Salesforce Reporting: Overcoming Limitations with Custom Data Viz Examples

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    Boasting a vast user base of over 150,000 as of 2023, Salesforce has become a go-to solution for sales enterprise and customer relationship management (CRM) needs.  

    While Salesforce excels in managing customer data, its reporting tools lack the depth and flexibility data analysts require. This is partly due to Salesforce’s primary focus on CRM functionalities and the promotion of Tableau, which can be overly complex for many small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

    But what if there was a solution to this challenge that offered the flexibility in data visualization that Salesforce users crave?  

    This is where ClicData can help. It is a data management and analytics platform that integrates with Salesforce, providing analysts greater control over their data visualization efforts. With ClicData, users can easily connect, store, clean transform, and visualize data from any source. 

    Let’s explore how to extract data from Salesforce into ClicData and observe a case study illustrating how this integration helped our client automate data extraction. 

    Seamless and Automated Salesforce Data Extraction into ClicData 

    Being the #1 CRM tool in the world, building a native connector to Salesforce was a no-brainer. With ClicData’s native connector, bridging the gap between Salesforce and your data analytics is as simple as clicking a button.  

    It allows you to pull data seamlessly and automatically from your Salesforce account into ClicData’s built-in data warehouse in just a few clicks.  

    You can incorporate any standard objects and custom fields into ClicData, which allows you to cleanse and manipulate the data to suit your specific needs. But the integration doesn’t stop there. With ClicData’s Schedules feature, you can automate data refresh, alerts, and dashboard publication, ensuring your insights remain timely and actionable.

    ClicData can significantly enhance your Salesforce reporting in the following ways: 

    • Measure Marketing Return on Investment (ROI): Combine revenue data with inbound and outbound spending from your financial system to gain comprehensive insights into your marketing effectiveness. 
    • Track Sales Team Productivity: Monitor dials, outbound emails, deals in progress/closed, and task completion metrics to optimize your sales team’s performance. 
    • Reconcile Customer Journey: Build a cohesive view of your marketing, service, sales, and support data to bridge the gap in your customer journey, enabling a seamless customer experience. 
    • Set Custom Thresholds: Define custom thresholds and receive alerts whenever they’re reached, empowering you to stay ahead of your team and campaign performance. 

    👉 Here’s how simple it is to get started: 

    Step 1: Create your ClicData account

    Step 2: Click on the top menu > Connection > Add New > Salesforce.

    add salesforce connection
    Create your connection to Salesforce

    Step 3: Follow the steps to authenticate your Salesforce account securely.

    Step 4: Get the data you need by either choosing a table of built-in objects or crafting a custom query to access specific values from custom fields.

    get data from salesforce
    Get data from Salesforce

    Step 5: Review your output table in the Preview to make sure you’re bringing in the right data.

    Learn more about our Salesforce integration steps

    And just like that, your connection is live, enabling you to integrate your Salesforce data into ClicData.

    📝 Pro Tip: Automate data refresh with our Schedules feature to ensure your insights remain up-to-date and actionable.

    Salesforce Reporting with ClicData: Real-Life Use cases

    Optimizing Clients’ Survey Reports with Dashboard Templates

    For one of our clients, leveraging Salesforce to centralize data from ongoing surveys conducted through Alchemer posed a significant challenge.


    While the survey responses were stored in custom fields within Salesforce, the client struggled to generate the visualizations necessary for meaningful analysis using the CRM’s built-in reporting module.

    With the purchase of Tableau out of reach, the client sought an alternative solution to transform their survey data into actionable insights.

    Solution Implemented

    The client leveraged ClicData to address their survey monitoring needs effectively. By creating a dashboard template for each survey type, with the appropriate data schema sourced from Salesforce, the client established a scalable solution.

    The process involved duplicating the template and filtering data for each new client, enabling real-time monitoring of survey data through interactive dashboards accessible at any time.

    Results Achieved

    The integration of Salesforce with ClicData offered the following benefits to the client:

    • Rapid duplication of dashboard templates minimized report creation time and effort.
    • Streamlined processes enabled efficient scaling of reporting efforts for multiple clients.
    • Real-time access to interactive dashboards enhanced service offerings.
    • Accelerated integration and automation processes.

    With ClicData, we built dashboard templates for each type of project that we can simply and quickly duplicate when we onboard new clients. It’s very efficient, in a few clicks we copy the template, apply the right filters for the client and share the interactive dashboard. I don’t have to re-create the dashboard, create new Data Flows from scratch every single time.”

    Client’s data analyst

    Why ClicData?

    The client’s familiarity with ClicData from previous engagements prompted them to explore its potential as a solution to their survey monitoring needs. Several factors made ClicData the ideal choice:

    • Seamless Extension: As an existing customer utilizing ClicData for other use cases, the client extended its usage to address survey monitoring requirements.
    • Accessibility: Lack of access to clients’ Salesforce accounts necessitated a solution that could operate independently.
    • Template Efficiency: ClicData’s ability to construct master dashboard templates for each survey type facilitated rapid deployment and customization for new clients, streamlining the onboarding process.
    • Secure Accessibility: ClicData’s commitment to data security ensured that both dashboards and underlying data remained accessible only to authorized personnel, safeguarding sensitive information.

    Unifying Access to Clients’ Project Information

    Salesforce can also be used as a one-stop collaboration platform for account managers, customer service, and project managers. But again, the reporting piece presents some challenges.

