When setting up a new Dynamics 365/CRM trial a few standard dashboards are included. However, I feel they lack something, and those who follow me on Twitter know I occasionally like to make fun of particularly the funnel chart. So here’s a hopefully improved version, that you can use, either in your organization or simply to spice up a demo environment.
Well, why not do something about it then. Plus, I’ve toying with this idea for a while anyway.
I did have the audacity to use the term “ultimate” in the title and the dashboard I provided is clearly not. However, with lots of input, we can make this much better.
Therefore; I would love to hear from you if you have suggestions how to make these dashboards better.
Suggestions could include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Ideas for new KPIs
- Ideas for new Charts
- Ideas to improve formatting and make the charts easier to decode
- Using charts contextually on record forms
- Better use of colors between the different charts
My only request is that you elaborate on your suggestion, and I will try to incorporate as much as possible and hopefully have this grow into something very useful.
At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a zip file containing a solution with all the components for the dashboards in this post. The zip file contains both a managed and unmanaged solution that can be imported to Dynamics 365/CRM, and all the chart xml files individually.
It should be possible to import the charts on Dynamics 365/CRM organizations, so I will try to adhere to the following rules and assumptions:
- Only use the charts within Dynamics 365/CRM*
- Only use system fields
- Only use system relationships
- Avoid using calculated fields for KPIs – unless it is a system field
- Take as much advantage of the existing setup as possible
*Why am I limiting myself to only using the charts within Dynamics 365/CRM and not including Power BI and Customer Insights. While Power BI and Customer Insights are powerful features, they are both tools external to Dynamics 365/CRM. You cannot as easily, share the charts and KPIs within CRM itself. Charts also have some significant advantages too. They can be contextual to the user logged in, respects the security roles, and they are real-time. “I just won an opportunity. I’ll happily wait an hour and then look at the sales leaderboard to see my position.” said no sales person ever!
The Sales Dashboard
The Sales Dashboard consists of the following charts:
1. Sales Funnel
Somehow it is not a sales dashboard if there isn’t a funnel on it. It is the universal indicator of a sales process regardless of how wrong it may be. I have done my best to overcome some of those areas.
2. Sales Leaderboard
The Sales Leaderboard is also a standard component on a sales dashboard. This one includes both won and in progress revenue. Users are ranked per the amount won. Current user is emphasized in a stronger color so it is easier to see your own position.
3. Sales KPIs about the open opportunities
KPIs include est. revenue, average value, number of opportunties in the pipeline, next est. close date and date the last opportunity was created. On the dashboard, the user can flip views between “Open Opportunities” vs. “My Open Opportunities” to get both group and personal KPIs.
4. Phase Loss Rate on Est. Revenue
This chart gives you the percentage of revenue lost per phase in the sales pipeline. For example, in the qualify stage, if opportunities est. 100 million entered the qualify stage, but only 45 million of est. revenue made it to the develop phase, then the loss rate for qualify is 65%. The same calculation for the develop phase, but of course excluding all the opportunities that never made it that far. In an ideal world, you would lose more opportunities in the initial stages and have a much higher win percentage towards the end.
Additional charts with variations on how the calculations are made are included in the zip file, including using the number of opportunities rather than the est. revenue.
5. Sales KPIs for Won Opportunities
Like the other KPI chart, but this one focusing on KPIs for the opportunities that were won.
Scroll down on the dashboard and you get to the Competitor Strength chart.
The competitor strength chart lists all your competitors, ranked by how many opportunities you have lost to them.
On top of the lost bar, you can see how many opportunities are currently in progress.
Finally, in another bar, you have the est. revenue of the open opportunities where this competitor is a threat.
Sales Pipeline Analysis
As mentioned earlier, I have included all the pipeline analysis charts in one dashboard for review. They all work in the same manner, although the calculations have a different focus as described by their names.
As always, samples are provided for fun and training purposes only. Test properly prior to using in a production environment.
Update Notes November 20, 2016.
