Every CRM contains valuable data, but without knowing how to take advantage of the data, you won’t get very far. Here are three best practices from CRM consulting firm Epicom on working with reports in Sugar to get the most of your data.
Choose the Right Report Type
Before creating any reports, it’s important to understand each type of report in Sugar so you can maximize the value of each report you create. In Sugar’s reporting module, there are four types of reports you can build: rows and columns, summation, summation with details, and matrix. Let’s talk about these reports in order of complexity.
A rows and columns report is the most basic report type in Sugar. It pulls in records meeting certain criteria and is similar to saving a filtered Sugar search. This should be used when you are trying to create a list for the Campaigns module or when you need to export a file for use in excel (as this is the only report that is exportable).
A summation report also filters on records meeting certain criteria, but in addition it provides numeric totals for you (averages, sums, counts, etc). When creating the report you will have the option to “group” these records by a certain field. Examples you might find relevant are grouping by the assigned owner, location, lead source or status fields.
A summation with details report is the same as a summation report, but it allows you to drill down into the specific records rather than just giving numeric totals. Summation and summation with details reports should be used if you want to pull a report into a dashlet or want to view a visual display of data in a chart.
A matrix report provides similar data as a summation with details report, but instead of a list it displays the data in a gridview (think excel pivot charts).
Use Run Time Filters
Run time filters enable you and your users to modify reports easily and on the fly by allowing you to change some of the report criteria each time the report is run. This also prevents admins from having to create several similar reports with one criteria (i.e. assigned to user) being different in each report.
If you add a run time filter to the “assigned to user” field, then each user could run the report only on records assigned to them (or a manager could assess each individual separately). Another example is adding a run-time filter to the campaign ID--which would let sales reps filter on prospects or leads from different campaign sources, and work on completing follow-up or prospecting through those lists.
Increase Report Visibility
Your users won’t benefit from reports if they aren’t looking at them or using them on a regular basis. Epicom has three suggestions for increasing report visibility. First, run team meetings out of Sugar’s reporting modules. Rather than exporting the data to excel or taking screenshots and putting them in powerpoints, actually open up the reports in Sugar and show your team important metrics. This increases people’s familiarity of the reporting module and also holds them accountable to enter their data since they know the whole company is viewing it. Second, pull reports into dashlets on user’s home page Dashboards. This will be the first thing they see each time they log in and make it quick to reference reports. Third, setup daily email reports for your users. This alerts users to monitor changes to data on a regular basis.
Reporting is a very powerful tool if you know how to take advantage of it. Do you have any tips on reporting in Sugar? Comment below to let Epicom know.