A step-by-step guide to running reports in Dynamics
This guide will show you how to use simple Microsoft tools to create reports in Dynamics.
You’ll find that you can produce detailed reports with these simple tools. However if you’re looking for more sophisticated visualisations, Power BI is better suited for this.
What can I report on in Dynamics 365?
You can report on any data which is stored in the Dataverse, Microsoft’s common data store for Dynamics 365 and other Power Apps.
Examples of easy to make Dynamics reports include
- New leads each week
- Invoices due
- Tasks due in the next week
- Top salespeople each month
- Hot opportunities
- Progress against KPIs
- Contacts with missing information in their record
We’re covering these ways of producing reports in Dyanmics
- Exporting to Excel
- Using Charts
- Using the Report Wizard
Most business users are familiar with Excel and it’s a great starting point for getting familiar with reporting in Dynamics 365. It’s easy to export Dynamics data to Excel
Say, for example, you want to run a simple report on new leads.
In Dynamics, click on leads
From the view selector, choose a view which shows the data you want to report on. If you can’t see a view that shows exactly what you need, use this guide to help create a new one
You can adjust the search criteria and change which columns are displayed if you like, using these buttons
Then click the dropdown alongside Export to Excel and choose Static Worksheet
Your Excel spreadsheet will now download. You can now report on the data in Excel as you usually would, using elements like
- Pivot tables
You’ll find this way of reporting particularly useful if you want to send the reports offsite or to users who don’t have access to Dynamics.
Using charts, views and dashboards for reporting in Dynamics 365
For regular, repeated reporting, you might find Excel a little slow and inflexible. Dynamics’ built in tools can help create reports which are updated live and are viewed within the system
Say for example you want to report regularly on where your leads are coming from. You have a lead source field with 10 options. You’d like to be able to see what the popular lead sources are each month.
The starting point with nearly all Dynamics reporting is to create a view.
We’ll cover using Modern Advanced Find. If you want to use Advanced Find, look here for details
- Click the search box at the top of the screen
- At the bottom of the overlay, click Search for rows in a table using advanced filters
- Select Leads from the list of tables and click continue
- Choose filters to show only the leads you’re interested in. For example
- Status Equals Qualified
- To add a second filter, click +Add and choose Add Row
- Keep adding filters and click Apply
- You can change the filters and columns at any time using the Edit Columns and Edit Filters buttons
- When you have a list of leads you’d like to report on, choose Show Chart
- From the dropdown choose Leads by source
You’ll now see a simple chart displaying your popular lead sources
Click on any of the segments to show the leads only from that source.
If the chart you are looking for doesn’t appear in the list, you can use the chart editor
Making a new chart in Dynamics
- When you’re viewing a chart, click the 3 dot menu and choose new
- The chart editor will open
- In the first dropdown box called Legend Entries, choose a field to display on the vertical axis.
- In the aggregate dropdown box, choose an option to group the field by
- Next choose a field from the Horizontal (Category) drop down to display on the category axis.
Your simple bar chart is ready to use
- TIP: To improve your charts, you can choose extra data series and different chart types
Adding charts to a Dynamics dashboard
To view your charts all together in one ‘report’, you can make a dashboard to display charts and data lists
Starting with a new dashboard
- Click on Dashboards, then select New > Dynamics 365 dashboard
- Choose a layout and click create
- Name your dashboard
- You’ll now see lots of blank areas where you can add lists, charts and other components
- Click Insert Chart
- Choose a row (entity)
- Choose a view
- Choose a chart
- Click Add
Add the charts you need, and press Save
You’ll now be able to view the dashboard in the dashboard chooser, under My Dashboards
When you’re confident creating view and charts to add to dashboards, the next step is to use interactive dashboards. These are often used as an at-a-glance way to mange your work. You can see records, data, charts all in one place. The items are all interactive, meaning you can drill down each element to move deeper into the data or view associated records.
See more about Interactive dashboards
Creating reports with Report Wizard in Dynamics 365 online
- From the left hand navigation menu, click reports
- Select New and the new reports screen will appear
- Click the Report Wizard button and click Next
- Enter a name for the report and choose a record type (entity) to include
- Next choose your criteria
- This example shows all records modified in the last 60 days. When you’re done, click Next
- On the next screen, add columns to your report
- If you wish to group your data, select Click here to add a grouping
- Select a record type and the column name to group by, click OK
- When you are done adding groups and columns, click Next
- Choose a layout, click next and this report will appear in the list with the other reports in the system
For more detail on using report wizard, see Microsoft’s documentation
That covers the main ways of reporting in Dynamics 365. However there is another more powerful way – Microsoft PowerBI, which we’ll cover in a later post