Pipeline Charts now only uses the beginning number of the step name, so as long as your phases are 1 through 4, then you would not need to make changes. Won opportunities will also be filtered correctly and do not necessarily need to be moved to the close stage. Regardless of the stage on a won opportunity, it is assumed that it has made it through all the stages.
Added some of the pipeline charts to a separate User form to analyze an individual’s performance against how the company KPIs.
Zip file includes all the chart xml files individually and a managed and unmanaged version of the solution file for Dynamics 365.
Solution files for pre-Dynamics 365 environments are no longer included. However, all the chart xml files can be imported separately into previous versions. Presumably, all the way back to CRM2011 although I have not been able to test that.
Added a chart for the Opportunity Products to see what products are in the pipeline. Products less than 10% of the total are grouped into “Other”.
Original Solutions Notes
All the charts that use stages or the pipeline rely on the Opportunity field called Pipeline Phase. Most trial instances have data in this already.
Otherwise, it is populated either manually or by a workflow. The chart also assumes that the naming of the phases is kept from the trial so they are called 1-Qualify, 2-Develop etc. The assumption I made in the calculations is that won opportunities are in the 4-Close phase. Therefore, make sure that the process that updates the pipeline phase puts won opportunities 4-Close. They really should be in that stage anyway if won.
The solution files with Dyn365 in the name are specifically for new trials or environments that have already been upgraded. This solution also includes the Competitor Chart.
Solution files with CRM_8.0 in the name are for CRM2016 and earlier. This version does not include the competitor strength chart as there’s a bug in CRM that does not allow the distinct=true property to be imported in a solution file. This was fixed with Dynamics 365.
All the chart xml files are in the zip file as well, so you can import them separately, make modifications etc.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy and please share and let me know of any good suggestions.
And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter on this page and follow me on Twitter Follow @CRMChartGuy
I get a lot of questions on how to change the date format on the labels. A common one is changing the week grouping from “Week 35 of 2016” to “Week of Aug 29.”
Coming from Europe, I think week numbers are an awesome way of keeping track of the weeks, but like the metric system it just never caught on here in the US, regardless of how much sense it makes.
So even though week numbers are the better option, like column/bar charts over funnel charts, let’s have a look at how we can work with the date formatting on labels.
First up, MS Dynamics CRM does not support changing the date labels on an axis. If you change the xml for the labels, the chart will either just show you the standard date formatting, or the chart will show a render error, even though the xml is correct. For this reason, I’ve previously stated that this requirement cannot be met with charts in Dynamics CRM.
However, unlike the axis, you can actually format the dates on the label for the series. So to address the question on changing the week numbers on the axis label, I will try and remove those labels and use a series label instead to show the date in the desired format.
So the end result will look like this:
Rather than this standard labeling:
It is not perfect, so if you can live with the drawbacks I mention throughout this post, it will probably work for you.
Build the Base Chart
Let’s create the foundation. In the chart editor, we will need two series, and of course, the week we are grouping by.
We need two series. One to show the actual count of opportunities, and one to hold the label for the custom date formatting.
Export the Chart XML
Open the chart xml in Notepad ++ and get ready to make some changes.
In the CRM chart xml below, I have updated all the auto generated aliases to something more meaningful in this context.
In the xml, my changes and additions are in green.
Besides updating the aliases, I made one significant change in this section. In the attribute for the “dateformat,” I changed the aggregate to “min” for minimum.
Also note that I have the “dateformat” before the “countofopportunities” in the category collection. This way the count, which is the number we want, is drawn last and on top.
Before you import, scroll down on your chart xml and make this VERY IMPORTANT change.
In LabelStyle for the first Y axis, add Format=”CRM Chart Guy” as above.
If you do not add this format you will get a rendering error. This seems to be a bug in how Dynamics CRM renders charts, but this is the way to get around it.
Now you can import the chart and make sure everything is still working.
So far, so good. You should now be able to see that one of the bars contains the date, while the other still has the count.
