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Sugar User Group: Creating Robust Reports

by Katie Liesmann on February 25, 2016

4 minute read

If you already know the basics of creating a report in Sugar and want to increase the use of reports throughout your organization, this is the right place to start. Below, I outline W-Systems' three best practices for creating more robust reports.

Reinforce Data Quality

You’ve probably heard of the concept “garbage in, garbage out”; it couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to data quality. The reason data needs to be up-to-date and free of duplicates is so that your organization can pull reports at any time and have confidence that they are accurate. Bad data has a domino effect and can lead to:

  • reps not being able to pull accurate reports, and user adoption suffering as a result
  • weak business decisions made from faulty business intelligence
  • angry customers who get put on the wrong email list due to inaccuracies in the data

Our solution for dirty data is two-fold. If you suspect you currently suffer from a data issue, work with a third-party that can either help you cleanse your database or identify duplicates. Our other suggestion is to implement internal policies that incentivize entering data, including adequately training new employees on required fields, and using workflows to update fields automatically.

Create Reports that Contribute to Accountability

For each report created, as yourself these two questions:

  1. Does this report hold someone accountable?
  2. For what goal does this hold someone accountable?

If you can always answer these two questions, then the report will not only help management have insight into how goals are being met, but it will help users prove they are being active in meeting their goals. Our customers often implement standards of accountability. A sales manager we work with told us she runs all of her one-on-one meetings with reps directly out of Sugar to assess pipeline and opportunities. She also doesn’t pay commission on a closed-won opportunity unless it’s in Sugar. You can probably understand how these two policies hold reps accountable always to enter data, no matter what.

Make Reports Accessible

To make your reports highly accessible, determine who is responsible for making your reports and how people are viewing them. Most organizations have a CRM owner or admin who is responsible for creating reports that other employees throughout the organization need. Another alternative that is empowering for users is to train them to produce reports on their own so that they don’t have to wait for a designated person to get to their request. Our customers often start with a selected admin who creates reports and then shifts to training everyone once Sugar is successfully deployed. Also, make sure that reps can quickly view reports both on their dashboards and on their Sugar mobile apps. The day you make a new hire, set up their dashboards for them, so they have access to reports on day one.

We recently did a full webcast on this topic and our Software Training Specialist showed how to create an innovative report for several different divisions within your company. You can watch the full webcast recording below.

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