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BEST PRACTICES: Reports and Dashboards Needs Assessment

Knowledge Article Number 000230049
Salesforce Cloud Services
This checklist includes capturing your organization's goals from your sales leaders and executives and establishing a folder management strategy based on what your users can see and access:

User-added imageKnow Your Audience
Start at the top with the executives and key stakeholders and ask, "What keeps them up at night?" Define what your executives and your channels need to know to run their business: What are their key performance indicators (KPI)? What behaviors do they want to encourage? Once you know the answers, align those targeted metrics with your company vision by taking your business objectives, identifying the metrics that measure those objectives and map those back to your Salesforce reports.

  • If forecasting and tracking large deals are important to the VP of Sales, make sure you understand the key data points that give insight into those tasks and the best frequency for reporting that data. 
  • If your VP of Marketing needs to track response rates, sales, trials, meetings, or campaign awareness, you need to capture that data at the campaign, campaign member, lead, and opportunity level to return meaningful metrics
  • Tip: Salespeople thrive on competition. If you make it possible to track their progress in relation to their peers, your overall adoption rates and sales revenues will grow.
User-added imageFolder Permissions are Key (See: Achieve More with Salesforce: Analyze Your Data and 10 Steps to Getting Started with Reports and Dashboards)

Though it may seem trivial, folder management is the foundation for scalable report management across your organization. Poor folder management (i.e., ad-hoc solutions) can result in reports and dashboards not appearing for your users. While folder management will vary (since every company has different needs), it is critical that you consider scalability and consistency in the long term when coming up with a strategy, and you avoid ad-hoc solutions. There are 3 common folder management strategies to get you started: 

  1. By function (for sales, service, marketing, or operations) 
  2. By role (based on your organizational hierarchy)
  3. By location (national, regional, and office-level report folders)
Determine which users need access to save into public folders. Public folders are accessible by everyone in your company, and are great for curating report content. As long as only certain people have access to saving in public folders, it becomes easy to ensure that the right reports and dashboards are being referenced. After building this game plan, stick with the framework as you add new users. Click here for more documentation: Manage Access to Reports and Dashboards

User-added imageControlling Access to Reports and Dashboards

Access to reports and dashboards is controlled through the folder settings that contain them.  Keep in mind that if users have access to the underlying data in a report, it is best practice to grant access to the related dashboards that contain those reports, too. Each level of access to a report and dashboard folder consists of a combination of specific user permissions, which can be fine-tuned by assigning or removing one or more permissions. 

Additional Tips:
  • Proactively delete folders that are no longer being used.
  • To grant others access to your reports and dashboards, place them in a shared folder. To prevent others from accessing your reports, place them in personal folders that only you can access. Read more: Share a Report and Dashboard
  • Place reports used in shared/cloned dashboards in a folder where the dashboard running user has viewer permission. This prevents dashboard components from failing to refresh with message “Error: The source report isn’t available; it’s been deleted or isn’t in a folder accessible to the dashboard’s running user.” This also prevents users from drilling to source report and accidentally saving or deleting. Read more: Compare Access Levels for Reports and Dashboard Folders
User-added image Reports and Dashboards Resources for Sales Leaders and Executives:

Next Topic: Capture the Right Data for Your Reports
Previous Topic: 3 Key Resources for Reports and Dashboards

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