Customize Alumni Reports for Events

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Organize data for alumni in EDA.
  • Explain the purpose of a relationship in EDA.
  • Create a list of alumni, based on specific parameters.

In this unit, we see how to identify legacy families–those who have had more than one family member attend—at your institution. Ann Marie Garcia, the Director of Alumni Engagement at Cloudy College, is planning a legacy event during Family Weekend, which is just a few weeks away. 

Need to jog your memory on all the awesome work Ann Marie does at Cloudy? We’ve got you.

  • Ann Marie Garcia is the Director of Alumni Engagement at Cloudy College. Ann Marie is responsible for developing and executing the annual strategic plan for Alumni Engagement at Cloudy College. She manages alumni events and oversees all alumni communications, both print and digital. In addition to building personal relationships with Cloudy College alums, it’s up to her to engage various members of faculty and Cloudy executive leadership in events and communication processes when appropriate.

For the legacy event she’s planning, Ann Marie wants to identify alumni who are related to current students in order to invite them. See how she uses Salesforce and Education Data Architecture (EDA) to find and invite these legacy participants.

Here’s what she’s looking for.

  • A list of alumni
  • Who have a relationship with an existing student

To arrive at this list, we briefly review the use of relationships in the data architecture. Then we follow along with Ann Marie as she uses the Contacts with Relationships report, along with a record type filter, to identify her alumni.

Legacy Families: Relationships

We never want to bore you with reminders but the relationship object is super important in many education reporting scenarios. So once more, in Salesforce, a relationship represents one contact’s connection to another contact. In this case, an alumni contact’s connection to a current student. When you create a relationship on one contact record, EDA automatically populates the reciprocal relationship on the other. You can see a contact’s relationships via the Relationships related list.

Relationships are a powerful organizing concept and are central to this use case. If you want to follow along as Ann Marie uses relationships and Salesforce reports to create the list of Cloudy College legacy families, you need to create some sample data in your EDA trial org.

Create records in this order.

  1. If you previously created sample data for the list of current students in Unit 1 or Unit 2 of this module, you can reuse those student records to represent current students. If not, create six contact records for current students (you just need first and last names), and then continue with Steps 2 and 3.
  2. Create another six contact records to represent alumni. You just need first and last names. If you want to see contacts’ mailing addresses and email addresses in the resulting report—as you would for an actual event campaign—you can also fill out those fields for a more realistic experience. If you choose to skip these data fields you’ll still get the gist.
  3. Create relationships between some alumni and current students. You can do this by adding the Relationships related list to your page layout, if it’s not already there.
    1. Go to Setup, then navigate to Object Manager
    2. Select the Contact object, and find Page Layouts on the left-hand side navigation menu.
    3. In the Page Layout customization palette, choose Related Lists, then drag and drop Relationships onto the page.
    4. Alternatively, if you don’t want to see the related list on each contact record, you can simply navigate to the Relationships object via the App Launcher. When creating a relationship, you will need to select both the student contact and the alumni contact, then indicate the type of relationship (such as spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, and so on).

Creating this data sample is optional but necessary if you want to practice creating the legacy alumni report in your EDA trial org. You can also move onto the next section now and simply follow along as Ann Marie creates this report.

Create a Contacts with Relationships Report

Ann Marie creates her report using a standard Salesforce report, Contacts & Accounts.

  1. Click the Reports tab. (If you don’t see the Reports tab, you can access Reports from the App Launcher ( App Launcher icon) under All Items.)
  2. Click New Report.
  3. Search for and select the Contacts with Relationships report type.

    Select Contacts with Reports as the report type and click Continue.

  4. Click Continue.
  5. Ann Marie doesn’t need all of the fields that are included by default in this report, so she removes everything except:
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email (If you’re building this report and decided not to create sample emails you can remove the Email field, too.)
  6. Ann Marie also wants to add some additional fields. She adds the Type and Relationship Explanation fields to see what kind of relationship exists between the contacts, and the Record Type field to see who these contacts are (such as alumni).

Report preview for New Contacts with Relationships Report.

As you can see from the preview, this report helps Ann Marie identify any contacts with a relationship. However, since she’s targeting legacy families, she wants to hone in on alumni specifically. She can do that by adding a filter.

Add a Filter

The out-of-the-box report does not include filters, but Ann Marie needs to focus specifically on alumni contacts. Adding a filter lets her narrow the list from all contacts to legacy families only.

  1. In the new, unsaved report, click the Filters dropdown menu, and add a new filter, Contact Record Type.
  2. Set the filter to equals EDA_Alumni.

    Add a filter for Contact Record Type equals EDA_Alum.

  3. Click Apply.

    Ann Marie checks her filtered results in the preview pane. Only alumni display.

    Report preview showing only alumni contacts are included in the report

  4. Make sure that the report options under Filters don’t restrict your data. For example, Ann Marie verifies that the Show menu is set to All Contacts, and the Last Activity date range is set to All Time, so that her report includes all possible results, regardless of who created the records, or when.
  5. Click Save & Run.

    The report shows all alumni who have a relationship with a current student so Ann Marie saves it with the name "Legacy Families" and a description to make it easy to find in a Reports folder.

  6. Click Save.

    Save Report record with Report Name “Legacy Families” and Report Description “Alumni with relationships to current students”. Click Save to save the report record.

All done! Ann Marie can return to this report over and over again, and it will update automatically with data she adds or edits.

With this report in hand, Ann Marie and her team can start sending out the invites to the Legacy Families event. As you can see, EDA is key to another great relationship-building opportunity for alumni and current students, and integral to cultivating connections with Cloudy’s alumni community.

Let’s Sum It Up

Now you know how easy it is to use EDA to extract the specific data you need for a variety of reporting use cases. Of course, the data you extract from EDA is only as good as the data you put into it. Maintaining best practices when organizing data is essential, as is continuing to refine your knowledge of Salesforce reporting so that you can go on to build great reports for your own use cases. Be sure to check out the community and reporting resources at the end of this section and keep going!


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