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A Quick Guide to Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce

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In the fast-paced world of modern business, data is king. It empowers organizations to make informed decisions, track progress, and identify trends. Salesforce, a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, understands this need for data-driven insights, which is why it offers robust reporting and dashboard capabilities. In this blog post, we’ll provide a brief overview of how to create and utilize reports and dashboards in Salesforce.

Understanding Reports and Dashboards

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s clarify what reports and dashboards are within the Salesforce context:

Reports: Reports in Salesforce are a way to organize and present data from your CRM. They help you analyze your data, monitor sales activities, track customer interactions, and more. Salesforce provides a range of standard report types, such as Tabular, Summary, and Matrix reports, to suit different reporting needs.

Types of Reports

  1. Tabular Reports: These are basic reports that display data in rows and columns, making them suitable for simple data lists.
  2. Summary Reports: Summary reports group data into customizable categories, allowing you to see subtotals and other calculations.
  3. Matrix Reports: Matrix reports provide a cross-tabular view of data, useful for comparing related values across two different fields.
  4. Joined Reports: Joined reports combine data from multiple report types into a single view, allowing you to analyze data from different sources simultaneously.

Dashboards: Dashboards take your reporting to the next level by allowing you to visualize your data in real time. They offer a consolidated view of multiple reports, charts, and metrics on a single page. Dashboards are customizable, and interactive, and can be tailored to specific user roles, ensuring that everyone in your organization sees the data that matters most to them.

Creating Reports in Salesforce

  1. Navigate to the Report Builder: To create a report, go to the ‘App Launcher’ and search for ‘Reports.’ Click on ‘Reports’ to enter the Report Builder.
  2. Select a Report Type: Choose the most relevant report type based on your data and objectives. Salesforce offers a variety of pre-built templates.
  3. Define Filters and Criteria: Customize your report by selecting fields, adding filters, and setting sorting options. This step ensures your report captures the data you need.
  4. Preview and Save: Review the report results in the preview pane. If everything looks good, click ‘Save & Run’ to save the report.
  5. Share the Report Folder: Salesforce allows you to share report folder with specific users or groups, ensuring the right people have access to the insights they need.

Building Dashboards in Salesforce

  1. Access the Dashboard Builder: From the ‘App Launcher,’ search for ‘Dashboards’ and click on ‘Dashboards’ to open the Dashboard Builder.
  2. Create a New Dashboard: Click ‘New Dashboard’ to start building a new dashboard.
  3. Add Components: Drag and drop report components onto your dashboard. You can include charts, tables, and metrics.
  4. Customize and Arrange: Customize each component’s appearance and placement on the dashboard. You can resize, reposition, and configure them as needed.
  5. Save and Share: Once your dashboard is ready, click ‘Save’ and specify who can access it. Dashboards can be shared with specific users, groups, or roles.

Key Tips for Effective Reports and Dashboards

  • Keep It Simple: Focus on key metrics and insights to avoid overwhelming users with data.
  • Use Filters Wisely: Use filters and parameters to make reports and dashboards interactive and adaptable to different needs.
  • Scheduled Refresh: Set up automatic data refresh schedules to ensure your reports and dashboards are always up to date.
  • Regularly Review and Update: As your business evolves, your reports and dashboards should evolve with it. Regularly review and refine your data visualizations.


Salesforce’s reporting and dashboard capabilities empower organizations to make data-driven decisions, monitor performance, and drive success. Whether you’re a Salesforce beginner or a seasoned pro, effective reporting and dashboards are crucial tools for maximizing your CRM’s potential. Understanding the types of reports available and following best practices will help you unlock the full potential of Salesforce for your business.

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