Zoho Reports brought in some new features in its latest update.
Enhanced Look & Feel of Charts
The default chart background color has been changed from grey to white, to give the chart a lighter look and feel. The fonts and styles of the charts have all been made more consistent. The tooltip now sports a new presentation style, and the tooltip border reflects the same background color as the corresponding bar/line/point.
New Import Option
Before this update, Zoho Reports supported 3 import options – 1) append new records to the end of a table, 2) delete all records and add all records afresh, and 3) add new records and update existing records. Now, there is a fourth option, which allows you to delete those records in Zoho Reports which aren’t there in the incoming import file. This option is most useful when relationships are defined between tables, and you want to delete specific records.
Previously, the column shelves in the chart designer were of fixed height. If more than 2-3 columns were dropped, it was a bit difficult to scroll through and drop new columns. It’s become more intuitive now, as the shelf’s height grows, based on the number of columns dropped.
More Chart Types
New Area Chart types have been added.
- Smooth Area
- Smooth Area with Points
- Stacked Smooth Area
- Stacked Smooth Area with Points
- Previously, when changes were made to a chart, the chart type reverted to default. But now, the chosen chart type gets retained.
- When adding a numeric data column in the Graph tab, Add New Range option is available now (previously, the range was auto-calculated).
- When you do some changes to a chart’s Settings, you can now preview those changes using the Preview link.
Try the new enhancements in Zoho Reports now.
Yes, Zoho Reports now offers quite a few customization options for a chart. Let’s see how a chart transforms when its settings are customized. Below is the default chart you would get when plotting Apple’s quarterly revenue numbers (from 1Q 2011 to 1Q 2013).
Click Settings at the top-left and it brings you the ‘Settings’ wizard.
In the General tab, you can set the chart’s ‘Title’ and ‘Description’. The next Axis tab will look like the below.
You can change all the values of the Axis parameters.
And you can set the Borders & Colors too.
We will leave out the last Threshold tab for now (who are we to set a threshold for Apple’s sales? 😉 ). Your chart with the settings modified will look like the below.
That’s quite a transformation from what you saw as the default chart, right? Try your own settings for the charts you create in Zoho Reports now.
Zoho Reports is a versatile reporting tool and we keep coming across customers who use it in a myriad ways. One such customer is María Inés Plaza of Envases, a food/industry packages manufacturer based in Venezuela. María Inés uses Zoho Reports for her planning department’s activities. From automated balance scorecards to variable compensation pay for employees to sales forecasts, Zoho Reports does it all at Envases.
Till 5 months back, Envases’ planning department, like any other SMB’s was using the ubiquitous spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) for the above functions. It took María Inés a lot of time every month to update the spreadsheet, apply the proper filter and share a copy of it with everyone concerned. She realized there has to be a better way to do it and hit upon the idea of using Zoho Reports. Now, she’s automated all data uploads and calculations. And every employee in Envases has live access to interactive dashboards, based on dynamic data.
The biggest benefit? María Inés is now saving two weeks of effort every month. Read more about how María Inés is using Zoho Reports in Envases.
As a Zoho CRM user, we believe you are taking full advantage of the Advanced Analytics Add-on for Zoho CRM. If you haven’t yet, do try it now as it lets you dive deep into your CRM data and get real insights about your business.
We continue to hear from you about how such and such report would be very useful to have. Sales target (quota) report was one. Here’s one more that can be ultra useful – region-based sales reports.
For building the regional reports, you need the address of each client of yours. And it is there in the Accounts module of Zoho CRM. By default, the address fields aren’t synced from Zoho CRM to Zoho Reports. So, login to your CRM (Admin) account, click Setup -> Apps & Add-ons -> Zoho Apps -> Advanced CRM Analytics -> Settings. Choose Accounts under Modules and check the Billing City, Billing State and Billing Country fields. Click Save.
When the next sync happens, all the addresses of your clients are there in the Accounts table of your Advanced Analytics add-on. You can now create the desired region-based reports that you may need, by pulling in the desired columns.
Try creating your own region-based sales reports and let us know how it went.
How do you improve the sales efficiency of your workforce of around 300 sales people, who document and submit their daily sales activities on paper forms? Simple. By moving them to a paperless system, that involves smart phones, a smart data collection app (eSurvey) and a reporting service on the cloud (Zoho Reports). That’s what the farmer owned cooperative, Southern States did.
Know more about how Southern States achieved an increase in sales of 20% and data accuracy of 100%.
There are situations when you would want to plot two different metrics over time. Say how your sales have trended against your website traffic or, leads got. Until now, the options in Zoho Reports was to have a multi-bar or multi-line chart. Now, you get the best of both worlds with the Combo Chart (also known as Combination Chart or Bar-Line Overlay Chart). One of the metrics can be plotted as bar and the other can be plotted as line, as in the example below.
The other new chart type that’s been added is the Smooth Line Chart (also known as Spline Chart). This chart comes in handy when you want the data plotted to look continuous or when there is some data interpolation involved. Instead of the data points being connected by straight lines, a smoothened curve results.
What scenarios will you be using the above two chart types? Do leave your comments.
Plotting and visualizing data can be fun. And if the data involves the ongoing Olympics, it can be doubly so! As with previous Olympics (Vancouver 2010, Beijing 2008), we have compiled some interesting dashboards for London 2012 Olympics too. The dashboards are powered by Zoho Reports and hosted on Zoho Sites.
We plan to add new data and reports as the Olympic games progress, and we will keep you updated. If you like to see any other report added, do leave your comments.
London 2012 Dashboards