Reporting Woes - Or is data accuracy really that important?

Filtering reports with Checkbox fields instead of LIKE or CONTAINS


First things first, I'm kidding, we all know that 100% data accuracy is the elusive white whale in the Salesforce ocean. May we all be known as Ahab when we retire.

Let's set the scene:

An Admin with a spare five minutes checks their email to find this horrifying request from a user: "I need a report on this obscure set of Projects on the second Tuesday of the month except during leap year, when it needs to run every Wednesday."

What would you do?

Reporting out of Salesforce can be difficult when requests come in from users who don't understand the structure and relationships in Salesforce. My favorite trick for requests like this is to use Checkbox fields that distinguish the records needed in the data set vs. the ones not needed.

I see this in TaskRay when two departments are using TaskRay for very different Projects. For example, Sales may be using TaskRay to help with their New Customer Onboarding, while HR is using it for New Hire Onboarding. While the projects can behave in a similar manner, they should not be reported on together. A picklist field or checkbox field that indicates which reports this record can be pulled in will allow the Admin to generate HR reports and Sales reports without having to manually remove records not relevant to that group.

A checkbox field for reporting purposes can also eliminate the need for Frankenstein reports where you need to pull two reports out of Salesforce and use Excel magic to get them into one, monstrous report.

Checkboxes fields are easy to filter, they are either on or off. Similar to the record, they either need it or they don't. Even better, checkbox fields are user and automation friendly. They can be updated manually or with any of the Salesforce automation tools.

Happy Admin-ing!