Thursday, 23 April 2020

[#Blogged] - 5 Features I Love about Lightning Reports

Now that most Salesforce customers have converted their Salesforce organizations or are in the process of transitioning to Lightning, it’s important to highlight one of the gems of Lightning. Reporting in Lightning is a different and more streamlined experience than Classic, and has a better User Interface.  Not only is it more esthetically pleasing, but Salesforce continues to update features available with each release, making it more robust throughout the year. Lightning offers levels of analytics that even a beginner admin can not only set up, but maintain, and makes it easier for non-technical management to digest. Although this collection of features is definitely not an “end all, be all” list, here are a few things (including some just recently released) that I feel make Lightning Reports really stand out.

  • Ease of Summarizing

Now that you can group by both columns and rows, summarizing your reports has never been so easy! These groupings allow you to give your customers a specific cross-section of data they need to analyze and make critical decisions. I know while setting up reports, working through the requirements and asks from your teams can be a lot to process, but there are tiny features with a big impact baked in, such as the “Swap Rows and Columns” button. There is also the collapsible menu of fields on your object, with icons to indicate the field type beside the field label, so you can easily determine which are text or numerical fields. Also, the ability to remove columns with the click of a mouse instead of grabbing and dropping is a time saver as well. Lightning Reports really have been a game-changer!

  • Field to Field Filters 
This feature is huge!  Although this became generally available in the Spring ‘20 Release, this was a feature admins have been begging for over a decade.  In classic reporting, trying to do comparisons between fields can be a huge pain with a lot of logic involved, and usually does not work well. It can be very clunky and awkward, even requiring the creation of formula fields before in order to capture data before it can be pulled into the report. But now, in Lightning reporting, it can be done simply and in a matter of minutes. Also, this feature is automatically available, without need for the admins to go into setup to make this happen. It is important to note that this is not possible for every field but this does not make it any less valuable! You can use it to filter on fields like “Amount” and “Expected Revenue” on the Opportunity object, for example, and limit your report so that only records that meet the comparison will show in the report. This removes a lot of clutter, both in your org and in your report, and can help reduce the need for exporting reports to Excel in order to do further filtering.

  • Update Preview Automatically
 The “Update Preview Automatically” button may allow you to create your reports much faster by reducing the possibility of timing out with large amounts of data. It is still pertinent to use appropriate filters to reduce the massive amount of data when building and previewing a report, but this can help tremendously. Toggling this button to “off”, and using the refresh button in the report will allow you to make multiple changes quickly as you’re building or editing your report, but keep the preview from lagging as it may struggle to keep up.  However, you can keep the button “on” as well, and see your changes in real-time in the preview as you add or remove fields, filters, and logic. 

  • Count Unique Values in Report Results 

It’s not uncommon to create a report, like an Opportunities report for example, to find the same account listed numerous times in the results.  This can throw off your summary counts (such as Subtotals or Grand Total), and make general cleanup a nightmare. Now, you have the ability to count unique values in your columns, to see these values more clearly. This works great for instances when you’re helping departments like Sales or Services with summaries of Account information, and you have multiple related records such as Cases or Opportunities but you really just need to know how many specific accounts appear in your report.

  • “Got Feedback?” Button 

 Many times we have found ourselves in the middle of building a report, scratching our heads at how to make the data appear perfectly, but instead just staring at the screen after numerous attempts to grab that one snippet of data that seems out of reach. Now there’s the chance to make your voice heard, as you’re manipulating data but hit a roadblock: the “Got Feedback?” Button.  This takes you through a brief survey (start page pictured above), allowing you to rate features on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with a text box towards the end to leave a text response with suggestions to improve Lightning Reporting. They even request your information for further communication, if possible. That’s not only a great way to make customers like us feel “heard”, but it also streamlines suggestions for reporting improvements, without losing them in the ether of the Success Community.
Although there’s a lot to love about Lightning, it’s evident to see the appeal of features like the Field to Field Filters, and Unique values summaries that were made recently available, and some that have been around a little longer like the combination of row and column groupings. Hopefully, you agree in the general ease of use Lightning Reporting offers, and can make use of these awesome features in your next report!  
In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out our post from last week on "5 Standard Lightning Components You Can Use with Little Experience". We go into detail on the components to make an object page or app super useful and can be done with little time or previous knowledge.  See you next time!

1 comment:

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