As you have probably figured out by now, the date that we are going to get may not be the Monday of that given week. It will be the earliest date of that week, where data was present. So use with care as it could be misleading if your first date happens to be the Friday of a given week. However, for daily events, it should be fairly accurate, or at least close enough.
Edit the Series
Go back to the chart xml and locate the two series. We need to make the following updates:
- Remove the legend items – not needed in this case
- Draw the bars on top of each other instead of side by side
- Make the date series bar invisible/transparent – we only want the label
- Give the bar displaying the count a brighter color so it is easier to read text on it
- Change the date label format
- Move the date label so it is left aligned on the chart
Here are the additions to the chart xml in the same order as above:
- IsVisibleInLegend=”False” to both series
- DrawSideBySide=False to one of the series (this custom property will automatically apply to all the bar series)
- Color=”Transparent” to the dateformat series
- Color=”LightBlue” to the countofopportunities series (more on colors in CRM Charts here)
- LabelFormat=”‘Week of’ MMM dd” on the dateformat series
- BarLabelStyle=Left to the dateformat series custom properties
Import the xml back in to MS Dynamics CRM
Custom Date Format
The LabelFormat=”‘Week of’ MMM dd” is what gave the label the “Week of Aug 29” label, or whichever date was the lowest for that group.
Here are the most common options you can use:
- “d” = The day of the month, from 1 through 31
- “dd” = The day of the month, from 01 through 31
- “ddd” = Abbreviated name of the day; Mon, Tue, Wed etc.
- “dddd” = Full name of the day
- “M” = The month, from 1 through 12
- “MM” = The month, from 01 through 12
- “MMM” = Abbreviated name of month, i.e. Jan, Feb, Mar etc.
- “MMMM” = Full name of month
- “yy” = The year, from 00 to 99
- “yyyy” = The year in four digits
Pay attention to the case of the letters. “m” is for minutes, while “M” is for months.
The full set of options can be found on MSDN here.
As in this post, you can combine the options like “dd MMM yy” for “31 Aug 16”.
Also, when adding leading text like ‘Week of’, put it in single quotes to avoid some letters being displayed as a value instead.
Chart Area and Axes Modifications
Ok, let’s fix those axes and the labels that just say CRM Chart Guy.
This is actually really simple. I just deactivated them by adding Enabled=”False” to both AxisY and AxisX.
Fun fact: I think this is my first post where I left the secondary Y axis alone🙂
Now, I did a little more than that. Right before the AxisY, I made a few modifications to the ChartArea.
- Changed BorderColor from “White” to “165,172, 181” (I just copied the gray color from the major tick mark)
- Added BackColor=”10, 59, 59, 59″ to give the background a little more substance. (Copied the label ForeColor and added a lot of transparency)
Import and your result should look a little like this.
Notice there may be some conflicts between the date label and the actual value, when the value is low. That can be alleviated by either simply removing the value, it will still appear in the hover text, or giving the chart some more horizontal space if it is on dashboard.
The context where I usually use custom date formatting is on Key Figures Charts.
Using the custom date formatting, I can write the dates in whatever format desired and can even leave out irrelevant pieces.
Add Some Corporate Branding
Finally, add this section right before the </Chart> closing tag.
Looks great! You can read more about Elev8 Solutions and our innovative immersive approach to CRM projects here. Which also happens to be where I work.
As always, thanks for reading and please sign up for my newsletter on this page and follow me on Twitter Follow @CRMChartGuy
Charts don’t just go on dashboards, they can go on the forms too.
It’s really just a sub-grid that displays a chart instead, but as this seems to be a heavily underutilized feature in MS Dynamics CRM, maybe I can bring some more focus on it with this post.
The primary example where form charts can come in handy is for the “Sales Activity Dashboard” that each sales person can look at and see their current statistics, opportunities, tasks etc.
A common question from a sales manager is “That’s great, but I want to see all that same data, but be able to flip through the members of my sales team and see the data that they see”.
