Spring Cleaning – Simplifying your Salesforce Reports

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New in the Summer ’14 Release is the ability to mass delete reports- which is awesome! And if you haven’t read the Summer ’14 release notes you can see them here. With that new functionality comes some clean up. As a Salesforce Admin we can’t just go around deleting reports. Even though they may look stale to us, there could be business units that still rely on them. Which means we need a systematic approach to making sure our reports don’t get too cluttered.

Step 1: Recognize you have a problem

The good news is that you can report on Salesforce reports. Very meta I know. But honestly, this is where it starts. In fact, as a good Admin you would always be reporting on reports- just like you should be always going to the gym. So know I have two things to add to my list. But that said, let’s get an idea of how many reports our organization has and where to get started.

Click: Reports |New Report | Administrative Reports | Reports | Create

Salesforce Reports

The key column in this report is the “Last Run” column, it’s a shame that by default it’s the last one- so do it a favor and move it over to the right more. Now, I would love, love, love to be able to add “Scheduled Report Time” as a column to this report but we can’t. So in the meantime, we have to do two things. 1. Vote up this idea. 2. To view your scheduled reports go to Setup | Monitoring | Scheduled Jobs.

Scheduled Salesforce reports get immunity in my org. It means they get used or at least delivered, and there is a chance they get seen. But all the rest of the reports are on the chopping block.

Step 2: Identify your stale Salesforce reports

You should really come up with your own criteria for this, but here is mine- reports with a last run date of less than one year ago are safe. Reports with a last run date of over one year, but less than two years go into purgatory.

After you identify your stale reports you have two options. The easiest is to append the report name and add “Review” or “Stale” behind it. That way they stay in their folders and very little changes for the user.

A second option is to create a folder called “Up for Review”. Much as I would like to tell you mass moving reports is ButtonClick Admin friendly- you will have to know the Eclipse IDE. Here is a few great posts about mass moving reports- (Just your Average Salesforce Admins) (Customer Community). For reports that are two years or older, I move them to a folder called “Last Chance”- using the Eclipse IDE.

Step 3: The Email warning

I feel like I should put a caveat in here somewhere- so before you go moving people’s reports or renaming them you must publicize your method and get the business to buy in or get governance approval. Going rogue as an Admin is a good way to find yourself in the unemployment line. Plus, when users, management, etc. know the process you are more likely to increase adoption and buy-in. Think of it like the cop pulling you over because you were speeding but you didn’t know the speed limit- see how frustrating that is! Same goes for just moving people’s reports. Alright- to the email!

I send two emails. One email goes to the creators of reports that have been moved to the “Up for Review” folder. The second is to the creators of the reports in the “Last Chance” folder. It lets them know why their report is in the folder it’s in and what will happen if no actions are taken.

Up for Review Email

Greetings {!Receiving_User.FirstName},
As part of our annual Salesforce Report clean up we have identified reports you have created that haven’t been ran in over a year. These reports are now in the “Up for Review” folder. If these reports are of value to you please resave them to your personal reports folder. Any reports in this folder as of [Insert Date here] will be deleted.

Thanks, 
Salesforce Admin

Last Chance Email

Greetings {!Receiving_User.FirstName},
As part of our annual Salesforce Report clean up we have identified reports you have created that haven’t been run in over two years. These reports are now in the “Last Chance” folder. If these reports are of value to you please resave them to your personal reports folder. Any reports in this folder as of [Insert Date here] will be deleted.

Thanks, 
Salesforce Admin

Step 4: Delete, Delete, Delete!

You’ve moved the reports. You sent the email. Time to drop the hammer.
In Setup, under Data Management > Mass Delete Records, select Mass Delete Reports and configure a filter to find reports that need to be deleted. See Deleting Multiple Records and Reports for detailed instructions.
Reports that you delete go into the recycle bin. They aren’t permanently deleted until you clear your recycle bin.

AnalyticsNote: You can’t mass-delete reports that are scheduled or are used in dashboards or analytic snapshots.

Before you get started…

Spell out your Report management model in detail. Let me repeat that – Spell out your Report management model in detail! Once you have management approval and/or Salesforce governance buy-in then broadcast that model to your users. This post is intended to help you get started, but if you go off and do this all by yourself- you are on your own. The risk you run is hurting adoption, frustrating users, or even worse- deleting reports that are being used to make business decisions.

So what is your method for managing reports?

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