Now that we understand what reports are, let’s build one. The first step to building a new one is to go to the Reports menu and click New Report. Here we get a list of the types we can build. That is, the metrics we will be reporting on. I am going to choose the, Open Sales Orders link, down here, but the steps are identical for each of the other options.
The first thing I need to do is give my report a name. I could use the name that NetSuite provides, however your system would quickly become cluttered with garbage if you did this and your coworkers would likely revolt against you. I’ll title this, Sam’s Open SO Test. I need to select a metric that I want to report on, and I’ll choose Item: Sales Price. I also need to select what format I want this to be run in. This is going to be dictated by what data you want to get out of the system. Summary rolls up the report to a nice and easy to read format, and is good for looking at data at a high level. The detail expands the summary information, and is useful if you need more detail and don’t want to have to drill down to get it. The matrix option would allow us to break down the data based on columns, such as showing not just the open sales orders, but what they are worth based on subsidiary. If I click this, you will notice I get a second selection of how I want to summarize the data across the columns. But I will just use detail for now.
The component and field are used for providing subtotal rows on the report. The field you select, and the fields that you are able to select, will depend on the component that you choose. I am going to change this to Item, and we will subtotal this based on the Display Name field. You have the option to customize the report more, but we will come back to that in a moment. For now, I will just save this which will also run it.
You can customize the report itself, or you can customize how it displays at run time. We will come back to changing the runtime display. Let’s go into customizing the report by clicking the customize button. In the report builder, there are four main areas, shown up here. Let’s look at them in order.
Under Edit Columns, I can change the name of the report if I want to, though I can change this under any of the other sections as well. I can search for and find fields that I want to include. Searching for fields will search from the available fields under the Item, and under Open Sales Orders. I can also expand either of these to see what is listed underneath. If I was going to add item fields, usually I would also have an item open in a separate tab, so I could switch over to it, and see what fields I needed. The same is true for any other record that I was adding fields from. If we scroll down a bit, we see that there are more fields that we can expand, that are under the initial item record. These are fields, or records that are related to the item. I am going to scroll back up and add the item type. I can do this by clicking and dragging Item Type to where I want it to appear on the report, or by clicking it, which will add it to the end.
You may or may not have noticed this, but as I was hovering over the Item Type, I also had help for this field popup down here below it. This can be useful when looking for, or trying to figure out, what field you want to add, but many times this information is not that complete. I could drag and drop the item type field from a column to a row, if I wanted to perform a subtotal with this field. If I wanted the field to have a different label on the report, I could change the column label. This is only for the report though, and it does not change the underlying data in any way. I recommend against this, unless you have a good reason to do so, since anyone later trying to figure out what the report shows, may have to go back to the report builder to understand how the label was changed.
If I come over to the Filters area, I can add filters to my report. There are already a couple here, and they came from the type of report that was selected, and my initial selections when setting this up. Adding filters works similarly to adding fields to show. We can see here that I already have a Subsidiary filter. If I click on it, I can modify it to set the initial value. I can select, or deselect the show in filter region checkbox if I want to. This checkbox controls whether the report can be customized at runtime. The way I have this setup right now, I will start with Honeycomb as the subsidiary, but could change this while running the report, and we’ll see this in just a moment. If I wanted to remove this filter, I could do that with the x over here to the right.
Before I add a filter, I usually like to add the field I want to filter on, as a column in the report. I then run the report, and verify what I will be filtering. This takes a bit more time, but helps a lot to understand what you will be filtering out before writing the filter criteria.
Under Sorting, we can select how we want the data in the report to be sorted. Right now, we are sorting this by the item and sales price, but if there were another field that makes more sense we could set that up here. We can also sort by multiple fields, and the order we place our sort criteria in, matters. For example, if we were showing all of the data, from all of our subsidiaries, we might want to first sort the data by subsidiary, then by some other field. We can also choose whether we want the sort to be ascending or descending.
Under More Options, there are a variety of other options, that mostly don’t fit anywhere else, or don’t require their own section. One of the first things I want to point out is the description box. I strongly recommend that you fill in a description for every report you create. Not because it will help you right now, but because it will help you six months, or a year from now. When you come back and try to figure out what this was for, and if you still need it or not. On the left-hand side, there is a default expansion level, and you can set this to whatever makes the most sense. The expansion level is just how much a report, with nested rolled up data, will be expanded when it is first opened. The owner of the report is usually the person who will be in charge of making modifications to it. If you are creating this for someone else, who will later modify it, I recommend setting them as the owner. In fact, generally only the owner and the NetSuite administrators can make changes to a report. Under the audience and access subtabs, you can select who can run this. Under the Audit Trail, you can view any modifications that have been made to this report, including when they were made and by whom.
I want to take a second, before we move on, to talk about the audience and access subtabs. They look very similar, but function slightly differently. This functionality can kind of trip people up, if they do not know what it is for. When you build a custom report, you are building it based on a native report, or view, that already exists inside of NetSuite. Who can access these native reports is controlled in a variety of ways, but primarily through their user and role permissions. If you set a user, role, etc. as part of the audience subtab, then they will be able to easily find, and access the report you created, assuming that they have permission to the native report already. If they don’t have permission to the native report already, then you would need to add them to the access subtab, for them to be able to get to the custom report. There is actually a bit more to it than that though. I recommend reviewing Suite Answer article number 8361, to get a more thorough overview. Usually though you will just add people, roles, or whatever, to the audience subtab.
When we are done editing we can save our report, which will usually run it as well. Now we can talk about changing how the report displays at runtime, which I eluded to earlier. Down here at the bottom, you will notice these filters you can use to make modifications to how this is displayed. We can change the subsidiary context, and date for this specific report. Let’s go ahead and change the subsidiary context and the date. We can change the subsidiary field with the dropdown arrow, and we’ll choose Honeycomb Mfg. We can change the date by using the date picker, or by typing in a new date. I’ll go ahead and change this all the way back to 2016, so we have some more data. I could have also clicked over here, to change the date based on a number of predefined ranges. Now, you might be noticing that we do not see any change yet. This is because, changing filters on a report does not refresh it automatically. We have to do that manually, and we have to do that with the refresh button; a browser refresh will not update the report.
In this report, I only have a few filters I can change, but you are sure to see others, where there are many more filters than this. In those cases, you will usually see a set of double downward facing arrows, in the filter section, that you can expand to get to the rest of your filters.
In the lower right-hand side, we have a few more options that we can use to control how the report displays. The wrench provides us with some options to select, if we want to view this in a plain format, as we are now, or in a grid format. We can select a default expansion level, and a few other options. We can click here to collapse or here to expand the rows and sub rows if we want to. We can export this as an Excel sheet, PDF document, CSV format, or Word document if we want. We can create a snapshot of the report in the system, and can print or email it. Lastly, we could schedule this to run at a specific time, but we will be talking about that in a few videos from now.
Since this is just an introductory course, it should be no surprise that there is more about reports that we cannot cover. Especially regarding grouping, filtering, and publishing them. You will really need to go in and work with them to get familiar with the system. Try building some for yourself and coworkers. What we covered here should at least give you a good starting point.