Simple enough as all the views can be filtered to a named user rather than “Equals Current User” which is used throughout the example above. Obviously very cumbersome since you would need a saved view for each sales person and you would have to change the views on each chart individually, or create a dashboard for each person on your sales team, etc.
MS Dynamics CRM dashboards do not have good ways of filtering an entire dashboard to a specific user. CRM2016 is getting a little closer, but the filter can only be applied to option sets and only in the new engagement hub.
However, the combination of charts you are looking at does not necessarily need to be on a dashboard.
The example above is the “Sales Activity Dashboard” that comes with Dynamics CRM. There are five charts on it. In this blog, I will go through the steps needed to add all these chart to the user form so the same charts are displayed, but specific to the user being viewed. Then a sales manager can flip through the users, and see the data they see on their “Sales Activity Dashboard.”
Same charts as the dashboard, but all user specific and you can circle through the list of users with the arrows in the upper right hand corner.
These record specific charts are a very powerful way of bringing insights onto a specific record. In this example it is a sales person, but we could also be looking at service and case KPIs for a service user. From an account record you can add charts with sales statistics, activity statistics, case and service KPIs, all specific to the account. It would give the account manager a very clear view on the current state of the account.
Putting chart on MS Dynamics CRM forms
Go to your solution editor and open the User form and click “Save As.”
Name the new form “Sales Dashboard.”
Open it and insert a new three-column tab.
I chose three columns evenly distributed, because that is the same way the dashboard was. Open the properties on the new tab and rename it to “Sales Dashboard.”
Now it is time to insert some charts.
Select the first section in the new tab and insert a Sub-Grid.
In the Name and Label fields, just write the name of the chart. Make sure the Display Label on the Form box is unchecked. Neither of these values will be shown on the form, or need to be as they are already included in the chart.
In the Data Source section select
- Records = Only Related Records
- Entity = Opportunities (Owning User)
- Default View = Open Opportunities
This is what pulls the right opportunities to build the chart on.
In the entity setting, make sure you select the right relationship to the opportunity, which is the owning user in this case.
For default view, use a similar, but not the same view as the dashboard. In this case, the dashboard uses the view “My Open Opportunities”. To get the expected result on the user form, use the view “Open Opportunities”. The “Only Related Records” is already filtering to only include opportunities for this specific user.
Scroll down and find the chart settings.
Select the same chart as the dashboard for this section, in this case “Sales Pipeline” and check “Show Chart Only.”
Leave the view selector off.
Note: You can choose to include the view selector and check the “Display Chart Selection”. This will enable you to switch views and chart in the same section on the dashboard. This can be very powerful as well, but in this case I am trying to replicate the standard dashboard as much as possible, and those features were not enabled there. I would highly recommend playing with those features as they can significantly improve your charts and dashboards.
Scroll back up on the properties and click the “Formatting” tab.
Leave the layout option at “One Column”
In the row layout, add the number of rows you want the chart to take up. This is a place where you need to be generous. 30 rows for the funnel chart will make it about the same size as the funnel chart on the main sales dashboard which we are replicating.
Repeat these steps for the other four charts that are on the sales dashboard.
Save the form and publish it.
Go to a sales person’s user record and switch the form to “Sales Dashboard.”
Enjoy the same sales dashboard, but specific to the user you are looking at.
Wow, a post with no XML editing!!!
Thanks for reading. Please sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Twitter Follow @crmchartguy
I usually stick to the standard chart types in my blog posts, even though Dynamics CRM supports many other types such as radar, polar, error bar and bubble charts. So it is time to venture out a little bit.
In this post I will work with the bubble chart and show how to build one using only Dynamics CRM charts and some chart xml editing.
Here is the bubble chart I will build.
A couple of details on the setup. The X axis along the bottom has the Est. Close Dates, with the nearest close date on the left. The Y axis goes from 0 – 100 based on the Probability of the opportunity. In an ideal scenario, each opportunity, or bubble, will move from the lower right quadrant, to the upper left quadrant of the chart. As the Est. Close Date comes nearer, the Probability should also increase. This also makes it easy to identify opportunities that fall outside the intended path, such as having a very low probability, but set to close very soon, or a very high probability on an opportunity that is a year out.
