Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce

Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce

On June 22, 2024, Posted by , In Salesforce Admin, With Comments Off on Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce
Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce What are Reports?What are DashboardsDifference b/w Reports and Dashboards

Table of Contents

Salesforce Reports

A Salesforce Report is a vital tool that allows users to organize, analyze, and present data stored within Salesforce. Reports enable businesses to gain insights by aggregating and visualizing data across various objects and records. They are highly customizable, allowing users to filter, group, and summarize information to meet specific needs. Salesforce reports can be scheduled to run at regular intervals and shared with other users. This makes them essential for informed decision-making and tracking key metrics.

What is a Salesforce Report?

A Salesforce Report is a formatted and customizable presentation of data retrieved from Salesforce objects and records. It provides a structured way to view and analyze data by applying filters, groupings, and summary calculations. Reports are used to monitor business performance, track progress, and identify trends. They can be created, edited, and managed through the Salesforce Reports tab.

Example of a Report

One example of a Salesforce Report is a Sales Performance Report. This report can display the total sales revenue generated by each sales representative over a specified period. It can include metrics such as the number of closed deals, the average deal size, and the total revenue by region. The report can be grouped by sales rep, showing detailed information on each person’s performance. Visual elements like charts and graphs can be added to highlight key trends and comparisons.

Salesforce Dashboards

A Salesforce Dashboard is a powerful visual tool that consolidates and displays key metrics and data insights from multiple reports in a single view. Dashboards provide a snapshot of business performance, making it easier for users to monitor and analyze critical data at a glance. They are highly interactive, allowing users to drill down into the underlying reports for more detailed information. Dashboards can be customized to display various types of visual components such as charts, tables, and gauges. This makes them an essential tool for real-time data visualization and decision-making.

What is a dashboard in Salesforce?

A Salesforce Dashboard is a visual representation of data, combining multiple reports into a single, interactive interface. It uses various components like charts, graphs, and tables to present key metrics and performance indicators. Dashboards are designed to provide users with an at-a-glance view of their most important data. They help in tracking progress towards goals, identifying trends, and making informed decisions based on real-time data.

Example of a Dashboard

An example of a Salesforce Dashboard is a Sales Performance Dashboard. This dashboard could display components like a bar chart showing monthly sales revenue, a pie chart illustrating the distribution of sales by product category, and a gauge indicating the percentage of the sales target achieved. It might also include tables listing top-performing sales reps and regions. Users can interact with the dashboard to filter data by time period or other criteria, providing a comprehensive view of sales performance.

Report Types in Salesforce

Standard Report Types

Standard report types in Salesforce are automatically created for all standard and custom objects and their relationships. These report types are predefined by Salesforce and include the primary object and related objects based on the standard relationships within the database. For instance, standard report types might include “Accounts with Contacts” or “Opportunities with Products.” These types make it easy for users to generate reports quickly, as they come with pre-selected fields and relationships that cover common reporting needs. Standard report types ensure users have a ready-to-use foundation for creating reports, facilitating straightforward data analysis without requiring extensive customization.

Custom Report Types

Custom report types in Salesforce offer greater flexibility and control over the data included in reports. They allow administrators to define specific relationships between objects and select which fields from each object should be available for reporting. Custom report types can be created to include objects and fields not covered by standard report types, or to combine multiple relationships in unique ways that standard types do not support. For example, a custom report type might include a combination of Accounts, Contacts, and a custom object like “Project Details,” providing a comprehensive view of related data. Custom report types empower users to tailor their reports to specific business requirements, enabling more precise and relevant data insights.

Formats of Reports in Salesforce

There are four formats of reports available in Salesforce that provide a variety of options to meet different reporting needs. Each format serves a specific purpose, allowing users to display and analyze data in the most effective way for their requirements.

1. Tabular Reports

Tabular reports present data in a simple, spreadsheet-like table format. They display records in rows and columns without any groupings or summaries. This format is ideal for creating lists of records, such as contact lists or activity logs. Tabular reports are straightforward and easy to create, making them suitable for basic data viewing and exporting purposes. However, they lack the ability to provide summarized insights or comparisons, limiting their use for in-depth analysis.

