Archive for the ‘Salesforce Reporting’ Category

Data analysis with Apsona reporting

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

At Apsona, we interact with awesome people from non-profit organizations (NPO) who work for some very noble causes. There are over 800 non-profit organizations (NPO) using the Apsona apps. Like for any organization, the most important thing for a NPO is data – the quality and quantity of their donor database. Quality means the donor’s contact information, addresses, email and phone. Direct mail is also widely used for soliciting and for acknowledging donor gifts and contributions. Apsona for Salesforce helps NPOs to maintain the quality by checking for duplicates while importing data, mass-updating filtered data, mass-adding members to a campaign, and so on.

The quantity aspect in a non-profit organization’s database refers to running reports and analyzing data. The Apsona apps help the non-profit users run reports and get information and pattern trends of donors – for example, who are the top donors, how often do they donate, and how much do they donate. Such information is invaluable, especially when a fundraiser is being organised. Let us see how we can build a common use case report with Apsona Multi-step Reporting.

Use case – To generate a report for a fundraiser to analyze giving patterns of donors. Data to be retrieved are high/top donors in the last 3 years. The donors who qualify should have given at least $1000 since the year 2010. The final report should be visualized with the donors to show up in the rows and the year in columns. This way we will be able to see each donors by year- if they donate every year, just for one year, etc.

Step 1:
  • Step info – Select the Donation Contact Role object.
  • Fields – Contact lookup field from the Donation Contact Role object, Donation Name, Donation Amount and close date from the Donation object, contact Full name from the Contact object.
  • Filter terms – Opportunity Amount at least 1000 and Opportunity close date on on after 1/1/2010.
  • Range & Sort – All matching records. Specify a number if you have one for the number of records to be retrieved.
  • Linkages – No linkages in step 1.

Click Save.

Step 2:
  • Step info – Select the Contacts object.
  • Fields – Contact ID and Contact Full name field.
  • Filter terms – None
  • Range & Sort – All matching records.
  • Linkages – Choose Contact ID matches Donations:Contact

Click Save and Run.

Let us visualize the data by clicking on the Visualization tab and selecting visualize.

  • Select the Matrix(Pivoting) option.
  • Rows grouped by Contact Name.
  • Columns grouped by – Date field – Donation close date in groups by year.
  • In each cell select Donation Amount: Sum.
Click Ok. You will now see each donor by year.

Apsona Apps – simple, reliable, effective.

Updating Data With Inline Edit

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Apsona’s inline edit feature is gaining a lot of interest from large enterprises. A key reason is that  it  helps the sales rep to be more productive. A sales rep’s primary goal is, of course, to close deals. Whilst the sales rep spends a lot of time talking to customers, listening to their needs and tailoring the sale, he also needs to document and update all his interactions.  Apsona makes this data updating quick and easy.
If you have used Salesforce for any length of time, you know that if an object has record types associated with it, you cannot use inline edit on any of its views. So if you are a sales rep who needs to update a bunch of opportunities, you have to first find them in a view, click each of them in turn, edit and save them, and reopen the view. So each update needs four page refreshes, not counting the actual clicks for editing.
In Apsona, you can just select the Opportunities tabular view. The tabular view resembles an excel worksheet where all records are laid out in rows. Each field value is in a cell which he can click and edit. You can work on several fields in the same opportunity or in different opportunities, and when done, click save. You can invoke pre-built filters at any time to narrow down the list, and then make changes and save the records. You can also build cross object filters on the fly, search for certain data records and make changes without losing context. For example, when working with opportunities, you can select not only Opportunity fields but also fields from any other object related via a lookup or master-detail relationship in either direction (parent or child).
Large enterprises use Apsona tabular views as top level pages. Salesforce admins build Opportunities tabular views with just the fields the sales rep requires to see.  Filters are also pre-built for the reps. So now, the rep need only select a filter, make changes to the records and click save. Thus he ends up saving a lot of valuable time.
This is just one example of how inline editing is being used. This feature works across all Salesforce objects, native and custom, in Apsona for Salesforce. If you have not tried out Apsona, please get our free trial from the Salesforce AppExchange.