Before you start making bubbles, we need to have a look at how Dynamics CRM renders the chart.
- X axis is defined by the GroupBy and Category in the xml.
- Y axis is the first Y value defined.
- Bubble size is the second Y value defined.
Bubble Charts initially look great, but they do have some limitations in Dynamics CRM. Hopefully I will provide enough information for you to decide whether or not bubble charts work for your scenario. I will also have some suggestions on how to overcome some of the limitations.
This post also details how to create charts that use multiple Y values, which a number of the custom chart types do.
Chart Editor – Create the base chart
Let us get started and create a base chart on the opportunity entity we can use to customize the chart xml.
Add the two series, Y Values, we need.
- Probability (height on Y axis)
- Est. Revenue (bubble size)
Add Est. Close Date as the Category to get that on the X axis.
Now export the chart xml and let’s have a look.
Create a measure with two Y values in the chart XML
In the screenshots below, I have changed the aliases to something that reads easier than the auto-generated ones.
The important part is to identify the measurecollection. In the chart xml we exported there are two measurecollections, one for each of the two series we added.
Bubble charts need one series with two Y values. Not two series with one Y value each.
We need to modify the measurecollection so we instead have one collection with two measures, i.e. one series with two Y values.
Now that we only have one measurecollection, we also need to remove one of the two series that is in the xml. Remove everything related to the secondary Y axis at the same time as well.
Finally, change the chart type in the remaining series to “Bubble”, not depicted in the screenshot above, and import the chart xml into Dynamics CRM.
Squares!! So far, so good.
Style the Bubbles!
Squares may not be exactly what we were looking for. The bubble, or marker, is defined the MarkerStyle options which goes in the series. See all the MarkerStyle options on MSDN.
“Circle” is the obvious choice for bubble charts.
We also need to use some of the custom attributes for bubble charts. Here is an overview of bubble chart options on MSDN.
Here are the changes I made in the series of the chart xml. Full XML sample is available at the end of the blog post.
- Font=”Arial, 16px”
I removed the legend because it is not needed for this chart and would be a waste of space.
IsValueShownAsLabel, LabelFormat, Font, LabelStyle and BubbleUseSizeForLabel are all related to creating the label with value of the Est. Revenue below the bubble in thousands. The last piece, BubbleUseSizeForLabel, is for displaying the second Y value as the label. Otherwise it would display the first Y value, which is the Probability. See the image with the squares for an example. More on label formatting in charts here.
Import the updated chart xml and your result should look like this.
Now we have a bubble chart with nice labels. All the bubbles have the same color because they are all in the same series. That leads me to some areas that you need to be careful with when creating bubble charts.
Notable drawbacks about the bubble chart:
- Cannot identify individual opportunities
- Cannot do drill-down
- Opportunities with the same Est. Close Date will be grouped in to one bubble!
These could be some pretty serious drawbacks, but I will show you some tricks to get around them. The solutions are definitely not foolproof and should be used with care. It all really boils down to your specific scenario. However, these tricks do work best with a limited number of opportunities.
Add Bubbly Colors
First step to make this a little better is to give each bubble its own color. We can do this by adding a palette to the series itself.
I use SemiTransparent as it has some nice bubbly colors (pun certainly intended).
Adding a Palette to a series will give each datapoint its own color. It can be a useful to distinguish columns etc. in charts where only one color is used. You can only use one of the named palettes. That means you cannot create your own color scheme for this. However, there is a number of named palettes to choose from. Click here for a full list of palettes with samples.
Import the xml with the palette and you should get something like this.
Note that I also cleaned up the axes titles and intervals a little at the same time. Full chart xml sample available at the bottom of the post.
Create a “Legend Chart”
So far so good, but that does not solve the issues that I mentioned earlier. I can’t tell which bubble belongs to which opportunity. To solve this, I will make another chart, with the same color coding displaying the names of the opportunities. Basically, I am creating a chart which will serve as a legend.
