Reports and Dashboards in Lightning Experience

Introduction to Reports and Dashboards

I’m sure we’ve heard the terms reports and dashboards several times while acquainting ourselves with Salesforce. So, what does it mean?

Reports and Dashboards provide answers to those important questions that can make or break your organization, such as:

  • Which of my products are my top sellers?
  • Are my customers happy, or how satisfied are they?
  • Which Sales team has generated the most leads?
  • How many employees got a hike of more than 20%?

See how powerful and crucial they are to your organization!

What is a Report?

Reports generate a list of records that meet the criteria you specify. They are displayed as a table of rows and columns but calling them a simple list is an understatement → reports offer advanced analysis that a simple list cannot. You can filter, group, perform mathematical calculations on records and even display them graphically.

So, where are these reports stored? → Each report is stored in a folder, and the folder determines who has access to these reports and how these reports are accessed. Can they view, edit or manage the report? The folder answers those questions. These folders can be public, hidden, or shared. As we explore and experiment more, we’ll have a better understanding of what this means.

What is a Dashboard?

At its core, a Dashboard is a pictorial depiction of the report data. They can be viewed as graphs, pie charts, bar charts, donut charts, and more. Dashboards can help improve accountability within teams because it’s easy to understand, and you see the numbers in black and white.

All the data in a dashboard are provided by reports, and dashboards can show data from more than one report, but each dashboard component is based on one underlying report. To sum it up, a Dashboard can include multiple dashboard components with different underlying reports.

Just as in reports, these dashboards are stored in Folders, and the folder determines your access to the dashboard.

Each dashboard has a Running User, and the running user’s security settings determine what data is displayed in the dashboard. Running User can be set to:

  • Run as specified user: All viewers view the dashboard based on the security setting of the specified user, regardless of their own security setting.
  • Run as a logged-in user: The data shown in the dashboard is based on the logged-in user’s security and sharing settings. This makes it a Dynamic Dashboard.

What is a Report Type?

The first thing you want to do before creating a report is to determine the report type. The report type governs which fields and records are available in your report. Every report is based on a report type. Every report type has one primary object followed by one or more related objects, and a report type cannot include more than 4 objects. Out of the box, Salesforce has a number of pre-defined report types, but what if it doesn’t include a field you need, you can create your very own custom report type.

Example: Account report type has fields such as Account ID, Account Name, and Phone.

To sum it up:

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