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If you caught the season 5 premier of Game of Thrones, you saw the incredible flashback that kicked off the episode (no spoilers or leaks here, so no worries). This epic scene gave viewers an insight into the background of one of the least understood characters and gave us a glimpse into why they are the way they are. Flashbacks are a fantastic narrative device that allow us to better understand the present by looking back into the past, and they’re not just for books and TV shows. A report showing historic data can be a window into the world of what makes your company tick, who keeps the pieces moving, and how you can improve your processes to increase revenue. Salesforce has a feature called Analytic Snapshots that opens this window with just a few clicks.

There are a few simple steps involved in generating an Analytic Snapshot in Salesforce. First decide on what historical data is important to you – maybe you want to know what Cases were open, who owned them, and their status and age, or maybe you need information on the stage of Opportunities, the Accounts, and amount. Create a new Report (your “Source Report”) with those fields and make a list of the fields you included – you’ll need this in a moment. Keep in mind there is a limit of 2,000 records in an Analytic Snapshot run, so choose your filters wisely. Next, create a custom object (the “Target Object”) with a clear name, make sure Reporting is allowed, and create a field for each column in your Report. Go to Setup -> Data Management -> Reporting Snapshots, choose your Source Report and Target Object and save. Map the columns to the fields and schedule your snapshot to run. Once you’ve done this, you can kick back, relax, and watch the video below to get some ideas of the awesome Reports and Dashboards you can create after the first run!

-Jared and the Salesforce Guys