Advanced Find vs. Report Wizard

Written By: Dave Packard

from February 7, 2013

If you aren’t familiar with the reporting options for CRM, let me introduce you to the two out-of-the-box options for reporting: Advanced Find and the Report Wizard.

Advanced Find
It is found in the ribbon on most pages in CRM:



Simply click on the binocular icon and you have a quick tool to sort and segment your data. For example, you could do some data clean up by sorting your active Accounts that do not have a City value in their address:

Once you enter the filter criteria simply click on Results to get your ad-hoc report.

You can also do more complex reports across entities with Advanced Find such as all active Accounts with Open Opportunities over $10,000 closing this month:

 

Advanced Find is your first line of reporting. Start here and if Advanced Find can’t provide what you need then start looking at your other options. It is a fast and easy reporting tool and all reports can be saved for easy reference later.

The limitations of Advanced Find are that it can’t group your data together, sum columns, or dynamically group items together in the report itself. It can only pull and show the data that is in CRM as is.

Report Wizard
Report Wizard can do everything Advanced Find can do plus it can group and sum items for you. It can be found in Workplace and then under Reports:

It is not as fast as Advanced Find and takes more time to set up, but it does have some extra capabilities such as showing a sales report of revenue by account with totals and an overall grand total in this fiscal year.

Here is the basic filter:

Here is the grouping by Potential Customer within the report:

And then the final report groups the total revenue by Account and as a grand total. It also shows the number of Opportunities by Account:

These are your first two reporting options for CRM. They can usually handle most of the reporting workload that you need. For more robust options we can take a quick look at what is available for CRM Online versus on-premise.

Online vs. On-premise
If you are using CRM Online, Advanced Find and Report Wizard are your two out-of-the-box options but you can extend reporting with XML as well. If you are on-premise then you have all the same options as online plus you have access to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), so you have a robust reporting engine for more advanced requirements. SSRS is one of the main differences between the two options for CRM deployment.

And finally, for both Online and On-premise you can also export data and drop it into Excel for reporting if you are more comfortable with Excel.

To learn more about reporting in CRM as well as custom reporting with XML and SSRS, contact Cargas Systems, a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, offering software, services, and support that help improve your business processes.