Depending on an organization's reporting needs, the cost of creating custom reports in Microsoft Dynamics™ 365 can start to add up. For businesses requiring a large number of custom reports, it makes sense to compare the options for creating reports in Dynamics 365 and understand their associated costs.
Reporting that provides the insight a business needs to make informed decisions is often the ultimate goal of implementing a CRM system. If many custom reports need to be created, reporting also can represent a significant portion of the project implementation quote. This is why it’s no surprise that our clients often ask if they can build some of the reports themselves in order to reduce the overall cost of a project. The most significant questions include:
- Can I develop, create, and run my own reports?
- Is SQL or SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) experience required?
- Can I expect to be able to generate effective, high-quality reports?
- What data can I view on dashboards rather than in custom reports?
Three options for custom reports
Dynamics 365 provides useful ways for creating custom reports.
Filtered views offer a straightforward approach that allows users to extract groups of contacts or opportunities that have things in common, such as location or position in the sales process. Users can present the data in charts and create compelling dashboards that combine multiple reports into one view. Views can also be exported to Microsoft Excel™ files for excellent on-the-fly reporting.
Report Wizard. Even if they don't have SSRS skills, users who understand the data and where to find it can quickly create insightful and actionable reports. The Report Wizard tool guides users through a series of questions and then generates a custom report. Users also can include charts and graphs to make the reports more appealing.
SSRS. Although building more complex Dynamics 365 reports requires SSRS skills, the skill set often is not difficult for someone in the organization to acquire. An employee who is well versed in writing reports and is willing to learn a new skill could be an excellent candidate. For organizations that require many reports, the investment in developing the new skills can be worthwhile.