoring best practices. This leads to bloated folders of reports that have remained unused for years.
So what’s the best way to go about fixing this?
1. Review Current Reports for Usage
With hundreds (or in all likelihood, thousands) of reports, this could well take you a while, but it’s worth doing to bring order back to a chaotic corner of your org. Visualize your users being able to find the information they want easily and see the time they’ll save in doing so.
Before taking any drastic actions, it’s probably best to first inform your users what your plan is and make sure to ask which reports are important to them. Other ways you can establish usage is by checking the last run date of reports. If you see a report that was last run 2 years ago, then there would have to be a very compelling business case to keep it around.
Once you’ve reviewed report usage with your users and the tools at your disposal, delete unused reports and reorganize the remaining ones into a folder system. Be sure that the system you use to organize your reports is intuitive to your users to help them find what they want as quickly as possible.
2. Restrict Access
One way to go about improving the quality of your reports is to restrict user access – does everyone in your organization need to have the ability to create reports? And which folders should be available to different roles in your organization? Marketing probably doesn’t need to be able to create reports in the Service folder for instance.
Consider your resources and evaluate who should be able to create reports – maybe limit it to certain users in each team or consider centralizing the managing of reports to the CRM team, with departments being able to request additional reports as required. While this may not be a solution for every organization, it is a very effective method for reducing clutter.
3. Increase Report Efficiency
Once you’ve cleaned up your reports and decided who will be allowed to make new ones, it’s time to consider how you’re actually making them. That means considering the information you’re displaying along with the filters you’re using. We’ve listed a few of our favourite ways to make better reports below: Don’t use ‘All’ in the ‘Show’ filter unless necessary – this retrieves a lot of extra data so it’s better to select ‘My’ or ‘My Team’s’ unless this is essential to a report
- Use relative dates, e.g. THIS WEEK, TODAY, NEXT MONTH. This avoids the inefficiency of a large unbounded time interval, while also ensuring that you don’t
need to constantly update filters manually for reports covering recurring periods
- Consider which fields you want to display. We’ve all seen reports with way too many fields on display, with data that is just nice to know or even irrelevant to the task at hand. Be very strict about what data needs to appear on what report and try to keep it to the minimum level of fields possible
If you’d like a longer list of ways to have more efficient and effective reports then click the link to our documentation which suggests several other ways to optimize your org performance.