Salesforce's reporting tool is a very powerful way of making sense of all the data available within your (Salesforce) account. Our new Salesforce integration makes visualizing these reports easy.
We’ve covered the basics of Salesforce in this article so here we’ll focus on creating reports. More specifically, we will analyze the steps needed to create a report in your Salesforce account and display it on Geckoboard using our Salesforce integration.
Let’s imagine that the VP of Sales wants to monitor the volume of sales that her representatives are making. Moreover, she wants to see this reflected on the Geckoboard dashboard that she has permanently displayed on a TV screen in her office.
Before jumping in and building a report for the VP of Sales, we recommend that you ask a few follow-up questions to get a sense of the requirements so that you can then translate those requirements into a useful report. You will find more information about the process of defining your report on Salesforce's Introduction to Reports and Dashboards.
In this case, some follow up questions would be:
- Should the results be displayed in terms of revenue or number of sales?
- What is the date range?
The above should be enough to understand the requirements for the report itself, but let’s include a follow up question about the visualization too. Which in this case could be:
- How should the list of “top sellers” be displayed, as a column chart or leaderboard?
After a few interactions with the VP of Sales, we discover that:
- “Sales” is defined by revenue rather than quantity.
- She wants to see sales grouped by sales representative.
- Date range is “last 30 days”.
- The results should be shown as a leaderboard on her Geckoboard dashboard.
We are now ready to create the report and also have information about the required visualization. The report criteria is closed won opportunities in the last 30 days grouped by Opportunity Owner.
Step 2 - Building the report
When looking at the standard reports I couldn’t see one that meets my exact criteria without having to customize it so I’ll build a simple custom report from scratch.
On the Salesforce report builder click on ‘new report’ and then select ‘Opportunities’. The default report will be a tabular one and provides a simple list with grand totals, we will update it to a Summary report before we save it.
The next step will be to select the scope of the report using filters. Filtering will allow us to start translating the requirements into a useful report. We’ll update the opportunity status to “Closed Won” and the time range as “Last 30 days”.
The resulting preview of the report has many columns we don’t particularly need for this report so I’ll remove them and rearrange the ones I do need so I can make better sense of the data.
We now need to select the format and grouping for our report as in order for us to be able to visualize your data, it must first be grouped. In this example we will be using the Summary report type and will group by the “Opportunity Owner”. This way we’ll get a list of all opportunities owned by our representatives in a format that’s easier to consume.
One last step for us to finish our report is to summarize the data. We’ve grouped by Opportunity owner, now we’ll summarize based on the Amount of these opportunities so we have a really easy to digest report. We’ll click save and run the report.
Now that we have the report in the right format we can consider plotting it in Geckoboard.
Step 3 - Displaying the report on Geckoboard
With the report created we are very nearly there, we just need to add the report to the Geckoboard dashboard that the VP of Sales has permanently on a TV screen in her office.
Head over to your Geckoboard account and add a Salesforce widget to your dashboard. If this is your first time adding a Salesforce widget you will need to authenticate with your Salesforce logins and authorize the connection. Once this has been completed you will be able to view all folders you have access to, the next steps will be to configure the widget based on our VP’s request. The resulting widget will look like this:
You can follow the steps taken below:
Geckoboard will only be able to access reports that are in folders you have access to. If you’re able to see the folders but cannot access the reports, you will see an error confirming that the report can’t be accessed.