Enable Users on Lightning Reports and Dashboards


Lightning Experience brings with it an exciting new era of Report and Dashboard functionality in Salesforce. With the Summer ’19 Release not every new feature is set to default ‘on.’ As a best practice, be sure to take a moment to review the release notes to see what is on and what you need to enable.

If you haven’t reviewed Profile permissions in a while, your end users may be missing out on some great analytics features! We can remedy this by identifying groups in our organization that might need specific Reports and Dashboards capabilities. Then we can determine which specific permissions might be appropriate, and finally, decide whether you will update existing Profiles or create Permission Sets to grant these permissions.

Before assigning those 27 additional permissions, let’s take a moment to review groups of users often involved in reporting.  A simple set of these might include the following. Some organizations may benefit from more or less:

  • End Users
  • Managers
  • Report and Dashboard Super Users
  • Report and Dashboard Admins
  • System Administrators

End Users

Each organization needs to decide how much hands-on reporting they want their end users doing. In Salesforce, a standard profile can create and customize reports, run reports, subscribe to reports and export reports. As a best practice, do not allow end users the ability to export report data. Instead give this capability out more sparingly; such as only to managers or super users. Beyond these, you might also want to grant end users the following permissions:

  • Report Builder [Classic]
  • Report Builder (Lightning Experience)
  • Schedule Dashboards [Classic]
  • Schedule Reports [Classic]
  • Subscribe to Dashboards [Lightning]

Since Standard Profiles are not editable, if you are using one such as Standard User, then you’ll need to clone it to be able to edit it. Profiles are managed under Setup / Users / Profiles. Simply look under System Permissions on a particular Profile to see what Report and Dashboard permissions are checked, and adjust if needed.


Managers often consume more information in Reports and Dashboards than users, but it’s still best to give them the ability to create so that we can drive adoption vertically in the company.

For example, we might want to give managers the ability to update Report and Dashboard Subscriptions for other users. Dynamic Dashboards are also a great feature for managers that require someone to create and then special Permission to use. They allow us to change the Running User on certain Dashboards. For example: a VP of Sales can run the same Dashboard as each one of her sales reps.  

If you have separate Profiles for managers, you might add these permissions to their Profiles directly. Alternatively, you can create a Permission Set to be assigned to managers. If you aren’t familiar, Permission Sets extend users’ functional access without changing their profiles.

  • Export Reports (if not granted to all users)
  • Subscribe to Dashboards: Add Recipients [Lightning]
  • Subscribe to Dashboards: Send to Groups and Roles [Lightning]
  • Subscribe to Reports: Add Recipients [Lightning]
  • Subscribe to Reports: Send to Groups and Roles [Lightning]
  • View My Team’s Dashboards

When creating multiple Permission Sets, it’s best to establish a naming convention such as “Report and Dashboard Permissions – Managers” and so on to make them easier to find and manage.  Keep in mind that Permission Sets can only give more access to users—think of them as layering more permissions on top of a user’s Profile. Permission Sets are managed under Setup / Users / Permission Sets.

Report and Dashboard Super Users

There are often users that rise above the fray and both warrant and demand more access to Report and Dashboard functionality. Since with power comes responsibility, prior to giving out these powers, you might ask users to complete a set of relevant Report and Dashboard Trailhead badges or even have them complete the Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards Specialist Super Badge. In addition to the permissions listed above for Managers, when creating a Permission Set for super users, you might also consider granting the following:

  • Change Dashboard Colors [Lightning]
  • Create and Customize Dashboards
  • Create Dashboard Folders
  • Create Report Folders
  • Drag-and-Drop Dashboard Builder [Classic]
  • Edit My Dashboards
  • Edit My Reports
  • Manage Dashboards in Public Folders
  • Manage Dynamic Dashboards
  • Manage Reports in Public Folders
  • Subscribe to Reports: Set Running User
  • View Dashboards in Public Folders
  • View Reports in Public Folders

Report and Dashboard Admins

Within some organizations, there is a group of non-System Administrators who are trusted to assist with more structural elements of Salesforce reporting. In addition to the permissions listed above, we might also consider granting the following to users who assist in these areas.

  • Manage Analytics Subscriptions [Lightning]
  • Manage Custom Report Types
  • Manage Reporting Snapshots

System Administrators

As the System Administrator Profile is always kept up to date with Report and Dashboard permissions there isn’t anything more to do but monitor release notes to understand what is available.

As Salesforce Administrators it is our responsibility to keep track of all the great new features which are added in each new Salesforce release, and as needed, grant permissions via Profile or Permission Set. It can be helpful to first define groups of users and their specific needs for Reports and Dashboards. Be sure to train users on Dynamic Dashboards, Subscriptions, Folder Management and so on as you’re doing this. If it has been a while since you last made these updates, you might be able to unveil a number of rich reporting features! 


Trailhead Module
Visualize key business metrics in real-time using Lightning Experience.
A computer monitor that displays a productivity tracker.

How to Build a Productivity Tracker to Show Your ROI

Right now, everyone is looking for ways to drive efficiency and get more done with less. That’s good news for us admins because we know how to build solutions in Salesforce to help our users get their work done more efficiently. One of the most important tools we have in our Salesforce toolbox is analytics. […]

The admin Learn Moar Trailhead Community badge next to text that says, "#4 Analytics Enhancements."

Analytics Enhancements | Learn MOAR Summer ’23

The Summer ’23 release has a lot of great analytics enhancements specifically designed for admins, from the new Analytics tab to posting dashboards to Slack to sharing Tableau visualizations in Salesforce. Read this blog post for the highlights. Then complete the Learn MOAR Summer ’23 for Admins trailmix to earn a special community badge. Visit […]

Greenery and a blue sky below a headline that says, How to Optimize License Utilization."

How to Optimize License Utilization

We know that one of your main responsibilities as a Salesforce Admin is to manage users and drive adoption. One important adoption metric is license utilization, which generally indicates whether users are using the available licenses. You can calculate license utilization as follows: License Utilization = # Used Licenses / # Available Licenses Here, we […]