Understanding when to use reports

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Understanding when to use reports

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Understanding when to use a report in Sugar means understanding the limits of search in Sugar.


The key to understanding when it is necessary to run a report rather than conduct a search is understanding the concepts of records and relationships in Sugar. Let me tell you a little story:


Once upon a time there was a contact Jane Doe. Jane Doe lives in Smithville. Her name, email, city, country, telephone number, lead score, and a whole lot of other pieces of data are stored on Jane Doe's contact record. Now imagine that Jane Doe is employed by Acme Limited. Acme Limited is a telecommunications company and the name Acme Limited appears as a link in the Organisation field of Jane's Sugar profile. I can click on this link to see Acme's profile page and a list of all Jane's co-workers.


In the above scenario Sugar has created a contact record for Jane Doe and an organisation record for Acme Limited. It has also created a relationship between Jane Doe and Acme Limited.


Imagine that you want to find all the contacts named Jane in the United States. You would be able to do so using Contact Search. That's because both First Name (Jane) and United States (country) are data fields in the contact record.


But now imagine that you wanted to find all contacts who work at telecommunications companies in the United States. This would require a report because you are filtering contacts using a data field held in another module (organisation sector).


Below are some examples of queries you might need and whether they can be achieved via search or if a report is necessary:


I want to see all the people who know at ----- law firm in ------ city.

Filter Search

I want a list of all the people we know at ------, -----, and ----- law firms in ----- city.

Filter search limits you to one organisation at a time. So you could either conduct three different searches or you could build a report.

I want to see all the contacts who attended our ----- event.

Trick question! This cannot be answered with Search or Reports but an Act-On administrator can pull the information from our Custom Event logs.

I want to see all the contacts with whom anyone from the HK office has had a BD meeting in the past 6 months.


Who does litigation know in Dubai?

Interest area search if you want all the contacts on our litigation mailing list in Dubai.


Report if you only want those contacts in Dubai who have history with a member of the litigation team. (This is because Users are a separate module in Sugar.)

Which of our contacts unsubscribed from our mailings in the last 30 days?

Report. While search can be used to identify contacts who have unsubscribed, you have to use reports to see which contacts have had that field updated in the last 30 days.


Alternatively, one could download the unsubscribe list from Act-On, which includes dates.



Hopefully the table above has illustrated the power of Sugar and Act-On but also the complexity of the search and reporting tool. Whenever you are requesting a report from a CRM Administrator it is essential to explain what you need the information for and how you will use it. That way they can structure the report in the best possible way to meet your needs. Also please remember that on average it can take an hour or more to build and test a new report so only ask for one if it is necessary.