Posts Tagged customproperties

Crowdsourcing the ultimate Sales Dashboard for Dynamics 365/CRM

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.

Crowdsourcing?

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.

Assumptions

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

Main sales dashboard with the most important KPIs for Dynamics 365/CRM

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.

Competitor Strength

Scroll down on the dashboard and you get to the Competitor Strength chart.

Competitor Strength for Open Opportunities in Dynamics 365/CRM

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

Sales Pipeline Analysis in six charts in Dynamics 365/CRM

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.

Download

As always, samples are provided for fun and training purposes only. Test properly prior to using in a production environment.

Sales Dashboard by CRM Chart Guy Version 0.0.0.1

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

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Funnel Charts Suck and You Shouldn’t Use Them

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:

  1. The size of the sections do not correspond with the values
  2. The “funnel analogy” is incorrect
  3. You can’t easily compare the sections just by eyeballing them

Funnel Chart Same Values in all segments - Dynamics CRM Chart

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.

XML standard custom properties <Series> <Series ShadowOffset="0" LegendToolTip="#LEGENDTEXT #VAL is #PERCENT of total #TOTAL" IsValueShownAsLabel="True" Font="{0}, 20px" LabelFormat="$#,#,k" LabelForeColor="59, 59, 59" ChartType="Funnel" CustomProperties="FunnelStyle=YIsHeight, FunnelNeck, FunnelNeck, FunnelPointGap=1, FunnelMinPoint, CallOutLineColor=Empty, FunnelLabelStyle=Inside, FunnelInsideLabelAlignment=Center, FunnelOutsideLabelPlacement=Right"> <SmartLabelStyle Enabled="True" /> </Series>

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.

FunnelStyle

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.

FunnelStyle=YIsHeight
YIsHeight FunnelStyle for Dynamics CRM Funnel Chart

FunnelStyle=YIsWidth
YIsWidth FunneStyle for Dynamics CRM Funnel Chart

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.

Funnel Neck

If your FunnelStyle choice is YIsHeight, then you can use FunnelNeckHeight or FunnelNeckWidth to adjust the funnel appearance.

FunnelNeckHeight and FunnelNeckWidth in Dynamics CRM Funnel Chart

FunnelNeckWidth=20, FunnelNeckHeight=20

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.

FunnelPointGap

A percentage that sets how much white space you have between the sections.

FunnelMinPointHeight

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.

Label Position

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.

3D Funnel

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.

3D monstrosity - forget about it

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.

Dynamics CRM Funnel Chart optimized via custom properties

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.

LegendToolTip with values on Total, Percentage and Y value - no keyword formatting

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:

Funnel Example with YIsWidth Dynamics CRM Funnel Chart

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

<visualization>
  <visualizationid></visualizationid>
  <name>Putting the Fun in Funnel</name>
  <description>Shows the sum of estimated revenue in each stage of the sales pipeline.</description>
  <primaryentitytypecode>opportunity</primaryentitytypecode>
  <datadescription>
    <datadefinition>
      <fetchcollection>
        <fetch mapping="logical" count="10" aggregate="true">
          <entity name="opportunity">
            <attribute name="estimatedvalue" aggregate="sum" alias="sum_estimatedvalue" />
            <attribute name="stepname" groupby="true" alias="stepname" />
            <order alias="stepname" descending="false" />
          </entity>
        </fetch>
      </fetchcollection>
      <categorycollection>
        <category>
          <measurecollection>
            <measure alias="sum_estimatedvalue" />
          </measurecollection>
        </category>
      </categorycollection>
    </datadefinition>
  </datadescription>
  <presentationdescription>
    <Chart Palette="None" PaletteCustomColors="90,91,151,213; 150,91,151,213; 200,91,151,213; 250,91,151,213;">
      <Series>
        <Series ShadowOffset="0" LegendToolTip="#LEGENDTEXT #VAL is #PERCENT of total #TOTAL" IsValueShownAsLabel="True" Font="{0}, 20px" LabelFormat="$#,#,k" LabelForeColor="59, 59, 59" ChartType="Funnel" 
                CustomProperties="FunnelStyle=YIsHeight, FunnelNeckHeight=20, FunnelNeckWidth=30, FunnelPointGap=1, FunnelMinPointHeight=0, FunnelLabelStyle=Inside, FunnelInsideLabelAlignment=Center">
          <SmartLabelStyle Enabled="True" />
        </Series>
      </Series>
      <ChartAreas>
        <ChartArea>
          <Area3DStyle Enable3D="false" />
        </ChartArea>
      </ChartAreas>
      <Legends>
        <Legend Alignment="Center" LegendStyle="Table" Docking="right" Font="{0}, 11px" ShadowColor="0, 0, 0, 0" ForeColor="59, 59, 59" />
      </Legends>
	  <Annotations>
		<TextAnnotation X="50" Y="0" Text="By CRM Chart Guy #crmchartguy" TextStyle="Default" Font="Verdana, 8px" ForeColor="Gray"/>
	  </Annotations>	  
      <Titles>
        <Title Alignment="TopLeft" DockingOffset="-3" Font="Segeo UI, 13px" ForeColor="0, 0, 0"></Title>
      </Titles>
    </Chart>
  </presentationdescription>
  <isdefault>false</isdefault>
</visualization>

