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Spring ’18 Deep Dive: Reports & Dashboards

What's coming our way for Reports and Dashboards in Spring '18.

Spring ’18 release brings with it a swag of new features.  But it also brings with it a big makeover for reports and dashboards.  In this post we are going to take a deep dive into reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, and see what is coming our way.

Additionally (and most excitingly) this is the starting point for new reporting and dashboard features within the Lightning.  With another more features heading out way over the coming releases.  To see what this includes, check out feature predictions for 2018 here.  Otherwise let’s get started!

Dashboards in Spring ’18

Coming in Spring ’18 your users will now be able to subscribe to dashboards easily within Lightning.

By setting up a subscription schedule (either Daily, Weekly or Monthly), Salesforce will then schedule a refresh of the dashboard and send out an email update to the user.

Subscribe to Dashboard in Salesforce Lightning
Subscribe to a dashboard. Source: Salesforce

And keeping with the myLightning ability to theme and customise your Lightning instance, dashboards now support more customisation and personalisation by selecting a colour theme.

Additionally you can then choose the theme by individual component to highlight sections.

Set a colour pallette for your Dashboards
Colour your dashboards whichever way you want! Source: Salesforce

 

Report Builder (Lightning)

Lightning Report Builder was first introduced in the Winter ’18 release.  But the new report builder is in beta, meaning there are a number of known limitations.  Reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 starts to bridge that gap.

Most features in Spring ’18 release are migrated Classic features.  But these features are reworked to operate in a very Lightning way.  After all what good is it having a new user interface, and not take advantage of reworking how users can use the system?

Most importantly it is easy to see how this is a stepping stone to the future for Reports & Dashboards in Lightning Experience.

Summary Formulas, Buckets & Cross-Filters

As mentioned above, these aren’t specifically new features.  But they are new for the new Report Builder and operate a little differently.

For example being able to create a summery bucket on a column, simply select the column dropdown and create:

Report Builder and creating a Bucket column
Creating a summary bucket within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

Or creating a cross-filter, which is also easily done now within the new Report Builder:

Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder
Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

How to activate the new Lightning Report Builder

To get access to all of the new features of reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, you will need to first activate the new Report Builder.

A note before we start, there is a key dependency to activating Lightning Report Builder… That prerequisite is  enhanced folder sharing needs to be enabled.

If your org was created after the Summer ’13 Salesforce release, you already have enhanced folder sharing. If your org isn’t already using enhanced folder sharing, see Turn On Enhanced Sharing for Reports and Dashboards in the Salesforce Help.

Go to Setup -> Reports and Dashboards Settings -> Enable Lightning Report Builder (beta):

Enable Lightning Report Builder (Reports and dashboards in Spring '18)
Enable Lightning Report Builder

 

Once enabled, remember to also update either a profile or permission set to include access to the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) too:

Enabling Report Builder Lightning Experience
Enabling the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) on a profile

Remember, if you don’t see this option, you need to check your Folder Sharing rules within Salesforce.  And you will have to check via Classic Setup…  The irony isn’t lost – this dependant setting is only available via Classic Setup menu currently. 🙂

Before enabling though, ensure you are aware of the implications of doing so.  Especially how this will impact end-users within your org.  When you are ready, jump back into Classic UI and then go to: Setup -> Folder Sharing -> “Enable access levels for sharing report and dashboard folders”.

Wrap up

The changes to reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 gives us an insight into where Salesforce is taking the analytics features of the platform.  Along with the added flexibility the Lightning Experience grants.

Overall reports & dashboards within Salesforce are finally getting much deserved makeover…  And there is more to come over the next few releases!

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