2. Summary Reports

Summary reports offer more advanced data organization by allowing users to group records by specific fields and generate subtotals and grand totals. This format is useful for reports that require data aggregation, such as sales performance by region or quarterly revenue summaries. Users can apply filters and groupings to categorize the data meaningfully, making it easier to identify trends and patterns. Summary reports provide a versatile solution for analyzing and presenting grouped data, offering a clearer understanding of underlying metrics.

3. Matrix Reports

Matrix reports provide a cross-tabulated view of data, allowing users to group records both by rows and columns. This format is particularly useful for comparing related totals, such as sales by product category across different regions or periods. Matrix reports offer a grid layout that facilitates the analysis of complex data relationships and intersections. By summarizing data in two dimensions, users can quickly spot trends and outliers, making matrix reports a powerful tool for comprehensive data analysis.

4. Joined Reports

Joined reports enable users to combine multiple report types into a single view, offering a holistic perspective on related data from different objects. This format is ideal for creating complex reports that need to display information from various data sources, such as comparing sales performance with customer support cases or combining opportunities with related campaigns. Joined reports allow users to create multiple report blocks within a single report, each with its own filters, groupings, and fields. This flexibility makes joined reports a robust solution for advanced reporting requirements, providing an integrated view of diverse datasets.

Types of Access Level of Folders


The Viewer access level in Salesforce folders is designed for users who need to access and run reports and dashboards without making any modifications. Users with Viewer permissions can view the contents of the folder, run reports, and interact with dashboards to analyze data. However, they cannot create, edit, or delete any reports or dashboards within the folder. This level of access is ideal for individuals who require insights from the data but do not need to alter the underlying reports or dashboards. It ensures that users can stay informed and make decisions based on the data presented without the risk of unintentional changes.


The Editor access level provides users with additional capabilities beyond those available to Viewers. Users with Editor permissions can create, modify, and delete reports and dashboards within the folder. This level of access is suitable for users who are responsible for developing and maintaining reports and dashboards for their team or department. Editors can adjust filters, update data visualizations, and ensure that reports and dashboards are up-to-date and relevant. By granting Editor access, organizations can delegate the task of report and dashboard management to specific users while maintaining control over data integrity and presentation.


The Manager access level offers the highest level of control over Salesforce folders. Users with Manager permissions can perform all actions available to Viewers and Editors, including viewing, creating, modifying, and deleting reports and dashboards. Additionally, Managers can share the folder with other users, manage folder access levels, and adjust sharing settings. This level of access is typically assigned to individuals responsible for overseeing reporting and data analysis within the organization. Managers ensure that the right users have the appropriate access to the necessary reports and dashboards, maintaining the overall structure and security of the data environment.

How to Create a Report in Salesforce?

  1. Navigate to the Reports Tab: Log in to your Salesforce account and click on the “Reports” tab from the main navigation menu. This will take you to the Reports home page, where you can manage and create reports.
  2. Click on “New Report”: On the Reports home page, click the “New Report” button. This action will open the report builder interface, where you can start defining the parameters of your new report.
  3. Select the Report Type: In the report builder, choose the appropriate report type from the list of standard and custom report types. The report type you select will determine the primary object and any related objects available for your report. Click “Continue” after selecting the desired report type.
  4. Customize the Report: Use the report builder to add and configure filters, fields, groupings, and summaries. You can drag and drop fields into the report, apply filters to narrow down the data, and group data to create meaningful summaries. Customize the layout and format to meet your specific reporting needs.
  5. Run and Save the Report: After customizing your report, click the “Run” button to generate and view the report with the current data. If you are satisfied with the results, click the “Save” button to save the report. Provide a name, description, and select a folder for the report, then click “Save” again to finalize the process. This will make the report accessible for future use and sharing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between reports and dashboards in Salesforce?

Reports are formatted presentations of data retrieved from Salesforce objects and records. They provide detailed information and allow for filtering, grouping, and summarizing data to analyze specific metrics. Reports are designed to offer a deep dive into particular aspects of data, helping users track performance and trends.Dashboards are visual representations of data, consolidating multiple reports into a single, interactive interface. They provide an at-a-glance overview of key metrics and performance indicators through various visual components like charts, graphs, and tables. Dashboards are designed for quick, real-time insights and decision-making based on aggregated data.

How many reports in a dashboard Salesforce?