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All things Pie Chart in Dynamics CRM

Somehow I have managed not to write about the Pie Chart in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. What you can do with the pie chart is fairly limited since only one series is supported.

However, there are a number of custom properties we can use to tweak the appearance of the pie chart.

Custom properties can be found at the end of the series properties. Note that unlike standard properties, custom properties are all added within the quotations of the CustomProperties.

CustomProperties in Pie Chart XML for Dynamics CRM

The custom properties we can use on a pie chart in Dynamics CRM are:

  • PieDrawingStyle
  • PieStartAngle
  • PieLabelStyle
  • LabelsHorizontalLineSize
  • LabelsRadialLineSize
  • PieLineColor
  • MinimumRelativePieSize
  • CollectedThreshold
  • CollectedThresholdUserPercent
  • CollectedColor
  • CollectedSliceExploded
  • CollectedLabel
  • CollectedLegendText
  • CollectedToolTip

I’ll go through each of these properties and add some notes along the way. There’s an XML sample of a series at the bottom of the post with all the custom properties added.

PieDrawingStyle

  • Default (Default)
  • SoftEdge
  • Concave

Changes the appearance of the pie chart. Yes, the default value is called Default.

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieDrawingStyle Default

PieDrawingStyle=Default

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieDrawingStyle SoftEdge

PieDrawingStyle=SoftEdge

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieDrawingStyle Concave

PieDrawingStyle=Concave

For simply changing the appearance, another option is to change the Area3DStyle to true. Although this is not a custom property.

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. 3D enabled

3D Enabled

PieStartAngle

The PieStartAngle is a value between 0 and 360 degrees depending on where you want the first value to start. Microsoft Dynamics CRM pie charts by default start in the 3 o’clock position. That means the 3 o’clock position is 0 degrees and any changes have to take that into account.

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieStartAngle 270 degrees Custom Property

PieStartAngle=270 start the first slice in the 12 o’clock position

PieLabelStyle

  • Inside (Default)
  • Outside
  • Disabled

PieLabelStyle moves the label inside, outside or disables them completely.

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieLabelStyle Inside Default

PieLabelStyle=Inside

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. PieLabelStyle Outside

PieLabelStyle=Outside

The following four custom properties only apply to pie charts where the PieLabelStyle is set to outside.

LabelsHorizontalLineSize
Specifies the size of the horizontal segment of the callout line, as a percentage of the chart area.
Value range 0-100. Default is 1. Set to 0 to hide it.

LabelRadialLineSize
Specifies the size of the radial segment of the callout line, as a percentage of the chart area.
Value range 0-100. Default is 1. Set to 0 to hide it.

PieLineColor
Any named color, RGB, ARGB or HEX value can be used. See more about colors in MS Dynamics CRM charts here. Default is Black.

MinimumRelativePieSize
Specifies the minimum pie size. Value range 10 – 70. Default is 30. This property has no effect unless the outside label style is used.

Labels and Keywords

When creating a pie chart, the IsValueShownAsLabel=”True” is already added to the chart XML by default. This is what shows the values inside the chart. These values can be formatted by adding the LabelFormat property to the series. Go here for formatting of values in CRM charts.

If you want to customize the content of the label, IsValueShownAsLabel must be set to “False”.

The two properties on a standard pie charts that can hold custom text and keywords are Label and LegendToolTip. Both of these properties must be added in the series. This is included in the sample XML series at the bottom of post.

Here are the keywords that can be used in pie charts. They should be rather self-explanatory. While the last three work, they are not very useful on a pie chart.

  • #LEGENDTEXT
  • #VAL
  • #PERCENT
  • #TOTAL
  • #MIN
  • #MAX
  • #FIRST
  • #LAST
  • #INDEX

Here’s a sample of what the Label and LegendToolTip could look like with keywords added. You can combine both text and keywords as needed.

