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Format Reports

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:
  • Describe the four report formats: tabular, summary, matrix, and joined.
  • Create a matrix report.

Use Report Formats

There are four report formats available for your use: Tabular, Summary, Matrix, and Joined. Tabular is the default format.

Report Format Primary Use Case Supported in Dashboards Report Charts Supported Bucket Fields** Formulas** Cross-Object Formulas**
Tabular Make a list Check icon indicating true* Check icon indicating true
Summary Group and summarize Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true
Matrix Group and summarize, by row and column Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true
Joined Show reports side-by-side, in blocks Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true Check icon indicating true

* Row limit required. Learn more here.

** Bucket fields and formulas are not covered in this module.

Let’s walk through building a sample report for each report format.

Tabular Reports

Tabular reports are the simplest and fastest way to look at your data. Similar to a spreadsheet, they consist simply of an ordered set of fields in columns, with each matching record listed in a row. While easy to set up, they can't be used to create groups of data and there are limits to how you can use them in dashboards. Consequently, they're often best used for tasks like generating a mailing list.

Let’s make a tabular report! In this example, we’ll want to generate a list for our Account Executive of all open opportunities above a particular amount threshold, so that she can do some outreach this afternoon.

Sales use case: Review all open opportunities above a particular amount threshold.

  1. On Reports, click New Report, choose the Opportunities report type, and click Create.
  2. Apply the following filters:
    1. Select All Opportunities for Show.
    2. Select Open for Opportunity Status.
    3. Select Created Date for Date Field.
    4. Select Current FY for Range.
      Note

      Note

      For the fastest results, always set the smallest date range you can. If your report has to sift through a great many dates, it can take longer to show the information you’ve asked for.

  3. The following columns should already be included in your report: Opportunity Name, Type, Lead Source, Amount, Expected Revenue, Close Date, Next Step, Stage, Probability (%), Fiscal Period, Age, Created Date, Opportunity Owner, Owner Role, Account Name.
  4. Click Save, name your report Open Opportunities This Year, and accept the auto-generated unique name.
  5. Enter a description and choose the My Personal Custom Reports folder.
  6. Click Run Report. The report should look something like this:
Tabular report example
Note

Note

Depending on which org you’re using to run through this tutorial, you may or may not see data in your report at runtime.

Summary Reports

Summary reports are similar to tabular reports, but also allow users to group rows of data, view subtotals, and create charts. These will take you a bit more time to set up, but summary reports give us many more options for organizing the data, and are great for use in dashboards. Yes!

Summary reports are the workhorses of reporting—you'll find that most of your reports tend to be of this format.

Let’s get down to it and build a summary report. In this example, our Support Manager wants to do a post-mortem on Closed cases from the past fiscal year, grouped by Priority.

  1. On Reports, click New Report, choose the Cases report type, and click Create.
  2. Apply the following filters:
    1. Select All Cases for Show.
    2. Select Date Opened for Date Field.
    3. Select Previous FY for Range.
  3. Click Add to include an additional filter for cases where Status is Closed:
    1. Select Closed.
    2. Leave the operator set to Equals.
    3. Click the lookup icon and select True.
  4. The following columns should already be included in your report: Case Owner, Subject, Date/Time Opened, Age, Open, Closed, and Account Name.
  5. Select Tabular, and then select Summary.
    Report format selector
  6. Drag the Priority field from the Fields pane into the Preview pane, and drop it into the area labeled ‘Drop a field here to create a grouping’.
    Creating a summary report
  7. Click Save, name your report Closed Cases Last Year, and accept the auto-generated unique name.
  8. Enter a description and choose the My Personal Custom Reports folder.
  9. Click Run Report. The report should look something like this:
    Example of summary report
Note

Note

  • Depending on which org you’re using to run through this tutorial, you may or may not see data in your report at runtime.
  • Use the Hide Details button to easily collapse records for an at-a-glance view by summarized fields. Click the Show Details button to show fields again.

Matrix Reports

Matrix reports allow you to group records both by row and by column. These reports are the most time-consuming to set up, but they also provide the most detailed view of our data. Like summary reports, matrix reports can have graphs and be used in dashboards.

Check out this short video on matrix reports.

So why would you want to use a matrix report? If you’re looking for an at-a-glance overview of data, especially for something like totals of revenue or quantity of products sold, then the matrix report format is for you.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at two reports, side by side. The use case here is opportunities for last fiscal quarter, grouped by close month, with the amount summarized. Which report gives you an easier at-a-glance view of the same data?

