The very important thing in any business is reports. Reports provide clear map to the management. Organization uses reports to track progress towards their various goals and increase revenue. Reports provide powerful tools to help organizations view and analyze data. Reports are stored in folders. Users with access to these folders can run the reports. When a report is saved, reports configuration parameters are stored – but the generated data is not stored.
There are three types of reports
- Tabular report: In tabular report, it displays in tabular format with grand total. Tabular reports cannot be used for generating dashboards.
- Summary report: This is the most commonly type of report. It allows grouping of rows of data, it supports sorting and displaying subtotals. For example in a recruiting app, a summary report could be used to display open positions classified by department name.
- Matrix report: This is the most complex report format. Matrix report summarizes information in a grid format. Matrix reports allow records to be grouped by both columns and rows. Summary and Matrix reports can be used to generate dashboards.
Dashboards are graphical representation of data generated by reports. This can be charts, gauges, tables, metrics or Visualforce Pages.
There are five types of dashboards
- Chart Used for comparisons
- Table Good for showing top five, bottom five lists.
- Gauge Used to show progress towards a goal
- Metric Shows a single number
- Visualforce page used to pull data from other sources
Further there are six types of charts
- Vertical column
- Horizontal bar
Advantages of Dashboards
- Visibility – With your dashboard, you will know exactly what’s going on in your business. You know what’s working and what’s not working. For instance, your dashboard could show you exactly how your last email blast to your customers went. How many people opened the email? How much sales did it bring in? Such answers should automatically appear on your dashboard. Compare this to most business owners who have to login to their email system, or ask someone else to do it.
- Saving Time – How much time do you or your staff spend creating reports in Excel or other spreadsheet programs? Any report that you create more than once should go in your dashboard. And once in your dashboard, the report can be programmed to update every hour.
- Intuitive data presentation – There is no need for complicated and exhaustive training. Dashboards are design to be intuitive to any user. The graphic design allows an easy and smooth navigation throughout the information.
- Mobile device accessible – Most dashboards software is programmed to suit any mobile device. The idea is to reach anywhere, to everyone, in a timely manner with the most accurate information.