Reports in Salesforce | How to create Reports and Charts

Table of Contents
Report in Salesforce (Video Practical)
Report Builder in Salesforce
Salesforce Report Types
Formats of Reports in Salesforce
Tabular Reports
Summary Reports
Matrix Report
Joined Report
Types of Charts available in Salesforce
Bucket Column or Bucket Field in Salesforce Reports
Row-Level Formula in Salesforce Reports
Summary Formula Column in Salesforce Reports

In real-time projects, Business operations have to deal with 1000s of records coming up on strategies checking every record one by one IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.

Analytics in Salesforce

Hereby Salesforce provides an analytical feature making it easier to commit business decisions using 2 tabs namely; Reports and Dashboards. Go to Home or Setup. Find all tabs under the plus icon on the tabs bar. You can also add it to the tab bar for easy access by using the “Custom my Tabs” button under all tabs.

This article captures the minutest of details on reports in Salesforce in both the experiences with all features in profound detail.

These features help convert business requirements into Visual representations like Graphs, Charts, Tables, etc to drive meaningful insights from business databases for better analysis.

What is a Report in Salesforce?

Reports in Salesforce are used to display data in an organized format for a certain period of time. These reports are generated based on the criteria defined and thereby display refined data in terms of rows and columns or/and in graphics.

Each of these reports in Salesforce is stored in various folders. These folders can be public, shared, hidden, Read-only and Read/write, etc.

Below is an in-detail tutorial on what all you need to understand about reports in Salesforce.

Report Builder in Salesforce

A report builder is a visual, drag-and-drop tool to create reports in Salesforce as well as edit the existing ones. The report builder helps choose a report type, a report format, and the fields to create the desired report.

Salesforce Report Types

Report types in Salesforce help determine which records and fields will appear in the report. The record types are like a template or framework used by salesforce to get data from objects, relationships, and fields. Reports display records that meet the criteria defined in its report type.

There are two types of Report types in Salesforce namely; Standard Report types and Custom Report Types.

Standard Report types: These are provided by default in Salesforce and are stored in the Standard Report Folder. As for example, the Opportunities report type gives you access to the Opportunity records and fields.

Custom Report types: These provide access to custom objects in Salesforce or a custom view of standard objects and related fields underlying a configured business logic.

The set of records and fields available is thereby based on the relationships between the primary object and its related objects set by the administrator.

Formats of Reports in Salesforce

Broadly there are the below four types of reports in salesforce. Each of these reports can use one or more than one object.

Reports in Salesforce
Reports in Salesforce

In the Salesforce Classic, we must choose a report format before grouping data. Though in the Lightning experience we don’t select the format before grouping.

The three formats Tabular, Summary, and Matrix reports are all available under Reports, while joined is available as separate in the Lightning Experience. We can switch between the three using rows, columns, and grouping features.

1. Tabular Reports

Tabular reports are the simplest form of reports in Salesforce. They contain an ordered set of fields in columns with filters and can be used to create lists of records or a list with a single grand total.

Tabular reports cannot create groupings of data or a summary. It cannot be used in dashboards (unless rows are limited) as well we can not create charts on the tabular reports in Salesforce.

2. Summary Reports

Summary reports are similar to tabular reports but also provide groupings of rows, display of subtotals based on the value of a particular field. They can be used to create a chart and also to source dashboard components.

Summary reports with no groupings show as tabular reports on the report run page. Conditional Highlighting is available for Summary reports as well as Matrix reports in Salesforce. Summary reports can have three levels of the drop zone.

It can not show more than 1-dimensional grouping.

3. Matrix Report

Matrix reports allow grouping and summarizing record data both by rows and columns. They are similar to summary reports except that they permit two-dimensional grouping. They help in comparing related totals, with totals of both rows and columns.

Matrix report without at least one row and one column grouping show as a summary report on the report run page. They can be used as the source report for dashboard components. It has two levels of the drop zone in two directions: both vertically and horizontally.

