Filters and Activity Reports in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Written By: Stephanie Manning , Brad Vorbeck and Michael Ramatowski

from December 11, 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built to be user friendly making operations streamlined and efficient while being complex enough to handle user needs. Once users dive in and utilize the software, they find any information about clients and campaigns right at their fingertips.

Here are a few tips to help make the most of the software and achieve a competitive advantage.

Using Filters
Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports allow users to retrieve and display results quickly.  They are built on a relational database compliant with modern tools for retrieving and analyzing data, allowing the reports to be customized as needed.  Reports that return large data sets can be difficult to use and can cause performance issues.  To limit that frustration, use data filters.

In addition to data filtering supported by Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports data pre-filtering. Data pre-filtering can be used to:

  • Make reports context-sensitive by narrowing the scope of a report to return data that is more relevant.
  • Retrieve and display a result set faster because only relevant data is returned.
  • Allow the report to be filtered using the Advanced Find feature.

To use a filter, go into a list view and click on the Filter icon in the ribbon. Arrows will appear by each column. Do a simple filter by clicking A to Z, Z to A, or even choose if the column contains or does not contain data.

To find out how many accounts are in the Manufacturing industry, click the dropdown, choose Equals, type in the word “Manufacturing”, click OK, and the list contains all accounts that are in manufacturing.  Users can also drill down on any column to filter. This is a more intuitive way to supply a parameter to the report than using visible parameters on the report.

Using Activity Reports
Activities such as appointments, phone calls, tasks, and e-mails are core Microsoft Dynamics CRM functions and great indicators of how users are interacting with customers and how actively users are adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Scheduling tasks and maintaining a history of activities between users and clients are critical steps for creating happy customer relationships. Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes pre-built activity reporting that can be filtered for specific cases, opportunities, users, and activity types. This provides an easy way for account, sales, and case managers to organize and prioritize task and activity information. It also serves as a great starting point for creating more detailed, customized activity reports.

For basic activity reporting, such as activity lists or viewing a count of activities by type or by user, consider using the default views and charts. The report will gather Activity Feeds usage information for the selected month and produce the following statistics about the organization:

  • Number of Accounts
  • Number of Open Calls
  • Number of Completed Calls
  • Number of Sent Emails
  • Summary number of calls per day
  • Summary number of calls between a period of time

How To Use Activity Reports:

  1. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM go to Workplace and click Reports.
  2. Click New to open a new Report window.
  3. In the new Report window, click Existing File for the Report Type.
  4. Click Browse to specify the path to the report.
  5. Name the report.
  6. Click Save and Close.

After the report has been uploaded, it shows in the Report: Available Reports view under the Reports area of Workplace.  From here, run the report by selecting it and clicking Run Report.  The report will help to not only to catch up with the things going on within an organization but also understand how each member is doing.