Rethinking Reports and the Complete Report Redesign

With Heap CRM we want you to improve your business and find out what works and what doesn't. Similarly, we test our designs as well and while search reports is a workhorse of our advanced users, basic reporting is not used much and people have trouble understanding it.

Rethinking the Design

The new reports center around a central idea: historical reporting is only important in as much as it tells me about my current activity. The whole point from reporting is to be able to adjust the business based on history. So, that's the center of the new design: what's going on now and how it compares to the past. Let's take a look.


The pipeline is based on how things look today. You have three pie charts: expected value, value and count. The expected value is the sum of the expected value (value times probability) in each transaction stage, while value is the sum of the value field (in each transaction stage) and count is a simple count of the number of items in each transaction stage. You can see the underlying data of any element by putting your mouse over it:

But what prospects are included in these calculations? That depends on the filter area. Right now, given that the category and user are set to all and no label is entered, it includes all current items. However, if the filter section looked like this:

The pipeline charts (as well historical activity chart) would only include items where "Ben Smith" is a managing user, in the category "Associates" and labeled (by me) as "local area".

Historical Activity

Historical activity is based on the filters (just like the pipeline) but it only looks at activity within a set range (week, month, year) where the selected date is end of that range. For instance, if the selected date is "2012-01-01" and the range is set to "Month", then that would include any transactions in the month leading up to January one.

For each type of transaction, you see three bar graphs:

1. Historical value
2. Current value of historical items
3. Current value

The historical value is the value assigned to the item at the time. So in our example, this would be the sum of expected values (or possibly value or count depending on the activity graph type selected) in the month leading up to January one, at the time.

Current value of historical items uses exactly the same set of items as the historical value, but it uses their current value instead of their historical value. If (in aggregate) your predictions about probability and value of prospects are correct, these two measurements should be identical. If they don't match, that could indicate that there is some level of error in the entered probabilities and values.

Current value is the value of current activity (based on the range) that matches the criteria in the filter section. This allows you to look at given week, month or year and ask if you are doing better or worse now.

Webhook and HeapCL

Both the webhook and HeapCL have been updated to support calls for the pipeline and activity.

5 Responses to “Rethinking Reports and the Complete Report Redesign”

  1. Paul Says:

    Ben great job! The Date Picker you have - is there a way to Esc it? It seems to me that once it pops out, you can't cancel it?

    I hope you can apply this sleek approach to the rest UI and while you there allow us to name opportunities :-) Great to see some new improvements!

  2. Paul Says:

    I am actually thinking that it would be more useful if you replace percentage with actual values/numbers (and show % while hovering) e.g when I look at the pipeline I want to see $ value and not %, same for lead count etc..

  3. Ben Says:

    Hi Paul -

    1) Clicking on any date will close the picker. If you wish to not change the date, just click on the currently selected date again (it is shown with a white background).

    2) There would be space limitations on the pie chart with that idea

  4. Paul Says:

    Ben - just an idea but you could place values as $12.2k or $24k (round them down) .. that should be pretty close to number of digit when using %

  5. WBP SYSTEMS / Weblog » Blog Archive » Heap CRM: Access Report Data From Google Spreadsheets Says:

    [...] the new reports in Heap CRM from Google Spreadsheets is easy! Once you install the script from the gallery [...]

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