Saving Time with Dynamic Dashboards

Saving Time with Dynamic Dashboards-1Dynamic dashboards are one of my favorite features released by Salesforce. They provide a very simple solution to a problem that every Salesforce Administrator faces: single, static running user per dashboard. For those organizations that had more than a few sales reps, this was a pain. If your company had thousands of sales reps, your choices were to make thousands of dashboards and multiplied thousands of reports, or build on “sales” dashboard that encompassed everyone.

While the dynamic dashboard feature was released in Summer ’10, it’s one feature that I think get’s under utilized. That’s why I want to talk about it in today’s post and walk you through the setup process via a use case. I also want to cover some dashboard terminology as it can sometimes be confusing.

Dynamic Dashboard Use Case

When I arrived at my current employer, there was one dashboard setup for each sales rep. Each dashboard had 20 components on it. If your org is setup like this, you know that each dashboard component has an underlying report to go along with it. In order for the data on the dashboard to display for the appropriate sales rep, each report had to include a filter with the sales rep’s name.

This meant that if you had 10 sales reps, each with their own dashboard, you would need to generate 200 separate reports! That’s crazy talk!

Before dynamic dashboards, you didn’t have an option. And that option sucked. When a sales rep left the company, it required that the dashboard be deleted and, if you were good, the underlying reports deleted as well. When a new sales rep joined the team, the dashboard and all of the underlying reports had to be cloned and updated to show just that new sales reps information.

When reviewing my sales reps dashboard for the first time, I found a number of errors. Some reports were cloned and renamed, but the filters weren’t updated. Some filters didn’t match across various sales reps. The dashboards themselves didn’t match as components were shifted around. There was no consistency and it was riddled with errors. Not good for sales dashboards!

How Dynamic Dashboards Work

With dynamic dashboards, it uses the “my” concept in the reports to display information. In the report builder, you’ll notice a picklist called Show and in it there are options such as “My Opportunities” or “My Accounts” depending on the type of report generated. as a filter option. When this filter is applied, it will become a dynamic report and just like the dynamic dashboard, it will dynamically generate content based on who is viewing the report.

My Opportunities

When all of the dynamic reports are created use the “my” filter and applied to the dynamic dashboard, the dashboard will display the information based on the logged in user – the person logged into Salesforce viewing the dashboard. What this means is that, in an organization with 1,000 sales reps, a single dashboard and 20 underlying reports could be built and managed, but every sales rep would think they are looking at their own customized dashboard. Super cool!

Considerations

There are a few things to consider when preparing dynamic dashboards for your org. Let’s take a look.

1. The “my” concept looks at the record owner to determine if the record belongs to the logged in user. If for some reason the owner field is updated to accommodate an internal process, this functionality may not work.

2. Role hierarchy is super important in general for reports and dashboards. Ensure that your role hierarchy is rock solid. Read this post on how to create an awesome role hierarchy.

3. Permissions need to be enabled to profiles for those users who can change the logged in user. This allows managers for example, to change the dashboard from their own data to a specified user. You’ll need to determine who can have access to this feature and ensure that permission is set when the new dashboard is deployed.

4. There are a limit the number of dynamic dashboards you can create based on the Salesforce edition. Enterprise edition can have up to 5, Unlimited and Performance Edition can have up to 10 and Developer Edition up to 3. You can request an increase in these limits by opening a case with Salesforce support but your request may or may not be granted (Source).

Now that we have outlined some of the considerations, it’s time to build a dynamic dashboard.

Building a Dynamic Dashboard

Using the use case of a sales team, here are the steps to creating a dynamic dashboard.

1. Build the reports – take the opportunity to check-in with the sales team and ensure that the current dashboard metrics are still meeting their needs. Now is a good time to change metrics if needed. Once a confirmation has been completed, build new reports to replace the old metrics, and/or update the existing reports for those metrics which will remain on the dashboard. Ensure that these reports are all updated to show “my” data using the dashboard Show filter.

2. Build the dashboard – once the reports are generated, create a brand new dashboard by gong to the Reports tab and clicking New Dashboard. On the right hand side of the dashboard setup screen click the down arrow next to your name to setup the dynamic dashboard (see the screenshot below). Once the dashboard is setup to be dynamic, build the dashboard as usual, pulling in the new dynamic reports built in the previous step.

Dynamic_Dashboard_Setup

3. Name the dashboard & test – once the dashboard is setup, it’s time to provide a name and deploy it to the teams. Save the dashboard in a sales dashboard folder or whatever location you prefer. The name of the dashboard should be generic, such as “Individual Sales Dashboard.” Since the data isn’t tied to a specific user, a generic name will work perfectly. Use the new search box displayed in the upper right hand corner of the dashboard to test out the dashboard components and ensure that the data is populating. Enter a sales user’s name and validate the data.

4. Update specific profile permissions – in order to change the logged in user so that data updates based on the user selection (great for managers), update the system permissions for that profile to include the permission Manage My Teams Dashboards. This allows the user to modify the dashboard to see data for the people below them in the role hierarchy. Another good reason to first review your role hierarchy before proceeding.

That’s it! Once the dashboard is setup and deployed, you can now remove the individual dashboards and related reports. Who doesn’t like a little bit of cleanup!

As sales reps leave or get hired on, there is no additional work to do. This dynamic dashboard will work on it’s own. There is no additional setup to do! Don’t forget that you can do some amazing things with custom report types as well.

Do you use dynamic dashboards? Let me know how they have saved your life by leaving a comment below!

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William Christ

We use a Dynamic Dashboard for HTML Email Status reports. We have charts on the dashboard that reflect the number of HTML emails sent, emails opened and the number of views for both the current year and preceding year. Before Dynamic Dashboards, we had separate dashboards for each sales rep. Once the Dynamic Dashboard feature was released, this was the first dashboard set that we streamlined from about a dozen down to a single dashboard.

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