This “legend chart” is build from a stacked bar chart. I will not cover the layout customization as they are detailed this post: Design Options for Bar Charts
The most important part of this chart, is that the order has to match the bubble chart perfectly. Otherwise, the colors will not match. The bubble chart is grouped by, and therefore also sorted by date on the “Est. Close Date” field.
That means you need to use the Est. Close Date for the aggregation and then manually insert an order by that alias.
This is my starting point in the chart designer to create the base chart.
Here is the fetchcollection with changes highlighted. Full sample is available at the bottom of this post.
The order has been added manually and the aggregate has been changed to “max”, which allows us to group by the opportunity and not the date. Of course, also insert the same SemiTransparent palette in the series.
Bubble Chart and “Legend Chart” together
Here is the bubble chart and the “legend chart” in a dashboard next to each other. The opportunity on top of the “legend chart” matches the color of the Est. Close Date that is nearest. You can also use the combination of the two charts to check that you are not impacted by some of the bubble chart limitations. If the bubble chart had grouped some opportunities into one bubble, the first and last colors of the bubble chart and “legend chart” would not match.
Here is the final version in a dashboard.
Thanks for reading. Please sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Twitter Follow @crmchartguy
Bubble Chart XML Sample
As always, samples are provided for fun and training purposes only. Do not use in production without proper testing, and in this case, very carefully reviewing the mentioned drawbacks and limitations on this chart type.
Color Code for Bubbles – “Legend Chart”
There are a lot wrong with funnel charts. And I am talking funnel charts in general – not just specific to Dynamics CRM.
Here are some of the issues I have with funnel charts:
- The size of the sections do not correspond with the values
- The “funnel analogy” is incorrect
- You can’t easily compare the sections just by eyeballing them
In this example all four sections represent $25,000 USD. However, the blue “1-Qualify” area is about four times larger than the “4-Close” area. Another pet peeve is that you often see funnels used to chart data that is not related to phases or sales stages, which is the only area where it may make sense to use them.
In any case, a simple column chart is always much better representation of the data. If you want to read more about why funnel charts suck, this is the blog post for you. Peltier Tech – Bad Graphics Funnel Charts
But regardless of how much I preach funnel chart abstinence, I know you are all just going to go out and make them anyway. So let’s explore the options and see if we can put the “fun” in funnel.
Funnel Chart Custom Properties
Similar to pie charts, funnel charts only allow one series and one Y value per point. It also cannot be combined with any other chart type. So aside from label and legend tooltip editing, the only area we can play with are the custom properties.
The Custom Properties for funnel charts are:
- CalloutLineColor (Any color)
- Funnel3DDrawingStyle (CircularBase , SquareBase)
- Funnel3DRotationAngle (-10 to 10, 5)
- FunnelInsideLabelAlignment (Center, Top, Bottom)
- FunnelLabelStyle (Inside, Outside, OutsideInColumn, Disabled)
- FunnelMinPointHeight (0 to 100, 0)
- FunnelNeckHeight (0 to 100, 5)
- FunnelNeckWidth (0 to 100, 5)
- FunnelOutsideLabelPlacement (Right, Left)
- FunnelPointGap (0 to 100, 0)
- FunnelStyle (YIsHeight, YIsWidth)
Default values are in bold.
The custom properties are found in the series section of the chart xml.
Note that the format for custom properties is a little different from the standard properties. All the custom properties may not be in the chart xml when you first export it, so add the ones you need.
You can find the official funnel chart properties on MSDN here.
There are two main styles for the funnel chart. The FunnelStyle determines if the value is displayed in the height, or in the width. The following two charts are based on the same data to visualize the difference between the two styles.
YIsWidth does have some merit in that it addresses some of the standard funnel chart issues mentioned earlier. However, it does look odd that the first phase 1-Qualify is not drawn on the chart, although the value is present.
If your FunnelStyle choice is YIsHeight, then you can use FunnelNeckHeight or FunnelNeckWidth to adjust the funnel appearance.