A Salesforce dashboard can include up to 20 components, each of which can be based on a different report. These components can display various types of visual representations such as bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, and tables, providing a comprehensive view of data from multiple reports within a single dashboard. This flexibility allows users to create highly informative and interactive dashboards that offer insights from various perspectives.

Can we deploy reports and dashboards in Salesforce?

Yes, reports and dashboards can be deployed in Salesforce. This is typically done using change sets, the Metadata API, or third-party tools like Salesforce DX. Change sets allow you to transfer customizations, including reports and dashboards, from one Salesforce environment to another (e.g., from a sandbox to a production environment). Using the Metadata API or Salesforce DX provides more advanced deployment options and automation capabilities, ensuring that your reports and dashboards are consistently updated across different Salesforce orgs.

What is a best practice for reporting in Salesforce?

A best practice for reporting in Salesforce is to ensure that reports are designed with the end-user’s needs in mind. This involves clearly defining the report’s purpose and scope, selecting the appropriate report type, and using filters to focus on relevant data. Grouping and summarizing data to highlight key metrics and trends is crucial for readability and insight. Regularly review and update reports to ensure they reflect current business requirements and data accuracy. Additionally, leveraging report scheduling and subscription features can automate the distribution of critical information to stakeholders, ensuring timely and consistent communication.

How do I give access to reports and dashboards in Salesforce?

To give access to reports and dashboards in Salesforce, you need to manage the sharing settings of the folders containing these reports and dashboards. Navigate to the “Reports” or “Dashboards” tab, find the relevant folder, and click the “Share” button. You can then add users, roles, or public groups and assign the appropriate access level (Viewer, Editor, or Manager). Additionally, ensure that users have the necessary permissions on the objects included in the reports or dashboards. This approach ensures that only authorized users can view, edit, or manage the reports and dashboards.

Who can run the report in Salesforce?

In Salesforce, any user who has access to a report can run it, provided they have the necessary permissions on the objects and fields included in the report. The ability to run a report is determined by the user’s profile and the sharing settings of the folder containing the report. Users with Viewer access can run reports to view current data, while those with Editor or Manager access can also modify and save changes to the reports. Ensuring that appropriate permissions are set helps maintain data security and integrity while allowing users to access the information they need.

How can I customize a Salesforce report?

Customizing a Salesforce report involves several steps to tailor the report to specific business needs. Begin by navigating to the “Reports” tab and selecting an existing report to edit or creating a new report. Use the report builder to add filters to narrow down the data, and drag and drop fields to include the necessary data points. You can group data by relevant fields to create summaries and add calculations such as totals and averages. Additionally, adjust the report format (Tabular, Summary, Matrix, or Joined) to best display the information. Once the customization is complete, save the report to a specific folder for easy access and sharing.

What are dynamic dashboards in Salesforce?

Dynamic dashboards in Salesforce allow users to view dashboard data as if they were another user, providing a tailored perspective based on specific roles or individuals. Unlike standard dashboards, which show data from a single user’s perspective, dynamic dashboards enable real-time visibility into different levels of data without the need to create multiple dashboards for each user. This feature is particularly useful for managers who need to see data for their teams or departments. Dynamic dashboards are configured to run as the logged-in user, ensuring that the data displayed is relevant and appropriate for their access level.

How do you create a dashboard in Salesforce?

Creating a dashboard in Salesforce involves a few straightforward steps. Navigate to the “Dashboards” tab and click “New Dashboard.” Enter a name and description for the dashboard, and select a folder for it. Once the dashboard is created, click “Create” to open the dashboard builder. Add components by clicking “Add Component” and selecting the report you want to base the component on. Choose the type of chart or visual representation for the data, configure the component settings, and repeat the process for additional components. After arranging the components, save the dashboard and share it with relevant users or groups.

What are the limitations of Salesforce dashboards?

Salesforce dashboards come with several limitations that users should be aware of. Firstly, a single dashboard can contain a maximum of 20 components. Additionally, dashboards can only display data from reports that have a maximum of 2,000 rows, which might require filtering large datasets. Dynamic dashboards are limited by the number of dynamic dashboards allowed per Salesforce edition. Another limitation is the refresh rate; dashboards can only be refreshed manually or scheduled to refresh daily, weekly, or monthly, but not more frequently. Understanding these limitations helps in planning and designing effective dashboards within Salesforce constraints.

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