Archive for January, 2016
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