Label="#LEGENDTEXT #PERCENT  -  #VAL out of #TOTAL total" 
LegendToolTip="#LEGENDTEXT #PERCENT  -  #VAL out of #TOTAL total"

And here is how the pie chart looks with the Label.

Label with Keywords. Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie.

Label=”#LEGENDTEXT #PERCENT – #VAL out of #TOTAL total”

And with the LegendToolTip.

LegendToolTip with Keywords. Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie.

LegendToolTip=”#LEGENDTEXT #PERCENT – #VAL out of #TOTAL total

The LegendToolTip only appears when the mouse hovers over the legend item. Unless changed, the tool tip will show the percentage by default. It’s redundant to show the legend text here, but the option is there.

Label, LegendText, and keywords can be used in the series of other chart types too.

CollectedThreshold

A lot of the pie chart’s custom properties are associated with the CollectedThreshold. The feature combines smaller values into one larger pie slice. This can be useful especially when you have a lot of smaller values  that you can’t tell apart anyway.

When using the CollectedThreshold, you must set IsValueShownAsLabel to False. Otherwise an incorrect value will be shown for the collected slice. Only the value of the first collected item will then be shown.

CollectedThreshold
Any value lower than the CollectedThreshold will be be in the collected slice.

CollectedThresholdUsePercent
If set to true, CollectedThreshold must be between 0-100 and is then defined as a percentage.

CollectedColor
Can be any named color, RGB, ARGB or HEX value. More on colors in CRM charts here.

CollectedSliceExploded
If true, then the collected slice is exploded.

CollectedLabel
Your label for the collected slice. Supports keywords.

CollectedLegendText
The text in the legend. Supports keywords. Customized legend text is only supported for the collected item.

CollectedToolTip
Text in the tool tip for the collected slice. Supports keywords.

Dynamics CRM chart. Chart type Pie. Collected Options used in custom properties

Using collected properties.

Notes on collected

Keyword #MIN is now the collected value, so it cannot be used to show what the minimum value inside the CollectedThreshold is.

Add keyword #TOTAL only to the CollectedLegendText and the total value will appear only once on the chart.

Include a description of how the CollectedThreshold is defined in the either the CollectedLabel or the CollectedLegendText. That way, the user can better decode the information..

Stuff we unfortunately cannot do with Pie Charts in Dynamics CRM

  • LegendText – can’t be changed. Except for collected
  • ToolTip – have no effect
  • LabelToolTip – have no effect
  • Exploded – custom property, have no effect.
  • Keyword values cannot be formatted

Yes, you cannot add formatting to keywords, even though the documentation says you can. You’ll get a chart rendering error in Microsoft Dynamics CRM if you try to add it. This makes keywords pretty useless when dealing with large numbers. I have reported the issue to Microsoft, so if you have a minute, please go vote for the case here, and hopefully we can soon unlock even more chart features.

Note that with IsValueShownAsLabel=”True” label formatting in Dynamics CRM charts can still be used.

The documentation for all the pie chart properties can be found here. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd456674(v=vs.110).aspx

Sample XML of a Pie Chart series with all custom properties.

<Series	ChartType="pie" ShadowOffset="0" IsValueShownAsLabel="False" 
	Font="{0}, 9.5px" LabelForeColor="59, 59, 59" 
	Label="#LEGENDTEXT #PERCENT  -  #VAL out of #TOTAL total" 
	LegendToolTip="#PERCENT  -  #VAL out of #TOTAL total"
	CustomProperties="PieDrawingStyle=Concave,
			  PieStartAngle=270,
			  PieLabelStyle=Inside, 
			  PieLineColor=Black,
			  LabelsHorizontalLineSize=1,
			  LabelsRadialLineSize=1,
			  MinimumRelativePieSize=10,
			  CollectedThresholdUsePercent=True,
			  CollectedThreshold=10,
			  CollectedColor=Tan,
			  CollectedSliceExploded=True,
			  CollectedLabel=Collected #VAL - #PERCENT,
			  CollectedLegendText=Collected - #VAL out of #TOTAL total,
			  CollectedToolTip=#VAL out of #TOTAL total">
  <SmartLabelStyle Enabled="True" />
</Series>

The sample series can be used to replace the standard series generated by the chart editor.

Thanks for reading. If you have a tip or trick for pie charts that I haven’t found, please include them in the comments. And of course, please sign up for the newsletter to be up to date on new blog posts and follow me on Twitter 

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