Apr 4

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to attend and present at the, “Dreamforce 2 You” Event that was put on by the Orlando and Tampa User Groups. This was the second year of the event and it doubled in every way (tripled in some ways too – from 2 sessions to 6)! There will be more postings to come out of this event, but I wanted to start with some helpful information from my presentation about Reporting.

In my presentation I shared two tips that I always rely on. I will focus on the first one today – using custom formula fields for reports/dashboards. Before you were able to add columns to a table on a dashboard (or now, overcoming the limitations), we needed another way of displaying more information while keeping a dashboard easy to read. Instead of just seeing the Opportunity Name with the Amount field, let’s use a custom formula field to concatenate some other valuable information.

For this example, I was presented with a business case that the VP of a division wanted to see what new opportunities entered the funnel this week. This person wanted to see the 2 amount fields, the account, the owner, and the opportunity name (what the project is). 5 fields to display on a table. I knew I could formula field some of them together and now only display 3 fields. Here is the formula I used to combine three fields into one for a more detailed view – Account Name, Opportunity Name and Opportunity Owner.

Account.Name &" - "& Name &" - "& CreatedBy.FirstName &" "& CreatedBy.LastName

Simple right? Now you can have a dashboard that looks like:

Stop causing yourself a headache with reporting and stop thinking that a formula field is only for calculations. Using a formula field for reporting purposes can solve many problems and make your dashboards more detailed while still being easy to understand.

Finally, a brief, “Thank You!” to @CRMJen, @jhoskins and @jackieforce for all their hard work for putting this event on. I would also like to thank Ingo Fochler from The New York Times Company for teaming up with me for this presentation. I will blog more about this event and my second tip shortly.

*Disclaimer – This was just one example of using a formula field for reporting/dashboard purposes. The field does not have to be on the page layout to work, but make sure you set up the field with the proper field-level security so that it is visible to your users.

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