Looking back, looking forward – 2012 in review

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

It is December 2012 and the holiday season is in full swing. With all your good wishes we at Apsona will continue to thrive and support you all to the best we can. We are committed to bringing you more features and functionality in 2013. We are always willing to listen to your needs and requirements. Please feel free to contact us at any time. Thank you for taking the time to leave us reviews. Right now, we have over a 120+ reviews. We appreciate them immensely and they help us get along.

This year has been an eventful one for us. We began offering Apsona for Salesforce in 2011, and had a few tens of users. By the end of 2012, we have close to a thousand users from a few hundred organizations actively using it. This year also saw us through the initial development of Apsona Multi-step Reporting, which our users have been very positive about. It has also been a year that has initiated very fruitful partnerships. We are delighted to work with our friends at Cloud for Good, an effort which has resulted in Over the Edge, a migration tool for moving from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce.

Whilst you told us that you liked what you see in Apsona overall, you have also asked for several cleanups and feature enhancements. We are very grateful for that feedback – many of the features currently in Apsona owe their existence to user comments.  Here are a few common user requests that we expect to see available in the coming months.

  • Improved reporting features, including the ability to show Apsona reports in Salesforce dashboards.
  • Automated periodic import and export of data, e.g., importing a data set from a file or an XML feed automatically into your Salesforce org every morning at 6 am.
  • Document merging, enabling you to merge a filtered list or a report into a Word or Excel document.

If there are other features you would like to see incorporated in the products, please drop us a note.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our users. We wish you all a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous 2013. Till we meet again for a new blog post in 2013 we leave you with a few of the reviews ( picked out in no particular order).

Judi Sohn – An outstanding addition to Apsona
Apsona is already a fantastic tool for data manipulation. No worries whether the user is using Mac or PC or whether they’ve installed a separate application. It’s all right there in Salesforce. The new multi-step reporting add-on is must-have. No having to start over if you want to add an additional object to a report, and you can select from objects related as either parent or child. No cleaning up in Excel either, as the result is just clean data. Excellent support.

Robert Pope – Great app, easy to use
We love this app – offers an easy to use interface and let’s us do mass updates and imports with ease – much easier to use than the built in Salesforce import tools! Thanks for an app that rocks 🙂

Reede Stockton – Tremendous app!
This is one of the most useful tools around. It truly shines when you need to do ad hoc reporting with unusual selection criteria. The ability to do cross object reporting and filtering makes it a breeze to tackle even tough requirements. If you’re a Salesforce admin, you’ll love Apsona. And it will quickly become apparent to you that, by pushing it out to your users, you’ll be able to quickly and easily fulfill a bunch of the requests that are cluttering up your to do list.

John Schulte – Absolutely the best app!
We also reviewed Apsona during a user group meeting and found it extremely user friendly and easier to use than other utilities of its kind. I actually prefer searching our Salesforce platform from Apsona since I get the data I am looking for the first time. It is much more accurate than Salesforce’s search options. We installed it in the Sandbox first but soon found out how accurate it was and installed it in production shortly after testing in the Sandbox. I use Apsona every day now and am totally impressed at how easy mass updates are now. Their help desk and videos are second to none!

Our SFDC consultant turned us on to Apsona and we are thrilled. This is absolutely the best app for mass importing information into SFDC that I have encountered. Easy to use and the staff at Apsona could not be friendlier or more helpful. SFDC should make this tool a standard part of the administrator’s package for their program.

Happy Holidays!

