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Reports - Creating a Report using Historical Data
Reports - Creating a Report using Historical Data

Get an overview of previous values at specific points in time using date comparisons or longer term trends

Updated over a week ago


Pipeliner reports have, until the 5.4 release (March 2024), been focused on providing information about current data. For example, it was possible to report on the current value of every Opportunity with a Closing Date in 2024. However, if you wanted to know what the value of each Opportunity was 1 month ago vs today, you needed to view the Change Log for each individual Opportunity via the View Changes button.

This has now changed with the introduction of a new type of report: Report with Historical Data. Creating these reports is fundamentally the same as creating any other Standard Table or Pivot Table report - and certain types of Charts can also be added - but they are designed to allow users to track the changes made to field values on records (Accounts, Opportunities etc) over a period of time using date comparisons or historical trends.

Fields that are tracked in the Change Log (accessed via the View Changes button on an open record) can also be used to track historical data in a report.

This article is aimed at users with a good understanding of how to create, modify and use Reports, Charts and Dashboards in Pipeliner. For information regarding creating reports, charts and dashboards, adding and removing columns, formatting etc please refer to the additional articles in the Related Articles/Next Steps section.

What kind of intelligence does this new report type give me?

You'll use this type of report to answer such questions as “what’s the value of our open opportunities today as compared to their value last month?" so you can track if values are being increased or decreased as users work on their Opportunities. You could do the same with Close Dates to establish how forecast dates are changing over time. ⤵

Or "how has the Account Class of our customers changed over the last year" to gain an insight into how Account Class (usually used to represent a customer's value to your business) is being updated over time ⤵

Creating a new Report with historical data

From the Analytics menu, click "Create New" and then select Report with Historical Data

You can then select from one of 4 pre-defined report structures or choose the custom option to create your own structure. All reports will either compare what the values were/are in particular fields on set comparison dates, or display a historical trend. ⤵

The options are:

  • Field Changes - the report shows a side-by-side comparison of the current value of data records compared to their previous values. It allows for a quick and easy assessment of any changes or updates that have occurred.

  • Pipeline Trend - the report shows a trend line showing pipeline changes over time.

  • Pipeline Flow - the reports shows which Opportunities were won or lost.

  • Lead Conversions - the report shows won Leads by Lead source.

  • Report with Historical Data - the report shows your own analysis of records enhanced with historical data.

Comparison Date Reports

When you select Field Changes and use Comparison Dates, the comparison date represents a single day in the history of that record. This can be a specific date which will be the same every time you opens the report or it can be a dynamic date - relative to the current date. You can choose more than one comparison date. When creating your report, you'll need to give it a Name, can fill in a Description and select a folder for the report to be saved in.

In the Preset Options section, the report Record Type will default to Opportunity, you can select another record type from the dropdown values. The Comparison Date will be Monthly by default - again, choose from the available dropdown options. Tracked Columns will be pre-populated with Opportunity Value, Closing date and Sales Step and you can select additional columns (fields) to track ⤵

NOTE: the fields available to select in Tracked Columns are only those fields that are used in the Change Log (visible from the View Changes button of a record)

For every combination of comparison date and tracked column, a new column will be visible in the Table section of the Report Settings. This allows users to see what the value is now vs what it was on the chosen comparison date(s).

Once you've created your Report, you'll be able to add and adjust your dates from the Comparison Dates option in the View tab ⤵

Choose from:

Specific Date - choose a specific date on which to base the comparison of values - for example the 1st of the month

Dynamic Date - this option will compare values on a dynamic basis depending on the date you view the report

Custom Dynamic Date - choose from various date periods relative to the current date

Click on the "Add" button to add additional comparison dates to your report e.g. 2 months ago as well as one month ago ⤵

New columns will be added to your report representing each Tracked Column and each Comparison Date ⤵

NOTE: color coding each column is a useful tip to easily differentiate between "Now" and each prior comparison date.

Trend Reports

Choose Pipeline Trend to create a report using historical trends. Historical trends represent a series of dates, similar to comparison dates and can be used when you want to track changes over a longer period of time. Update your options from the Historical Trends option within the View tab. You also define the frequency of generated comparison dates relative to the chosen period - for example, track values over the last year with a quarterly frequency. The only fields supported as Tracked Columns for historical trends are numeric fields. ⤵

Add your selection to your report from the Table option within the View tab by selecting from the Opportunities - Tracked Columns section under Visible Columns

One historical column is created for each tracked field column (for example, Opportunity Value over the Previous Year) and, when added to the report, will display with sub columns for each frequency (e.g. a value will be displayed for each quarter of the previous year if the chosen frequency was Quarterly). ⤵

Charts and Dashboards

Historical reports can be also visualized as Dashboard charts. A limited subset of chart types is supported based on the type of historical report

  • Comparison Dates reports supports: Scorecard, Column, Bar and Sankey chart (this is a new chart type)

  • Historical Trend reports support: Line, Column and Bar chart

More information about Sankey diagrams

A Sankey diagram is a visualization used to depict a flow from one set of values to another. The things being connected are called nodes and the connections are called links

In our historical reports based on Comparison Dates, we are using Sankey charts to represent the “flow of time” from past record values to the present, or any other date in the past. Users need to choose exactly 2 dates but can choose different node groupings for each date.

Related Articles/Next Steps

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