With these you can adjust the rectangular area at the end of the funnel. The number you input is a percentage (0-100). The FunnelNeckWidth determines how wide the neck should be as a percentage of the chart. The FunnelNeckHeight determines how far up the funnel neck goes. I recommend increasing these percentages from the standard 5, to something more substantial like 20 as shown above. This way the last phase or two regains some of the lost surface area that I was complaining about in the beginning.
A percentage that sets how much white space you have between the sections.
A percentage that sets the minimum height for a section. I recommend keeping this value at 0, its default, since increasing it will make the comparative sizes of the section even more obscure. An exception is if you have phases which usually contain relatively small values and you need to increase their visibility.
The following custom properties control the label positioning.
- FunnelLabelStyle (Inside, Outside, OutsideInColumn, Disabled)
- FunnelInsideLabelAlignment (Center, Top, Bottom)
- FunnelOutsideLabelPlacement (Right, Left)
If using FunnelLabelStyle=Outside, then you can use the FunnelOutsideLabelPlacement to set the label either to the left or the right of the funnel.
When placing the label inside, use the FunnelInsideLabelAlignment to align it center, top or bottom.
Adding 3D to a funnel does not make it better. But if you must, then use the 3D custom properties to set it as a circular base and always set the rotation angle to zero. That way you get a decent look on the chart, but with some 3D shading on the colors. The default is 5 on the rotation angle, so make sure you change it.
- Funnel3DDrawingStyle (CircularBase , SquareBase)
- Funnel3DRotationAngle (-10 to 10, 5)
If not, you might end up with this monstrosity.
Please just don’t!
Tips on Funnel Charts
Enough with the funnel chart slamming. Since it is a well-known chart type, it will be used and lots of users know exactly how to decode it when looking at it. It is even in the main default dashboard in Dynamics CRM. So here are some tips to quickly optimize a funnel chart.
Here are my suggestions:
- Use the same color increasing in strength per phase, as the chances for winning hopefully also increases.
- Label format to show values in thousands, increased the font and put them inside and centered.
- Increase the neck height and width to giver better area representation for the later phases.
- Added keywords for value, percentage and total to the legend tooltip.
Full sample xml of the above funnel chart is available at the end of this post.
Unfortunately, the keywords in Dynamics CRM charts do not support formatting. So, we cannot format 270000 as 270k in the tooltip. Or even put in thousand separators. If you have a minute, please go vote for that feature on CONNECT.
Here is a similar example with YIsWidth:
I don’t think I got this one to work properly. It is still only displaying three sections even though we have four phases, so the full chart xml sample is for the YIsHeight version. The changes mentioned are highlighted in blue. As usual, samples are provided for fun only. It should be possible to copy and paste the whole thing into notepad ++, save it as an xml file and then upload it to the opportunity entity in Dynamics CRM.
Thanks for reading. Please sign up for my newsletter and/or follow me on Twitter Follow @crmchartguy
Comparing sales performance this period vs. the same period last year is a fairly standard metric. However, to create a chart that compares the period this year, with last years in the same date range can be tricky. For example, today is June 21st. I want to see my actual sales for this year to date, compared to my actual sales last year, until June 21st. Or Year to Date vs. Last Year to Date (YTD vs. LYTD).
Or maybe I want to compare my sales this year and last year by month.
In this post I will detail how I created both of these charts.
Compare YTD to LYTD in MS Dynamics CRM
Before I start to create the chart, I need to get some components ready first.
- View of Won Opportunities – This and Last Year
- Fetchxml filter for YTD
- Fetchxml filter for LYTD
Create the View for the chart
Open Advanced Find on opportunities and create the following view:
Name it “Won Opportunities: This And Last Year.” Always use this view with the charts in this post.
After saving it, keep Advanced Find open and use it to create the fetchxml filters we need to modify the chart xml with.
Create the following filters and download the fetchxml. You can download the fetchxml without saving the View first.
