Reporting in Dynamics 365 CRM Solutions

The shift from on-premise to a cloud environment has altered data access and reporting dynamics, and there are various methods for extracting valuable insights from Dynamics 365 CRM Solutions (D365 CRM).

In this article, we will provide an in-depth exploration of the primary reporting methods within D365 CRM.

Table of Contents

Note: There are 5 different Dynamics 365 apps that serve various CRM needs. In some contexts, you may also see those products referred to as “Customer Engagement” or “CE” apps. These automation methods work the same no matter which of those apps you’re using.

Charts, Views, and Dashboards

Dynamics 365 CRM offers a versatile array of tools such as charts, views, and dashboards that prove indispensable in fulfilling reporting needs.

  • Charts provide an immediate visual representation of data trends and insights, making complex data more digestible.
  • Views allow users to create tailored lists of records, filtering data to extract the most relevant information, and customizing column displays for a focused view.
  • Dashboards consolidate multiple charts, views, and other visual components onto a single screen, enabling a holistic view of critical data at a glance.

This combination of charts, views, and dashboards not only enhances data visibility but also streamlines the reporting process, making it more efficient and user-friendly.

Whether tracking sales performance, monitoring customer interactions, or assessing marketing campaign effectiveness, D365 CRM’s reporting features play a pivotal role in informed decision-making and overall business success.

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Reports

In the realm of Dynamics 365 CRM, end users gain access to a user-friendly reporting wizard, purpose-built to streamline the creation of fundamental reports. This wizard bears resemblance to conventional views but extends its capabilities to encompass features like grouping and rudimentary charting. Nevertheless, the true potential of reporting in Dynamics 365 CRM lies in the realm of custom reports.

Custom reports, engineered using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), originate from beyond the confines of the Dynamics 365 CRM environment. They can be seamlessly executed within D365 CRM by end users. Dynamics 365 SSRS reports empower you to concurrently report on a multitude of record types, orchestrate intricate data computations, wield charting tools for data visualization, and wield creative control over the presentation format of your reports. For instance, an SSRS report can artfully amalgamate data from opportunities and quotes while seamlessly incorporating intricate product details.

If your reporting prerequisites demand the treatment of multiple record types and necessitate advanced data manipulation, Dynamics 365 SSRS reports stand as the definitive solution to meet these multifaceted requirements.

Excel Integration with Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

Excel’s stature within organizational settings as a prime tool for data reporting remains unwavering. Nevertheless, the introduction of Excel Templates elevates this capability to a higher plane, granting you the capacity to generate Excel files grounded in the Dynamics 365 CRM environment. These templates offer you the full gamut of Excel’s formula prowess, allowing for intricate data computations and summarizations.

Functioning as templates, they offer a streamlined approach for reporting by enabling you to employ the same Excel file across various views.

Power BI – Embedded and Desktop

Power BI is a powerful tool in the realm of D365 CRM reporting, available in both embedded and desktop versions. These reports offer a significant advantage by consistently updating data at predefined intervals, resulting in superior data performance compared to direct database queries.

What makes Power BI truly stand out is its dynamic nature, allowing end users to actively adjust fields and filters in real-time, providing immediate insights. Moreover, it boasts the flexibility to combine data from Dynamics 365 CRM and various other sources within a single comprehensive report. Furthermore, the integration of Power BI dashboards directly into Dynamics 365 CRM amplifies your reporting capabilities, enhancing versatility and usability.

Selecting the Optimal Reporting Tool

Choosing the right reporting tool for Dynamics 365 CRM depends on the specific requirements and objectives of your reporting needs. Here is a guide to help you decide:

  1. Charts: Use charts when you need immediate visual representations of data trends or summaries. They are ideal for quick insights, such as visualizing sales performance, lead conversion rates, or customer demographics.
  2. Views: Views are valuable when you require customized lists of records that meet specific criteria. You can filter, sort, and tailor the columns to focus on relevant data, making them suitable for tasks like tracking open support cases, managing leads, or monitoring opportunities.
  3. Dashboards: Dashboards are the go-to choice when you want a consolidated view of essential data components, including charts, views, and other visuals, on a single screen. Dashboards are useful for high-level management, providing a comprehensive overview of key performance indicators, such as a sales pipeline, customer service metrics, or marketing campaign status.
  4. SSRS Reports: SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports are the choice for more complex, structured reporting needs. They are well-suited for scenarios that involve multi-record types, intricate calculations, or detailed data analysis. Use SSRS reports when generating financial statements, complex sales reports, or other highly customized and detailed reports.
  5. Excel: Excel is your tool of choice for flexible data manipulation, calculations, and ad-hoc analysis. It is particularly useful when you need to perform custom calculations, create personalized templates, or export filtered data for further analysis. Excel is great for budgeting, financial analysis, or data validation.
  6. Power BI: Power BI is the preferred tool when you need interactive, dynamic, and visually appealing reports that can combine data from various sources. It is particularly valuable for business intelligence and in-depth data analysis. Use Power BI for creating interactive dashboards, tracking market trends, or creating data-driven insights.

Dynamics 365 CRM offers a diverse range of reporting tools to meet various business needs. The careful selection of the appropriate tool can significantly enhance reporting capabilities and provide actionable insights for informed decision-making.

For more information and tailored advice about which reporting tools are best for you, please contact us.

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