Identifying and Accessing Reports in Microsoft CRM

Microsoft CRM contains predefined reports and charts separated into four major categories — sales, service, administrative, and marketing. Each of these categories contains reports that display information related to that specific area of Microsoft CRM. Keep in mind that some reports can be hidden from certain users, depending on their security roles, and some are just not assigned to a category or entity:

  • Sales reports: Collect all the activities associated with a sale, from the lead through the actual sale. These reports can also provide statistical information about accounts, lead sources, competitors, and products.
  • Service reports: Provide statistical information related to contracts and cases and summaries of knowledge base articles. These reports provide quick analyses of which products require the most support and where your service representatives are spending the most time.
  • Administrative reports: Provide summary information about your Microsoft CRM users. This section is a logical place to store custom reports related to company-wide information, such as a list of all employees who participate in your 401(k) plan.
  • Marketing reports: Describe accounts, campaigns, lead source effectiveness, and other areas of interest to the marketing department. The reports provide summary and detail information across accounts, campaigns, and lead sources.

Your system administrator, consultant, or value-added reseller can create custom reports and can make a report available in one or more categories, as well as from forms for related record types or from lists for related record types.

Reports can also be assigned to an entity (case, contact, account, activity, and so on) and may be viewed from that entity by clicking the Reports button on the toolbar.

If your security profile prevents you from accessing data in Microsoft CRM, you will not be able to see that data in any report you run. The reporting feature respects security settings.

The settings in your security profile determine which reports you can see. This is another area where Microsoft CRM stands out, by allowing you to set up multilayered security access for your staff. For example, you can give only your Human Resources department access to reports containing confidential information such as salaries and commission rates. Or perhaps your system administrators could restrict access to resource-intensive reports to keep the reports from being launched by mistake during the day, when the system is already busy.

You can access reports in the Reports window or, for those reports linked to specific entities as noted, from within the entities.

Here's how to drill down the report search results (which comes in handy for those needle-in-the-haystack searches):

1. At the bottom of the Navigation pane, click the Workplace button. Then, at the top of the pane, click Reports (under My Work).

The Reports window appears. Remember, you'll see only the reports that your security profile allows you to see.

2. Fill in the Look For box and click the Find button.

This is the first method we're using to reduce the size of the list. By entering text in the Look For box, only reports with that text anywhere in the display (that is, in the Report Name, Report Type, Modified On, or Description column) will be listed.

3. Click the arrow next to the Category box and select a category.

This is another way of narrowing the reports listed and comes in handy if you're a report-heavy company.

4. Click the arrow next to the Entity box and select an entity.

Choosing an entity allows you to find reports connected to that entity. You can choose from accounts, cases, campaign responses, marketing lists, quotes, and more.

5. When you find the report you're looking for, click it to highlight it.

6. To run the report you just highlighted, click More Actions in the window's toolbar and choose Run Report.

This opens the Report Viewer screen, where you'll see a notification that your report is generating. Then you see the report itself.

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