Comparison of matrix and summary report

Now that you’re convinced, let’s build a matrix report. In this example, our CEO wants to know revenue trends, month over month.

Let’s start by creating the basic report. In this step, we’ll create a matrix report showing sales by type for each month.

  1. On the Reports tab, click New Report, choose the Opportunities report type, and click Create.
  2. Apply the following filters:
    1. Select All Opportunities for Show.
    2. Select Closed Won for Opportunity Status.
    3. Select Close Date for Date Field.
    4. Select Current FY for Range. Choose the range that best fits the data you want to analyze.
      Note

      Note

      For the fastest results, always set the smallest date range you can. If your report has to sift through a great many dates, it can take longer to show the information you’ve asked for.

  3. Click Tabular Format and change the report format to Matrix.
    Report format selector
  4. Group the report by Type by dragging that field into the column grouping drop zone.
  5. Group the report by Close Month by dragging that field into the row grouping drop zone.
  6. Click the menu for the Amount column and select Summarize this Field.
  7. Select Sum and click Apply.
  8. Click Show and deselect Record Count, Details and Drop Zones to clean up the view.
  9. Click Save. The report preview should look something like this:
    Example of matrix report
Note

Note

You may want to hide the report details when viewing a matrix report. Matrix reports are usually easiest to consume with details hidden. To hide the report details, click the Show link and deselect Details.

  1. Name your report Revenue Trend by Type and accept the auto-generated unique name.
  2. Enter a description and choose the My Personal Custom Reports folder.
  3. Click Save.

Joined Reports

Joined reports let you create different views of data from multiple report types. In a joined report, data is organized in blocks. Each block acts like a “sub-report,” with its own fields, columns, sorting, and filtering. You can add a chart to a joined report.

Check out this short video on joined reports.

Why would you want to build a joined report? If you’ve got two reports and you want an easy way to view them side-by-side, check out joined reports. In fact, why stop at two? With joined reports, you can add up to five report blocks.

To try this out, let’s build a simple tool to track how well sales reps are capitalizing on their opportunities. We’ll create a basic Opportunities report, add three blocks, filter each block by the appropriate status, and then group the results by sales rep.

  1. Create a new report, selecting Opportunities as the report type.
  2. Click Tabular Format and select Joined. Notice that your report data is now set off in a box with a colored border. That’s your first block.
  3. Create a new block by dragging the Opportunity Name field onto the preview pane somewhere to the right of the first block, and drag the Amount and Account Name fields onto the new block.
    Note

    Note

    Did you notice a second filter panel appearing in the filter pane above the blocks? Each block in our joined report has its own independent set of filters.

  4. Create a third block in the same way. Now we have three different Opportunities reports sitting next to each other in the same container. They’re all identical right now, but we’re going to use each one to tell us something unique.
  5. We want all the blocks to give us comparable information, so prepare each block the same way:
    1. Remove all the fields except Opportunity Name, Amount, and Account Name, by dragging them back over to the Fields pane. That’ll help us focus on what’s important here.
    2. In the filter panel, set Show to All Opportunities.
    3. Click the dropdown at the top right of each block and make sure Record Count is checked.
    4. Click the dropdown next to Amount, click Summarize this Field, and select Sum.
  6. Now let’s configure each block to tell a different part of the story.
    1. We’ll use the first block to show the opportunities that got away. Click the title (right now it just says “Opportunities block 1”), and rename it Closed Lost. In the Closed Lost filter panel above, set these filters:
      1. Opportunity Status equals Closed
      2. Date Field equals Close Date
      3. Range equals Current and Previous FY
        Filters for a joined report
    2. We’ll use the second block to show the opportunities we landed. Rename the block Closed Won and set these filters:
      1. Opportunity Status equals Closed Won
      2. Date Field equals Close Date
      3. Range equals Current and Previous FY
    3. The third block will show us opportunities that are getting close to their anticipated closing. Rename the block Closing Next Month and set these filters:
      1. Date Field equals Close Date
      2. Range equals Next Month
      3. Opportunity Status equals Open
        Note

        Note

        For the fastest results, always filter as narrowly as you can. Filters that use equals will often return information more quickly than filters that use contains, does not contain, or not equal to. In complex reports, this can make a difference.

  7. Now we’ll group all three blocks by sales rep. Drag the Opportunity Owner field to the horizontal bar that says, “Drop a field here to group across report blocks.” (This is called the grouping drop zone.)
  8. Click Save, then Run Report.

We’ve just created a handy resource that sales reps can use to monitor their track record and to stay on top of deals that are heating up.

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