Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Tip: Utilizing Calculated Fields

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Tip: Utilizing Calculated Fields

Written By: Brad Vorbeck and Ashlynn Weiss

from October 26, 2015

As an involved Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, we work closely with each of our clients regarding their ongoing utilization and results achieved with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It’s through the creativity and resourcefulness of customers and end-users that many unique insights for the Microsoft Dynamics community are surfaced.

In this spirit, Christine Shobe, the CRM administrator for ABC Laboratories and valued client of Turnkey Technologies, shares her insight on utilizing calculated fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and we pass the information on to you.

Similar to rollup fields, calculated fields are a user-friendly field customization that enable you to automate manual calculations used in your business processes. In a simple, drop-down menu fashion, users can define the field calculation, which populates the field using conditional logic, equations, and data from select Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities and fields. Calculated fields are great for providing convenient, real-time visibility into frequently viewed calculations, removing the need to manually calculate this data each time it is needed.

Christine provided us with a creative example of how to use calculated fields for tracking order turnaround times:

“I’m often asked for a quote-to-delivery turnaround time, which currently requires me to download data and manually add a ‘calculated’ column to the spreadsheet before sending it to the requestor. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, I am able to create a calculated field that calculates the difference between the request date and the delivery date. Now, users and I see this data dynamically and are able to include charts to see our average across multiple service lines.”

Another use of calculated fields is for quote generation. Let’s say your company provides an incentive where purchases that exceed $500 receive a discount of 10 percent off the entire order. Using a calculated field for totaling your quote, you can have the field automatically apply a 10 percent discount once the total amount of your products or services reaches $500. Not only does it save you time, but it also standardizes and enforces the use of the 10 percent discount across the entire company, for each sales representative. Best of all, this is all accomplished using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM user interface, so there is no need to write code.

Some other common uses of calculated fields include:

• Net Worth: Assets subtracted by the liabilities for a given account
• Cost of Labor: Base rate up to 40 hours, plus additional overtime
• Contact Number: Phone number for an opportunity based on account or contact phone number
• Lead Score: Single field that provides insights to the quality of a given lead
• Follow Up By: Follow up on an activity by a specified number of days based on priority

Calculated fields can be used in virtually endless ways, and not only to display numerical results. The types of data available for calculated fields are:

• Single Line of Text
• Option Set
• Two Options
• Whole Number
• Decimal Number
• Currency
• Date and Time

Note: To create a calculated field, you must have the “Write” privilege on the Field Security Profile entity. If secured fields are used in your calculation, the calculated field editor will warn you and encourage you to secure the calculated field to prevent users with insufficient permissions from accessing secure data.

Thank you to Christine for providing her insight into thoughtful ways to utilize calculated fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To learn more tips about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, contact Turnkey Technologies, Inc., a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner dedicated to working closely with clients to facilitate user adoption and best practices.