As I have noted multiple times in the past, Reports and Dashboards are the bread and butter of your Salesforce system. From salespeople in the trenches to top executives, Reports give you the 360 view into your data that lets you make the most informed decisions, and Dashboards help tie that data together and bring it down from the cloud and into a powerful visual representation of your standings. With low costs and high gains, properly leveraging your Salesforce Dashboards is one of the best investments you can make into your system. But with everything you can do with Salesforce Dashboards, it can be hard to wrap your head around making the necessary judgment calls to get the full value out of your system. Are there any tips or tricks for building powerful Salesforce Dashboards? I’m glad you asked!
The best Dashboards should tell a story about the data they are representing, and that story should be clear and easy to understand. Rather than naming it “KPIs by Region”, consider “How are we performing nationwide?” as a Dashboard title. Don’t try to show too much information in one Dashboard element, or it will get confusing. Set up filters, slice, dice, and segment your data to break it down into byte sized pieces. Rather than creating a separate Dashboard for every user and having hundreds of Dashboards to manage and update over time, use the “Run As” feature. Now, when fields are added or your KPIs change, you only need to update one Dashboard. Let your Dashboards tell the big picture, and instead of clicking on them to drill down into the source report, have them drill down into another Dashboard that gives more details. And don’t forget to leverage AppExchange Reports and Dashboards. We’ve highlighted a number of apps in the past (here and here are a couple examples) which will give you a number of pre-built canned Reports and Dashboards which will help you get a head start to maximize the value of your Salesforce Dashboards!
-Jared and the Salesforce Guys