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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kolodner

When is a report not a report?

Hint: When it’s a To Do List. Or a checklist. Or a Hall of Fame. (Or Shame.)

Salesforce reports are for more than just “reporting,” they’re the building blocks for running your organization. Once you start thinking outside the narrow confines of just "reporting" on your data, you'll find that you can do amazing things.

Make a report with the following filters:

  • All Contacts

  • Gifts Last Year greater than $1,000

  • Gifts This Year equals $0

Add columns showing First Name, Last Name, phone number.

You’ve just created a Call List for your development department. These are the major donors that haven’t given yet this year. Time to start dialing for dollars.

Report on students with no college application record:

  • Contacts of type “student”

  • Current Grade equals 12

  • Cross filter: Contacts without (custom object) College Applications

    • Where Status = Applied

All you need are columns for first name and last name.

If you’re looking at this report in September, it probably doesn’t mean much. But anyone on this report in December is behind the curve! This is a To Do List for the program staff to get in gear.

Depending on how you're arranging your data, you might switch Status=Applied to Status=Interested on that cross filter. If you've got students that haven't expressed interest in any schools by November, they're the ones you need to be working with pronto!

Report on students with (custom object) College Applications:

  • All students that have an associated College Application

  • School Year of the application equals This Year

  • Status equals Accepted

Add columns for student name, and college name. Group by student.

This is a Celebrate List! (And a list of kids to start advising on how to make their final enrollment choice.)

Report on opportunities:

  • Stage equals Closed Won

  • Amount greater than $1,000

  • Close Date equals Last Year

Add columns for account name, opportunity owner (major gift officer). Group by opportunity owner. Subtotal the amounts and sort in descending order.

You now have a Hall of Fame showing your top fundraisers for last year.

Or make a report with these filters:

  • Contacts of type Student

  • Emergency Contact is null

Add columns for First Name, Last Name, Primary Parent/Guardian name and contact info.

You’ve just made a To Do List for the program team: students whose parents need a call. You don’t want those kids heading out on next week’s field trip without up-to-date emergency contact information!

(Of course, you’ll probably want to validate the data for those whose emergency contact is not null. I’ve seen plenty whose name is “n/a” over the years. Not to mention the ones whose emergency contact name is the same as their primary parent’s name… But I digress.)

Or a report with these filters:

  • All Sessions

  • Session Date less than This Week

  • Attendance Percentage equals zero

Add a column for teacher name.

Sadly, this is the Hall of Shame. This is a list of teachers that have not entered last week’s attendance into the system.

Report on:

  • Time Cards

  • Work Date equals Last Month

  • Approved for Payment equals null

Show columns for Time Card Name, Hours Worked, Activity Conducted, Total Payment.

This is your Payroll Approval Checklist. Look at each of those line items and either approve or deny them so you can send out paychecks.

Wow! Reports are for a lot more than just looking at data!

Make sure you give those reports appropriate titles, put them front and center, such as on dashboards or the home page, and train your colleagues to keep an eye on them. I would argue they should even get some prominent placement on your documentation wiki, complete with links.


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