How to Create a Report in Salesforce Lightning

Learn how to build Reports in Salesforce Lightning to identify and drive the right behavior for your platform users.
January 15, 2020

Build Comprehensive Salesforce Lightning Reports

At its core, Salesforce is a database of user and customer information. Get the most out of this valuable information with Lightning reports.

The Difference Between Lightning and Classic Salesforce Report Types

As times and technology change, so do the user interactions with the products they use and the way they go about their day to day. As such, Lightning is the evolution of Salesforce, allowing it to be utilized in the day to day of the modern user.

The Lightning Experience is a complete overhaul of the user interface within Salesforce and it starts with cleaner esthetics. Let’s be honest, it’s just human nature to prefer prettier things and with this, the better something looks and feels, the more likely a person will be willing to use it. Lightning will improve user adoption as it is much cleaner to look at, which lends it to be simpler to use, but still maintains most of the functionality from its predecessor.

The interface overhaul also provided one very important change to Salesforce, which brings it more in line with the way everyday users use their technology in today’s age. It is optimized for mobile use, allowing users to be abler to interact with Salesforce any way they prefer. Whether that is on mobile or desktop, at the office, home or on the go, thus making user adoption extremely easy.

Activating Lightning Reports

In order to use Lightning Reports, a user needs the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) system permission.

Proceed to settings by pressing the cogwheel in the upper right of the Salesforce. Type “permission set” in the quick find box, select Permission Set and choose the permission set you wish to update.

Once you have selected the permission set you wish to update, scroll down to the System section and select System Permissions. Scroll through and check the box next to Report Builder (Lightning Experience).

Creating Reports

Select the Reports Tab, along the tabs ribbon, to create, view and edit reports.

To create a new report, click New Report.

Note: If you have access to both the Lightning report builder and the Classic report builder, you will see an option to create a new report either way.

Choose a report type, then click Continue.

Note: The report type you choose will determine which objects and records are returned and the fields available to use in your report.

The new report will be in edit mode, showing a preview.

Note: While in edit mode, you can add and remove fields, group rows and columns, filter report data, and show or hide a chart. You can tailor the report to fit your needs.

To add a column, click into the Add column... look-up field and either scroll or type in the wanted field. You can also expand the Fields pane, then drag-and-drop or double click a field onto the Columns list or directly onto the report preview.

To remove a column, you may click the X on the field in the columns list, click the carrot on the field in the preview pane and select Remove Column. To remove all columns from your report, from the Columns list, click the carrot and select Remove All Columns.

To summarize a column in your report, navigate to the preview pane, find the column/field you want to summarize and click the carrot in the column, then select Summarize. Choose how you want to summarize the column: Sum, Average, Max, Min.

To group records in your report, choose a column from the Add group... look-up field under GROUP ROWS, drag-and-drop a column from the Columns list or from the preview pane onto the GROUP ROWS or GROUP COLUMNS list, or from the preview pane, find the column you want to group, click the carrot in the column and select Group Rows by This Column.

After grouping a row, you can group a column by choosing a column from the Add group... look-up field under GROUP COLUMNS. Group up to 2 rows and 2 columns.

If grouping records by a date field, you can also customize date granularity. First select the date field you want to group your report by. Then, for Group Date By..., apply a calendar or fiscal period.

Note: You can show or hide detail rows, subtotals, and a grand total by toggling switches at the bottom of the preview pane.

To ungroup records in your report, you can from the Groups list, find the group you’d like to ungroup and then click X, or drag-and-drop the group onto the preview pane. To ungroup all groups in your report, from the Groups list, click Remove Group.

Unless you drag-and-drop the group onto the preview pane, removing a group also removes the column from your report. If you still want to show the column, you can simply repeat any of the stages for adding a column to add it back.

To filter records from your report, click the FILTERS tab.

Depending on which report type you chose, your report has between two and four standard filters which are applied by default.

To add a field filter, choose a field from the Add filter... look-up. Then edit a filter by clicking the filter. To remove a filter, click the X icon on the filter (standard filters can’t be deleted).

To add a chart, you must have at least one group, then click Add Chart at the top of the edit screen.

To customize the chart, click the cog wheel. Change the chart type, color palette, and more.

To show or hide the chart, click the pie chart.

To remove the chart, click the cogwheel and select Remove Chart.

When finished with your report Click Save. Give the report a name, a description (if necessary) and save the report in the appropriate folder (access and viewability permitted).

To view complete report results, click Run.

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