Filter for YTD
Filter for LYTD
Using the Older Than X Years will make sure we only get the LYTD date range for the won opportunities.
Note: Are you on a version earlier than CRM2015, you can use “Older Than X Months”, with X being 12, and get the same result.
Time to open up the chart editor.
Save a chart similar to the settings here.
The two series for actual revenue, is what will be modified to YTD and LYTD using the filters we just downloaded from Advanced Find.
Now the chart xml is ready to export and we can have some fun!
The two attributes for the actual value series will need to be edited so they use the filters we just downloaded.
Here is the fetchcollection with the additions made and the filters downloaded from Advanced Find highlighted in yellow.
- Created link-entity outer joins so the series only includes the filtered data.
- Added the YTD and LYTD filters downloaded from Advanced Find.
- Renamed the aliases from _CRMAutoGen_aggregate_column_Num_0 or similar to more sensible names.
- If renaming the aliases, remember to update them in the categorycollection too.
- Make sure the series are in the same order in both the categorycollection and in the series section
- Custom LegendText
- Custom LabelFormat
- Format the Y axis numbers
The categorycollection is where you can adjust if YTD or LYTD should come first. In this example YTD comes first.
The new formatting is designed to show amounts in the thousands with negative and zero values suppressed. See this post for details on chart labels and formatting.
Import the XML and this should be your result.
Here is the chart and we can see how our performance is compared to the same period last year.
If you would like to see the data grouped by something else, such as customer or owner, you can open the editor and change the category.
Just keep in mind that if you make any changes to the legend entries you will lose your xml customizations.
Compare to Last Year by Month
For better insights on our sales development, we can group the sales by month instead.
Start with the chart we just made and use the editor to change the groupby to Actual Close Date and Month.
Click Save As and save the chart under a different name.
The result should look like this.
Now we see the same data spread out per month instead. What I would like to do is include all of last years data and then have the month columns next to each other, so March of this year is next March of last year, etc.
In short, what I will do is remove the Older-Than-1-Year filter so we get all of last year. Next I will split the data onto two separate X axes. One for each year and set the chart to display them in sync with each other so the months line up.
Note: We are working with data by month. If data points are missing for a certain month, that month will not be included. For this chart, we are relying on having 12 data points for each year. If you do not have a data point for each of the past months, then use dummy records to ensure a data point exists for the missing months. These can be of zero value and will not interfere with the calculations. You do not need records for future months.
Update filter and add secondary X axis
Export the chart xml.
First remove the “older than” clause in the fetchcollection.
Now scroll down and add the secondary X axis. Both in the Series and Axis section.
I added XAxisType=”Secondary” to the series for this year to indicate which series should go on the secondary X axis.
The AxisX2 section is identical to AxisX except for the “2” so you can copy it and add the number.
Import the chart xml back into MS Dynamics CRM.
Notice that the secondary X axis has been added to the top of the chart. The blue columns are actually bound to the top (secondary axis) and the orange are on the bottom axis.
Next step is to make the two axes overlap so it is easy to compare a month this year, to the same month last year.
We have 24 data points. One for each month of the two years. The series for last year is displayed on Axis 1 and should show points 0 – 12 (Jan-Dec of 2014). Axis 2 has the data for this year and should show points 12-24 (Jan-Dec of 2015).
To achieve that, I add Minimum and Maximum values to each axis so they are aligned.
Here are the chart xml axis edits.
IntervalOffset=”1″ is added so the axis does not show the zero value (i.e. Dec 2014 on the 2015 axis).
Interval=”1″ is added to make the intervals consistent between the two axes and show every month.
Notice the maximums are set to 12.5 and 24.5. That is to make sure the data for the last month is displayed in full. If set to 12 and 24 only half the column would display.
Import the xml and this should be the final result.
The chart type on Last Year can be changed to Line, ChartType=”Line”, to get this result.
As always, hope you enjoyed the post and found something useful. Please follow me on Twitter Follow @crmchartguy or sign up for the newsletter to be alerted on new posts.