Detail about how reports can be both used and created within Microsoft Dynamics CRM:
Within the CRM application you'll soon notice that there are a number of out of the box reports that are available without you doing anything other than just using the system. So, for example, right from sales opportunities you'll notice there's a button that says run report. Click on that and you'll see there are a number of out of the box reports. Also, if I go under the sales module or the marketing or the customer service module and I scroll to the far right, you'll notice there's a button to view reports. You'll see there there are basically 26 out of the box reports you can use. Some of these are related directly to a module such as campaign activity status or campaign performance. Or like the service module, case summary table. Others are a little more generic, such as account distribution or account overview or account summary. Now, depending upon how your organization uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, some of those reports may be valuable and others not as much. But regardless, assuming you have the right security roles you might even have the ability to create your own reports. So, you'll see at the top of this reports view there's a button that says new. Now, when I click on that we have the ability to create our own reports. So here's an example. This is a new report, report wizard. If I click on the new button this is where it brings us. And if I want to launch the report wizard, I can click on report wizard and it basically launches a wizard that will walk me through all the steps of creating a brand new report. So we'll create a really simple report and see how it works. So, I'll click next. On the next window I want to name the report. So we'll make this a basic and simple report. We'll call this accounts by city and state. And our primary record type in this example is simply going to be accounts. I'll click next. Now, on the next screen we should see a window that should look somewhat familiar to us. While this is not exactly advanced find it is leveraging that advanced find functionality. As a matter of fact, if I click on this list of saved views you'll see that we have a bunch of the regular system views at our disposal. If I had any advanced finds I would have saved I would also see those in this list. OK. I'm going to go ahead and clear what I have here for the time being. I basically only want those accounts that actually have a city. So, as long as they have a city and also contains data there, I want to pull them. I could have some accounts that don't have cities on them. OK. So I added my filters and I click next. On this window we have the ability to group by certain fields or add columns to our report. So, in this example I'm going to go ahead and add two different groupings. One of them will be by state. So I'll click added grouping. I'll like the record type I want to look at which is accounts. I'll find the field I want to group on, in this case address one state/province. I'll click OK. I'll do that again for cities. Again, as you recall, our goal is to group by state and then city. The next thing we'll do is we're going to add columns. So I'll click here to add a column. We'll add the account name and choose other values to add here, as well. Such as, perhaps, primary contact. Or parent account or something along those lines. There we go. We'll choose primary contact and I'll make that a little wider. As you can see here I can even control the width of those columns. Now, just like we saw when we were modifying advanced find views we can actually move these columns around. So if I want to move the primary contact before the account name I can select that column, click on the left arrow and it moves the column around. Just like we saw in the advanced find I could also remove groupings or columns and selecting what I want and pick remove column or grouping and changing properties I can even come in here and change the widths as I need to. It's not a very exciting report but nonetheless it's a custom report that we're going to want to use. I'll click on the next button again. Now this example, we're not doing any sort of aggregations, meaning we're not actually averaging or adding or doing anything like that with any particular fields. If I would have done a report that involved some sort of numerical field such as number of employees or if I was doing a report for sales opportunities it would have estimated revenue, or something along those lines, then I could actually design a report that could embed a chart relative to that data. But in this case we don't have any data like that, so we're just going to have a table display. So go ahead and click next. Next again. And behind the scenes what it's doing is actually creating the report. So when I click finish that brings you back here, I now have the ability to click run report. What that's going to do is launch the report that we just designed and show us all the accounts that actually have a city populated grouped by state and then by city. So as you can see here, here are the accounts we have in California, for Kansas, and obviously Los Angeles is not in Kansas, but we must have been updating some data as such. Now, once you have created this report you do have the ability to go back and modify those filters. Or even export it out of here. So if I wanted to export this into a CSV file , into a PDF file or Excel or even Word, I can do that right from here. As a matter of fact, when I export to Excel, and I open it up, it shows me that exact same report but it shows it in Excel. If there are other kinds of analysis I wanted to do with this I could do it from Excel if that's an environment I feel more comfortable working in.
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