Cross Object Reporting For Salesforce Users

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

We are very happy to see that our new offering on the AppExchange, Apsona Multi-Step Reporting (MSR), is attracting a good deal of interest. Users seem to enjoy the flexibility that the app offers. It imposes no restrictions on how to access objects, nor the number of objects you can access in a single report. It lets you traverse dependencies in either direction (parent-to-child or child-to-parent), and can handle multiple dependencies between the same pairs of objects. For example, you can create a report spanning the Campaign (parent) – Opportunity (child)-Opportunity Contact Role and back to up the chain to Contact (parent). Such structures are difficult to achieve with the native Salesforce reporting. Another plus with Apsona MSR is the ability to run reports without having to create report types.

To help you build a report in Apsona MSR, here are a few tips:

  • Reports are built in steps.
  • Each step retrieves data from one object.
  • Each step carries its own filter conditions, independent of the other steps, and these conditions can be cross-object.
  • Steps are linked to previous steps via lookup fields.
  • To see linkages, select the id field or the look up field you would like to link in each step.

You can build a powerful report incrementally in steps. You can have any number of steps in a single report. For example, let’s say you would like to invite to a Christmas luncheon all the contacts associated with the closed/won Opportunities or donations for the last 3 consecutive years, and you would like to retrieve the Contact records to set up the invitations. Here are the steps you can use to get the data with Apsona MSR.

    Step 1: Get the Contacts from the contact role object and filter by opportunities for the year 2010.
    Step 2:  Get the Contacts from the contact role object and filter by opportunities for the year 2011. Link the contacts to the Step 1.
    Step 3: Get the Contacts from the contact role object and filter by opportunities for the year 2012. Link the contacts to Step 1.
    Save and run.

    Another example use case is to find the person/user who created an opportunity and the person/user who closed the opportunity. Such a report can be obtained in just 2 steps with the Opportunity and Opportunity History objects. With Apsona’s cross object reporting, you can access the User object from the Opportunity and Opportunity History objects and pull in the users who have created and closed Opportunities. So here is an example of working from the Opportunity object down to the Opportunity History object and going up the chain to the User object. With an additional step you can also get the number of Opportunities (count) closed by a person/user by using the powerful metrics feature.

    Once the data for your report has been retrieved, you can visualize the data in charts, groups and matrices. Grouping can be single level or up to five levels. Pivoting or transposing data is a powerful visualization this app offers. Filtering, sorting, drilling-down and summarizing data can now be down in seconds.

    Such reports and pivot visualizations are not possible to build in native Salesforce and yet this information is invaluable to any organization. These are just a couple of examples of the kinds of reports you can build with Apsona MSR. You can now create reports to extract and display data instantly from your Salesforce org, without depending on others for coding or IT involvement.

    We offer a free trial of this app on the AppExchange and will be happy to help you if needed. We can be contacted at

    Apsona Multi-step Reporting

    Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 is happy to announce their new app Apsona Multi-step Reporting on the Salesforce AppExchange. This is a powerful browser based tool for reporting across any number of Salesforce objects – native and custom. The only requirement is that you need to have installed Apsona For Salesforce before using this app. The key benefits include:
    – Cross object reports on any number of objects, native or custom, no matter how the objects are related
    – Fully browser-based, no plugins or add-ons needed
    – Works within your salesforce org
    – Simple, intuitive user interface
    – Your data stays in your org: it is not copied to an external store, unlike many other reporting tools
    – Reports reflect the most current state of your data, not a snapshot stored in some external store
    – No need to create or manage report types in Salesforce
    – You can export the report results instantly into an Excel spreadsheet or in CSV format
    – No Apex, VisualForce or other coding required

    Apsona Multi-step Reporting is a good fit for routine data management needs, where you need a quick report that you wish to export to a spreadsheet program (such as Excel) where you can perform further analysis, manipulation and import or update back into Salesforce.  It is built using the foundation layer provided by Apsona for Salesforce. A 30 day free trial is offered on the AppExchange.

    To try Multi-step Reporting, you will need Apsona for Salesforce if you do not already have it. Below are the links to our listings.

    AppExchange listing for Apsona for Salesforce
    AppExchange listing for Apsona Multi-step Reporting

      We welcome all feedback.