What you’ll learn in this article:
- How data is structured in the CRM
- What are the different CRM report types
- How to build a report through template customization in Report Builder
Use reports to analyze your data and get a better understanding of what drives your participants. By selecting the correct report type and applying different combinations of filters and fields, you have nearly limitless options for audience segmentation and trend identification.
Reports can be one-time use, or they can be used regularly to keep track of data over time.
How data is structured in the CRM
1.1 High-level data structure within CRM
Salesforce uses objects to organize and store participant, and non-participant data. Think of an object as a common element or thread between records, grouping or categorizing data by Contacts, Events, Registrations, Preferences, Teams, and Households. Objects are related or connected together in a way that allows you to pull data into a report for analysis. The relationship between objects is that of Parent and Child.
Parent object: The main object of a report that owns child records. A parent object can exist without a child.
Child object: The sub-object within a report. It is optional that a report has a child relationship, and a child will always coexist with a parent.
For example, in the report type “CRM - Registrations w/wo Results” the parent object is Households, and the child objects are Contacts > Registrations > Results. The report results show data based on all ‘Households’ with at least one or more related records from the ‘Contact’ object, with at least one related record from the ‘Registrations’ object, with or without related records from the ‘Results’ object. In terms of fields, all Household, Contact, Registration, and Results fields will be accessible as fields or filters.
1.2 Object hierarchy for CRM - Registrations w/wo Results report type
Note: The hierarchy of the object(s) depends on the report type used during the creation of a report.
What are the different CRM report types
The most common report types are 'Registrations w/wo Results' and 'Contact'. Other report types are available and you can reach out to your Customer Success Manager for guidance on how-to report on these other objects. This might include (but not limited to) Marketing Campaigns, Teams, or Marketing Activities, depending on your usage of the CRM and Marketing Cloud.
Knowing what information you want to pull from the CRM will dictate which report type you should use. By choosing a report type, you are specifying the parent and child records, and fields or filters that you want to make available for manipulation and analysis within your report.
To know a report's type, navigate to the title of your report. The report type will be visible just above the report’s title.
1.3 Report Type callout in Report Builder
Here we see the report type that’s being used is at the Contact-level.
How-to build a report through template customization in Report Builder
1.4 CRM report template open in Report Builder
The ability to build a report from scratch does exist, however we strongly recommend that to start, you make use of the CRM report templates. By customizing report templates in Report Builder, you can quickly add and/or remove fields and filters to change the results, group or bucket fields, add custom functions, show or hide report details, and visually interpret your results through the use of graphs.
To start the report customization process, find the CRM Report Templates available for use. Watch this short video, or follow these steps:
- Click ‘Reports’ in the main navigation bar
- Click on ‘Shared with Me’ in the Reports folder structure
- Click on ‘CRM Report Templates'
To start the customization of the report template, you will need to know the different components that make up the Report Builder and how each section plays a part in the template customization and report generation process. Watch this video and/or read on to learn more.
1.5 Report Builder Action Bar
Just below the report Type and Title (1.4), you’ll find the Action Bar. Here you can ‘Save As’, ‘Close’, and ‘Run Report’.
1.6 Report Builder Fields Pane
See all of the available fields (determined by report type), organized by folder. Narrow your options by using filters to show:
- Text Fields
- Number Fields
- Date Fields
Tip: The search bar or ‘Quick Find’ functionality located at the top of the Fields Pane can also help to narrow down the field options if you know the field attribute (name of the field) that you are looking for.
1.7 Report Builder Filters Pane
Set the view, time frame, and add or remove custom filters for your report in the Filters Pane.
Note: When using a report template, some values will be pre-populated within this section. Filter values are not case sensitive.
Common Pre-populated Values
Note: While populated by default, the ‘Show’ and ‘Date Field’ filters are not typically used as they are part of standard Salesforce report setup.
- It is our recommendation to keep ‘Range’ set as ‘All Time’ and then filter results from there.
- ‘Registration: Testing' equals “False” is included as a default filter in report templates to ensure any test registration data is removed from your results (test registrations are manually identified and flagged, so if any appear in a report after adding this filter, report this your CSM and the entry can be flagged)
- ‘Registration : Is Active' equals “True” is included as a default filter in report templates to ensure only active registrations are returned in your results.
- ‘Contact: Testing' equals “False” is included as a default filter in report templates to ensure any test contact data is removed from your results.
How-to add, remove, and group filters in Report Builder
- Click the ‘Add’ button next to ‘Filters’
- Select the field you want to include
- Set the expression (ex. equals, not equal to, contains)
- Enter the value (or values separated by commas) that must be met
- Click ‘OK’
- Repeat until you have all of the filter criteria you need
You can also drag and drop fields into the Filters Pane to add a filter and set parameters as outlined above.
Grouping results by fields
To group results by fields, drag the field(s) into the Preview Pane, and drop into the Drop Zone. The report will update showing all records under the respective field with a summary of the total number of records in the group.
To learn more about different filter types and functionality, reference the intermediate reporting guide.
1.8 Report Builder Preview Pane
The Preview Pane shows the results or the current state of the report based on the filter criteria in the Filter Pane.
Tip: If the preview returns ‘0’ results, check the fields you’ve used to ensure they are correct.
If you want to remove a field from a report, simply drag and drop the field back over into the Field Pane.
Note: The Preview Pane only shows you a snapshot of the report, to see all of the results, click Run Report to fully run and process the report. Once you’ve run the report, you can export the report to an excel document by clicking Export, you can save the report and after saving you can close out of the report or return to report builder to review or further customize.
Report Format Options
Change the format of your report by selecting one of the following layout options found within the dropdown next to ‘Preview’:
Tabular: Each record within a Tabular report will be listed in a row. Tabular reports can be used when you are looking to create a list of records (showing details) or when you are looking to see a single grand total. This report format does not allow you to group data, use charts to present your data, and it can't be used in dashboards unless rows are limited.
Summary: While it shares characteristics of the Tabular format in that you can display a list of records, the Summary format also allows for grouping rows of data, viewing subtotals, and creating charts. Use this format when you would like to show subtotals based on the value of a particular field or when you want to create a hierarchical list.
Matrix: The Matrix format builds on the Summary format in that you can group and summarize data by both rows and columns. Use this type to cross-reference related totals, or when you have a lot of data that you would like to compare across various fields.
Next to the Report Format dropdown, click on the ‘Show’ dropdown and click ‘details’ to hide/show report details. If you hide details, you remove the rows of listed records (leaving summaries), if you show details, you reveal hidden rows of listed records.
When using the Summary or Martrix report formats, click ‘Add Chart’ to access the Chart Editor. Select the chart ‘Type’, layout and adjust design settings to meet your needs before adding the chart to the report.
Saving a customized report template as a new report
Once you have conducted the necessary template customizations, click 'Run Report' to generate your report.
1.9 Report View in Report Builder
From within the Report View, you can export your report to an Excel file, download a 'Printable View', 'Save As', further customize the report, show/hide report details, and further drill down by filter.
To save the report for continued use and analysis, click 'Save As' at which point you'll be prompted to name the report and add a description (optional). Click 'Save & Return to Report' to continue with customizations and analysis.
1.10 Save Report View in Report Builder
To build on your reporting knowledge, resource the Intermediate Reporting Guide.