It can be used to refine data in two “unrelated” dimensions, such as purchase date and product name. For an eg, you can summarize deals by month vertically and by clients horizontally in matrix reports. Conditional Highlighting is available.

It can not show grouping of multiple columns together (only possible in joined reports). Difficult to use with large sets of data as with more rows and columns the complexity of the matrix increases as well.

4. Joined Report

Joined reports in salesforce are a special type of report that contains multiple blocks within it. Each block acts like a “sub-report,” holds related information to its own columns, filters, and sorting order.

There can be a maximum of five different blocks to display various types of related data. In a real-time project, these can be used to group and show data from multiple objects (record types) in different views.

By connecting objects together using a relationship, we can also show data from different objects in different blocks as well.

Example: you can build a report to show data from Object A, Object B and Object C,  at that time we prefer using joined report, even though we can show data from a different object in Tabular, Summary and Matrix report.

It supports only 1-dimensional grouping. We can not export the data from the Joined report though we have a printable view.

( Joined report can accommodate 20k records whereas, other 3 reports can show only a max of 2k records per report in Salesforce )


Charts are available for three of the report formats that have drop zones. You can show these data charts in reports and dashboards.

Chart Types available in Salesforce

  1. Bar Charts
  2. Stacked Bar Charts
  3. Column Charts
  4. Stacked Column Charts
  5. Line Charts
  6. Pie Charts
  7. Donut Charts
  8. Funnel Charts
  9. Scatter Plots

There are a few added features in reports for Salesforce admins, to enable molding data as required within the report builder and display the needful without any extra configuration. Let us look into some more features available in reports in Salesforce.

Bucket Column or Bucket Field in Salesforce Reports

Sometimes the available field doesn’t seem to provide the requisite details in the reports needed for meaningful categorization of report records. This virtual field is used for picklists.

A bucket column enables us to define multiple categories (buckets) and group report values Quickly without creating a formula or a custom field. Like any other column, it can be sorted, filtered, and grouped in the report.

Bucket Column in reports in Salesforce
Bucket Column in Reports

Bucket fields don’t affect other objects or tables and are present just as a visual aid to the reports in salesforce. Bucket fields are available in Tabular reports, Summary Reports, and Matrix reports but not in Joined Reports.

In one report we can have a max of 5 bucket field columns, create a maximum of 20 buckets under one bucket column with a total possible:40 values going under those buckets.

Lets look at the below outline features of the reports in salesforce lightning.

Reports in Salesforce Lightning
Reports showing below mentioned field in outline.

Row-Level Formula in Lightning Experience

Newly added feature available in Lightning experience, Row-level formulas enable us to create custom criteria or formulas to display record data in the reports in Salesforce.

Row-Level Formula in Lightning Experience Reports
Row-Level Formula in Lightning Experience

Adding a row-level formula to the report in Salesforce help quickly create a virtual column to make calculations on every report row and displays refined data directly on the report without creating new fields on the object.

For an eg. number of days since the record was created, or how many days did it take each opportunity to close? etc. It is not compatible with the classic view.

Summary Formula Column in Salesforce Reports

Using Summary fields or commonly known as formula field we can summarize numeric columns with four built-in functions available under Summarize : SumAverageMin, and Max. These summary fields appear at group levels. Check out the full video tutorial for a practical view.

Summary fields
Summary fields in Reports

We can also customize formulas and create a custom virtual column using Summary formula columns require at least 1 group in the report data. This virtual field appears as an entire column and operates on numbers, currency, and percentage values.

Summary Formula Column in Lightning Reports
Summary Formula Column in Lightning

Custom Summary formula in Classic Reports

In the Classic experience, we have Custom Summary Formula available for rows/columns grouping as well as summaries. The above-mentioned summary level formula falls in this category in the Classic view. While the row-level formula column ain’t compatible to run or edit in classic view.

Custom Summary Formula in Salesforce Classic Reports
Custom Summary Formula in Classic

We can sort the reports in Salesforce, filter them, find unique data, as well as we can export, drill down, schedule in future, and subscribe it to users and profiles. Check out the practical tutorial here.

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