    Here are some limitations that you may face:


    Difficulty in Accessing Comprehensive Client Information:
    • With a growing client base, the absence of a unified view hampers your ability to efficiently manage client interactions and track opportunities in the pipeline.
    • This scattered approach affects your teams effectiveness in serving clients and leveraging cross-selling opportunities.
    Filtering Limitations in Salesforce:
    • If you’re managing hundreds of clients and accounts, which is most likely the case, Salesforce dashboard filter capability restricts you to 50 entries.
    • This necessitates the creation of multiple dashboards to accommodate all clients, leading to confusion in directing internal personnel to the appropriate dashboard.

    Solution Implemented

    To overcome these Salesforce reporting limitations, you can use our connector to bring all the customer data into ClicData: sales, project, and support tickets data to build a consolidated customer information hub.

    Why ClicData?

    • Get a unified client information hub: It will facilitate client management, enhance cross-departmental collaboration, and enable quick access to vital client data. With such a solution in place, you will improve your client interactions and have a more streamlined approach to opportunity and case tracking.
    • Customize dashboard filters to your needs: ClicData allows you to apply filters on a full dataset, without restrictions on the number of rows (in this case, it could be client accounts) which would help overcome the limitation of 50 entries in Salesforce reporting. That also means that you would need only one dashboard to display all your account data, which streamlines your data and dashboard management.

    Pipeline Forecast Dashboards

    Many businesses face challenges in accurately forecasting sales pipelines to make informed decisions.

    Without a clear understanding of upcoming opportunities and potential revenue streams, you might struggle to manage your sales teams productivity and allocate resources effectively. A pipeline forecast dashboard can help in this regard.

    You can create a comprehensive pipeline forecast dashboard by integrating Salesforce reporting data with ClicData. This dashboard provides real-time insights into sales opportunities and revenue projections.

    Top 5 Sales Pipeline KPIs to Track

    Here are five common sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that businesses often track:

    • Sales Revenue: This is the total revenue earned from sales within a specific time. Tracking this revenue helps businesses understand their financial performance and revenue growth over time.
    • Sales Pipeline Velocity: This measures the speed at which opportunities move through the sales pipeline, from initial contact to closing. It helps sales teams forecast future revenue more accurately.
    • Pipeline Value: Pipeline value provides insight into the total potential revenue from current opportunities. It guides sales teams in prioritizing deals and forecasting future revenue streams effectively.
    • Win Rate: Win rate measures the percentage of sales opportunities that are successfully closed or won. It enables businesses to assess sales performance and refine strategies for higher conversion rates.
    • Pipeline Value: This KPI represents the total value of all opportunities in the sales pipeline. Tracking changes in pipeline value over time helps in assessing the overall health and growth trajectory of the sales pipeline.

    What Data from Salesforce is Needed to Build the Visualizations?

    To build a comprehensive sales pipeline forecast dashboard, you can leverage various data points from Salesforce, including:

    • Opportunity Data: Information about each sales opportunity, including the opportunity name, stage, close date, amount, and probability of closing.
    • Historical Sales Data: This includes past sales figures by product, customer, region, time period (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.), and any other relevant breakdowns.
    • Sales Team Performance: Data on individual sales representatives’ performance, such as number of deals closed, win rates, and average deal size.
    • Lead Data: Information about leads, including source, qualification status, and conversion rates.
    • Product or Service Data: Details about the products or services sold, including pricing, discounts, and product categories.

    Performance Marketing Dashboards

    Businesses invest significant resources in marketing efforts across various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, search engine advertising, and more.

    However, measuring the effectiveness of these marketing activities and determining their influence on major business metrics could be a tough nut to crack without aggregated and real-time analytics.

    Performance marketing dashboards from ClicData empower businesses to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns across multiple channels in real-time. This enables quick decision-making and optimization.

    Top 5 Performance Marketing KPIs to Track

    Here are five common KPIs businesses often track for performance marketing:

    • Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as filling out a form, purchasing something, or subscribing to an email campaign, reflecting the effectiveness of marketing efforts in driving desired outcomes.
    • Return on Investment (ROI): The ratio of revenue generated to the cost of marketing activities, indicating the profitability and effectiveness of marketing campaigns in generating a positive return.
    • Cost per Acquisition (CPA): CPA is the average cost required to acquire a new customer, calculated by dividing overall marketing expenses by the number of conversions, providing insights into the efficiency of marketing campaigns in generating revenue.
    • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on a specific link or advertisement compared to the total number of impressions. This indicates the relevance and engagement level of the marketing content.
    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The estimated total revenue earned from a customer throughout the entire duration of their relationship with a business. It reflects the long-term value and profitability of acquiring and retaining customers.

    What Data from Salesforce is Needed to Build the Visualizations?

    To create a comprehensive marketing performance tracking dashboard, data analysts can leverage various data points from Salesforce, including:

    • Lead and Contact Data: Information about potential and existing customers, including contact details and demographics.
    • Campaign Data: Data related to marketing campaigns, such as campaign name, type, start date, end date, and associated leads or contacts.
    • Account Data: Information about customer accounts, including company details, industry, size, and revenue.
    • Activity Data: Records of interactions with leads and contacts, such as emails, calls, meetings, and tasks.
    • Revenue Data: Information about sales revenue generated from closed-won opportunities, including deal amounts and dates.

    Jazz Up Your Salesforce Data Reporting with ClicData

    While Salesforce excels as a CRM platform, its reporting capabilities have limitations. ClicData can bridge this gap. With ClicData’s native connector, bring in data from Salesforce with just a click of a button. Transform ClicData into your comprehensive data analytics platform by storing historical Salesforce data alongside information from all your systems.

    You can cleanse, combine, and visualize your data in just a few hours, and automate data refreshes, alerts, and dashboard publication with ClicData’s Schedules features.

    Explore ClicData’s comprehensive platform to connect, transform, and visualize data from any source. Ready to revolutionize your Salesforce reporting? Discover ClicData’s capabilities.